Why They Wore It

Why They Wore It

Regular price $29.99 $0.00

This book accompanies our summer exhibition.

Why They Wore It: The Politics & Pop Culture of First Ladies' Fashion
On view now through September 12
Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
Get tickets


The fashion favorites and sartorial specialties of our First Ladies have regularly been examined for their dazzling looks and designer couture. But rarely have First Ladies’ tastes and styles been examined within their deeper political and popular culture context.

Why They Wore It: The Politics & Pop Culture of First Ladies’ Fashion thoroughly examines how each First Lady used her personal style to advance her own — and her husband’s — agenda, by embracing special causes and promoting political positions.

This book gives particular focus to First Lady Pat Nixon — who history has revealed to have had the most overt impact of any First Lady on the nexus of politics and popular culture for more than 30 years. Her largely unintentional yet significant fashion choices served as the first bellwether to the changing role of First Ladies, and women across the nation.

You will learn:

How Bess Truman used her fashion choices to hide from the press and actually discourage media coverage.

How Pat Nixon subtly advanced feminism by wearing the shortest dresses of any previous First Lady and becoming the first First Lady to wear pants in public.

Why Barbara Bush wore frequent red, white and blue ensembles.

Whether Michelle Obama's penchant for purple dresses and outfits —the blending of red and blue— was a discreet call for bipartisanship.

If Melania Trump's trademark stiletto heels and high-end fashion choices contain any hidden meanings.


Carl Sferrazza Anthony






8.5h x 10"w



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