STYLE

Stunning Style From Inaugurations Past, To Distract You From This One

From Mary Todd Lincoln to Michelle Obama.

20/01/2017 1:09 AM AEDT | Updated 20/01/2017 1:59 AM AEDT

On Friday, Donald Trump will be sworn in as President of the United States of America. Melania and Ivanka Trump will no doubt be by his side for the occasion, and the question of what they’ll be wearing when they do has come under increased speculation in recent days. 

Since James Buchanan’s inauguration in 1857, the first on record known to have been photographed, there have been countless photo opportunities and captured moments, from the swearing-in ceremonies to the many balls and events presidents attend over the course of an inauguration weekend. 

The inauguration, of course, signifies the passing of power from one president to the next, but as any Michelle Obama fan can tell you, there are also eyes on style. And not only the first lady’s style, but everyone involved.

It is in that spirit that we present an extensive history of inaugural fashion, from giant gowns to pill box hats to pink coats and everything in between. 

  • Abraham Lincoln's Inauguration
    Library of Congress via Getty Images
    Mary Todd Lincoln dressed for Abraham Lincoln's inauguration on March 4, 1861
  • Woodrow Wilson's 1st Inauguration
    Culture Club via Getty Images
    Mrs. Woodrow Wilson and Mrs. Thomas Marshall riding in inaugural parade on March 4, 1913
  • Calvin Coolidge's Inauguration
    Hulton Archive via Getty Images
    President Calvin Coolidge and his wife, first lady Grace Coolidge leave the White House, Washington D.C. on March 4, 1925. The president holds the bible upon which he will take his inauguration oath.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt's Final Inauguration
    George Skadding via Getty Images
    Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt (L), Mrs. Woodrow Wilson (C) and Josephus Daniels talking at President Franklin D. Roosevelt's inauguration on Jan. 20, 1945 
  • Harry S. Truman's 2nd Inauguration
    Lisa Larsen via Getty Images
    Chief Justice Fred Vinson (L) autographing for Shirley Temple (R) at the Presidential Inauguration of Harry S. Truman on Jan. 20, 1949 
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower's 1st Inauguration
    Mark Kauffman via Getty Images
    Mrs. Dwight D. Eisenhower attaching an orchid to her dress in preparation for the inaugural ceremonies for her husband on Jan. 20, 1953 
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower's 1st Inaugural Ball
    Mark Kauffman via Getty Images
    President Dwight D. Eisenhower (2R) and his wife attending his inaugural ball with Vice President Richard M. Nixon (L) and his wife on Jan. 20, 1953
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower's 2nd Inaugural Ball
    Nina Leen via Getty Images
    First lady Mrs. Dwight D. (Mamie) Eisenhower posing in her inaugural ball gown with jeweled purse encrusted with 3,456 pink pearls on Jan. 21, 1953
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower's 2nd Inaugural Ball
    Paul Schutzer via Getty Images
    Mrs. Thomas Pike (C), at Dwight D. Eisenhower's Inaugural Ball on Jan. 21, 1957 
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower's 2nd Inaugural Ball
    PhotoQuest via Getty Images
    First lady Mamie Eisenhower poses in a room in the White House in the gown for her husband's second inauguration on Jan. 16, 1957
  • John F. Kennedy's Inauguration
    Paul Schutzer via Getty Images
    Jacqueline Kennedy and her husband, newly elected President John F. Kennedy, on the day of his Inauguration on Jan. 20, 1961 
  • John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Ball
    Alfred Eisenstaedt via Getty Images
    VP-elect Lyndon Johnson chatting w. President-elect John Kennedy & his wife Jackie at the President's inaugural ball on Jan. 20, 1961
  • John F. Kennedy's Inauguration
    NBC NewsWire via Getty Images
    Spectators at the Inauguration of President John F. Kennedy on Jan. 20, 1961
  • John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Gala
    GAB Archive via Getty Images
    Frank Sinatra escorting Jacqueline Kennedy to her box at a gala, held at the National Guard Armory in Washington DC, the night before the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy, on Jan. 19, 1961 
  • Richard Nixon's 1st Inauguration
    PhotoQuest via Getty Images
    President Lyndon B Johnson and first lady Lady Bird Johnson (right), with President-elect Richard Nixon and Patricia Nixon and family before departing for Inauguration Day ceremonies on Jan. 20, 1969
  • Richard Nixon's 1st Inauguration
    Bettmann via Getty Images
