Photo Credit: Getty ; New York Historical Society
When we think of First Lady style, the shift dresses of Jacqueline Kennedy and the ballgowns of Michelle Obama flutter about our minds. However, there are a plethora of First Ladies who not only had great style, but also influenced American fashion. The very first to be style influencers were the wives of some of the first presidents of the United States, who witnessed a change from colonial ruling to a new, burgeoning country.
How we know who wore what and when is derived from portraits, written descriptions and surviving artifacts. By knowing what these women wore, we get a better understanding of their personality, social standing and wealth.
During the eighteenth century, women wore long skirts and covered their elbows with bustier-corset tops. The most popular style seen in early America was the Robe à l’Anglaise, a gown with back pleats stitched from the shoulder that then released into a full skirt. This style was not only popular for its flattering style, but also for its meaning. An opposite style, Robe à la Française, which was favored by upper-class French.
Photo Credit: Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Although they were important women of their time, the style of Martha Jefferson and Abigail Adams have not been noteworthy. When looking at portraits of these women, it can be concluded that they stuck to dress conventions of the time. However, there were two First Ladies that left substantial evidence that they were serious fashion influencers, Martha Washington and Dolly Madison.
Abigail Adams and Martha Jefferson
Photo Credit: National Portrait Gallery; Thomas Jefferson Foundation
Martha entered the presidency when she was in her 50’s, and on her second marriage. Through the death of her first husband, she had both the money from his estate and the purchasing responsibilities. By purchasing her own clothing and accessories and keeping the receipts, we have a full understanding into what she wore. Well into her marriage with George and the presidency, Martha enjoyed dazzling garnets and understated garments. She based her wardrobe on the country’s strong beliefs of avoiding over-indulgent fashions, which was worn by the English court. By her choosing simpler clothing than she could afford, she helped shape the wardrobe and mentality towards clothing for many American women.
Photo Credit: New York Historical Society
For all of the frugality that Martha Washington brought, Dolly Madison brought the glam. Dolly was notorious for her fun parties and outgoing personality. In order to match the energy of her social life, Dolly wore fine, colorful gowns and her signature, a turban.
Dolly's Red Velvet Gown
Photo Credit: Our State.com
Dolly was often portrayed in an all-white cap-sleeved gown, but her personal wardrobe was much more. Some of Dolly’s wardrobe consisted of a pink robe trimmed in ermine to a gown in light blue velvet. It is rumored that she even wore a red velvet gown made from the curtains from her heroic pull from the White House.
Just like today, First Lady fashion can be both entertaining and influential.
DISCLAIMER: The outcome of your quiz should not be the sole determinant of who you vote for in the 2016 presidential election. After all, having a favorite Adultswim TV series in common with a candidate should not be taken as a serious factor in determining our president!
So now that we got that sorted out, we would like to introduce you to these 5 FUN quizzes (emphasis on the fun) to help find the presidential candidate who is most similarly aligned to you.
The rise of online interactive quizzes naturally spawned the birth of the infinite. and mostly irrelevant, quizzes to determine things such things like; how far will you go to make it in the Hunger Games or the size of your NYC apartment based on how you order food.
Naturally when we asked ourselves which candidate we most align with for the upcoming 2016 elections, we realized: THERE HAS TO BE A QUIZ FOR THAT!
White picket posters decorated with formal campaign images of each candidate take their stake along the front lawn of the White House while the introductory audio of a patriotic ballad plays in the background. These intriguing visual and audio displays initiate the engagement of the testee to start the quiz. The quiz then asks you to first address issues of importance, giving you an array of issue topics. Then based off of your stances and their level of importance, the quiz eliminates any candidates who have opposing views and leaves you with a select few, if not a single “best match" candidate. The quiz ranks your stance on political issues and aligns them with a candidate according to the percentage of similarity to produce political matches while also allowing you to explore every candidate (whether similar or dissimilar) further.
Buzzfeed should be a buzzword for “Entertainment only: no serious users encouraged.” And in this case, we hope this suggestion is just another quiz under your long list of quiz options to help you get through your day with interactive play. With that said, this Buzzfeed quiz is actually one of the most logical quizzes provided. But of course they have to throw in some irrelevant questions like “what is your style?" just to remind you exactly which site you're taking your quiz on in an oh-so-typical Buzzfeed fashion.
ISideWith is a site that specifically revolves around your quiz results, taking your outcome and applying the results many steps further to inform you on your political stances outside of just your most similarly aligned 2016 presidential candidate. The site takes the results of which presidential candidates you side with and applies those results to loosely determine the political parties, ideologies, and themes you also believe in. After the results are given, you can compare your answers to every candidate to explore exactly what statements they have made in opposition or support of a certain issue. ISideWith extensively analyzes your results on the “your results” page. They even give you a national geographical map that is color coated to display the areas that hold the values/issues closest and furthest away from what you side with.
This quiz was created in response to a CNBC Millionaire Survey, which explored the way wealthy American citizens feel about how they choose to invest and spend their money, as well as how their reactions to the economy impact their political preferences. The quiz, which is conducted by CNBC, estimates who you are likely to vote for based on how you regard investments, spending and politics in general.
Questions about TV show preferences are mixed in with questions regarding the relationship between government and businesses to show this quiz is yet another to be taken with a grain of salt. Playbuzz is like BuzzFeed’s clingy younger cousin and is sadly just as addictive, providing us with even more political quizzes that allow us voters to have a little fun with the upcoming elections.