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The Iconic Style of Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy

The Iconic Style of Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy

When it comes to timeless 90’s style icons, Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy is at the top of that list. Her style represents the best of the 90’s and really some of the best of the 20th century.  I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1998 and Carolyn was the “It” girl. I was moving to Boston to work in investment and needed to transition my wardrobe from a southern college girl to a Boston investment woman.  I poured over every magazine I could get my hands on (pre social media days) and tore out pictures to keep when I went shopping. Perhaps Jackie, Grace or Audrey did it first — but when I was getting out of university it was Carolyn that I tried to emulate.

Neutral colors and timeless cuts never go out of style

Black, white and browns formed the basis of Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy’s wardrobe. A neutral color palate and timeless cuts defined her style. But for the graffiti on the streets of New York, one would be hard pressed to identify whether the street photos of her were from 1996 or 2016 based on her clothing.  I keep the color options at Senza Tempo simple and to the basics, because it’s what people want and need in their wardrobes.

Clean lines and sharp tailoring

The photo of she and John outside their loft in her camel pencil skirt, a black sweater and boots.  This look remains one of my favorite to this day. It’s so streamlined and clean. I love our Frances and Sophia with this pair of red knee high boots

Subtle details make all the difference

Rather than make a statement with color or wild accessories, Carolyn often chose items with subtle design details like the ruffles around the bottom of her ball skirt, or an interesting neckline.  This is the basis of so much of what I do at Senza Tempo from the contrast linings to the sculptured necklines of the Jackie dress and Audrey tops.

The items are simple and timeless, but these small details make them feel special and elevated.