Jackie Kennedy had a signature style and a timeless fashion sense. One of her most memorable outfits is one that she re-wore at her husband’s request—a pink Chanel suit. Jackie notably wore the striking suit and matching pillbox hat during her husband’s assassination on November 22, 1963.
The First Lady kept the blood-stained outfit on after the shooting. She didn’t change at the hospital nor on the flight back to D.C. “Let them see what they’ve done,” she said, refusing to clean off the blood. Jackie wanted to project an image and make a statement but was also processing the traumatic incident. Once she returned to Washington, Jackie finally changed after her husband’s casket went into the East Room. She misplaced her hat and gloves in the shuffle following the assassination. Jackie kept her still-bloody suit, accessories, and stockings in a bag, thanks to her maid. One of the rarely seen photos of Jackie is in this pristine suit earlier that same day.
You’ll need to wait quite a bit if you want to see the suit in person, rather than photographs. In 2003, years after Jackie’s death, her daughter Caroline signed a deed of gift, and the items went to the National Archives in College Park, Maryland. The one condition is that the suit is preserved, but not displayed to the public, until 2103, according to Worn on This Day. You won’t see the outfit in a museum soon as the family doesn’t want to, “in any way to dishonor the memory of the late President or cause unnecessary grief or suffering to members of his family.” Now that you know where and when you can see the suit, learn the still-unanswered questions about the JFK assassination.