First Ladies of Fashion: A Pictorial History of Inaugural Gowns

For the last few hundred years, the gowns of the First Ladies have cemented a moment in time, not only providing a snapshot of evolving fashion, but also acting as a socio-political window to the historical context of their era.  From a costuming perspective, I am always fascinated to understand that historical context when planning out a look.  Nothing says it quite so well as the images of the gowns themselves, so feel free to take a long exploration through the gallery below for 200 years of First Lady fashion.  Click on the individual pictures for more information on the year, wearer, and designer.

Photos via BuzzFeedNYMagWashington Post, and the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

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Categories: Costume Inspiration, Costumes & Makeup, History (Haunted and Otherwise)

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7 replies

  1. I love the shimmery 1933 Eleanor Roosevelt gown. It’s beautiful. Great post!

  2. Love all of the dresses. Martha Washington & Jackie O are probably my favorite top 2!

  3. I remember being impressed by this display at the Smithsonian. I believe I immediately bought a book all about the First Ladies (which I haven’t read yet). It’ such a great display, isn’t it? I feel like we give very little thought to the First Ladies.


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