The pale, bubblegum shade of pink that tinted the whole of the 1950’s owes much of its ubiquity to the First Lady. Mamie was so fond of the shade that it was named after her–Mamie pink. The hue was seen in midcentury bathrooms, kitchens, and most memorably, on her famous Nettie Rosenstein inauguration dress that now lives in the Smithsonian. The General’s wife was about more than just pink, though.
Her short bangs and buns hairdo was also widely copied. And though her hairstyle was outdated by the time she moved into the White House in 1953, she refused to change it as it held sentimental value. Despite this, her ever-coordinated accessories, clothes and hats helped her land on many best-dressed lists. Though she was always elegantly attired, her style included both high-and low-end items, reflecting her penny-pinching savvy.
She was the essence of femininity and the ideal of American womanhood in the 1950s, determined to project a youthful and stylish image despite being a grandmother in her fifties. American women loved her because they identified with her. Mamie was “one of them”–the woman next door. Her famous bangs, styled by Elizabeth Arden in Paris, completed what became the “Mamie Look,” a modified version of the revolutionary, postwar “New Look.” Mamie Eisenhower had a natural sense of style that she personalized with her well loved accessories: a pearl choker and button earrings, a charm bracelet, glittery pins, little fitted hats, and a mink stole or full-length fur coat. Throughout her life, Mamie cultivated a fascination with clothes and fashion, and appeared, consistently, on the “Best Dressed” lists during her White House years. One way to nearly guarantee Mamie Eisenhower’s attendance at any event was to hold a fashion show. (The Eisenhower Foundation)