Inauguration Style Throughout the Years: It's All About the First Lady's Coat!

Inauguration Style Throughout the Years: It's All About the First Lady's Coat!
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Inauguration Style Throughout the Years: It's All About the First Lady's Coat!

President Dwight Eisenhower and Mrs Mamie Eisenhower, in a fur coat and gorgeous hat, sit  in the open car and wave as they  leave the Capitol in Washington Jan. 21, 1957, just before swinging into Constitution Avenue on traditional inaugural parade route. 

Photo Credit: AP

President Dwight D. Eisenhower, left, with wife, Mamie, son John and his wife, Barbara Jean during the inauguration on January 21, 1957. This First Family looks incredible, with First Lady Mamie in a sparkling gown and daughter-in-law Barbara Jean in a simple but elegant gown.

Photo Credit: CBS/AP


Ah, there she is! U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower shakes hands with the gorgeous Jacqueline Kennedy as she and President-elect John F. Kennedy arrive at the North Portico of the White House in Washington, D.C., on  January 20, 1961.  Jackie is wearing a beautiful coat with matching hat, and fur muff to keep her hands warm.

Photo Credit: AP

On January 20, 1961 newly-elected President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy leave the White House, in Washington, D.C. for a series of visits to inaugural balls. The first lady wore her specially-designed haute couture white silk sheath and matching coat. 

Photo Credit: Henry Burroughs, AP

US President-elect John Fitzgerald Kennedy, US First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and US Vice-President Lyndon Johnson are all smiles on January 21, 1961 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. during Kennedy's inauguration ball.  Kennedy was the first Catholic, and the youngest person, to be elected for Democratic party the president of the USA. 

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

A distant view of Lyndon Johnson, shown taking the oath of office, during the inauguration ceremonies in front of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 20, 1965.  Administering the oath is Chief Justice Earl Warren, right, with First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson in the middle with a stunning red coat and hat.

Photo Credit: AP

President Johnson dances with Mrs. Hubert Humphrey while Vice President Humphrey dances with Lady Bird Johnson at the Inaugural Ball at the Mayflower Hotel. 

Photo Credit: Dan Farrell, NY Daily News/Getty Images

Lady Bird Johnson, center, her daughters Luci Baines, left, and Lynda Bird, right, pose in New York City on Jan. 12, 1961.  They are modeling the gowns they will wear at the inaugural ball on Jan. 20, 1961.

Photo Credit: AP

Richard M. Nixon, right, is sworn in as the 37th president of the United States administered by Chief Justice Earl Warren, left, during inaugural ceremonies in front of the Capitol in Washington, D.C., January 20, 1969.  His wife, Pat Nixon, holds the Bible for her husband, sporting a hot pink coat - a welcome pop of color among the rest of her companions.

Photo Credit: AP

All was jolly at the Washington Hilton inaugural ball on January 20, 1969 as President Richard Nixon and his wife, Pat, got together with fellow Republicans. We love the addition of sparkles to First Lady Pat's outfit!

Photo Credit: AP

Gerald R. Ford takes the oath of office as the 38th president of the United States as his wife, Betty, right, stands at his side in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C. on August 4. 1974.  

Photo Credit: AP 

President and Mrs. Jimmy Carter have one hand for the crowd along Pennsylvania Avenue and one for their daughter Amy. The Carters elected to walk the parade route from the Capitol to the White House following his inauguration in Washington, on Thursday January 20, 1977. We are seriously lusting after the First Lady's coat from this ceremony, the silhouette is simply classic.

Photo Credit: Suzanne Vlamis, AP

President and Mrs. Jimmy Carter are pictured with their daughter Amy at the first of seven Inaugural Balls, and the First Lady looks stunning. We love Amy's cape as well, she looks adorable!

Photo Credit: AP

Feast your eyes on all of these fabulous looks! President Gerald R. Ford and First Lady Betty Ford pose with President-elect Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn Carter (our favorite outfit!), Margaretta Rockefeller and husband Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller, Joan Mondale(LOVE her shoes) and husband Vice President-elect Walter Mondale prior to departing the White House for the inauguration of Jimmy Carter as the 39th President of the United States on  January 20, 1977.

Photo Credit: David Kennerly, Getty Images

U.S. President Ronald Reagan and his wife, first lady Nancy Reagan who is decked out in red, wave to the crowd on the west front of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., after he was sworn in as the nation's 40th president on January 20, 1981.  

Photo Credit: AP

We love the First Lady's high collar on this jacket as President Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan leave the White House to attend the first of several inaugural balls, in Washington on January 20, 1981.  

Photo Credit: AP

First Lady Nancy Reagan is a vision in blue as she looks on as President Ronald Reagan is sworn in during ceremonies in the Rotunda beneath the Capitol Dome in Washington on January 21, 1985.  Reagan, forced indoors by a record inaugural freeze, reenacted his oath taking. 

