Former First Lady Jackie Kennedy is the ultimate spring and summer style icon. Here’s how you can employ her style tips this season.
It’s pretty hard to have never heard of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Her life has been written about time and time again, and with good reason. She exuded this elegance that people want to know more about. Not to mention you’d be hard-pressed to find a woman with a more interesting life. The biography I read about her was so captivating that years later it remains one of my most recommended books.
Jackie was born into wealth in Southampton, New York. She would attend private schools her whole life, learn how to ride horseback, and later attend the women’s college Vassar before spending a year in Paris — all of which prepared her for the role of First Lady that she would one day assume.
John F. Kennedy, or Jack, was the perfect fit for Jackie. They were both Catholic, he was a senator of Massachusetts, and his outgoing nature complemented her very reserved one. And after losing Kennedy, she became obsessed with trying to preserve his legacy. And thus the idea of Camelot was born.
It’s really hard to overstate the influence that Jackie had as a first lady. She had the White House refurbished without spending taxpayer dollars and went on television to show the American people its beauty because she felt it was something that everyone should get to enjoy. She was an unexpected benefit when she and Kennedy visited Europe, and especially France because of her experience with the language.
And what many people don’t know is that after her time as first lady she became a very accomplished editor, publishing books about everything from ballet to Michael Jackson, all without using her name. She was determined to succeed on merit rather than on her name! Through it all, she was an incredibly devoted mother and was quoted as saying, “If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters very much.”
One of her most lasting impacts, however, remains her eternally relevant style. Jackie is the ultimate style icon. And you can easily recreate her look for spring and summer with just a few tricks.
One style trick Jackie was definitely aware of was the power of color. As much as having lots of neutrals in your wardrobe is important to make it more versatile, spring and summer are a great time to incorporate some lighter pastel accents pieces to bring some life to your wardrobe.
Easy White Button-Down
Jackie’s more casual vacation style was all about relaxed classics. And you can bet that a white button-down shirt was at the top of that list! She looks so incredibly modern with the oversized fit. A non-iron shirt is a really nice feature to have and will save you tons of time in the morning.
Head Scarfs Are the Perfect Accessory
One of Jackie’s all-time favorite accessories was the headscarf. They’re perfect for riding in the car or walking out and about, and they’re a must-have on a bad hair day. There might currently be a TikTok trend that incorporates them, but let’s just say Jackie liked them first.
White Capris Are a Style Staple
If you don’t have a pair of white capris on standby for your spring and summer wardrobe, you should get on it pronto. These are a really good example of how you can lighten up your wardrobe for spring and summer while still sticking to neutrals. So from the start of spring until Labor Day, these are going to be your best friend.
An Easy Dress To Look Your Best
One of the biggest style tips is to figure out what looks on you and keep wearing that thing over and over again. This easy silhouette was one of Jackie’s favorites. Once you find a dress that works well for your body type, don’t be afraid to buy that same style dress in lots of different colors. Pro Tip: It should be fitted on top all the way through the waist. T-shirt dresses aren’t something you would see Jackie in because it’s the structure of this particular dress that makes it flattering.
Big Sunglasses Are Essential
Big round sunglasses were a true staple of Jackie O. They’ll probably feel a bit intimidating at first if you aren’t used to such bold eyewear, but rest assured if you keep the rest of your outfit simple yet chic, you can’t go wrong.
Linen Is Your Friend
Want to look like Jackie O in Capri? Of course you do! Who wouldn’t? One way to accomplish this is by having a few different linen bottoms in your wardrobe to pair with classic tops. So whether you go for a linen skirt or a slightly wide linen pant, this was a big part of her spring and summer wardrobe when she was no longer the first lady.
Pearls over Diamonds Any Day
They say that diamonds are a girls’ best friend, but when John and Jackie were headed to Dallas on that unfortunate day, he picked out the pink suit so she could show those diamond-wearing Texas ladies what true elegance looked like. Jackie was almost always wearing pearls, if not a necklace then at least earrings. And pearl earrings can switch between casual outfits and formal outfits alike with ease!
Bring on the Gingham
The reason Jackie’s style still looks so modern after so many years have gone by is because she stuck to classics. And one classic print she loved was gingham. It’s a more casual print that’s perfect for picnics and beach days all spring and summer long.
Wear a Straw Hat
When Jackie was casual, it was all about classic Americana style staples that go with everything. But not casual the way we think of it today! A button-up paired with a straw hat was a classic summer look for Jackie, and one you should definitely have as a summer uniform.
Go Retro with Your Swimsuit
Who better to look to for inspiration for your beach days this spring and summer than the queen of Port Hyannis herself? Try to find swimsuits with a retro feel if you can. It’s an easy way to bring classic Americana style to the beach. It’s all about the one-piece!
A lot of Jackie’s elegance had much to do with the way she carried herself. So stand up straight and smile. You can bet Jackie would never be seen without her good manners by her side.
Jackie Kennedy is my ultimate style icon, and it’s surprisingly easy to replicate her outfits when you understand the style principles she adhered to and the staples she wore. So if you want to look like the ever-relevant First Lady this spring and summer, make sure to try out a few of these tips. If you want a 1960s makeup look to match, check out this article!
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