The Style of Camelot

Posted on November 22, 2013


It never occurred to us to do anything on this site in observance of the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination. It’s pretty far outside our purview, after all. But we had the enormous honor of being asked by PBS NewsHour to contribute a short essay on the style of Camelot,  featured here. Our Mad Style posts had a lot to do with why we were asked to contribute, so we tried to put the style of the Kennedy years into some sort of context, as well as looking at the tragedy itself through the lens of style, strange as that sounds:


“Did she ever wear pink again? Or carry roses? These are the things we wonder.

There’s so much to the Kennedy mystique and legacy. We’re not sure there’s anything left to say about two of the most examined people of the last century, but we can’t help focusing on their tremendous style — a marriage of New England moneyed Irish preppiness and French-infused finishing school couture that shouldn’t have blended well but managed to become iconic. With John and Jacqueline Kennedy, the First Family became an aspirational image for the first time — a magazine cover version of the presidency, perfectly suited for an ever-accelerating mass-media age of across-the-board middle class growth. That good-looking couple just down the street. Jack and Jackie.

But they were much more than that, of course, this refined, privileged and well-educated couple, who filled the White House with artists and antiques or managed the near-impossible task of charming the French people on their home soil, in their own language. The world watched them greet and host a succession of world leaders and great artists; Jack, charming everyone with his smile and ease in a tux, and Jacqueline, owning the room in opera gloves, a bouffant and one stunning gown after another. Pure post-war continental glamour. A presidency of style.

And in the end, when it was over and something needed to be said, some expression of grief or rage needed to be expressed, she remembered that the world looked to her and saw only the surface of who she is, focusing on her clothing above all else. When asked if she wanted to change out of her blood-encrusted pink suit on that interminable plane ride back to Washington from Dallas, she declined. “Let them see what they’ve done.”

We’re ever so proud of it, so please go on over there and read the whole thing, as well as a bunch of other short essays from people who humble us just by having their names on the same page as ours.

When the piece went up last night, we figured it might be nice to feature some examples of the Camelot style here on our site, since it’s not a given that everyone who reads us is familiar with it. There’s so much written about the JFK years and we’re not at all interested in rehashing the pros and cons of them, but there’s a reason these two became so iconic and it’s not entirely because of the tragedy. They brought an approachable sort of glamour to the presidency that hasn’t ever been quite matched and defined the aspirational look for the period in a way that no other First Couple ever has in the modern era. For a time, for their time, “Jack and Jackie” were what people wanted to be.







[Photo Credit: Getty Images]

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  • Latin Buddy

    OMG Jackie-o was flawless. Does anyone know how the media responded to Jackie’s “luxurious” style? I’m just trying to picture Michelle Obama being as flashy and can’t imagine it would be well received.

    • Ginger

      One has to keep in mind that the US was not in a recession during the Kennedy presidency. Americans, as a whole, were in a much better financial state. This was also a time when people paid much more attention to how they presented themselves. People dressed to travel! We’re a much more relaxed people now, style-wise as well as in other ways. It’s difficult to compare the two. That’s just my 2 cents worth and just something to chew on.

      Edited for spelling. GEEZ I need to proofread before hitting the send button!

      • RebeccaKW

        100% agree. Going to the store meant hose and heels back then. Now, yoga pants are the norm, even to go to dinner at a sit-down restaurant. I used to work at a place that required business dress. Most of the younger people interpreted it as khakis, but one younger lady wore dresses and hose and heels. She was constantly being asked why she was so dressed up.

        • Sarah

          OH, yeah. I was a kid in the late 70’s early 80’s, and it would drive me NUTS when we had to go to the store for milk or something and mom would have to go upstairs, change out of her “slacks” and put on pantyhose and a skirt. I remember yelling at her “Just keep the pants ON! It’s MILK!!” And she was probably thinking that she was forgoing the girdle and gloves, so going out in the slacks would just be crazy.

        • Danielle

          I have a great-aunt in her 80s who still wears a skirt or dress, stockings, heels and done up hair (though it’s a wig now) every day. I’m not even sure if she’s ever owned pants. She’s adorable and has more style and class than most women her children and grandchildren’s age.

      • Funkykatt

        I remember we used to dress up just to go shopping!

        • YoungSally

          Sad to admit but on the UWS in NYC, the diner across the street is really just an extension of the apartment when it comes to getting dressed some mornings.

