Smithsonian to Add First Lady Jill Biden’s Inaugural Attire to Its Historic First Ladies Collection

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The First Lady will present both of her 2021 inaugural ensembles, a historic first, to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History as part of The First Ladies Collection  
Media Only

Valeska Hilbig

(202) 633-3129 

(202) 309-2152

Melinda Machado

(202) 633-3129

National Museum of American History
Press Office

(202) 633-3129

Wednesday, January 25, 2023 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Media who wish to pre-set may do so from 6:30 to 7 a.m.
Media check-in will be from 10 to 10:30 a.m.
Doors will close at 10:30 a.m., no late entry


Flag Hall
National Museum of American History
(Use Mall entrance on Madison Drive between 12th and 14th streets.)


First Lady Jill Biden
Lonnie G. Bunch III, Secretary, Smithsonian Institution
Anthea Hartig, the Elizabeth MacMillan Director, National Museum of American History

Gabriela Hearst, Founder and Creative Director of Gabriela Hearst
Alexandra O’Neill, Founder and Designer of Markarian


In order to attend:
ALL MEDIA must RSVP to Valeska Hilbig at by noon, Tuesday, Jan. 24, for clearance. Advance registration is required.  

The National Museum of American History continues its more than 100-year-old tradition of displaying the inaugural attire of first ladies as part of its exhibitions. Both ensembles worn by First Lady Jill Biden on Inauguration Day will be featured. Dr. Biden’s attire will be formally added to The First Ladies Collection in a ceremony featuring remarks by the First Lady and the designers of her ensembles.

Dr. Biden’s featured inaugural attire will include the ocean blue wool tapered tweed dress, hand embellished with pearls and crystals in a delicate floral pattern, with its matching overcoat accented by a dark blue velvet collar and cuffs, designed by Alexandra O’Neill, Founder and Designer of Markarian, and worn to the presidential swearing-in ceremony Jan. 20, 2021. The First Lady will also present her evening inaugural attire, designed by Gabriela Hearst, Founder and Creative Director of Gabriela Hearst, which included an ivory silk wool cady dress and an ivory double-breasted cashmere coat, with embroidery reflecting the federal flowers from every state and territory of the U.S. as a symbol of unity.

Also, marking the historic nature of the Inauguration, conducted in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Biden’s matching face mask for each ensemble will be on display for the collection. Following the dedication ceremony, Dr. Biden’s inaugural attire will then immediately be installed and available for the public to view beginning Thursday at 10 a.m. when the museum opens.  

The First Ladies Collection is one of the most popular attractions at the Smithsonian, exploring the important role of the First Lady and the ways spouses have individually shaped the position to make their own contributions to the presidential administrations and the nation. Dr. Biden’s ensembles will be presented at the center of the exhibition, which features 27 dresses, including those worn by Frances Cleveland, Lou Hoover, Jacqueline Kennedy, Laura Bush, Michelle Obama and Melania Trump, as well as more than 160 other objects of relevant historic significance.

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