Dressing like Jackie O
It’s hard to believe that Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was the First Lady more than 50 years ago, because she’s still well known and loved today — that’s what’s happens when you reach icon status. Even today, the mention of her name conjures images of her perfectly tailored wardrobe, pillbox hats and well-coifed hair.
Shows like Mad Men have only made it more desirable to bring old-school fashion into the modern age, and designers have certainly taken notice. Don’t hold back: it’s time to fill your own armoire with the following five essentials in order to take on this classic, timeless style on your own.
Let’s start from the bottom. Jackie O knew the value of a classic, round-toe pump, as evidenced by the frequency with which she wore them. As the First Lady — and a woman in the public eye after the White House — she looked her best at all times. She paired her favorite shoe with everything from pencil skirts to ball gowns. She did take it down a few inches when on vacation at the Vineyard, but that’s another story.
Jackie Kennedy was the queen of well-tailored clothing, and that fact applied to everything she wore:
- Pencil skirts
- Suit jackets
- Sheath and shift dresses
- Wide-cut coats
You can certainly spot these classic, timeless silhouettes at just about any women’s clothing store. The best way to make them look more like Jackie’s style is to have them tailored to you. You will walk with the same swagger that the former First Lady had — an outfit that fits perfectly can have that affect.
Off-the-Shoulder Tops and Dresses
Fortunately, this look has come back in style in a big way, so you won’t have to look far to find items that show off your décolletage. It’s a simple style that honors the First Lady’s less-is-more approach to fashion — simply showing your shoulders and collarbone is so subtly sexy that she could do it, even on the national stage in the early 1960s, when modest style reigned supreme. She tended to favor this style when wearing fancier ball gowns, but you can incorporate it into your everyday wardrobe with tops that pair well with jeans, shorts and everything in between.
Jackie O had no trouble finding the right sunglasses for her face shape, and she wore them ‘round the clock. In fact, the oversized circle sunglasses she wore regularly became one of the signature pieces in her collection. Whether she was wearing capris and a t-shirt or a tailored suit jacket and skirt, she complemented her look with the right sunglasses.
Brightly Colored Fabrics and Bold Patterns
Jackie O rocked classic styles day in and day out, but that’s not to say that she didn’t have a little fun with her wardrobe. In fact, the First Lady often chose to add pizzazz to simple silhouettes with bright colors like yellow, pink and fire engine red. She was even more daring with patterns — imagine ball gowns in swirly paisley patterns or houndstooth outerwear. All of these affinities are easily transferrable to today’s fashions.
With all of this in mind, you’re probably wondering where to start shopping for your new, retro-inspired looks. Websites like Modcloth, as well as stores known for more classic, preppy styles — think J. Crew — are great places to start. Find items that fit your vision and flatter your shape and you’ll be feeling as fab as Jackie herself.
Written by Lexie Lu
Lexie is a designer, writer, and coffee lover. She writes about trends in the web and graphic design industry. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.