Known for her long gowns and flamboyant style, many of Betty Ford’s most memorable wardrobe items are now housed at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum (including the gown from the portrait below). Her time as a fashion model and then later as a buyer for a department store gave her the tools to express herself vividly via her clothing.
She was known for her frugal elegance and she even brought a sewing machine to the White House, but there’s no denying that her style was, at least some of the time, very glamorous indeed.
Overwhelmingly, her favorite colors were black, white, and red and she wore usually at least one of her colors during White House events and photos. Having been an actress herself and married to an actor-turned-politician, she was well-poised to become a very stylish First Lady.
Known for a somewhat more casual style, Michelle Obama’s style throughout her 8 years as First Lady was also characterized by a clear love of vibrant colors. Back in 2009 she came under criticism for baring her arms in an official White House portrait, but it became one of the hallmarks of her fashion style.
She has come under criticism for her lavish designer outfits, like many other First Ladies. But, Melania Trump’s wardrobe is clearly inspired by her past work in the fashion industry as a model.