D.C. Mondays: A Brief History of Presidents’ Inauguration Attire

Monday, August 12, 2024, 12-1 p.m. EDT
Mural depicting the inauguration of Andrew Jackson

Allyn Cox (1896-1982), "Chief Justice John Marshall Administering the Oath of Office to Andrew Jackson on the East Portico of the U.S. Capitol, Mar. 4, 1829" (detail), c. 1973. Architect of the Capitol photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.


Presidents make statements with their inauguration attire, from Washington choosing a brown, homespun suit over his military uniform to Eisenhower ditching a formal top hat. With all eyes watching as they are sworn into office, U.S. presidents signal their attitudes toward the presidency through what they wear — and capture a snapshot of American history. Fashion historian Summer Anne Lee will share images, artifacts and stories from notable moments in inauguration fashion.

About Summer Anne Lee

Summer Anne Lee is a Brooklyn-based fashion historian and adjunct professor teaching fashion history at Wagner College and the Fashion Institute of Technology. She holds a B.A. in communication and media and a M.A. in fashion and textile studies (history, theory and museum practice). Lee began researching the history of presidential dress in 2020 and launched the Instagram account @presidentialfashionhistory in 2023 as a repository for her findings and a platform to connect with others interested in her research.

How to Participate

This program will take place on Zoom. To participate, please register online, and we will email you a link and instructions for joining. Simply follow that link at the time the program starts (12 p.m. EDT / 9 a.m. PDT). When you register, you can also request to receive a reminder email one day before the program with the link included.

About the D.C. Mondays Series

Join authors, researchers and community members online for lively discussions about Washington, D.C.’s history, politics, culture and more. Browse upcoming programs

Virtual Event

Share This Event