Photo Credit: Ron Edmonds, AP

The colors of the holidays work perfectly on these two First Ladies! Former President Ronald Reagan, his wife Nancy Reagan, new first lady Barbara Bush and her husband President George Bush, walk down the Capitol steps after the inaugural ceremony in Washington, D.C. on January 20, 1989.  

Photo Credit: Scott Applewhite, AP

President George H.W. Bush and wife, Barbara dance at the inaugural ball at the Pension Building in Washington on January 20, 1989.  Barbara is wearing a bright yet deep blue gown in an elegant silhouette.

Photo Credit: Scott Applewhite, AP

President and Mrs. Clinton, wearing a contrasting blue hat with her red suit, wave as they walk down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington on January 20, 1993 during the presidential inaugural parade.  

Photo Credit: Doug Mills, AP 

President Clinton and his wife Hillary share a laugh at the Youth Ball at the Post Office Pavilion on January 20, 1993.  New York fashion designer Oscar de la Renta created a long embroidered tulle gown with matching cape that Mrs. Clinton wore to the 1997 inaugural balls. She looked stunning!

Photo Credit: Bill Waugh, AP

President Clinton, his daughter Chelsea and wife Hillary talk after Clinton was sworn in for his second term by Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist during the 53rd Presidential Inauguration on January 20, 1997. We love the salmon color that Hillary chose for her suit, and that daughter Chelsea was able to join them on stage.

Photo Credit: Doug Mills, AP 

President Clinton in a dapper suit and his wife, first lady Hillary Clinton in an elegant gold gown, dance at the New England Ball on January 20, 1997.

Photo Credit: J. Scott Applewhite, AP

First Lady Laura Bush chose a bright pop of blue jacket to wear alongside President George W. Bush while they review the troops from the steps of the Capitol, with Lynn Cheney choosing a more demure coat as she stands with Vice President Dick Cheney.

Photo Credit: Eric Gay, AP 

First lady Laura Bush in ravishing red, is escorted to the presidential limousine at the South Portico of the White House for an evening of inaugural gala on January 20, 2001.

Photo Credit: Doug Mills, AP

First lady Laura Bush dons red again, waving as she arrives on stage for a Presidential Inaugural Ball at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington on January 20, 2001 in a sparkling gown.  

Photo Credit: Doug Mills, AP 

Fashionable family: President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush depart the North Portico of the White House for the limousine ride to the Capitol where he will take the Oath of Office and begin his second term on January 20, 2005. The couple is accompanied by their two daughters Barbara and Jenna, dressed just as elegantly as their mother and father. 

Photo Credit: J. Scott Applewhite, AP

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are simply stunning as they walk down Pennsylvania Avenue en route to the White House on January 20, 2009 during the inauguration festivities. 

Photo Credit: Doug Mills, AP 

US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama dance at the Obama Home States Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center on January 20, 2009. Michelle wore a gorgeous white gown that took our breath away! Earlier that day, Obama was sworn in as the 44th US president.

Photo Credit: Saul Loeb, AFP/Getty Images


With President Obama's official Presidential Inauguration for his second term on January 21, 2013, we took a look back at inaugurations of the past. Just wait until you see how fabulously the First Ladies of years gone by were dressed while they accompanied their husbands on this important day.

Click through the gallery above to see some past Presidential Inaugurations and the fashionable coats that stole the show.

In truth, it's all about the First Lady's coat! When you look through the images above, you'll see that the First Lady always accompanies the President, holding the Bible for him during the ceremony, and she always dons a gorgeous coat. From pops of color to more demure hues, our eyes always go straight to the lady in the middle. (Wait, isn't this day's focus supposed to be the President?! Oops, we can't help it.) Jackie O is always stunning in a white coat, and Nancy Reagan steals the show in royal blue with a matching hat.

Jackie O was no stranger to a lavish lifestyle even down to the serving platters and plates! Click here to see some of the beautiful White House china.

Fun fact! Wondering why inauguration is January 21st this year? The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies tells us it's because although the 20th Amendment changed the beginning of a President's term from March 4th to January 20th, when January 20th is a Sunday they push the public ceremony to the following Monday. (There is still a private ceremony the morning of the 20th.) This year will be only the 7th time in history that the event has fallen on the 21st.

We can't wait to see what the first family will be wearing, and of course what everyone will wear to the Inaugural Ball later that evening! The Inaugural Ball follows the official ceremony where the President and First Lady host dignitaries and special guests alike. The food and decorations take months to plan and our friends at Kitchen Daily found out what goes into planning the menu for such a big event! Click here to read more.

Click through the gallery above to see some past Presidential Inaugurations and the fashionable coats that stole the show.

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Photo Credit: AP

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