Fashion and the First Lady

Off the back of Trump’s inauguration and the subsequent departure of the Obama’s from The White House, we could be forgiven for thinking that the release of blockbuster film Jackie, starring Natalie Portman, was timed to fuel political outrage further. The film chronicles the life of Jackie Kennedy during her time as First Lady from 1961 to her husband’s death in 1963. As one of the most iconic first ladies of all time, Jackie was a popular media figure, one which Michelle Obama has often been paralleled to. But what made these first ladies so popular in the public’s eyes? In times of hardship, both strong women remained resilient, calm and determined. As public figures, their impeccable style, unfaltering demeanour and eloquent public speech arguably elevated their husband’s careers even further. The In the Middle fashion team have got our three favourite looks from our two favourite first ladies.


Maiden Name: Jaqueline Lee Bouvier

Born: July 28th, 1929

First lady term: January 20th 1961 – November 22nd 1963

Political party: Democratic

Education: French literature, George Washington University USA

“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all”

Jackie Kennedy is most famed for her iconic ‘Pill Box’ hats, worn in the same colour as a perfectly tailored pencil skirt and blazer suit. Most famously, Jackie is known for a Pink Chanel suit, pictured here as she stepped off the plane in Dallas, Texas just hours before her husband’s assassination. The suit became somewhat a symbol of her strength following the shooting of John F. Kennedy in November 1963, when she refused to take it off despite it being blood-stained. The actions symbolise a distinct message to the Kennedy’s critics, especially given the turbulence of the 1960s – America will not be broken, the government will not be pulled down.

In other looks Jackie Kennedy was every ounce the image of a modern American woman. Pictured in a gingham blouse, tailored shorts and a floppy hat at the Kennedy compound in Massachusetts, we still feel inspired by this Holiday look.

In the work place, Kennedy is pictured here in cigarette pants, a jumper and a neck-tie. Sporting her famous bouncing bob cut, Kennedy appears confident and happy at work as a writer, her first job and first love.

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Maiden Name: Michelle LaVaughn Robinson

Born: January 17th, 1964

First lady term: January 20th 2009 – January 20th 2017

Political Party: Democratic

Education: Princeton University and Harvard Law School

“You don’t have to be somebody different to be important. You’re important in your own right”

A twice Ivy League Graduate, mother and lawyer Michelle Obama is the ultimate 21st century woman. Known best for speaking out in support of LGBT rights, improved race relations, the importance of nutrition, poverty aid and the education, the former first lady became a role model for women the world over. Outside of her own career, and her duties as first lady, we know her from James Cordon’s carpool Karaoke, many best dressed lists and the cover of Vogue.

These are our top three looks that we feel sum up Michelle’s time as first lady. Pictured in a high neck, A-line dress, complete with pearls, Michelle can be equated to a modern day Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The connotations of class and style typically associated with the movie exude from Michelle, placing her as one of favourite modern fashion icons.

Whilst appearing on The Voice US, Michelle is pictured in a straight legged trouser suit, cinched at the waist by a black belt and blazer, classic and chic. In our final image, we’ve chosen her gown by Naeem Khan at the Nordic state dinner in 2016. Michelle looks simply effortless in this Bardot number whilst accompanying her husband… Barack who?!

Screen Shot 2017-02-04 at 13.46.45Meg Painter

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