    President-elect Richard Nixon arrives at Inaugural stand and is greeted by President Lyndon Johnson Jan. 20, 1969 With Nixon is his wife, Pat, and Vice President-elect Spiro T. Agnew.
  • Richard Nixon's 1st Inauguration
    NBC NewsWire via Getty Images
    NBC News' Hugh Downs and Barbara Walters covering the 1st Presidential inauguration of Richard Nixon on Jan. 20, 1969
  • Gerald Ford's Inauguration
    Bill Pierce via Getty Images
    President Gerald Ford and wife Betty during his inauguration on Aug. 9, 1974
  • Jimmy Carter's Inauguration
    David Hume Kennerly via Getty Images
    President Gerald R. Ford and first lady Betty Ford pose with President-elect Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn Carter, Margaretta Rockefeller and husband Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller, Joan Mondale and husband Vice President-elect Walter Mondale prior to departing the White House for the inauguration of Jimmy Carter on Jan. 20, 1977
  • Jimmy Carter's Inauguration
    David Hume Kennerly via Getty Images
    First lady Betty Ford poses with Rosalynn Carter in the Blue Room prior to departing the White House for the Capitol and the inauguration of Jimmy Carter on Jan. 20, 1977
  • Ronald Reagan's 1st Inauguration
    NBC NewsWire via Getty Images
    First lady Nancy Reagan and President Ronald Reagan during Reagan's first inauguration on Jan. 20, 1981
  • Ronald Reagan's 1st Inaugural Ball
    Bettmann via Getty Images
    President and Mrs. Ronald Reagan leave the White House en route to a round of inaugural balls on Jan. 20, 1981. President Reagan wore white tie and tails. The overall cost of Mrs. Reagan's inaugural wardrobe was said to be about $25,000.
  • Ronald Reagan's 1st Inaugural Ball
    Dirck Halstead via Getty Images
    Ronald Reagan dancing with his wife Nancy at his Inaugural Ball on Jan. 20, 1981  
  • George H.W. Bush's Inaugural Celebration
    Historical via Getty Images
    George Bush smiles and waves to participants of his inaugural celebration as Barbara looks on Jan. 20, 1989. 
  • Bill Clinton's 1st Inauguration
    MPI via Getty Images
    Hillary and Chelsea Clinton, the wife and daughter of Bill Clinton, attend his inauguration as the 42nd President of the United States on Jan. 20, 1993
  • Bill Clinton's 1st Inaugural Ball
    Diana Walker via Getty Images
    President Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton holding hands, onstage at Kennedy Center inaugural ball on Jan. 20, 1993
  • Bill Clinton's 2nd Inauguration
    Congressional Quarterly via Getty Images
    President Bill Clinton holds wife Hillary's hand. Daughter Chelsea Clinton is seated next to her mother.'Tipper' Gore, wife of Vice President Al Gore, is seated next to Chelsea with her daughters on Jan. 20, 1997
  • Bill Clinton's 2nd Inaugural Ball
    Cynthia Johnson via Getty Images
    President Bill Clinton and wife Hillary clap their hands at an inaugural ball Jan. 20, 1997 
  • George. W. Bush's 1st Inaugural Ball
    Pool via Getty Images
    U.S. President George W. Bush''s twin daughters Barbara, left, and Jenna attend the Florida Presidential Inaugural Ball at the National Building Museum on Jan. 20, 2001
  • George. W. Bush's 1st Inaugural Ball
    Joe Raedle via Getty Images
    President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush greet the crowd on Jan. 20, 2001 at the Texas, Wyoming Inaugural Ball.
  • Barack Obama's 1st Inauguration
    New York Daily News Archive via Getty Images
    President Obama's daughters Malia and Sasha at the beginning of the inauguration on Jan. 20, 2009
  • Barack Obama's 1st Inauguration
    Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images
    Michelle Obama holds the Lincoln bible as she arrives at the inauguration of Barack Obama Jan. 20, 2009
  • Barack Obama's 1st Inaugural Ball
    Mark Wilson via Getty Images
    U.S President Barack Obama and his wife first lady Michelle Obama dance on stage during MTV & ServiceNation: Live From The Youth Inaugural Ball at the Hilton Washington on Jan. 20, 2009
  • Barack Obama's 1st Inaugural Ball
    Brendan Hoffman via Getty Images
    Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Dr. Jill Biden attend the Southern Inaugural Ball celebrating the inauguration of President Barack Obama on Jan.20, 2009 
  • Barack Obama's 2nd Inauguration
    Mark Wilson via Getty Images
    First lady Michelle Obama and daughters, Sasha Obama and Malia Obama arrive during the presidential inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol Jan. 21, 2013
  • Barack Obama's 2nd Inaugural Ball
    JEWEL SAMAD via Getty Images
    U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama attend the Inaugural Ball at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Jan. 21, 2013
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