Timeless Taste: Jackie O. Kennedy and Michelle Obama

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Timeless Taste: Jackie O. Kennedy and Michelle Obama

January 20, 2011 marked the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of the late President John F Kennedy. As many across the nation joined in the celebration of the Kennedy legacy, they remembered the youthful, glamorous era under which the 35th president assumed his position. As the youngest man ever to take office, Kennedy was a different president from his predecessors. He was handsome. He was fresh. He was a change. His inauguration was celebrated with world-class dinners and star-studded parties. The festivities included performances from Gene Kelly, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, and Frank Sinatra. Out of all the shining stars, however, none shined quite as brightly as his wife, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy.

January 20, 1961 marked not only the inauguration of a president, but also the induction of a female style icon. Jacqueline, to this day, is an important figure in fashion. Once Kennedy’s presidency was over, her level of chic sleekness was not to be seen for a very long time in the White House. Although other first ladies have pulled off some very classic looks, for decades Jackie held the title as the First Lady of Fashion. However, in 2008 the White House welcomed another woman who has become a style icon in her own right. This woman is none other than First Lady Michelle Obama. As the country celebrates the anniversary of the Kennedy inauguration, I could not help but notice the similarities between these president’s stylish leading ladies.


For one, there is the hair. Their overall approach appears to be feminine and simple.


Then, there are the inauguration gowns. Both Michelle and Jackie chose, perhaps proudly, to wear American designers. By doing so, they put new American names onto the main circuit of fashion. Below is a photo of Michelle in her Jason Wu gown and Jackie in her Oleg Cassini ensemble on the night of inauguration.


Through style, Michelle and Jackie have reached out to women around the world. Jackie’s timelessly classic style was sleek and attainable at every price point. Although she did have expensive taste, her complete look was never overly extravagant. As a result, her style is possible to recreate. In a similar manner, Michelle Obama mindfully wears pieces within an affordable price range, making it possible for the everyday woman to buy and use the exact same items. For example, in the picture below Michelle is wearing a skirt and a cardigan from J.Crew.


It is also noteworthy to mention that there are some particular details of Jackie’s style that Michelle emulates. It is as if she were directly recreating the looks. Take a glance at the similarities between these photographs. Michelle mimics the triple-strand pearl necklace and the vivid orange dress.



As families, the Kennedys and the Obamas are similar for the youthful ora that they brought to the White House. Jackie was a young mother, in fact, she had just given birth weeks before the inauguration to JFK Jr. and she already had 4 year-old Caroline. Michelle Obama, with 12 year-old Malia and 9 year-old Sasha, is in a comparable situation. Undoubtedly, the images of youthful family help to favorably permeate American popular opinion.

Overall their similarities can be best explained by the cliché, “Great minds think alike!” Surely, these first ladies serve as timeless examples for women everywhere.

-Ashley Welch


  1. Mariana

    I love these women. They are feminine, graceful and possible authorities. All the women could have follow them (and still can). I absolutely adore their styles, they both look stunning everytime. I really loved the pearl necklace of Michelle. I have the same style but just the Amber necklace. I hope, one day I’ll get a pearl one. These women are my favourite. I really adore them.

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