How to Dress Like Jackie Onassis

Written by kat consador
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How to Dress Like Jackie Onassis
Jackie O wore pearls on occasion during her White House years. (pearls image by Kalani from

Former First Lady Jackie Onassis was one of the biggest fashion icons in history. With an air of ladylike formality and youthful grace, Jackie Onassis's style still inspires women. Her marriage to former President John F. Kennedy produced one of the biggest power couples in the history of politics. When her husband became president, she brought an era of high style and glamour into the White House with the help of famed couturiers, including Oleg Cassini. Her good taste was influenced by her blue-blood upbringing and a distinct admiration for French couture. She remained strong during and after the assassination of her husband. When she mourned him, she wore Valentino. She wore the designer again when she married wealthy shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis. After his death, she still continued to be the epitome of class. After Jackie O's death, her impact lives on.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Shift dress
  • Pearls
  • White gloves
  • Simple pea coats with big buttons
  • Matching pill box hat
  • Formal gown
  • Oversized Jackie-O sunglasses
  • Black turtleneck
  • "Jackie" handbag
  • Cartier tank watch

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  1. 1

    Get inspiration from iconic Jackie Kennedy during her years at the White House. Before she was Jackie Onassis, she was Jackie Bouvier, the debutante, and later, Mrs. Jackie Kennedy, the first-wife fashion icon. She wore shift dresses, pearls on occasion, white gloves, simple pea coats with big buttons, and matching pill box hats.

  2. 2

    Get a slender floor-length gown. For formal state-dinner events, Onassis would be garbed in magnificent floor-length gowns created by Valentino and Givenchy. She would wear elegant elbow-length gloves. Designer Oleg Cassini described her as the "geometric goddess." Despite her love for French designers, she largely depended on American-born Cassini. He designed a reported 300 outfits for the first lady.

  3. 3

    Get the casual Jackie Onassis look. When choosing tops, look at round or bateau necklines. She also preferred black turtlenecks.

  4. 4

    Get oversized Jackie O-style sunglasses. You know you're a fashion icon when your name is used to describe a certain style. Jackie O-style sunglasses are glamorous and ooze effortless wealth.

  5. 5

    Purchase another namesake Jackie Onassis accessory: the Gucci "Jackie" bag. Gucci sold a record 6,000 pieces of the "G-G" version alone when it was relaunched in 1999. If it's out of your budget, find a well-constructed lookalike.

  6. 6

    Get a timepiece that resembles Onassis's Cartier tank watch. It is reported that she always wore a Cartier tank watch.

  7. 7

    Choose your materials well. If you're going to consider fabrics, Jackie draped herself in cashmere and silk satin. Fine clothing material doesn't just emanate wealth, it also promotes the longevity of your clothes. Lesson learnt, also learn to treat your clothes according to fabric.

Tips and warnings

  • Have good posture. A reason why Onassis always looked elegant was that she had pristine posture. Her love of ballet may have helped, but posture can be something practised and developed.
  • Dress appropriately for each event. When Onassis visited the pope in 1962, she decided to wear a fitted black, long-sleeve, floor-skimming Oleg Cassini. She still looked amazing, but Onassis knew exactly how to dress modestly. In contrast, she made jaws drop in magnificent gowns for formal White House dinners.
  • Choose your colours wisely. Onassis enjoyed the neutral hue of grey mixed with beige, which was appropriately called "greige." She also enjoyed the blend of orange and pink. Onassis loved the combination of black and white. She would always prefer white on the bottom because the other way would be a "waiter look."
  • Choose natural materials such as linen, cotton and silk.

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