When you think about top style icons, Jackie Kennedy Onassis almost always comes to mind. Known for her grace, poise, and understated elegance, she brought glamour to the White House and then to the world. She’s still held up as one of the most fashionable First Ladies, but her chic personal style goes beyond the grounds of the Rose Garden and the Oval Office. She remains an icon, something to aspire to in the often fickle world of fashion. It’s all too easy to steal her look in the modern era.
Select Separates that Pop
Jackie O was an expert at putting together separate pieces that made the most of each other. Her outfits were impeccably matched, but she always paired pieces in a way that made each separate a bit more interesting. You can do that now by picking out individual items that match in color or pattern. You don’t have to go for a ready-made outfit. That gives you the opportunity to snag an eye-catching shirt or jacket to go with your pencil skirt or dress trousers. For example, consider a slim mustard yellow pencil skirt with a boxy cropped jacket. That’s Jackie O all over.
Suits Are Always In
If you want to copy Jackie O’s style, then you get to indulge in your love of suits. In a stunning display of her own versatility as a fashion icon, Jackie rocked both traditionally feminine suits and menswear-inspired outfits. Her matching skirts and jackets are well-established as the end-all, be-all. With and without her trademark pillbox hats, her skirted suits were can’t-miss, and they remain a sensational example of classy attire. However, she also showed her sartorial flair in fitted trousers and crisp collared shirts, often topped off by bows instead of bow ties and flattering suit jackets with an interesting cut.
You can copy the look with ease, although today, you can feel free to embrace the masculine aspects of menswear-inspired apparel. Wear a bow tie or a long tie. Throw on a vest for a dapper three-piece ensemble.
There’s Something About a Little Black Dress
People often picture Audrey Hepburn as the originator of the little black dress trend, but Jackie wore her fair share of LBDs, as well. She showed the world how to combine classic lines and silhouettes with jaw-dropping details. Rather than relying on simple dresses, she made the most of the benefits of black as a clothing choice. Her fashion picks tended to balance the flattering, slimming style of the LBD with haute couture accents, such as a skirt in a daring pattern or a bold ruffle lining one arm.
Make Your Layers Count
It bears repeating that you need to make sure that your layers pop. Follow this page from Jackie’s book when you’re wearing your fabulous suits and anything else. With a cardigan and skirt combo, pick out a top that dazzles, perhaps due to an embellished collar and cuffs or a can’t-miss print. Contrasting colors will carry you far, as well. Your base layer should be the brightest, no matter how you choose to accomplish that.
Splash Out in a Statement Coat
Without question, Jackie O knew how to make a statement. She had numerous signature styles and clothing items, but her statement coats are still the talk of the town. More than anyone else, she had the ability to turn a fabulous coat into an outfit unto itself. The secret is to keep an eye out for tailored coats that fit you like something custom-made. That might take the form of a feminine-cut pea coat, an A-line jacket with a flared skirt, or even a cropped coat. From there, choose a bold top, such as a mock turtleneck or collared shirt that peeks out of your jacket.
Although she was always flawlessly coiffed, Jackie O understood the value of the perfect hair accessory. In lieu of barrettes, headbands, or scrunchies, she often tied a scarf around her hair. The effect is simple but stunning. Granted, her scarves were typically Hermès, but any lightweight scrap of chiffon or silk will get the job done. Practice styling your scarf. To get the Jackie look, you have to learn to drape it with casual, unstudied elegance. There’s nothing forced or tight about her technique. The final result should be effortless and totally relaxed.
Don’t Forget the Oversized Sunnies
As mentioned, Jackie O was known for bringing several iconic statement pieces to the forefront of the fashion zeitgeist. Her oversized sunglasses stand out has one of her most instantly recognizable signatures, however. Even more than her chic scarves, they gave her an air of mystery that allowed her to accessorize her ensembles while shielding her eyes and her expression from the rabid paparazzi eager to capture a shot of the former First Lady.
Sunglasses can do the same for you. While you may not need to dodge the press, you can maintain an enigmatic vibe when you’re out and about taking care of your business. Not only do shades allow you to play the voyeur without being noticed, but they add glamour and polish to any outfit, be it jeans and a graphic tee shirt or the perfect Chanel suit. Follow Jackie’s lead, however, and go with oversized options.
What do you admire most about Jackie O?
Katie Tejada is a writer, editor, and pop culture enthusiast. She enjoys writing about all things fashion, films, comics, and television, as well as travel and events. She has a love for adventure, interest in interiors, and a knack for covering developments in a range of industries, from HR to real estate, finance and more.