Barbara Bush, 1989
What She Wore: Royal blue velvet and taffeta Arnold Scaasi gown and pearls
What It Meant: Both Betts and Dincuff agree that color is a powerful way to send a message. So what was Barbara trying to say when she wore a striking royal blue gown to the Inauguration of her husband, a Republican?
Perhaps it was a subtle nod towards bi-partisanship–a cause which her husband continued to champion after his presidency. Or it may have been meant to leave a regal impression. The pearls’ message, however, is clearer: “Pearls are very ladylike, very proper, but at the same time, relatable,” Dincuff said. “Not everyone can afford pearls, but definitely most people can’t afford diamonds.”