Category Archives: Rosalynn Carter

Fashion Flashback: Rosalynn Carter’s recyced inaugural gown

Rosalynn Carter (Jimmy Carter Library)

In my eyes, Rosalynn Carter had great fashion sense. Her wardrobe consisted of posh, classic pieces of her era. However, still today many female politicians never wear the same dress twice, due to the overwhelming amount of criticism Mrs. Carter received for her reuse of a dress at the 1977 inaugural ball.

Rosalynn chose to wear her beautiful blue ball gown to the event. This dress featured chiffon material with gold trimming at the neck, waist, cuffs and bodice of her gown. Atop this dress, she wore a matching gold embroidered, sleeveless coat. However, there was only one problem to this stunning ensemble, Rosalynn Carter had worn the same exact dress, designed by Mary Matise, six years earlier. In 1971, she wore this dress to her husband’s inauguration as governor of Georgia. The news was filled with talk of the first lady’s failed responsibility to the fashion industry and how the American people desire their first lady to display glamour through her wardrobe.

Is this the same today? If Michelle Obama or Laura Bush were to reuse a ball gown, would the media crush them for this decision? Or, rather, would they be praised for taking note of our economic crisis? Perhaps Rosalynn Carter wore this dress because she liked it and did not desire another dress. In my opinion, our current female politicians should do the same. I think that the recycling of a gown would demonstrate that we are all having to cut back our spending during our current economic downfall.

Would you criticize a current politician if they wore the same gown to two separate events?

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Poll: Which political woman has your favorite fashion?

Laura Bush, Jackie Kennedy, Sarah Palin (Google Images)

The political women of the past and present have such different styles; however, I believe each woman’s fashion is, in some way, a representation of her outlook. For example, Michelle Obama, just like President Obama, wants change. This is exactly what her wardrobe has done; it has been a big change from first ladies in the past, recent years. Take a look at Laura Bush, a woman of steadfast, conservative views. These views are portrayed through her conservative, dress suits. Finally, Jacqueline Kennedy, a first lady who wanted to bring art and style from other countries into America. Jackie first started this feat by bringing in her iconic clothing, created by foreign designers. There are several styles to chose from, which woman has your favorite fashion?

When stopped on campus, Annemarie Stanson, a junior at Texas A&M University, said she favors the style of Jackie Kennedy above all other political women, because of she had the ability to keep her look “classy, but still on the cutting edge of fashion.” However, Sophie Nall, another Texas A&M student, is a fan of Laura Bush’s fashion. Sophie likes how Mrs. Bush remained stylish without focusing on her clothing. “Fashion wasn’t a dwelling point for her. She put her focus into her platform,” she stated. Kamryn Hebert likes the fashion of Sarah Palin over all the other political women, because she looks like a “normal woman,” she says. Miss Hebert likes that Sarah isn’t afraid to show the world her true self, even in her running gear (referring to the 2009 issue of Runner’s World which featured Palin on the cover).