The sixties kicked off with such high hopes for the Kennedy family and Jackie Kennedy was right at the center of it. The euphoric hustle-and-bustle was such none of them could have imagined that the decade was going to end in tragedy and scandal.
The American public’s antennae picked up on Jackie because of her sense of style and self. She was quiet, reserved with a touch of wit and glamor.
Jackie wore this red coat when Jack announced his candidacy on January 2, 1960. It’s a bit matronly looking on her and she was not even pregnant here. She definitely went for a safe, warm look – perhaps to not antagonize middle-class America?
In July, the Kennedys attend the Democratic National Convention but Jackie did not stay for the final victory. This is one of my favorite Jackie Looks of the ’60’s (and I must have about ten of those because the ’60’s was really the Jackie decade). It’s an alpaca coat which she matched with kid gloves. It’s warm and luxe.
Every time I see this picture, it’s always in color and justifiably so. Jackie pairs an orange turtleneck with pink capris (a veritable prismatic look). This picture was taken after Jack secured the Democratic Presidential Nomination and right before campaign started. I do note Jackie’s pink lips and Jack’s obviously new hair cut. The couple already have that patina of celebrity.
Jackie looks through campaign mail. I’m a sucker for oversized collars, which Mrs. Kennedy used to balance out her head size and bouffant.
Jackie types up her weekly column “Campaign Wife”, which is really such a dull title it leaves nothing to the imagination. Once again, the oversize collars take center stage and this time, with a brooch. Actually, this is a pretty good take on Jackie’s hair – it’s not as crazy pouffy as it would become later on. The bangle on her arms looks too small and tight though.
Jackie with Lady Bird Johnson. I do not like the cream, buttoned-up dress any better than her too-dark lipstick (unless, this is merely the lighting). I’d poke at Jackie’s hair which looks like it’s on pre-fizz stage but Lady Bird looks like she’s had her hair set for dreadlocks.
Jackie wears a chic cape and her hair appears to be behaving itself. I like this photo as it shows her standing next to her mother and one can compare the mother-and-daughter style file. Mrs. Auchincloss looks very tasteful and refined: the prints work even with the mid-section bow. Maybe it’s the background of trees and the French poodle sitting between them but this really came off as an elegant picture.
Jackie played up – played down- her pregnancy beautifully here, with the soft cloth, the brooch and empire-cut waist. I wish she had maintained this hairstyle as First Lady.
For victory day, Jackie chose a cloth coat similar to the one she wore when Jack announced his candidacy over ten months ago. I like how she paired it with leather gloves. JFK’s memorable statement that day, “So my wife and I prepare for a new administration… and a new baby.” That baby, of course, was John F. Kennedy, Jr.
Later that day, photographers descended on the Kennedy compound and took pictures of the family. I opted for this Jack-and-Jackie snap as it offers a closer look on Jackie’s dress and accessories. It looks like wool and sets off the flower brooch and triple strand of pearls she’s wearing. Three weeks later, she gives birth to young John and then he is baptized two weeks later.
This is the first time Jackie wore the closest rendering of a pillbox hat; usually, she works with berets that are perched at the back of her head. Apparently, the pillbox hat has its roots in military headgear and was used by the Royal Military College of Canada:
The material of Jackie’s pillbox hat here appears to be trimmed with wool and looks really snappy. Afterwards, she was given a tour of the White House by Mamie Eisenhower (and she supposedly hated the place, according to sources). Jackie seemed to be more talkative as First-Lady elect; only later, did she realize that she had to be more careful with what she said and to whom she said it to). Following the rather miserable White House tour, she flew to Palm Beach to rest and recuperate from the C-section. And to pose for this January 1960 pictorial with the baby:
In her 1974 autobiography, Rose Kennedy revealed that the dress Jackie is wearing here was apparently unfinished; her daughter-in-law, who was only weeks short of becoming First Lady at the tender age of 31), seems quite serene here in her fringed dress and with her son snuggled up to her.
In January 18, 1960, Jackie returned to Washington (seen here with her press secretary Pamela Turnure, also rumored to be a lover of JFK). Jackie looks ready to take on her upcoming role – with a beret, a tweed twinset and a healthy wave for the reporters. Barbara Leaming’s “Mrs. Kennedy” biography notes that Jackie was weary and depressed at this point. If that were to be taken as a kind of gospel truth but Jackie is a trouper and a strong one at that. Such strength and bravado would come in handy as she assumes the role of John F. Kennedy’s First Lady.
UP NEXT: Jackie Style Volume III (The 1960’s – the Kennedy Years)