Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, wife of President John F. Kennedy, was one of the most stylish first ladies of all time!
Even today, more than 50 years after she became first lady, she’s remembered as an icon of style and grace.
Known to her many admirers as “Jackie O,” her signature early-’60s style brought the viewing public many a chic sheath dress and pillbox hat.
Still, almost nobody knows about the very specific detail that Jackie requested in all of her footwear.
Now, a former nanny and assistant is shedding new light on the style icon’s wardrobe in a recently released memoir called Jackie’s Girl: My Life with the Kennedy Family.
Written by Kathy McKeon, a household employee of Jackie’s in the years following JFK’s tragic assassination, the book details what it was like to live with the grieving family.
However, many passages are devoted to Jackie’s famed wardrobe and footwear.
Scroll through below to learn more about Jackie O, and the meticulous details she required in all of her shoes.
[H/T: Country Living]
Jacqueline Bouvier became Jacqueline Kennedy in 1953, marrying John F. Kennedy shortly after he was elected senator of Massachusetts.
The dynamic duo quickly became a well-known Washington, D.C. power couple.
In 1960, JFK ran for president and won, backed along the campaign trail by his glamorous wife.
Jackie was known for her exquisite personal style, marking her as one of the most fashion-forward first ladies of all time.
She popularized several iconic looks, frequently wearing tailored suits, sheath dresses, head scarves, and chic pillbox hats.
Certain oversized, mod sunglasses are still called Jackie O sunglasses!
In 1963, President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. His widow took the children and largely retreated from public life for a number of years.
During that time, the family returned to their home in New York City, where Jackie employed Kathy McKeon as a household assistant and nanny.
Now, Kathy has come forward with a new book, Jackie’s Girl, which details her life with the family during those lost years.
Many passages in her book focus on Jackie’s notorious wardrobe.
One section reads:
The bedroom walk-in closet was jam-packed with Madam’s everyday clothing, all arranged according to color.
I had never seen such a dazzling selection of shoes! London-look boots, pumps in every color, spotless sneakers for morning jogs around the reservoir.
However, according to a People Magazine special on the forthcoming memoir, the most surprising detail about Jackie’s wardrobe has to do with what she hid inside her shoes.
Kathy writes: “More intriguing to me was the quarter-inch lift affixed to one heel on each pair of shoes, apparently meant to compensate for one leg being slightly shorter than the other. No one would have ever guessed.”
Pictured above are a pair of Jackie’s ballet flats, auctioned off in 2003.
While it’s not visible in the picture, they more than likely contained the tiny lift McKeon describes.
For most of Jackie’s admirers, the real revelation here isn’t that she had one slightly shorter leg.
Rather, it’s the revelation that Jackie was a perfectionist, working hard to get every little detail of her appearance just so.
She was a woman who lived virtually her whole life in the public eye, both during her time as first lady and after she remarried to Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis.
In many ways, Jackie O was her generation’s Kate Middleton, a paragon of effortless, stylish perfection.
Knowing that Jackie took the time to make sure that every single pair of shoes was fitted with an itty-bitty quarter-inch lift makes her, well, a little bit more human to all of us who admire her!
If you’ve always loved Jackie’s elegance and timeless style, be sure to SHARE this fascinating tidbit into the life of one of America’s most glamorous first ladies!