          I remember when we used to get dressed up to go to school – even in Northern CA in the early 70s.

          • BayTampaBay

            In Kentucky, I got dressed up to go school in the 80’s

        • lillyvonschtupp

          “Put on your Sunday clothes, kids! We’re going to Sears!”- Mike Brady

        • bitchybitchybitchy

          When I started working in D.C. in the early 70’s, I made a special effort to dress up on the rare occasions that I shopped in Garfinckel’s Department store-it was that kind of place. They had a tea room that featured models walking through.

      • Lea Setegn

        Even time she got on a plane, my Mom lamented the fact that people stopped dressing to travel. While I’d hate to sit in an airplane seat in hose and heels, she did have a point.

    • Sarah

      To add to Ginger’s very relevant comment, I’d like to point out that depending on how you look at it, Michelle O. is pretty flashy. She’s way more stylish than either of the Bush first ladies, and Hillary, bless her heart.

      • DTLAFamilies

        Michelle recently wore over the knee boots with a shortish skirt in a fuschia color, so yeah, pretty flashy compared with recent First Ladies.

    • SportifLateBoomer

      agree w/ @disqus_cKyoq4peK0:disqus below. It was such a much dressier time. I mean, there’s pictures of my mom and her sisters from that era wearing what I think are similar, if working-class versions of her outfits. People dressed. And I wonder if she got some slack since she was so young. Can’t imagine being that poised and chic in my early 30s.

      I think MObama is as flashy, if not more so — I think her mix of high and low fashion is unprecedented, as has been discussed forever here and elsewhere.

      • luciaphile

        Also, she was following Mamie Eisenhower and before her, Bess Truman. She probably seemed like a breath of fresh air.

    • BrooklynBomber

      Ginger made some great points below. And also: Camelot! This was still an era when people trusted and looked up to political leaders, when they wanted elected officials to be “better” than the average Joe. Coming from a powerful, wealthy family with deep political roots was absolutely fine, and being movie-star handsome with a beautiful, stylish wife only elevated the mythology.

      Watergate and the Vietnam war changed the culture of this country a lot; nowadays, being a political “insider” is a liability, and politicians bend over backwards to let everyone know of their humble origins. This is the era in which Obama is president, but things were very different when Kennedy was in office.

    • not_Bridget

      JFK donated his presidential salary to charity. When Jackie redecorated the White House, she got as many antiques for free as she could. (Who would refuse her?) Remember her tour of the White House, featured on Mad Men? (I remember it in real life.)

      In those days, it was called “good taste.”

    • Lilithcat

      Mrs. Kennedy was not “flashy”!

      • nowlo

        Yeah, I think ‘flashy’ is the wrong word, as it implies gaudiness. She was glamorous (especially if compared to her predecessors).

  • Fanny_Trollope

    This is fabulous, TLo! Going over to read that piece immediately!

  • Applause and congratulations, Gentlemen.

  • lexilexi

    He was a good looking side dish, but she was the main course. Classic and timeless.

    • Snailstsichr

      “I am the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris, and I enjoyed it.” JFK

      • lillyvonschtupp

        He referred to her as his “secret weapon” .

  • Patricia Groves Dobrowski

    Well done, boys. Lovely, fabulous essay.

  • hmariec19

    That piece was absolutely beautiful, guys. Congratulations!

  • Glam Dixie

    Congratulations on the article, Uncles!

  • gigi kennedy

    Beautifully done. bravo!

  • Jessica Freeman

    Always proud of the Uncles. Bravo.

    • The Counselor

      Who the HELL down-voted this?! I can’t fathom. Anyway, so pleased that the Uncles’ public platform continues to grow 🙂

      • Jessica Freeman

        I saw that too, and would like to think it was an accident. I know we are some bitter kittens and all, but we’re never THAT bitter.

        • The Counselor

          I should think not! (btw, in my lurking days, I think I saw that you are also a Portland person?)

        • NYCGlamourpuss

          The down-voting over nothing is getting fucking ridiculous. Sorry to drop the f-bomb in a post such as this, but enough already.

          • Jessica Freeman

            And you can see who upvoted, but not downvoted…which is annoying and why I think people do it b/c they can still be anon in their dislikes.

