FLOTUS Signature Colors

Everybody knows about Mamie Eisenhower’s deep and abiding love for the color pink but I ask you this:  why is there a dearth of information about Lady Bird Johnson’s favorite color? It’s yellow. I know this because duh of the one million photos of her selecting that color for important events like inauguration balls, state dinners and her daughter’s wedding.

As pretty as a little lady bird.

Here’s my theory, reeking of conspiracy though it is: Google up “Jackie Kennedy’s favorite color” and you will see the the revisionists have gotten their hands on yellow and reassigned it to Jackie O.  Photographic evidence of the period does not bear this out. I believe that there is a concerted effort to squash any association of the sunshine color to Lady Bird. It ain’t right, it just ain’t right. Here’s her inaugural ball ensemble:

Johnson presided over the 1963 event in a canary-yellow bateau-neck gown by John Moore. The down-to-earth First Lady ordered her dress through Neiman Marcus in Texas.

Here’s her philosophy on clothing:   “I like clothes—I like them pretty,” she told Time, “but I want them to serve me, not for me to serve them.”  Where have we heard that before? Oh that’s right – NOWHERE.

The color of this gown, which she wore to President Eisenhower’s Inaugural Ball, was officially called “First Lady Pink.”

“Although she always looked put together in her dresses, hats, and gloves, she was very mindful of her budget and did not worry about looking trendy.  “Knowing what to look for and how to tell a lasting fashion from a temporary fad has always helped me to shop intelligently,” she wrote to editors at the 1954 Fashion Press Week.”

link  Our Presidents

Color aside and generally speaking, styles selected for Inaugural ball gowns of the Republican First Ladies have endured and still look good. I’d wear Lady Bird’s ensemble today and I’d even give Mamie’s a whirl, even Barbara Bush’s. Who among you would  care to show up somewhere dressed in the bedazzled hazmat suit worn by Rosalyn Carter, the thigh-clinging eggplant wonder of Hillary Clinton or too-long toilet-paper dream of the current FLOTUS?

7 thoughts on “FLOTUS Signature Colors

  1. One thing about formal ball gowns, you really have to try hard to look stupid in them. The proof of this is the photos of gowns from 60 years ago that still look elegant and chic.
    MrsO’s raggedy one-shouldered too long gown was really bad. I remember she keep tripping on the hem. Her chenille bedspread gown should have been our “clue”.

  2. My favorite place in DC is the First Ladies Hall in the Smithsonian. Last visit MO’s inaugural dress was front and center with her matching shoes. It is not a pretty dress in person and the shoes were gunboats. If I were the curator for the hall, I’d move Nancy Reagan’s dress next to it just to watch the visitors gasp in amazement…..that is just how petite Nancy is. ;)

  3. Glad I’m not the only one who those Mo’s first gown looked like grandma’s bedspread. Maybe she will wrap up in a down comforter this time.

  4. I love the Lady Bird gown. She looks elegant in yellow. And as I was alive and aware during the JFK/LBJ years, I do not remember Jackie wearing all that much yellow. The Mooch really loves to show off her arms and shoulders, hence the one shouldered chenille bedspread. Not a good look, except for the bed.

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