Jackie Kennedy: The Pink Suit
Even those who were not born when Kennedy was President are not immune to the horrific image of that perfect woman in that perfectly beautiful suit covered in blood
Jackie Kennedy’s pink suit is an iconic symbol of the horrible tragedy that occurred Nov. 22, 1963. The bloodstained boucle suit is still hidden away, more than 50 years after JFK’s assassination.
Jacqueline Kennedy’s wardrobe was chock full of enviable outfits, but perhaps none is more firmly engrained in our collective memory than the pink suit she wore the day her husband, the nation’s president, was killed.
Images of John F. Kennedy’s assassination and the events that followed have been seared into peoples collective memory: the convertible crossing in front of the grassy knoll, JFK Jr.’s funeral salute, Jackie’s pillbox hat and pink suit, stained with her husband’s blood.
While some historic artifacts from the event have been displayed in the years following President Kennedy’s death, Jackie’s iconic boucle ensemble with navy blue lapels still remains hidden from public eye, stored in a “custom made acid-free box” in the climate-controlled National Archives building in College Park, Maryland along with Oswald’s rifle, bullets and bullet fragments from the shooting, the original windshield of the limousine, and more than five million pages of assassination-related records.
A “line for line” replica of Chanel (as first lady, she needed to be seen in American-made clothing), the vibrant outfit was one of President Kennedy’s favourites. Jackie wore it several times before that tragic day in November, and President Kennedy thought she looked “smashing” in it.
He asked her to wear the suit in Dallas.
And after he was shot, she refused to take it off, not at the hospital and not on the flight back to Washington, even though it was caked with his blood.
“Let them see what they’ve done,” she said, refusing any suggestion that she clean herself up.