          • NYCGlamourpuss

            I used to post at a movie/entertainment board where there were “rep” points given – green boxes under your name for positive rep, red boxes under your name if you’d been neg repped. And you could see who down or upvoted you and they could leave comments as to why. Eventually, it just got to be such a popularity contest, with people up or down voting people in perfectly good posts based on whether or not they liked or didn’t like that poster, that the admins of the site turned the rep system off.

          • Ginger

            So…just for shiggles, I upvoted and then downvoted you just to see if I could do both. Nope…not possible. BTW, I think y’all are the bee’s knees. I may not agree with everything y’all say, but everybody on here (with very few exceptions) has the ability to express their points of view without making other posters feel as though they’re being bashed. It’s an eloquent bunch, that’s for sure.
            Geez, I’m feeling awfully warm and fuzzy today, despite the cold temps. I’m going to have to rectify that immediately.

          • formerlyAnon

            I like that down voting is anonymous. If someone has something negative to actually say, then I know who it is. If it’s just disagreement or pure pot-stirring, well, people are entitled to their opinions and I don’t want to be tempted to start investing emotional energy into it.

      • lillyvonschtupp

        A Nixon supporter

        • BrooklynBomber


  • Funkykatt

    Anytime you guys get some press, I smile without even realizing it because your words and assessments are such a gift to your readers.

  • marlie

    Jackie really did have an amazing sense of style. Just stunning.

    • I always loved her style but didn’t think of it as revolutionary as the rest of the country did. What she wore looked just like the clothing I drooled over as a teenager at Jax Beverly Hills in the late ’50s and early ’60s. (Jax was a boutique that was instrumental in the early career of Rudi Gernreich). In fact, she was known to have clothes from there. I always wondered if she had discovered the store while she was here for the 1960 Democratic convention, which took place in L.A. By the way, Audrey Hepburn was also a Jax shopper.

  • lesmaha

    Congratulations, TLo!!! I’m delighted for you, and looking forward to reading the piece!!

  • mrspeel2

    A lovely and fitting tribute. Thank you!

  • Shawn EH

    Love that shot with Queen Elizabeth!

    • alyce1213

      She was in her mid-30s there, so young, so cute.

    • bxbourgie

      That IS her! I didn’t even recognize her, she looks so young, so pretty! Love her dress.

      • Shawn EH

        It really underlines how much time has passed, doesn’t it?

    • jonesybj_notreally

      I actually loved that shot of Prince P. Not one of those where he looks very much like my sweet Harry, but still. Why is it QE2 is just short of beautiful? I can never quite put my finger on it… eyes too small, mouth too big?

      • Shawn EH

        Large mouth, strong jaw, long nose … but I’d still call her beautiful!

  • Sarah

    OOh, congrats on being asked to do an article for this! How gratifying for you all. My parents campaigned for JFK and I grew up with pics of him on the wall in my house, and Mom wanted to dress like her right down to wearing a very Jackie inspired going-away outfit after her wedding (Raw silk tea length bateau neck fully lined). I had it in my dress-up box as a kid. I’d wear it with the pillbox hat and she’d look at me with a faraway glint in her eye. She probably gave it to the Salvation Army eventually, but I wish I still had it. Those were some lovely clothes.

    • decormaven

      My family was (and is) staunch, yellow dog Democrat. My dad attended the inauguration- he pinched two of the metal placards that called for “No Parking” due to the event. A picture of JFK and Jackie hung in his office; I still have it, along with one of the plastic boater hats worn at the Democratic Convention and various other political ephemera. The days following the assassination were days of mourning; my parents and older sisters were glued to the TV set while I played in the yard with my Beany & Cecil doll set.
      Sarah, so sorry you don’t still have that outfit. I reluctantly let go of my mother’s hat collection upon her death; there was a pillbox or two in it. I miss that level of style that elevated everyone’s look.

      • Sarah

        It sure did. Sitting here in my Target sweater, I’m vaguely ashamed. Mom was very pragmatic. To her, they were just “old clothes.” First, my sister and I got to play dress-up, and then, if they were still in decent shape, I’m sure they got donated. We do have great pics of her in them, however. Mom was a beauty. My dad is not a democrat, but she was. JFK trumped all of that with his background, however, and was a saint in my Scots-Irish family. The folks across the pond still have pics of him on the walls in their thatched-roof homes, as I’m sure you know. He’s on the wall next to Churchill, MacArthur and Teddy Roosevelt in my dad’s study, just as if that wasn’t weird.

        • decormaven

          Love it!

