20+ Most Fashionable First Ladies Throughout History

The First Ladies of the United States are not only famous for being the wives of the President but they are also loved throughout the world for their dressing sense. Also, they are well-known for speaking up against what is right and what is wrong. The First Ladies of the United States, since the old era and until now have proved that they are not only political figures but also style icons. So, here is a list of 35 of the most fashionable First Ladies who have set trends and have also inspired people throughout the world with their fashion sense.

Martha Washington

Martha Washington

Martha Washington whose real name was Martha Dandridge Custis Washington was the very First Lady of the United States because of her husband President George Washington, who became the very first President of the USA. During the colonial era, she was considered very stylish and used to dress up in the finest clothes, jewelry, and footwear.

Abigail Adams

Abigail Adams

Abigail Adams was the wife of the second President of the United States, John Adams who served the position of First Lady from 1797-1801. During the time of her husband’s presidency, there were tensions between France and America and Abigail opted to reject the French fashion and opted for modest gowns. She used to wear traditional silhouettes and described French fashion as an outrage upon all decency.

Dolley Madison

Dolley Madison

Dolley Madison whose real name was Dolley Todd Madison served as the First Lady of the United States from 1809-1817 because she was the wife of President James Madison. During her time, she became the most iconic first lady because of her lavish social gatherings. She was also praised for wearing bright colors, french accessories, and fine fabrics.

Jackie Kennedy

Jackie Kennedy

Jackie Kennedy was a widely-known American writer, book editor, and socialite who also served as the First Lady of the United States as the wife of President John F. Kennedy from the period 1961 to 1963. During her lifetime, many people have seen her as a fashion icon. The former First Lady of the US will be remembered for her classic pearl necklaces, elegant skirt suits, and ladylike pillbox hats. When it came to fashion, she always had a daring side and wasn’t afraid to step out of the traditional boundaries. During her time, she introduced pussy-bow blouses, and cropped pants, which were considered quite modern and bold at the time.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt whose real name was Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was a popular American political figure, diplomat, and activist who also served as the First Lady of the United States during her husband Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency. She was the longest-serving First Lady because her husband took the presidency for four terms. During her time, she used to wear floor-sweeping evening gowns and also layered her outfits with beads, floral hats, and gloves. She used to balance her unique fashion choices with classic cuts and timeless colors.

Mamie Eisenhower

Mamie Eisenhower

Another First Lady of the United States who was loved for her fashion choices is Mamie Eisenhower who served as the First Lady of the United States from 1953 to 1961 as the wife of wife of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. She was a true depiction of the term lady-like because used to wear elegant gowns with some perfectly placed jewelry such as earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. She always wanted her style to reflect her vibrant energy and she never let her age dictate what she could and could not wear.

Elizabeth Monroe

Elizabeth Monroe

Another First Lady of the United States who was praised for her fashion choices was Elizabeth Monroe who served in this position from 1817 to 1825 because she was the wife of President James Monroe. During her time in the White House, she earned the nickname La Belle Americaine due to her elegant fashion sense.

Frances Cleveland

Frances Cleveland

The First Lady of the United States from the periods 1886 to 1889 and 1893 to 1897 was Frances Cleveland who served in this position because of her husband President Grover Cleveland. She was the only woman who had served in this position for two consecutive terms. During her time as the First Lady, she was known as a presidential rebel because she would wear dresses that showed her neck, shoulders, and upper chest. She was backlashed for her style but she did not listen to anyone.

Louisa Adams

Louisa Adams

Louisa Adams whose real name was Louisa Catherine Adams served as the First Lady of the United States from the period 1825 to 1829 because of her husband President John Quincy Adams. As she was born in London and spent many years in Europe, her fashion sense was quite sophisticated and elegant. She also had a keen interest in cosmetics which made her very controversial.

Julia Tyler

Julia Tyler

Julia Tyler served as the First Lady of the United States from June 26, 1844, to March 4, 1845, because she was the second wife of President John Tyler. Before becoming the First Lady, Julia was already well-known because she posed for some magazines in the past. During her time in the White House, she wore lavish costumes and clothing which were praised by many people.

Sarah Polk

Sarah Polk

Sarah Childress Polk who was commonly known as Sarah Polk served as the First Lady of the United States from 1845 to 1849 because she was married to President James K. Polk. During her time in the White House, she used to hire designers to make her dresses using delicate velvet, satin, and silk. She also used to wear Parisian accessories with her dresses and was named a Fashionista.

Harriet Lane

Harriet Lane

Harriet Lane whose real name was Harriet Rebecca Lane Johnston served as the First Lady of the United States from 1857 to 1861 during the tenure of her uncle President  James Buchanan. During the presidency of her uncle, she was considered the most fashionable first lady and was no doubt a style icon. Her looks featured white berthas at the neck, and European dresses with low necklines and ruffles.

