14 Pictures That Prove Nancy Reagan Was the Original Lady in Red
Former first lady Nancy Reagan, who died Sunday at the age of 94, was beloved for her timeless grace and elegance—she was influential in every sense of the word, especially when it came to her inimitable style. Standing at 5-foot-4, Reagan may have been diminutive in size, but she more than made up for it with her great fashion presence and strong sartorial sensibility. Her favorite color was, after all, siren red.
"I always liked red. It's a picker-upper," she once said about her preference for the unapologetically bold hue. The unforgettable Adolfo suit that she wore to husband Ronald Reagan's swearing-in ceremony in 1981 was the first to launch an eight-year parade of exquisite gowns, lace dresses, and sophisticated skirt sets, each saturated in the fiery shade. But the "Reagan red" wasn't her only trademark that left a deep imprint in history (she was single-handedly responsible for making red the Republican color), her appreciation for designers, her no-frills approach to dressing, and her impeccably put-together outfits set the precedent of First Lady fashion for decades to come.
Scroll through to see the 13 other times the former first lady rocked the Reagan red.
For Ronald Reagan's swearing-in ceremony, Nancy lit up the stage in a red Adolfo number that would go down in history to be the first of eight years' worth of Reagan red dresses.
For a 1984 White House portrait, Nancy color-blocked like a pro, pitting her Reagan red skirt against a sweet blush ruffled blouse.
The First Lady dialed up the drama at the State Dinner with Mexican President Miguel de la Madrid and his wife Paloma Cordero in a red gown with sharp, exaggerated shoulders.
Ronald went in for a hug when he announced that he'll run for a second term as President. And Nancy, naturally, wore her signature color for the joyous occasion.
Ronald Reagan's 1984 trip to China marked the second time a U.S. president has traveled to the country. For such a defining moment, Nancy wore her signature red (and one of China's lucky colors—how apropos, right?) in a photo outside the Temple of Heaven.
The First Lady spiced up her usual LRD (Little Red Dress) uniform with one lined with a windowpane print and sprinkled with florals.
Nancy made a statement as she disembarked from Air Force One, landing in France in a bright red coat dress (those gold buttons!) that she styled with a matching clutch in her grip.
Of course Nancy would wear her signature red for a photo opp with Princess Diana.
Nancy chose a crimson red tie-neck dress for the second-term portrait with hubby President Ronald Reagan.
For a meet-and-greet with King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain, Nancy got into the spirit with a fit-and-flare number saturated in Spanish red.
Nancy crossed the pond to meet the Queen at Buckingham Palace, and she wore sleek red separates (that she belted to accentuate her teeny-tiny waist) with gold jewels for the royal occasion.
Nancy was a lady in red at a dinner to honor British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in a statement-making satin red ball gown with an equally statement-making necklace.
The former First Lady was snapped hand-in-hand with Ronald at the Reagan Library Dedication event in pretty red pleats. Striking!