    • Judy_S

      I was amazed, some 30 years ago, that two of my girlfriends mentioned that their mothers “looked like Jackie Kennedy”–i.e. she was their model for fashion and hairstyles. My mom didn’t (she was on her 6th pregnancy in those days and might have looked more to Ethel). But I found that so touching, and here you are with another mother who followed Jackie. She seems immortally young, like her husband.

      it seems to fit with what T & Lo say, “That good-looking couple just down the street.”

      • Sarah

        Mom was born in ’43 so she was in college during the campaign and got married in ’66 just a couple of years after the assassination. I’m pretty sure Jackie would’ve seemed like the perfect young woman to model herself after – both in her fashion and in her independence – far better than her own seemingly dowdy mother and grandmother that she lived with. (Not that grandma and nana weren’t badass, but you only see that from the far side of things, you know how it is.)

    • bitchybitchybitchy

      Did anyone else wear a mass market knock-off of Jackie’s Chanel suit? I have photos of a young version of me wearing a pink Chanel style suit for Easter around 1962, complete with pillbox hat. My awkward tween/teen self didn’t do the outfit justice.

  • Jacqueline Wessel

    Thanks, TLO, I could look at pictures of these two all day…especially her. She always looked flawless and appropriate for the occasion.

    Going over to read your entire essay. Congratulations on being asked.
    Noticed your sparkly, shimmery backdrop here…very nice.

    • Jacqueline Wessel

      I finally realized the glittery backdrop is part of the “Jamie, Private School Girl” ad. But I love it here anyway, it fits right in with all the glittery atars.

  • ashtangajunkie

    Fantastic essay, TLo. An interesting perspective and wonderful contribution.

  • mommyca

    Congratulations! How wonderful you’ve been asked to do this… Lovely essay.

  • melanie0866

    Love. Thanks.

  • NYCGlamourpuss

    Congratulations, boys! We’re so extremely proud of you, please know that! I’m heading over to read yours, and all the other, essays right now!

    I love this post, I really do. I’ve always been a bit of a Kennedy whore to be honest – whether it’s their low points or their high points, they just fascinate me. My entire evening’s auto-reminder on my cable box is nothing but Kennedy documentaries honoring the anniversary, all night long into the wee hours.

    I turned 50 last Saturday, and JFK’s assassination was my “15 minutes of fame” as it turns out. See, back in 1963, they didn’t boot women out of the hospital the minute they gave birth, like they do now. Back then, many women were kept in the hospital for a week or so. I was born on Nov. 16th, and they released Mom and me from the hospital on Nov. 22nd, just around noon. My grandmother was home babysitting my brother, watching TV and waiting for my folks to come home with me – and just as they walked in, the very first thing my grandmother said to my mother was, “Rosie, the President’s just been shot! They don’t know how badly he’s been hurt yet.” It had pretty much just happened a couple of minutes before my parents walked through the door with me.

    It’s funny, it occurs to me, that many folks who are older than I am by at least 5 to 10 years and up can answer the question “Do you remember where were you when JFK was shot?” But for those my age and younger, I guess the parallel question would be, “Do you remember where were you when JFK Jr.’s plane went down?”, which I do, which I’ll always remember.

    • Snailstsichr

      My husband was chaperoning a group of Latin students to Italy and had been telling them how easy it was going to be to learn Italian when one had studied Latin. He says one of the most bittersweet days of his life was picking up an Italian newspaper and realizing he could read it with ease and then realizing the story he was reading was about JFK Jr being lost at sea. I still get tears at the thought.

      • NYCGlamourpuss

        That’s just heartbreaking. My story isn’t really amazing or anything – I had overheard a couple of girls talking about “It’s like the Kennedy’s are cursed or something!” For whatever reason, I thought something had happened to another one of Bobby and Ethel’s kids. So I was totally caught off guard when I got home and found an email from a friend saying, “I’m staying inside to watch CNN all day – I’m just heartbroken about John John”, and I literally felt my stomach do a somersault. However, my boss has a truly amazing story. Long story short – he was spending the weekend at the beach on Martha’s Vineyard, and was wading in the surf when Lauren Bissette’s suitcase washed up onto the shore. He was literally standing two feet away from the guy who fished it out of the water. The first thing they noticed was her business card in the ID tag slot.

        • Sarah

          How spooky.

