7 Timeless Fashion Tips to Steal from Jackie Kennedy

From high-rise hair to strings of pearls and slim-fitting shift dresses, Jackie Kennedy’s signature looks will never go out of style.

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Woman with printed scarf
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Experiment with printed scarves

One of the most enduring accessories associated with Jackie Kennedy is the printed silk scarf. Jackie often wore hers tied kerchief-style over her hair, especially while on vacation or during outdoor activities. For an evergreen classic look, tie the scarf around your neck, or drape it across your shoulders and tie it in front of your chest.

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Burgundy sheath dress
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A shift or sheath dress is always appropriate

Jackie frequently relied on two styles of dresses: the shift and the sheath. Each is timeless and works on most body types. A shift falls straight down from the shoulders, skimming the body, while a sheath dress generally has a detailed waistline. The first lady often wore ones with interesting necklines, or accessorized them with a few strands of pearls. Add a matching pair of pumps or sandals for a look that can go from the office to a drink on the beach in no time flat.

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Designer sunglasses
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Never leave the house without sunglasses

To get full-on Jackie Kennedy-summering-in-Italy glam, always keep a pair of dark sunglasses nearby. Jackie wore hers rounded and oversized, mostly in black.

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Redhead wearing all-black
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Try a monochrome look

During her years as first lady, Jackie Kennedy frequently sported the always-classic, easy-to-assemble matching suit. While she gravitated toward pastel colours, be warned that the lighter end of the colour spectrum is harder to pull off. For those of us who don’t reside in the White House, try a suit in a darker colour: black, navy, or even deep reds and greens are almost always flattering. The monochrome trend creates a vertical block of colour on your body and makes you appear long and lean.

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White summer dress
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Adopt a breezy summer style

Even if you’re not on some fabulous yachting excursion, you can still incorporate Kennedy style into your summer outfits. Jackie favored sleeveless button-ups, stark whites, pastels, and bold floral, gingham, and striped prints. She was often photographed in white pants and pastel T-shirts—it doesn’t get any easier than that!

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Woman wearing black suit jacket
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When in doubt, go black and white

Late for work and need a quick outfit? Take a tip from Jackie’s playbook and try black and white. She often sported crisp white pants with a black T-shirt or button down. She also used the colour combination in belting dresses and matching her shirt to her jacket.

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Woman with hair bun
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Keep your hair held high

The bouffant hairstyle of the ’60s owes much of its popularity to the first lady. For a modern take on Jackie’s presidential locks, blow dry your hair and set it in Velcro rollers for at least 40 minutes. Mist the rollers with a light-hold hairspray and remove them. Flip your heard upside-down, spray hair again and flip it back into place.

Looking for even more inspiration? Check out 9 Style Tips to Steal from Princess Diana.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest