Style

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

From Mary Todd Lincoln to Michelle Obama.
01/19/2017 09:09am ET | Updated January 19, 2017

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
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Mary Todd Lincoln dressed for Abraham Lincoln's inauguration on March 4, 1861
Woodrow Wilson's 1st Inauguration
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Mrs. Woodrow Wilson and Mrs. Thomas Marshall riding in inaugural parade on March 4, 1913
Calvin Coolidge's Inauguration
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Mrs. Thomas Pike (C), at Dwight D. Eisenhower's Inaugural Ball on Jan. 21, 1957
Dwight D. Eisenhower's 2nd Inaugural Ball
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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
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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
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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
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Spectators at the Inauguration of President John F. Kennedy on Jan. 20, 1961
John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Gala
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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
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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
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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
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NBC News' Hugh Downs and Barbara Walters covering the 1st Presidential inauguration of Richard Nixon on Jan. 20, 1969
Gerald Ford's Inauguration
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President Gerald Ford and wife Betty during his inauguration on Aug. 9, 1974
Jimmy Carter's Inauguration
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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
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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
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First lady Nancy Reagan and President Ronald Reagan during Reagan's first inauguration on Jan. 20, 1981
Ronald Reagan's 1st Inaugural Ball
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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
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Ronald Reagan dancing with his wife Nancy at his Inaugural Ball on Jan. 20, 1981
George H.W. Bush's Inaugural Celebration
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George Bush smiles and waves to participants of his inaugural celebration as Barbara looks on Jan. 20, 1989.
Bill Clinton's 1st Inauguration
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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
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President Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton holding hands, onstage at Kennedy Center inaugural ball on Jan. 20, 1993
Bill Clinton's 2nd Inauguration
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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
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President Bill Clinton and wife Hillary clap their hands at an inaugural ball Jan. 20, 1997
George. W. Bush's 1st Inaugural Ball
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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
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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
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President Obama's daughters Malia and Sasha at the beginning of the inauguration on Jan. 20, 2009
Barack Obama's 1st Inauguration
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Michelle Obama holds the Lincoln bible as she arrives at the inauguration of Barack Obama Jan. 20, 2009
Barack Obama's 1st Inaugural Ball
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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
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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
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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
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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