          • NYCGlamourpuss

            Yup. And a year later, he went back for the same vacation (his family has a house there), and was standing in the same spot when news reporters started milling around the beach, asking people where they were a year ago that day. And of course, most of them weren’t RIGHT THERE when it happened like he was. So they make their way over to my boss and ask him if he remembers where he was a year ago that day, and he says, “I sure do – I was standing right here when Lauren Bissette’s suitcase washed up. I was standing right next to the guy who pulled it up on shore.” All of a sudden, he had a whole crowd of reporters surrounding him, and he did wind up on the local news that night.

    • BrooklynBomber

      I sure remember both. And Bobby, too (and on a purely personal level that was worse, in a way, because I was just old enough to start paying attention to politics).

      • bitchybitchybitchy

        I remember JFK-8th grade American History class. Our teacher was called to the principal’s office, came back looking ghastly and gave us the news. School was dismissed a few moments later. It really was a dreadful day.

      • decormaven

        Bobby’s death, in some ways, was even harder than JFK’s. After MLK was murdered, there was hope that Bobby could somehow knit together a country torn by racial strife and the Vietnam War. The morning we East Coasters learned of Bobby’s death- turning on the Today Show — was a dark day indeed. My mom was a social worker; she sat right down in front of the television and cried. It was a real punch in the gut.

        • BrooklynBomber

          Yes — everything you said.

      • formerlyAnon

        Yes. I have vague memories of watching the funeral cortege & earlier, the body arriving in Washington on t.v., but I was too young. All of my “remember where you were” and such memories are for Bobby’s shooting. Of course a big deal, Irish Catholic family that we were (on one side.)

    • Erica

      Or where you were when you heard Princess Diana had died. I was sitting in a bar in the French Quarter in New Orleans.

      • NYCGlamourpuss

        I was on my way over to my then-boyfriend’s apartment. I walked in, and he said, “Did you hear any news on the way over here?” I said, “No, I was on the subway – how could I?” He said, “So you don’t know about the accident… the one in Paris?” I said, “What accident?” Then he told me. We watched CNN for a couple of hours with no word on how she was. So we decided to take a walk around the neighborhood for some air. And just like that, by the time we’d gotten back to his apartment, no more than an hour or so, she was gone. Of course, from what we’d heard later, she had already been gone while we were sitting around waiting for some news. From what I understand, Prince Charles made sure nothing was announced officially until he’d had a chance to break the news to William and Harry himself. Once the boys knew, he gave the word that the media could officially make the announcement.

        • lillyvonschtupp

          I grew up in the 80s and the question was, “Where were you when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded?” Nowadays, for me, its “Where were you when you found out about Michael Jackson? “

    • Spicytomato1

      “But for those my age and younger, I guess the parallel question would be, “Do you remember where were you when JFK Jr.’s plane went down?”, which I do, which I’ll always remember.”

      My story dovetails a little bit with yours…I was in the hospital after giving birth to my oldest son when John John’s plane went down. I remember sitting on the edge of the bed waiting to be discharged and being just glued to the TV. I also remember thinking I should be 100% focused on my new baby but the news was so riveting and sad. I loved — still love — Carolyn’s sense of style. I think she set a few fashion trends herself and I always thought of her and John as sort of American royalty.

      • NYCGlamourpuss

        That really does kind of dovetail with my story – how eerie!

  • Julie Ree

    The article was great- I read that as soon as I saw it was posted. Doesn’t Jackie look so happy? And that smile- wow!

  • tereliz

    PBS, Jackie O and TLo. What’s not to love about this post? Maybe Jackie’s orange sweater? LOL, I can’t decide if it’s pretty or ugly, so I’ll probably wind up loving it. 😛

    • alyce1213

      I love it. And notice perfect lip color with it.

  • Not applicable

    we forget that Queen Elizabeth was quite stylish once too…

    • I’m always surprised by how *little* she is!

      • Not applicable

        I know right?! And so pretty!

    • webslice33

      yes, she held her own standing beside the gorgeous mrs. kennedy…the queen is really regal..

  • Kelly

    Wow, this is fabulous, gents. You’ve struck the perfect tone here, with suitable pictures and just enough commentary to let the style shine through without overpowering the event that is the cause of the anniversary. I’m looking forward to your essay, not only because I enjoy your stuff, but also because I think you’ve got it right — “approachable glamour” that both fit and created their cultural moment.

