A Style Icon: Remembering Nancy Reagan

"And that's the style she brought to The White House."

Nancy Reagan, 94, passed away on Sunday — but her memory will live on forever. 

Among her notable accomplishments, she was a feminist, a political advisor, an actress, and an Alzheimer's research advocate to promote public awareness. In 2002, she was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her work "in helping POWs [prisoners of war] and veterans, as well as advocating for The Fosters Grandparents Program and her anti-drug program," Bustle reports

And while performing all these wonderful deeds, Reagan was always poised in uniquely elegant attire. 

Being a fashion icon was yet another one of Reagan's accomplishments, and one that she prided herself on. Today.com explains she was "a first lady known for bringing a sense of style to the White House that the U.S. hadn't seen since Jackie Kennedy." 

Scroll through photos of the first lady and you'll see a collection of trendy styles — some taking a prominent role in the fashion world today, like high collars and bows.

"She set the tone immediately at the inauguration when she wore [that long gown] with the elbow length gloves, which was so elegant," journalist Tina Brown says in an interview with Today. "Traditional, but with a California twist. And that's the style she brought to The White House."  

Moreover, Reagan was known for sporting "Reagan Red" — from red suits, to dresses, blouses, and hats.

In 2009, the former first lady wore an all-red suit as she made her way throughout her once-home with President Barack Obama — a beautifully simple choice.

"She never went to the extreme," James Galanos, one of her favorite designers, told W Magazine in 2007. "Nancy's daytime clothes were very clean and classic, what I call very good American style, the shirtwaist dresses and wonderful Adolfo suits. These clothes were perfect for her lifestyle, and she knew exactly what she was doing."

Wikipedia / Reagan Library, US National Archives
Wikipedia / Reagan Library, US National Archives

In 2007, Reagan's fashions were showcased in an exhibit entitled "A First Lady's Style," featuring 80 pieces from her personal wardrobe collection.

Photos from the event show mannequins dressed in her formal wear, including a golden gown, an elegant red, belted dress, and pieces complete with floral details. 

It's hard to say just which one of the icon's looks are our favorite: a casual all-American look? Her effortlessly elegant gowns? Her suited professional-wear? Perhaps that's what makes an icon an icon.

Continue below for more photos:

Flickr / Levan Ramishvili
Flickr / Levan Ramishvili

(H/T: Today)