While being the First Lady of the United States is certainly a role that might allow a woman greater access to fashion, having an advanced sense of style is far from a requirement for the position. Throughout history, FLOTUSs have had a hand in influencing policy, uniting the country, and leaving legacies that are independent of their husbands’. And yes, they’ve done it in memorable outfits, too.
Tracking first lady looks all the way back to the OG, Martha Washington, we’re paying homage to just a few of the women who spent (at the least) four years making history—fashion or otherwise—in the White House. While they each reflect au courant trends of their time, they also brought a personalized, memorable twist to their wardrobes. The mark of a true fashion fan.
>Below, take a look at some of the first ladies with the most amazing style throughout history.
Here's how to wear an accent color, the 18th-century way.
That print feels kind of Gucci circa 2017, no?
A set of stacked chain necklaces is an enduring accessory look.
Is that a flower crown we see?
Truthfully, this corset-and-lace look is a lot edgier than we'd expect to see on most first ladies.
Donning a very '20s silhouette and a great statement hat.
It's all about the slung-over-the-shoulders statement coat—and it always has been.
We need these sunnies in our lives now.
An enduring American fashion icon in a timelessly chic leopard print.
True style stars match their look to their interior design.
The fuzzy, exaggerated collar and cuffs make all the difference in this suit.
Clearly there was an appreciation for abstract prints.
The woman who gave a whole new meaning to pantsuits.
Only the truly intrepid wear head-to-toe sparkle.
Part of her legacy in office has been her ability to champion American designers and display a high/low approach to fashion that we can all relate to.
Not every first lady's ensemble is what it seems. Take a look at the symbolism in the outfit choices of past FLOTUSs.