    I’m old enough to remember the assassination — I was eight, in the third grade. My family took our city’s evening newspaper, and I remember our “paper boy” going around the neighborhood to explain that the paper would be delayed because they were printing a “special edition.” When it finally came, my dad read the front page aloud to us. I remember how solemn and scary it all was, and how in the next week at school, the conspiracy theories were already swirling among the kids at recess. “The Russians did it, and they’re going to drop the atom bomb!”

  • alyce1213

    Thanks for the post. They changed everything. I’m old enough to remember.

  • Nicholas

    Maybe it’s just me, but I’d love to see see some TLo writing on this subject in the JFK library.

  • Sobaika

    She remembered that the world looked to her and saw only the surface of who she is, focusing on her clothing above all else. When asked if she wanted to change out of her blood-encrusted pink suit on that interminable plane ride back to Washington from Dallas, she declined. “Let them see what they’ve done.”

    Chills, gentlemen. Fabulously written.

    • NYCGlamourpuss

      Sorry, didn’t see your post – that same quote was what got me too. Amazing, sad and wonderful.

    • Made my eyes water.

    • calimon

      True dignity, she had, in the face of such tragedy. She was no wilted flower.

  • EEKstl

    Bravo, boys. I’m “kvelling” for you both!

  • rkdgal

    Looking at the picture of the two “royal” couples, it strikes me as sad that both Jack and Jackie are gone, while Liz and Phil are soldiering on into their 90s!

  • slizzy

    Wonderfully written and touching essay – congratulations! The world is catching on.

  • gabbilevy

    Congrats on the Newshour article, guys! And speaking of Jackie’s couture: TIL — Her pink suit, the pink suit, is locked away in the National Archives and won’t be put on public display until 2103.

  • Maine1ac

    I thought your piece was not just beautifully written, but also a unique perspective on the era. Their style was certainly noted at the time, but seems like it became overshadowed by the tragedy, and a little forgotten over time. But it was so representative of what was special about the Kennedys, and nice to see it mentioned at this anniversary.

  • Denise Alden

    Wonderful piece, you two. Just lovely.

  • NYCGlamourpuss

    And this totally made me get all teary-eyed:

    “And in the end, when it was over and something needed to be said, some expression of grief or rage needed to be expressed, she remembered that the world looked to her and saw only the surface of who she is, focusing on her clothing above all else. When asked if she wanted to change out of her blood-encrusted pink suit on that interminable plane ride back to Washington from Dallas, she declined. ‘Let them see what they’ve done’.”

    I’m literally sitting here sniffling, no lie. Bravo, Uncles, bravo!

  • ProfessorSong

    The Uncles’ articulation of style and its use as cultural literacy is beyond compare. How very appropriate they were asked to contribute to the conversation surrounding the fashion of Jack and Jackie. TLo have the uncanny ability to see not only what is going on, but to give it a context of how and why. It is a truly unusual gift, but it helps to make our world more accessible, and we are grateful.

  • luluransom

    Beautiful writing, Uncles. Yours is a well-deserved place among the other essayists on that page.

  • Chaiaiai

    God, I too wondered if she ever wore pink again. That poor woman.

  • BrooklynBomber

    Bravo, TLo.

  • SUCH a good essay, I hope you are proud of your work. I think this should be included as an addendum to your book. Can the publishers insert an extra folio for you–this essay plus a few of the photos to round it out? Everyone really wanted to “be them or do them” so it fits!
    Also, thank you for not including a photo of the infamous pink suit. It breaks my heart to see it. I just read an article at the NY Times website which says that the suit is preserved in the National Archives with instructions to never be accessed until 2103, not even to researchers, biographers, etc., at the specific instructions of Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg. Thank God.

    • NYCGlamourpuss

      Good for Caroline.

    • decormaven

      Yes, Caroline has been so careful in protecting the legacy of her family. Good for her.

  • MilaXX

    Congrats on being a part of this .

  • SportifLateBoomer

    Did she ever wear pink again? Or carry roses? These are the things we wonder.


    Great writing as ever! Proud of you boys! Gave the whole story package a wonderful and unique perspective. Also terrific archival shots for us here, most I’ve never seen before.

    PS to BK@tereliz:disqus below — I love the orange sweater. Gutsy choice.

    • NYCGlamourpuss

      I know, the part about wearing pink and carrying roses just killed me.

