Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Jacqueline Kennedy

Jacqueline Kennedy tops the fashion icon list. She's right up there with Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly (in my opinion). In trying to write a succinct yet worthy post, I find Jackie almost too complex to contain in a few paragraphs. So many interesting things have been noted about her...her character, her style, her influence.

No photo has been taken of Jackie that does not depict her classic style and unparalleled grace. Whether she is at a formal event, tending her children, or riding horses, she's a picture of perfection.

Wouldn't it be so divine if gloves were to make a comeback? I think so.

Jackie wasn't just a pretty face in great clothes. She was extremely intelligent with interests in history, art, and literature. She spoke French fluently and dazzled people with her social graces wherever present.

She understood the power of clothing and image and used it to reflect the internationalism of the Kennedy Administration and the promise of the 1960's. At a time when the majority of women were expected to play the supportive, but never equal, role in marriage, Jackie exuded her own personality and opinions in all aspects of her life. Although she favored high-end, designer clothes, the clothes did not wear her, she wore them. Her clean suits, sleeveless A-line dresses and famous pillbox hats were an overnight success around the world and became known as the "Jackie" look.

In contrast to her outward appearance, life was not all perfect for Jackie. As a child, her life was upset by her parent's divorce in 1940. During her marriage to John F. Kennedy, she suffered the deaths of two children - her infant daughter in 1956, and premature son in 1963. Only months after losing her baby boy, President Kennedy was assassinated, leaving her widowed, raising 2 small children, alone at the age of 34.

5 years later, she married shipping magnate Aristotle Onasis. When her step-son Alexander died in a plane crash in 1973, her marriage as well as her husband's health began deteriorating. She was widowed for the second time at the age of 46.

Jackie's style evolved into a more casual, trendy look following her White House days. She would more likely be seen wearing wide-leg pantsuits, blue jeans, large lapel jackets, silk head scarves and large, round, dark sunglasses. Not so "classic Jackie", but still, ever so chic.

In 1994, Jackie was diagnosed with Lymphoma and she passed away only a few months later.

Her legacy lives on in the wardrobes of women of all ages. Just recently, J.Crew came out with a "Jackie" line of sweater sets. And there are many other items that will be forever associated with Jacqueline Kennedy. She made the clothes of her era look so good, we scout them out in vintage shops and thrift stores if only to look half as fabulous as her. Think about that: women still want to emulate her, decades later.

Classy, indeed.

Segments via and Wikipedia.
picture #4 via


Bug said...

Cant disagree with you here - my clothing choices tend to lean toward her style. She is absolutely lovely!

The Clothes Horse said...

So true, she's the eptiome of someone with timeless style.

Anonymous said...

Love,love the glove idea! I have a little bag of several colors of my mom's that I'd love to take out of the costume clothes and actually wear! TW

AlicePleasance said...

She was really amazing, effortless classy.

Gma Goldie said...

I completely agree - love the idea of gloves - elegant and great for protecting us from harmful bacteria.

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