If political thrillers like The West Wing and Scandal have taught us anything, it’s that first ladies play an integral role in any presidency. Originally established to formally serve the purpose of "hostess" in the mid-1800s, the first lady has now developed into a significant political role, one that has grown to demand her own individual agenda, goals and accordingly, as Lady Bird Johnson established in 1963, her own chief of staff.
From black-tie galas to casual vacation wear, the first lady’s wardrobe is constantly in the spotlight—as are her policies, more importantly. With an opportunity to make a mass sartorial statement, each of our nation’s first ladies has trademarked her husband’s presidency with a signature style all her own during her time in office.
To celebrate Presidents’ Day, we’ve compiled a slideshow of the seven most stylish first ladies from the last 50 years. Regardless your political leanings, there’s no denying each and every one of these women has cemented her legacy in both the White House and fashion industry.