No one will ever question the effortless style of Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis. Before Mrs. Obama, Jackie was the stylish First Lady that every woman of the 1960s wanted to be. Even after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, she still went on to live a life of unabashed luxury as the wife of Aristotle Onassis as a jet-setter with influence of the gypset era of Europe. From pillbox hats to suede bell-bottoms, Jackie O. gave great street-style some forty plus years before we could name it.
As an adolescent I had a very vivid obsession with Jackie. I can’t recall when and where it started but I know that any and every article she was in, I would ravish. That obsession carried over into my own personal style. Whether it was the large sunglasses, the well-tailored trench coats, Pucci scarves or Jack Rogers sandals, I was always trying to give a little Jackie in my outfits. Even while thrifting, I’ll zero into a piece that resembles Jackie’s style at some point of her life. Sometimes it is a shift dress from her days as a Senator’s wife on Martha’s Vineyard. Then there are times I look at suits from the Camelot era that echo her time in the White House. Or maybe I will be drawn to a jersey dress from her years as widow the second time around or it’s a printed scarf when she became a working mother in the 1980s. From the 1960s to her death from cancer in 1994, Jackie made clothing look like jewels and she made it look easy.
In 2001, I was able to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibit, Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years and some thirteen years later, I’m still riding on a fashion high. The exhibit showcased over 80 pieces of the former first Lady’s wardrobe on the fortieth anniversary of the Kennedy inauguration. The outfits ranged from maternity wear on the campaign trail, to her inauguration gown, and items that were culturally inspired from the numerous state dinners. If clothing could tell a story, that exhibit did everything Google and Wikipedia could never do.
Twenty years after her death, the style of Jaqueline Kennedy is still present. Every first lady gets compared to her with Mrs. Obama making the closest call but not only here in the good old USA but in every country including France for Carla Bruni Sazorsky to the days of Princess Diana. So as I step outside right before the summer breaks, I’ll make one more Jackie like style moment whether it’s my scarf, my huge sunglasses or maybe the Jack Rogers Navajo sandals on my feet. Most days, I’m always wearing a touch of Jackie.
Latest Where The Goodwill Goes Post:
Memorial Day Weekend: A Window Into Summer