50 Years of First Lady Fashion: How Jackie, Nancy & Michelle Defined American Style

For the past half-century, America's first ladies have led the nation's shifting attitudes toward style. We present a look back at the fashion that ruled the White House through the last 10 presidencies (12 Photos)

Fiorella Valdesolo on Jan 11, 2013 at 12:28PM

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50 Years of First Lady Fashion: How Jackie, Nancy & Michelle Defined American Style

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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First Lady Betty Ford: 1974-1977

Betty Ford’s legacy might be the hugely popular addiction clinic bearing her name, but her style sensibility was just as remarkable.

Natural elegance and an affinity for fashion started at an early age. After high school, Betty attended the Bennington School of Dance, studying under Martha Graham, before returning to her Grand Rapids home where she supported her family as a fashion coordinator and model for a well-known local department store.

During husband Gerald Ford’s three years in office, Betty was the picture of ‘70s cool in broad collar shirts, belted dresses and suits, and, for formal occasions, long free-form gowns.

Signature: Neck scarves, wide collars, the colors green, orange and red.

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