Jan 25, 2023 - Things to Do

First Lady Jill Biden's dresses displayed in Smithsonian

First Lady Jill Biden with designer Alexandra O'Neill, who designed her daytime dress and coat. Photo: Jacklyn Nash, courtesy of the National Museum of American History

Who says a wardrobe can't be historic?

The National Museum of American History is now home to First Lady Jill Biden's 2021 Inauguration Day wardrobe.

Why it matters: The museum's First Ladies exhibit is about more than just fashion. It also tells the stories of the contributions and accomplishments of our country's first ladies.

  • Biden is the only first lady to hold a full-time job (teaching English at Northern Virginia Community College) in addition to her role at the White House.
From left: Designer Gabriela Hearst, First Lady Jill Biden, Alexandra O'Neill. Photo: Jacklyn Nash, courtesy of the National Museum of American History

Driving the news: At a ceremony Wednesday, Biden unveiled the exhibit's newest addition: the powder blue tweed dress and matching overcoat that she wore while holding the Bible for President Biden's swearing-in.

  • The dress and overcoat were designed by Alexandra O’Neill.

Also donated was the ivory evening dress that Biden wore to the inaugural ball. Designed by Gabriela Hearst, the dress is embroidered with federal flowers from every U.S. state and territory and will be displayed alongside an accompanying ivory cashmere coat.

Worth noting: Because fashion is a reflection of the moment in history, the matching face masks that Biden wore with each dress will also be on display.

Photo: Jacklyn Nash, courtesy of the National Museum of American History
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