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HH Style Icon Part III: Jackie Kennedy Onassis

Posted on November 10, 2013

Jackie Kennedy Onassis is undeniably one of the greatest style icons of the last century. There has never been a first lady so obsessively followed for her fashion prior to Jackie-O, and for good reason. She was a woman who loved to dress.

As soon as she came into the limelight as first lady, women flocked to emulate her. With a style heavily influenced by Parisian fashion, Jackie looked fabulous and put-together wherever she went. Her own personal fashion icon was Audrey Hepburn and throughout her life, Jackie's style would always feature the flavor of Hepburn's old Hollywood glamour.


Jackie took chic to a whole new level. The key to getting her look? Simple silhouettes, classic colors and perfect tailoring.


Jackie married the then Massachusetts congressman John F. Kennedy on September 12, 1953 in Rhode Island. Her dress was designed by Anne Lowe of New York City.

As first lady, the "Jackie Look" swept the nation and though she’d claimed to have no desire to be a fashion leader, she single-handedly shepherded women out of the tight waists, crinolines and overly styled hairdos of the 1950s into sleek shifts, pillbox hats and streamlined elegance.

Jackie's classic style taught the world that black and white always looks good. It was her favorite look and she always preferred black on top and white on bottom.

Jackie’s popularity knew no measure and at one point she was the most photographed woman in the world. Newspapers chronicled her every sartorial shift, and she was second to no one, not even Elizabeth Taylor, on the covers of women’s magazines.

There's one thing that every ensemble Jackie Kennedy ever wore had in common: She always kept it simple. Jackie understood that less is more. Her look was never cluttered or busy, and with every outfit she chose, she portrayed the message that you don't have to wear fancy clothes to be elegant. John F. Kennedy stated, "She always looked comfortable."

Two of Jackie's signature looks: pearls and classic pink. Jackie made the three-strand pearl necklace a signature trend and during her days as first lady she proved that pink can be even more powerful than bright red.

"I'll be a wife and a mother first, then a first lady."

Jackie's signature Chanel pink tweed suit with patching pill box hat. The same ensemble she wore as she sat beside JFK the day he was assassinated in 1963.

After the death of her husband in 1963, Jackie Kennedy stepped out of the limelight. By the mid-70's, after her marriage to Aristotle Onassis in 1968, she was back in the public eye with a new look and attitude that became known as the "Jackie-O" look complete with wide trousers, black turtlenecks and of course her signature sunglasses of which she's been quoted saying she liked the opportunity they gave her to watch people. 

"A newspaper reported I spend $30,000 a year buying Paris clothes and that women hate me for it. I couldn’t spend that much unless I wore sable underwear."

Jackie always stepped out in style. Tailored coats are another must-have in her style closet.


To add to her signature looks, Jackie loved to accessorize with scarves. Whether around her neck or covering her hair, she always made it look effortless and chic.

In her later years, she continued to embraced the style elements that made her an icon. Jackie died in 1994 at age 65.

"I have been through a lot and have suffered a great deal. But I have had lots of happy moments, as well. Every moment one lives is different from the other. The good, the bad, hardship, the joy, the tragedy, love, and happiness are all interwoven into one single, indescribable whole that is called life. You cannot separate the good from the bad. And perhaps there is no need to do so, either."

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