The first ladies of fashion: Political glitterati who dress to impress

Jackie Kennedy Onassis was a bonafide fashion icon who inspired millions with her chic wardrobe and effortless style.

Over the years, the role of first lady has been filled by a range of personalities. Some of these women stayed in the background while others used their position to advocate for specific issues. Not only do they make good use of their political position but they also set the stage for beauty and highlight the importance of fashion when representing their country on the global stage.

Mary Todd Lincoln

Arguably, Mary Todd Lincoln began the phenomenon that is the influence of the first lady. She was one of the first to want to be seen by the people and made an effort in the way she dressed and presented herself. She had a privileged upbringing that primed her to lead the life of the President’s wife. Though only roughly five feet tall, she dressed in opulent, bold dresses, many of which were low-cut and emulated popular European styles. Her personal seamstress Elizabeth Keckley tailored each gown to her specifications and designed many of her flower-topped headdresses.

Jackie Kennedy Onassis

Jackie Kennedy Onassis is remembered as a wife, mother and graceful figure who championed the arts and literature. But Jackie was also a bonafide fashion icon who inspired millions with her chic wardrobe and effortless style. She started more than a few trends during her first year in the White House, including popularizing the pillbox hat. Many of her stylish chapeaus, which she often wore in different, bright, colors, were designed for her by Halston. For Jackie, sunglasses were the ultimate accessory. It was reported that she kept multiple pairs of sunglasses in a basket by her front door.

Carla Bruni

Carla Bruni always kept her look chic and simple, choosing classic and feminine cuts in flattering, soft hues. From sharp skirt suits for public appearances, to meeting dignitaries in beautifully tailored sheath dresses from French high fashion houses like Dior, Bruni always looked elegant. More often than not she relied on black for formality, but she also looked stunning in jewel tones. Her hair and makeup were always quiet and classic.

Samantha Cameron

Samantha Cameron always looked polished and elegant, choosing to wear pieces from the best of British brands; Preen, Emilia Wickstead, Jonathan Saunders and Alexander McQueen. She has played a key role within the fashion industry as Creative Consultant for Smythson and an ambassador for the British Fashion Council.

Michelle Obama

Throughout history, the first lady has influenced fashion trends. However, none have had as much of a profound impact as Michelle Obama. Her clothing choices can result in stock prices for the clothing companies to rise as much as 3 percent for up to a month after she wears an outfit. Her fashion appeals to the people as she mixes more affordable brands with high end pieces.

Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser al-Missned

Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser al-Missned was the second wife of the former emir of Qatar. Constantly in the spotlight, given her various titles, honors, and the boards that she sits on, we are endlessly impressed by everything from her grace, to her style and the overall way she composes herself. She always chooses pieces with an impeccable fit in gorgeous, eye-catching colors, accessorizing with chic head wraps and dazzling jewelry. She has outstanding taste.

Queen Rania of Jordan

There's no doubt that Queen Rania of Jordan is one of the most stylish royals in the world. Since marrying Jordan's King Abdullah in 1993, her look has evolved along with her royal role. Chic skirt suits were her staple when attending events with her husband. She would opt for a gorgeous pop of colour, bright turquoise or soft lavender, ensuring she never disappeared into the crowd. Her off-duty style is a lesson in classic dressing - chic turtle necks, fitted jackets, versatile trench coats and perfect white shirts.

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