STYLE EVOLUTION

Jackie Kennedy Through the Years: A Look Back at the Original White House Style Icon

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Jackie Kennedy was a certified style icon even before she officially took on the role of First Lady, inspiring countless copycats and setting major trends every time she stepped out in a new monochromatic ensemble, Chanel suit, or pillbox hat. But her reign as Queen of Camelot was just the beginning for Jackie O, as she became known after her marriage to Aristotle Onassis in 1968. Naturally, the former first lady ushered in her new era with a new look, this one centered around billowy maxi dresses and menswear-inspired suits. And, of course, she debuted a new signature accessory: oversized sunglasses. In the later 70s, widowed once again, Jackie put the focus on her career as a book editor, and adopted a businesswoman-about-town style to match. It was hard not to laugh when former President Donald Trump insisted his wife Melania had managed to surpass Jackie’s status as White House style icon. See for yourself with a look back at how she made her mark on fashion and influenced generations of women to come.

1953
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Before she was a Kennedy, she was Jacqueline Bouvier. Here, the future First Lady shielded herself from the sun at the Kennedy compound with a floppy straw hat.

1953
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Jackie’s silk taffeta wedding gown should have been a moment for Ann Lowe. Instead, Jackie failed to credit the Black couturier, who lost out on about $21,000 when a pipe burst in her atelier in the week leading up to the wedding, destroying the soon-to-be First Lady’s gown and nine of the ones she’d made for the bridesmaids.

1960
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Kennedy looked cozy in a formal pajama-style ensemble on an evening out in New York City.

1961
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Jackie packed a matching signature pillbox with a red wool suit for her 1961 visit to Canada.

1961
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Jackie slicked her hair back while on a getaway to West Palm Beach, Florida with her husband.

1962
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Jackie dressed up her apricot dress with her signature pearls and gloves on a visit to India.

1962
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Jackie made a statement in a matching leopard-print ensemble while attending mass with her husband.

1962
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Vacation in Capri offered Jackie a chance to get casual (and not have to deal with doing her hair).

1963

Jackie took things up a notch with a strapless lavender evening gown and elbow-length gloves at the National Gallery of Art.

1965
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Jackie was all glamour in a fur ruff and matching evening gloves on a night out at the theater.

1966
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Jackie was in full ‘60s mode when she arrived in Seville for a 1967 tour of Spain.

1967
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Jackie met the Cambodian royals while swathed in a teal one-shoulder dress.

1961
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Jackie proved she had more than pillbox hats in her collection by wearing a checked high cloche in 1961.

1962
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Jackie’s monochromatic white outfits became synonymous with the First Lady during her Camelot days.

1962

Jackie’s leopard-print coat resurfaced, this time sans matching hat, when she showcased her airport style at LaGuardia.

1967
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Jackie added some personality to the floor-length pale green dress she wore to the Metropolitan Opera with an ornate chunky belt.

1968
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Jackie kept it casual in a knit sweater while touring the island of Madouri, once home to the famed Greek poet Aristotelis Valaoritis.

1969
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Jackie looked windswept on a December afternoon in 1969 in a casual black turtleneck.

1970
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Jackie was unmissable in a frilly red gown while visiting La Cote Basque.

1970
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Jackie O looked like the epitome of equestrian chic at the 17th Annual Horse Show.

1970
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Jackie was in her statement belt era when she headed to the Alvin Theater in a cocktail dress with geometric inserts.

1970
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Jackie went with a metallic statement belt for a day of shopping while on vacation with her family in Capri, Italy.

1971
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Jackie had a menswear moment, accented with a slim red scarf, while out with her children in 1971.

1971
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Kennedy channeled a chic Upper East Sider while out for a stroll with her daughter Caroline in New York City.

1973
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Jackie shone in vibrant yellow while attending yet another performance at the Metropolitan Opera House.

1974
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Jackie soon returned to the Metropolitan Opera House for a night of ballet in a ‘70s-style printed maxi dress.

1974
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Jackie kept it simple and modest in this high-necked green cocktail dress.

1976
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Jackie donned her iconic oversized glasses while passing through Heathrow Airport.

1976
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The sunglasses resurfaced at the Robert F. Kennedy pro-celebrity tournament that same year.

1978
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Jackie shimmered at the opening of a dance photography exhibition at the International Center of Photography in New York City.

1979
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Jackie let her sleeves out at John F. Kennedy Jr.’s graduation from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachus

1981
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Jackie wore another pair of oversized sunglasses on an afternoon spent at the cinema in 1981.

1986
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The dress Jackie wore to a gala at the New York Public Library in 1986 managed to combine disco vibes with formal.

1986
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Jackie attended her daughter Caroline’s wedding in a mix of white and mint green.

1989

Jackie again proved her love of radiant dandelion yellow, this time in sequins, on an evening out in New York.