Twenty years ago today, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis died of cancer at the age of 64. Today, she’s remembered as a wife, mother and graceful figure who championed the arts and literature. But Jackie is also a bonafide fashion icon who inspired millions with her chic wardrobe and effortless style. During her initial year as First Lady, she reportedly spent $45,446 more on her wardrobe than the $100,000 annual salary her husband earned as president (which he donated to charity). Below, a breakdown of the elements that defined Jackie’s signature style.
Jackie started more than a few trends during her first year in the White House, including popularizing the pillbox hat. Many of her stylish chapeaus, which she often wore in different colors, were designed for her by Halston. She famously wore a pink suit and matching pillbox hat on the day her husband was assassinated.
Jackie’s signature shades were both stylish and functional. She has been quoted saying she liked the opportunity they gave her to watch people and that she kept multiple pairs of sunglasses in a basket by her front door.
Jackie had an ability to make even the most casual outfits look chic, and often paired headscarves with giant sunglasses when she was outdoors.
Perfectly Styled Hair
Though her hairstyle evolved over the years, Jackie’s voluminous coif was an integral part of her signature lookl. Her iconic bouffant was created by Kenneth Battelle, the famed hairdresser to the stars who also styled Marilyn Monroe.
Elbow Length Gloves
Gloves were another signature accessory for Jackie for both day and night. She favored white elbow length gloves at formal evening events, which were often commissioned by LaCrasia Gloves in New York City’s famed garment district.
As First Lady, Jackie frequently wore shoulder-baring gowns to official events that showed off her slim physique — a daring move in the 1960’s.
Few people can carry off a cape, so it’s no surprise the dramatic accessory was a part of Jackie’s signature style as First Lady.
Long before Olivia Pope rocked every conceivable style of cold-weather cover-up, Jackie dazzled with her seemingly endless array of fabulous, covetable coats.
Having grown up riding horses, Jackie made equestrian garb look effortlessly chic.
Jackie’s fashion sense extended to her children, which meant John and Caroline wore outfits that frequently complemented or matched their mother’s.