If you're a First Lady of the United States, it's practically your patriotic duty to be a role model for American women. And while not everyone could have the integrity of Eleanor Roosevelt or the spirit of Abigail Adams, history has at least given us some serious First Lady style worth emulating, not to mention a few American institutions that have stuck around with us throughout the centuries.
*Check out our video to see just a few trends started by some fabulous First Ladies! *
Of course, when we think of the most iconic White House women, it's easy to think of the more fashion-forward ladies. Who didn't covet double stranded pearls or pick up a pair of oversized sunglasses because they followed the style of Jackie Kennedy religiously. Even when she rebranded to Jackie O (or especially when she rebranded to Jackie O) she remained the number one American woman to copy in terms of style and grace.
But there are plenty of other women throughout history who have inspired the American public in other ways. There was the White House's most extravagant hostess Dolley Madison who used her sweet tooth to popularize your favorite summer treat. And then there was Mamie Eisenhower who used her favorite color to reinforce femininity in the 1950s household... and the 1950s housewife. And don't get us started on accidental It girl Frances Cleveland — her image took the world by storm, mass-produced in beauty products and beauty looks alike.
It's worth remembering the ladies who swept the nation with their great taste (with "taste" used literally in Dolley's case). Watch the video above to see how these trend-setting First Ladies influenced the average American woman... and sometimes, changed the country itself!