Lady Bird Johnson

Lady Bird Johnson

Lady Bird Johnson whose real name was Claudia Alta Lady Bird Johnson served as the First Lady of the United States from the period 1963 to 1969 because she was the wife of President Lyndon B. Johnson. Also, from 1961 to 1963, she was the Second Lady because at this time her husband was the Vice President. During her time, Lady Bird had a keen sense of fashion because she always wore dresses from the latest designers and always stood ahead of the trends while maintaining her own style. She also had special elements in her dresses, such as statement bags, Peter Pan collars, statement shoes, and full-length gloves.

Mary Todd Lincoln

Mary Todd Lincoln

Mary Todd Lincoln whose real name was Mary Ann Todd Lincoln served as the First Lady of the United States from 1861 to 1865 because of her husband President Abraham Lincoln. During her time in the White House, she brought regal elegance with a touch of British royalty because she used used wear ballgowns, and dramatic silhouettes with intricate details. The gowns she wore had very detailed and elaborate designs, which showed her magnificence and luxury.

Patricia Nixon

Patricia Nixon

Thelma Catherine Pat Nixon who was commonly known as Patricia Nixon served as the First Lady of the United States from 1969 to 1974 because she was married to President Richard Nixon. Also, she was the Second Lady from 1953 to 1961 because her husband was the Vice President at that time. During her time, she was known for her glittery dresses which made her look very elegant. She believed that more glitter made her dresses better and she often dazzled in bejeweled gowns. In fact, for her first inaugural ball, she wore a stunning gold dress which truly made a statement.

Betty Ford

Betty Ford

Betty Ford whose real name was Elizabeth Anne Ford was the First Lady of the United States from the period 1974 to 1977 because of her husband President Gerald Ford. She was also the Second Lady from 1973 to 1974 when her husband served as the Vice President of the US. During her time, she was a fashion icon who used to feature tailored jackets, silk scarves, and cat-eye sunglasses in her looks. Along with this, she also carried a statement white bag which would enhance her overall look. The outfits she wore were always modern, yet functional and practical perfect for her busy schedule and various activities.

Barbara Bush

Barbara Bush

Another First Lady of the US who became a fashion icon is Barbara Bush who served in this position from 1989 to 1993 because of her husband President George H. W. Bush. She also served as the second lady from 1981 to 1989 when her husband was the Vice President. She became a style icon during her time because she wore long dramatic gowns and dresses from latest designers. She also accessorized her gowns with pearl necklaces and earnings.

Rosalynn Carter

Rosalynn Carter

Rosalynn Carter was a famous American writer, activist, and humanitarian who also served as the First Lady of the United States from 1977 to 1981 because she was the wife of President Jimmy Carter. During her time, she used to wear clothes that were quite conservative but sometimes she also opted for striking and dramatic looks. In her outfits, high necklines and pastel colors were a must along with pussy-bow blouses and long-wispy hemlines.

Nancy Reagan

Nancy Reagan

Nancy Davis Reagan was a popular American film actress who served as the First Lady of the United States from the period 1981 to 1989 as the second wife of President Ronald Reagan. During her time, she was widely praised for bringing the red carpet style to the White House along with sophistication and elegance. Reagan Red was labeled as her go-to color and she often opted for glamorous and feminine details in her dresses rather than going for neutrals. She stayed ahead of the trends and wore designers such as Carolina Herrera, Bill Blass, and James Galanos.

Eliza Johnson

Eliza Johnson

Eliza Johnson whose real name was Eliza McCardle Johnson served as the First Lady of the United States from the period 1865 to 1869 because she was the wife of President Andrew Johnson. She was widely known for wearing elegant and luxurious dresses and was also responsible for her husband’s attire. She helped her husband in managing his clothes because she wanted him to maintain his dignity as a President.

Julia Grant

Julia Grant

Another First Lady who was known for her fashion sense is Julia Grant whose real name was Julia Dent Grant. She served in this position from 1869 to 1877 because she was married to President Ulysses S. Grant. She was the style icon of America because she only used to wear American-made clothes which made her look very simple.

Lucy Hayes

Lucy Hayes

Lucy Hayes, the wife of former President Rutherford B. Hayes, served as the First Lady of the United States from 1877 to 1881. During her time in the White House, she chose to wear modest silhouettes with elegant styles, such as high-neck and long-sleeve dresses. Her fashion was praised by many and also criticized by many.

Lucretia Garfield

Lucretia Garfield

Lucretia Garfield was the First Lady of the United States from the period March to September 1881 because she was the wife of President James A. Garfield. Although her tenure was very short, she was not supportive of dress reforms. She was of the view that revealing clothes were not good for women and less restrictive clothes could mess with the traditional family setup.

