On Thursday 8 November 1960, John F. Kennedy was elected 35th president of America, his wife Jackie Kennedy became the second youngest first lady in American History.
Although the Inauguration day was on 20 January 1961, the celebration started from the pre-inaugural gala the night before and ended on 21 January with the inaugural gala.
The gown for Pre-Inauguration Gala on 19 January 1961
For the Pre-Inauguration Gala held at National Guard Armory in Washington, D.C. on 19 January 1961, Jackie Kennedy wore a silk floor length gown. It was made of ivory silk satin with a fully lined A-line skirt and elbow length sleeves, and a cockade on right waist, symbolizing her French heritage. The gown was designed by fashion designer of Russia Origin Oleg Cassini. who would become her official designer for the next three years.
The Ensembles for Inauguration ceremony on 20 January 1961
Day: Beige wool coat and day dress
For the Inauguration ceremony and parade, Jackie Kennedy wore a knee length beige wool coat of three quarter length sleeves, 2 side patch pockets and oversized buttons, which she accessorised with fur muff matching the collar trim of her coat.
Under the coat, Jackie wore a matching beige wool crepe two-piece day dress with round necked crop blouse.
Night: Silk chiffon ball gown with matching cape
That night, for the Inauguration Ball at White House Washington DC, Jackie Kennedy wore a silk sleeveless gown and a matching cape with toggle closure at neck.
The off-white sleeveless gown was made of silk chiffon over peau d’ange, featuring strapless inner bodice embellished by silver silk thread embroidery and seed pearl beading. It was designed and made by Ethel Frankau of Bergdorf Custom Salon based on Jackie’s own sketches and suggestions.
In two days, with just two simple elegant gowns, one coat and one cape, Jackie Kennedy not only became the best dressed first lady up until then, but would become a national fashion icon as well as an international one, for decades to come.