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No matter what party you side with, there’s one thing we can all agree on: Fashion plays a major role in politics.
From rocking certain designers to choosing specific colors and silhouettes, clothes can make a powerful statement. Take one look at Kamala Harris‘ striking white suit during her history-making win as the Vice President of the United States.
She is the first female VP, as well as the first Black and South Asian American to hold the title. So, it made sense that her groundbreaking victory deserved an equally impressive outfit, which was cleverly riddled with symbolism. Her all-white power suit not only represented hope and positivity–two things the color white conveys–but her ensemble was a nod to the women’s suffrage movement.
Kamala isn’t the only politician to make a style statement. In fact, fashion is most celebrated at the presidential inaugural balls. It’s a time when America’s First Ladies, a handful of lucky celebs and public figures get to indulge in the glitz and glamour to celebrate the new term of the President of the United States, who also dress to impress.
It’s a night when style proves to be just as noteworthy as the event itself. For example, in 1961, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis lit up the room with a commanding cape-like coat that she draped over her regal gown, which featured intricate beading. This design was so monumental, at the time, the Washington Post said her “career as a major fashion influence was beginning impressively.”
Moreover, Anna Roosevelt Dall, the daughter of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt, embodied the Jazz Era with her short, wavy hairstyle and modern take on fashion. For her father’s inauguration ball in 1933, Anna donned an elegant floral-embroidered gown, a popular fabric at the time, that featured a low V-neckline–which was deliciously risque for the era.
Of course, we’re only scratching the surface here. Scroll through our gallery below to get lost in all the razzle-dazzle. From Michelle Obama to Nancy Regan, see the best looks from the inaugural balls over the years.
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