Jackie Kennedy’s Packing List for Texas Speaks Volumes and Mirrored Her Iconic Style

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A packing list which recently resurfaced shows exactly why Jackie Kennedy was the icon that she was. Described as “chic and poignant,” the list pertains to the fateful Texas trip that Jackie and her husband, President John F. Kennedy, took together in the fall of 1963.

Fashion buffs and historians alike can take note with respect to the detail with which she outlined her selections. Writer Bonnie Wertheim of the New York Times stated, “In the margins of the weekend’s itinerary, which she had written out for her personal assistant, the first lady scheduled the visit outfit by outfit. For the day of Nov. 21, her look would be head-to-toe Chanel: a white coat, skirt and blouse, with a black hat atop her head and a gold and navy bracelet on her wrist (‘safety pin,’ she wrote underneath, perhaps in reference to its clasp). In the evening, she would don a black velvet dress with satin shoes and white kid gloves. And of course the jewelry had been considered: pearls with a diamond bracelet and earrings. Mrs. Kennedy was not one to leave room for surprises.”

Jackie Kennedy’s Packing List for Texas Speaks Volumes and Mirrored Her Iconic Style

Photo: Wikimedia

Although such detail has been noted, nothing would truly tell of the events that took place in Dallas on Friday, November 22, like Mrs. Kennedy’s bloodstained pink Chanel suit. Despite this fact, the packing list read like the fashionable first lady she was; an icon who continued to be acknowledged and referenced for her taste and style even now. Her signature tailored skirt suits, pearls, pillbox hats, and white gloves together with her choice of leisure wear were immortalized in the Kennedy family photos. Many of these pieces were written into the Texas itinerary, including riding clothes for a trip to Lyndon B. Johnson’s ranch that was scheduled for November 23.

Jackie Kennedy’s Packing List for Texas Speaks Volumes and Mirrored Her Iconic Style

Photo: Wikipedia

The designers she favored consisted of Chanel and Cassini, Gustave Tassell, and Ethel Frankau. Her detailed lists, such as the one that recently appeared, are a window into the mind of a woman who Stacey Bredhoff (curator of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum) has referred to as a “meticulous planner,” concerning herself with each detail of the events at which she would be in attendance. Her museum’s collection in Boston, Massachusetts contains 95 of the former First Lady’s dresses. It does not, however, contain the pink Chanel suit from November 22, 1963. According to the New York Times, “The pink suit is being kept under climate-controlled wraps outside of Washington by the National Archives and Records Administration, barred from public view until 2103.” Although many believe that our outward appearance can speak volumes about us, in truth, Jackie Kennedy’s packing notes regarding her trip to Texas may say far more in her own finely printed notes than her clothing ever could.