Caroline Harrison

Caroline Harrison

Caroline Harrison whose real name was Caroline Lavinia Harrison was an American music teacher who also served as the First Lady of the United States from 1889 to 1892 because she was the wife of President Benjamin Harrison. She was very devoted to her husband’s president and urged that her clothes be made in America because her husband had promised a prosperous America.

Ida McKinley

Ida McKinley

Another First Lady who was a style icon during her tenure is Ida McKinley who served as the First Lady of the United States from 1897 until 1901 because she was married to President William McKinley. While being in the White House, she often wore blue and high-collared gowns which had puffed sleeves. Also, her dresses have been preserved in the McKinley Museum in Canton, Ohio.

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton whose real name was Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton is a popular American politician and diplomat who served as the First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001 as the wife of President Bill Clinton. In the beginning, she used to wear pantsuits in the White House and has also worn pencil skirts. But she became a fashion icon because of her color schemes. She used to match minor details of her outfits with Bill’s tie or she wore outfits that compliment his suits. Her style of wearing a single color was also compared to the monochromatic looks of Queen Elizabeth.

Edith Roosevelt

Edith Roosevelt

Edith Roosevelt whose real name is Edith Kermit Carow Roosevelt served as the First Lady of the United States from 1901 to 1909 because she was married to President Theodore Roosevelt. During her tenure, she was widely known for repeating outfits and was often seen wearing frilly clothes and gowns that were embroidered with gathered sleeves.

Helen Taft

Helen Taft

Helen Taft was the First Lady of the United States, serving from 1909 to 1913 because she was the wife of President William Howard Taft. During her husband’s presidency, she was awarded for having the best hat collection. She also used to wear long gowns with floral embroidery and ribbons.

Ellen Wilson

Ellen Wilson

Ellen Wilson whose real name was Ellen Louise Axson Wilson served as the First Lady of the United States from the period 1913 until her death in 1914 because she was the wife of President Woodrow Wilson. She often used a stylist to assist her in selecting her clothes for particular events because she wasn’t interested in fashion that much. She was often criticized by the people for her simple yet elegant looks.

Edith Wilson

Edith Wilson

Another First Lady who was praised for her sense of style was Edith Wilson who served as the First Lady of the United States from 1915 to 1921 as she was the second wife of President Woodrow Wilson. During her tenure, the only thing that mattered to her was to dress up respectably. She often dressed in the finest fashion from France and also wore clothes from designers such as Elsa Schiaparelli and Gabrielle Chanel.

Florence Harding

Florence Harding

Florence Harding whose real name was Florence Mabel Harding served as the First Lady of the United States from 1921 to 1923 because she was married to President Warren G. Harding. She was praised for her fashion choices during her tenure because she usually wore a silk neckband and opted for beaded dresses and fur coats which made her look elegant. Also, she liked adding delphinium flowers to her outfits.

Grace Coolidge

Grace Coolidge

The wife of the 30th President Calvin Coolidge was Grace Coolidge, who served as the First Lady of the United States from 1923 to 1929. Grace was the woman who was all in for Flapper fashion and always made daring choices in her outfits. She wore shorter skirts and loose-fitting frocks rather than those traditional garbs which were all covered. She was also praised for wearing bright colors during her tenure.

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama is a widely recognized American attorney and author who served as the First Lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017 because of her husband President Barack Obama. During her time, she was regarded as the most stylish First Lady to ever stay in the White House. She has been turned into a style icon who is known for sophistication and class because of her daring choices such as one-shoulder gowns and knee-length outfits. She also wore floral dresses accessorized with customized belts which made her a trendsetter.

Melania Trump

Melania Trump

Melania Trump is a Slovenian-American former model who served as the First Lady of the United States from the period 2017 to 2021 because of her husband President Donald Trump. During her time in the White House, she became a fashion icon for many because of her elegant fashion choices and has worn big brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel, and Gucci. She was often seen wearing knee-length dresses which gave her a sophisticated look.

Jill Biden

Jill Biden

Jill Biden whose real name is Jill Tracy Jacobs Biden is the First Lady of the United States who served in this position since 2021 because she is the wife of President Joe Biden. She was also the second lady from 2009 to 2017 when her husband was the Vice President. As she took the responsibility, she proved that First Ladies can blend in with movie stars as she is often seen wearing glamorous and luxurious dresses.

Megha Chauhan
Megha Chauhan
Megha Chauhan is an accomplished content writer who holds a degree in Law. Her extensive expertise in research and writing has helped her excel in this field. Her expertise spans from engaging blog posts and in-depth articles. Passionate about storytelling, Megha continually hones her skills to stay ahead of trends, ensuring her content remains fresh and impactful.
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