Main Content

Something Old, Something New: Lynda Bird Johnson

Something Old, Something New: Eight First Daughters’ Fashionable White House Weddings highlights the glamorous weddings of eight women who took their vows at the White House over two centuries and how their bridal fashion reflects both the taste of each era and their own personal styles. This exhibit was curated by Jillian Staricka, the 2023 Digital Exhibits Intern and MA student in Costume Studies at New York University.

Lynda Bird Johnson

Married to Charles Robb on December 9, 1967

This table details the known items of Lynda Bird Johnson’s wedding ensemble. A wedding ensemble is comprised of all the garments and accessories worn by a bride on their wedding day. The wedding ensemble is part of the trousseau, a collection of garments, accessories, and personal items that a bride will take into their new marriage.

Over half a century after Eleanor Wilson’s White House wedding, Lynda Bird Johnson and Marine Captain Charles Spittal Robb wed on December 9, 1967, in the East Room. Lynda Bird was interested in fashion during her time in the White House. She even made the International Best Dressed List in 1967, and her wedding attested to that. Geoffrey Beene, 1964 and 1966 winner of the Coty American Fashion Critics’ Award, designed Lynda Bird’s gown and her bridesmaids’ gowns. The bride and designer exchanged multiple sketches before arriving at the final result: a white Abraham silk A-line paneled dress with delicate silk floss embroidery. Lynda Bird’s wedding dress and the red, medieval-inspired bridesmaid gowns paired beautifully with the white and red poinsettias, carnations, and evergreen branches adorned with sparkling lights that were a part of the White House decorations for the holiday season. Following the ceremony, the radiant young couple enjoyed the company of 500 of their friends and family, including celebrities and former White House bride Alice Roosevelt Longworth, who told Lynda Bird that she had “never seen a prettier wedding.” In between snapshots of the newlyweds and their bridal party, the press peppered the couple with questions in the Yellow Oval Room. Due to the interest in a fashion angle, reporters from Women’s Wear Daily and other mainstream publications like The Washington Post secured a spot in the press pool for the first time at a White House wedding.