Stunning inauguration dresses chosen by America’s First Ladies

Stunning inauguration dresses chosen by America’s First Ladies

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From Helen Taft to Hillary Clinton and Barbara Bush, Smithsonian Museum of American History exhibition shows off inauguration ball choices of First Ladies gone by

Michelle Obama’s single-shouldered white Jason Wu gown from 2009 inauguration joins the collection

Speculation widespread over who the fashion-forward First Lady will wear to her second inauguration ball

 

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Glittering event: President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle arrive to speak to supporters and donors at a reception for the 57th Presidential Inauguration at The National Building Museum in Washington tonight

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Donation: Helen Herron Taft, pictured right at her husband’s 1909 inauguration was the first First Lady to donate her gown to the Smithsonian Museum of American History.

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Elegant: Eleanor Roosevelt chose this simple floor length number for the 1933 inauguration ball

First Ladies Collection Mamie Eisenhower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rhinestones: Mamie Eisenhower wore a pink full-skirted dress to her husband’s inauguration in 1953. The dress was covered in hundreds of rhinestones

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Own designs: Jackie Kennedy did her own sketches for her 1961 inauguration dress. Ethel Frankau of Bergkorf Custom Design made the white dress which had a strapless bodice and chiffon overlay. It was worn with a matching cape, picture right

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Keeping it simple: Claudia “Lady Bird”¬† Johnson made a departure from elaborate, detailed designs with a simple yellow dress and matching jacket by John Moore worn to the 1965 inauguration ball

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Bolero: Pat Nixon opted for a short jacket and canary yellow dress combination. It was designed for the 1969 inauguration ball by Karen Stark for Harvey Berin

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Recycled: Rosalynn Carter caused some outrage by wearing this long-sleeved dress to the 1977 inauguration because  the First Lady had been seen wearing it previously. It was clearly a firm favorite and did her husband no harm by suggesting she was un-extravagant

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Asymmetrical: Nancy Reagan wore an inauguration gown similar to the one Michelle Obama wore in 2009. The one-shouldered white embellished dress was designed by James Galanos. ‘She knew her style very well, and it was always simple and elegant,’ Galanos told the Los Angeles Times

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Possible clash: Arnold Scaasi designed this gown for Barbara Bush. The designer had already sold three so he called his other clients to ensure they weren’t wearing it to the 1989 ball

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Purple reign: Hillary Clinton, often criticized by the fashion pack, took on an uncharacteristic glitzy style with this gown for the 1993 inauguration ball

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First Lady in red: Laura Bush opted for this eye-catching Michael Faircloth gown for her husbands 2001 inauguration ball

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Getting it right: Michelle Obama chose a Jason Wu dress for the inauguration ball in 2009, left. The First Lady started the inauguration festivities in style yesterday opting for a simple and chic white shirt and black trousers. The fashion world has been speculating for weeks over who will design her gown for the balls tomorrow night

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Well-received: Michelle Obama’s Jason Wu gown from the 2009 inauguration was a hit among the fashion critics. There has been plenty of speculation about who she will wear tomorrow

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