  • ccinnc

    Wonderful piece, guys. (That last line gets me every time I read it. 🙁 )

  • I thought your essay was poignant and perfect – and I love that PBS included you two. As they should have.

  • Akemi


  • random_poster

    Well done, TLo. Congratulations on the feature!

  • Deysia Levin

    I am so proud of you two. Keep up the good work!

  • Kathy

    Wow, that is an honor. Well done. I couldn’t help tearing up when I read the piece.

  • Pamdela

    Jackie remains fascinating, not simply because she was a divine
    clothes horse; after all, so many socialites from her era were. I think
    it’s because she combined such a rare combination of traits: highly
    intelligent, wonderful athlete (that posture!), artistic sensibility —
    and of course, she was wise enough to keep her secrets to herself. All
    the more remarkable when you remember how young she was when she
    recreated the White House and designed that heart wrenching, historic funeral for JFK.

    • Snailstsichr

      I don’t know if it is true or not, but I always heard that she said she didn’t care what people said about her as long as it wasn’t true – that way the real her wasn’t open to public inspection. I always loved her for this and consider her so very wise.

  • decormaven

    Great work! Will go back to the PBS site to read the other submissions. Thank you again for all the hard work you put into this site, and now into other ventures.

  • DinahR

    The photo of Pres Kennedy and Queen Elizabeth … it’s hard for me to imagine a real world with such beautiful, young stylish icons representing world power. If a movie was cast this way I would like “yeah, right! that would never happen” but there it is. A special time. Thanks for the photos, and congrats on your wonderful essay!

  • Lenora Dody

    Congratulations! It’s a wonderful essay that perfectly captures the subject.

  • CeeQ

    Love it, thanks for the links!

  • SusannaGA

    Beautifully done, Tom and Lorenzo. Your ending to the piece resonates with Jackie’s chilling words.

  • judybrowni

    Amazing how nearly everything she wears in these shots could be worn today (except perhaps the pill box hats and opera gloves.)

    When I lived in New York in the ’70s, got the chance to see Jackie twice in person. Once, eating a hamburger at a hamburger restaurant, and then during an afternoon matinee of a french film, when she and I were the only attendees.

    (Of course, like a real New Yorker, I didn’t stare or ask for an autograph, or bug her in any way.)

    She was stylish, in that sleek understated style of hers, and lovely.

    • NYCGlamourpuss

      OMG! Just the two of you? I would have died! But kudos to you for not bugging her. That’s why she moved to NY – she liked how you could just be out there in plain sight without people bothering her. That was kinda the whole basis of the Ron Galella lawsuit.

  • Balletomane

    This essay was beautiful, thank you. And the photos you’ve chosen here are glorious!

  • MarieLD

    Great essay!

  • AnniNoone

    Sniff. I am so proud. That was just terrific, and I love that you are all prestigious and shit!

  • Danielle

    Haunting, beautiful stuff, Uncles.

  • guest2visits

    Thankyou for your fine reflection of the Kennedys, those days…those years.

  • Trickytrisha

    Just lovely, uncles. Your horde of BK nieces and nephews are proud. Great essay and collection of pictures here.

  • SRQkitten

    What has always impressed me is how young she was, early thirties. The role of First Lady is not easy and she seemed to really have a sense of how to live in that role and still keep her sense of self.

  • Laylalola

    Great stuff! Congratulations on bringing something fresh to it all!

    I was an intern at LIFE magazine 25 years ago and one of my major assignments that summer was working on helping put out the 25th edition of their coverage of the events, from everything from the original reporting of the assassination to of course all the photos — the stills from the Zapruder film (which was still housed in LIFE’s photo dark room in 1988), the funeral and John Jr., the mobs across the country in tears — to coverage of Jack Ruby shooting Oswald to the interview of Jackie by Theodore White in which Jackie created the Camelot myth. All of the original events were before I was born.

    From that experience I had really only two observations/partial insights rooted in my own areas of focus (and I don’t think either is necessarily as fresh as TLO’s commentary on the styles). One of those: Upon graduation, Jackie Kennedy was hired as a photojournalist for a newspaper in Washington, D.C. — I don’t know how many people today are aware of this. It goes no small way toward explaining why she (and by extension, the Kennedys) had a lifelong love affair with LIFE magazine, one of two major photojournalism magazines at the time. She was extremely astute about not just photojournalism but about the Hollywood studio system and how controlled images could create legends, and in my opinion it really almost cannot be overstated the role she had in the days after the assassination in shaping in our mind’s eye what has become the Kennedy Camelot legacy.

