Jackie Kennedy looked great. Bess Truman, not. Mrs. Jimmy Carter stuffed her bones into so much ultra suede, her armpits got chafed. Spender Nancy Reagan, nifty. Barbara the elder Bush had those three strings of crappy pearls.
Mamie Eisenhower? Who cared what was on her body? What was on her head were those crappy bangs.
Betty Ford, former model, did simple clothes. Plain lines. Jazzed up with caftans, capes, scarves, slit hems. Nothing special, but she looked better than Gerald. Martha Washington — rich, privileged, with the bread in the family, never looked better than George. And she hated living in New York (probably Bergdorf’s wouldn’t even wait on her) but she did at least land on a stamp.
Melania — and ask not Melania who? — dresses the part. No getting off a plane rumpled like an unmade bed. We’re proud of her — as opposed to that Obama person who, when presented to Her Majesty the Queen of England, sported some 10-cent J.Crew sweater. I mean, please.
Thus, despite intense exhaustion to myself, I have investigated the United States of America’s former first ladies: Pat Nixon. Conservative. A first in short skirts. Fur hats. Long-sleeve jackets to cover arms that might’ve once embraced Richard Milhous.
Eleanor Roosevelt’s morning exercise? A horseback ride. She’d prowl the White House in jodhpurs. Even wore them in photos and for the annual Easter Egg Roll. This we know. On whom she flicked the crop — or spurs — this we don’t know.
It was 1844. President Tyler’s fashionista missus, Julia, once posed for Long Island clothing store ads, loved p.r., loved clothes, loved reporters, loved attention, loved getting dubbed “presidentress,” loved to be in photographs and paintings, would’ve made Emily Ratajkowski seem backward and only didn’t stick her name on a deli sandwich because there were none.
Mrs. Lincoln, big with a buck, sprung for $2,000 dresses in the 1800s. Today that equals $37,520 — near Melania’s…