First Lady Style – Formal Daytime Attire for Ladies

Before I start this post on the light topic of “First Lady Fashion”, I’d like to first say that I realize the recent election has polarized not only our country, but the world.  My own family and extended family is divided along party lines.  I am an independent – I have been unable to completely identify with either of the parties completely, so I tend to vote with my heart.  To my husband’s frustration, sometimes that means voting with my heart, over my pocket book – in other words, voting for what is better for the world at large as opposed to voting for self-serving reasons.  That doesn’t make me a Democrat, because as I said, I’m an Independent.  I can be Republican on certain issues, usually just fiscal ones.  Socially and from a humanitarian and women/children’s rights perspective, I tend to lean Democrat.  It’s a tough place to be – I want less “big government”  (and more efficient government) but at the same time, recognize that the majority of people across the world are in far different socioeconomic situations than I am and I see the needs that exist for public programs to keep everyone safe, healthy and able to exist together.  I spend a great deal of time reading the paper, watching the news and listening to news radio in my car.  You would probably be surprised to know how much time I spend following what is happening in Washington.  But how can I not?  It’s the world I live in and the world my children will inherit and after seeing what I am witnessing, it makes me want to be more involved in championing issues that are important. The time is now to stand up for what is right and just.  As a woman, I was incredibly moved to watch the mobilization of women all over the world yesterday to stand up for all sorts of issues affecting women. Though it’s fun on a blog to cover home decor, fashion and pretty things, I am completely vested in a number of important issues and in fact think that those issues will start to move to the forefront of my daily life as time goes on.  I realize more and more how important it is to stand up and be heard.  When I was in high school, I helped to found a chapter of Junior Statesmen of America and spent a summer at Yale University (age 15) studying government, debate and public speaking.  I suppose I buried that early passion for politics by moving on to studying science (biology/chemistry) at University and as life went on, founding The Well Appointed House after a career in advertising.  Here I am now, a mother of three young children and watching what is happening around me — and all I can see is that my early passion for politics is back and stronger than ever.  I am excited to see the discourse that is happening and the worldwide passion coming out by the millions on these important issues.  Though we all have our “day jobs” and work hard as parents, grandparents, caretakers, friends —  it’s important to remember that we all need to carve out some minutes of our life to stand up for what we believe in.  It’s part of being a participant in humanity.  Every voice deserves to be heard and it was amazing to see young and old, men and women marching for issues affecting women.   Perhaps there will be marches on the other side… wikipedia says that the marches yesterday were the largest political demonstrations in the United States since the Vietnam War. Either way, we are living in times requiring thoughts and opinions. Get your kids involved, as I did so many years ago!

With that said and no matter which side of the political divide I myself fall, as I am sure everyone else did,  I enjoyed watching the pomp and circumstance around the inauguration on Friday. It was visually spectacular to behold and no matter who you voted for, it was fun to watch the outfits of the participants and the audience file past as they arrived for the festivities.  The marching bands, fireworks displays and gorgeous historic D.C. buildings that served as backdrops brought out the patriots in us all.   Some fashions worn on inauguration day were better than others (!).  Melania Trump may not be the favorite of all, but regardless,  her outfit was stunning and fitting for a first lady.  If you were to dig deep enough in the Jackie Kennedy archives, you will see that she took her inspiration from Jackie:


It’s hard not to take inspiration from Jackie, whether wittingly or unwittingly, because classic, formal “day” wear befitting an event such as the inauguration even designed today in 2017 seem to take inspiration from the classic 60’s styles worn by Jackie.  Whether it’s Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrerra, Ralph Lauren, or other such well-known designers, the daytime “ladies who lunch” look is often the same.  It is what is deemed “appropriate”.  It’s a dress with some sort of  coordinating blazer, cardigan or capelet.  If you have an upcoming luncheon or formal daytime event, and want to have that “first lady” look, we have selected some favorite designer looks that fall in this genre.  Whether it’s a formal government event, a ladies lunch like the hat party or even a wedding, here are some morning suits for ladies that we love:




Which is your favorite?

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  1. Kris

    The Agona jacket with mink cuffs is my fave of the inaugural outfits Melanie’s baby blue RL, Ivanka’s ball gown by CH❤

  2. Gretchen

    Whew! That is easily the most extraordinarily gracious preamble I have ever heard or read, in any context; professional, social, political, etc.
    Appreciate – and I do mean appreciate – the deftness of your explanation as well as the effort and clearly great deal of time and consideration which it must have taken to compose today’s blog.
    In our [humble and most bruised] opinion, what point have we reached as a culture that mention of a First Lady’s Inauguration Day wardrobe requires apologies or permission to express? Is this what our country has come to? Is this what happened 8 years ago? Were the media running Bush retrospectives or laudatory programs the day Obama was inaugurated?
    Our kids’ school sent home a letter immediately after Election Day explaining the sessions they would be holding for the entire student body with administrators and school psychologists so the kids could better deal with the “trauma” of the election results. We questioned why, had something happened at school? The response was terse and authoritarian. Students “no longer feel safe.” No, they sure won’t if you tell them they shouldn’t. We are the grown ups. All cultures need them. None more than ours right now.
    Our kids are fearful to admit their parents are Republican. They ask why don’t we hate Trump?
    We have switched to BBC as our news source yet even there USA looks bad. This politically self serving hysteria is poisoning our image/brand globally. What a shame the country has let down Lorne Michaels. And after he worked so hard. Guess some people just figured on thinking for themselves. You know, like in a democracy. Good thing Lorne got his knighthood just in time, while the cool kids were still in power.
    We had an election. One party lost. One party won. Melania Trump and both the Trump and Pence families have done our country – not hers, not theirs, not only women’s – but OUR country proud.
    Can we not just agree on that?