  • Judy_J

    You have to remember Jackie was just 30 years old when Kennedy was elected president. She was young, charming, smart, fashionable. JFK was no slouch in the looks and fashion department, either. They defined mid-century modern fashion for men and women.

  • Julie

    Congratulations! It’s so well deserved. I can’t wait to read it.

  • Jennifer Bober

    Congrats to you both. I can’t wait to read it. I’m not surprised that you were chosen. You have taste and class balanced with a sense of whimsy and adventure. You write well and with a fantastic flair. You do this all without the mean streak that characterizes too many others. Kisses my fabulous gay uncles!

  • msdamselfly

    They had class, intelligence, good looks and were not fame whores.

  • e jerry powell

    Mrs. Kennedy was THE SHIT. Did she ever miss the mark? EVER? I can’t think of a single time.

  • demidaemon

    I don’t think I have words to explain how I felt after reading TLo’s essay. It was moving, informational, and that last line was just so powerful. It makes me want to take that and show my student’s what good, powerful writing looks like.

  • Snailstsichr

    Just read the essay. Tip of the pillbox, gents! fine work,

  • Cynica

    Thank you, gentlemen, for that moving and beautiful tribute. There has never been a more powerful fashion “statement” than Mrs. Kennedy in that bloodied suit. Lady Bird Johnson talks about it in her audio diary of that day, on the LBJ library website. “That immaculate woman…covered in blood.”

  • Laura Renee

    Oh, very well done, gentlemen. I have to say I both giggled and felt ridiculously proud when I saw your byline on the PBS page: “Tom Fitzgerald and Lorenzo Marquez, fashion bloggers”. INDEED.

  • Pennymac

    BRAVO, Tom and Lorenzo! Proud to be a BK. : )

  • manina

    Congratulations on being asked and thank you for writing it. It is a beautifully written and it directed me to read the other beautiful memories of this iconic couple.

  • Dahliawinstock

    Jackie Kennedy schools the Queen of England on how to do Regal with a capital R! Simply stunning- a class act -she has no equal.

  • siriuslover

    OMG, what an honor for you, TLo! So happy to be one of your minions and see you become supahstahs! And in relation to this post, thank you!

  • tweety

    Perfect. Everything. Your Mad Style series, this PBS piece. I’M OBSESSED.

  • lillyvonschtupp

    It’s sickening that southerners (esp. Texans) celebrated this day. No wonder Jackie took the kids and left the country after RFK’s death, because in her own words, “they’re killing Kennedys!”

  • lillyvonschtupp

    They were so painstakingly good-looking. Made Bradgelina look like Punch n Judy.

  • CatherineRhodes

    KUDOS to TLo for genius-level analysis and writing. Reading the NPR piece made me proud to be a Kitten.

  • DTLAFamilies

    NY Mag has a slideshow of Jackie’s fashions. I’d link but I don’t want to end up in moderation purgatory.

  • ferngilly

    That’s awesome! Wonderful essay, succinct and moving. One of you should read Jackie Under My Skin: Interpreting an Icon for a few different perspectives and tableaus from (I think) a media studies or sociology professor at an ivy league school.

  • Gatto Nero

    Gentlemen, your piece gave me chills and brought tears to my eyes. Bravo.

  • The picture with the Queen is interesting. Elizabeth looks like she borrowed her gown from Maime Eisenhower, while Jackie looks ahead of her time.

  • formerlyAnon

    Kudos to you on the invitation and the piece. That last paragraph is something of which you should be proud.

  • A Shiny O’Connor

    Bravo, TLo. Smart as fuck, you two are.

  • Therese Bohn

    Gentleman, Thank You for this beautiful piece. The color picture of Jackie in profile with the orange fuzzy suit is stunning, I’ve never seen that. And the photo of QEII in her dated Hartnell along Jackie in her magnificent Cassini is a classic image of old vs. new. I have a replica of the magnificent sun brooch that Jackie is wearing in the 2nd to last picture; I treasure it. (and btw, that strapless was a beautiful blue) I also have the great coffee table book “Jaqueline Kennedy, The White House Years” and it is a marvelous chronicle of all the fashion Jackie brought to her First Ladyship and includes pictures of the actual gowns. I highly recommend it!