Iconic Women, Iconic Style - First Ladies

To be considered a style icon, a woman must be a tastemaker and wear her look in a way that’s intrinsically individual and genuine whether bold or subtle it needs to be consistently interesting. In this series I will be visiting the notion of style icon and what makes a style icon - starting with First Ladies.

Although highly influenced by advisers/ stylists and so on, the clothes choices of the Fist Lady are as much a social and cultural commentary as they are a reflection on her personal situation. Clothes choices can be seen as somewhat of a mouthpiece when it is not deemed appropriate to offer up thoughts. The First Lady needs to be a model citizen and so her clothing must reflect this. Looking at Jackie O, Princess Di and Michelle Obama’s style/ uniform as our subject matters and learning a key lesson in stylish and approachable corporate dressing.



Colour blocking in a structured outfit is bold, commands attention and feels powerful. Whether with an A-line skirt, a shift dress or a trouser, these ladies wowed in their statement making suits. This look feels light-hearted, approachable whilst also maintaining the notion of meaning business. Princess Di and Jackie O favoured the skirt suit - from pastels to occasionally more vibrant brights. Princess Di was a summer palette so looked particularly beautiful in softer pastel shades. The pastel shades somehow feel more congenial than the more vibrant - give a kind of soft focus. Jackie O a winter skin tone looked gorgeous in winter shades like these beautiful cool hues as well as more deep pinks and reds. From reading around, Michelle Obama seems to be an Autumn palette - she does look beautiful in this palette, I’d love to do a colour consultation on her as I feel she also wows in bright vivid Spring colours.

The different necklines along with the shape of the suits and length of the hemlines really convey the social space and time in which these ladies were pictured.

Both Lady Di and Jackie O often punctuated their outfits with hats, especially at the earlier stages of their careers in their roles as Princess and First Lady, respectively. I wonder if it made them feel more complete or armoured perhaps - surely they too must have suffered from Imposter Syndrome, like the rest of us!

Find some colour blocking suit choices below


Vibrant springs can wear bold bright colours like this dynamic yellow as well as more muted and softer shades like the spring pink

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A great alternative to the standard suit, this vivid and bold panelled wool vest and skirt is a happy addition from Cos. This has a lovely 60s feel to it - quite Jackie O

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Gorgeous Ganni - this soft Spring pink suit is the dream



Summer isn ‘t just pastel ice-creamy shades, it can also be bright vivid hues like the Raspberry red

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This Rejina Pyo suit is brilliant - it’s stylish, feels powerful and is fun - it is however linen - not ideal for Autumn English weather. In case that doesn’t deter you - click the link below

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Summer Raspberry in corduroy - yum! Wish I could get away with wearing this colour - I might actually still give it a go, mind!



Autumn palette is full of decadent teal-y blues, rusts and mustards so give those a shot too

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Bella Freud has created a dream of a 70s inspired suit. It’s an Autumn shade but not that far off a spring brown so for those who are a spring may still be able to give this a go. Wearing gold jewellery will warm it up too

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A gorgeous powder grey-blue number from Zara - I love the colour and the shape of both the jacket and the pants - thumbs up all round. I was a smaller size in my Zara suit so recommend trying on both your normal size and the size down to see which is best


Strong and dynamic colours are in a winter palette, this can be from bottle green through to acid brights. The cool winters lack warmth, golden tones and whereas the deep winters do feel more rich and have black behind them meaning the whole palette has high contrasts

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Another great Zara number - this bottle green crepe suit is a good transitional piece for a winter skin tone - the crepe fabric will carry you through for the next few months. Really in to the shape of the suit too

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This feels quite Jackie O as well actually. This cutesy suit comes in a mix and match from Asos Design so pick from the cigarette pants or the kilt style skirt

Lauren Manville