    Thank you for listening. I REALLY value your deftness now, given that I started writing this reply with that goal in mind.


    1. Post author

      HI Gretchen,
      I appreciate your response. We are living in politically divided times, though in my mind, as I had said I am first and foremost an Independent politically. It has been impossible for me to choose one side completely. Many of my friends who voted for Trump, voted along party lines because they are born and bred Republicans and especially fiscally and regarding tax law and regarding the desire to slow “big government” they felt a need to vote Republican. I understand that Americans and the middle class have been hit so hard over the past 8 years and are frustrated. Jobs have disappeared oversees – the country is frustrated about terrorism, etc. and wanting change. I think change can be good when done right.

      I think the worldwide reaction to Trump has largely been because of his own communication/verbiage about women, the poor. immigrants and the disabled. So not matter what side you find yourself on, there is right and there is wrong — there is basic humanity and kindness to fellow man/respect for women that we all need to remember. Also, the President of the United States is in a unique position to influence and serve as a role model for kids all over the world. I am an incredibly patriotic American and wish him well and hope that the administration does well for our country. I can only hope and pray that he will settle down and take responsibility for his words and the far reaching effects they have worldwide.

      1. Gretchen

        [admin.: thank you again. You set a rare and laudable standard.
        On another note, in the event you do not subscribe to Côte de Texas, yesterday’s post on decor in the Oval Office I thought was interesting. Thought you might too. Best.]

  3. Melissa

    I loved your comments and I must say that the best thing about the Women’s march was the involvement of people in their politics. I felt so angry that so many Americans didn’t bother to vote. So many people in the World hold this right as precious and have struggled so hard to get that right. This election was a stark choice between Hillary and Trump. Regardless of the excellence or not of both candidates, a choice should have been actively made. Those who didn’t vote made a passive choice to accept the winner, and an active choice not to vote for the looser, so as good as cast a vote anyway! I suspect that Melania might be channelling Jacki because Jacki also had a presidential husband with a roving hand and eye! I think that we are going to learn a lot about how to be gracious under difficult circumstances from this First Lady. I just hope that Trump becomes, as Tom Hanks put it, the sort of President that he would like to vote for in 4 years time!

  4. Anne

    I was most pleasantly surprised to read your comments from Jan 22. So much so, that I continued to think about your words for several days. Today, Jan 27, I picked up the phone and called your store to say “thank you”.

    I also was incredibly moved by the march and participated in the one in my hometown. When people question what such a movement can accomplish, it is this…. support and strength from women and to women across the country as we work to be voices in our own communities, no matter how big or small. Thank you again.

  5. Karen

    The job of any president is to protect the United States, not the world. No president has the authority to protect the world. The decisions a president makes should ultimately affect the U.S. citizens positively. Taking care of the world is not a burden our government is beholden to, but fortunately, there are so many charitable organizations you can support who help globally. This nation has long surpassed the notion of voting for a role model. We are better off to vote for a person to fill the role. We should remove such assumptions as body parts, gender identity, pandering, and breaking news that comes in 30 second sound bites. Let no one persuade or prevent you from voting. You must do the research yourself. You must go back years…from a variety of sources. Vote with facts & truth, but please, don’t ever vote with your heart (hearts are easily deceived). Vote with your head, and let it be from your own knowledge and not what someone tells you. If you haven’t done the research, you shouldn’t vote. Compare that to pulling the trigger when you don’t know if the gun is loaded. Voting is grown up stuff. Yes, you must read a variety of sources. Yes, you must pay attention. Make notes in a notebook if you have to. Arm yourself with knowledge about the people who want to run your country. Don’t listen to what they say. Make notes of everything they do.

  6. Pamela

    I don’t remember anyone including any sort of apologetic preamble to articles they wrote about Michelle Obama in order to appease the 60,000,000 Americans who didn’t vote for HER husband.

    So why did you feel you had to appease those who didn’t vote for Melania’s?

    Although one would never guess it if they only watched the main stream media and Hollywood to get their “facts”, this country is no more polarized today than it was when Obama was elected. It’s just that those who didn’t vote for him had neither the time, nor the need to engage in adolescent publicity stunts that accomplish nothing more than reflect poorly on those who have nothing better to do.

    I’m a woman have been for almost 58 years. Unlike you -and I’m guessing, most of your readers- I actually lived through the Vietnam war, the civil rights movement, the women’s movement, AND their accompanying protests, sit-ins, demonstrations and riots. Just like you believe today, they were held by those who thought they were “making a difference”.

    But, alas, they weren’t -they only succeeded in dividing this country, creating unrest and distrust between generations, while making themselves look foolish in the end. And they will be the first to tell you that.

    The real people who make our world a better place are those who have the discipline to create their own opportunities so they can support themselves and their families without depending upon others to “guarantee” a mythical utopian society of safety, health, wealth, happiness, “equality” and ice cream for all.

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