First Lady Fashion: 12 of the most expensive first lady outfits over the years, including Jackie Kennedy and Melania Trump
The money surrounding her wardrobe is precisely what got Nancy Reagan into trouble.
Having been married to President Ronald Reagan, who enjoyed a lavish and glamorous career in Hollywood before his presidency from 1981 to 1989, since 1952 Reagan was known to be very image conscious.
As such, her extravagant outfits have come under scrutiny, in large part because during the eight years her husband was in power, she accepted around US$1 million (approximately $1.85 million now) of designer clothes that she hasn’t paid for.
Reportedly, White House lawyers suggested Reagan watch the price of her clothes, especially when she wasn’t paying for them herself. They said that gifts in the form of suits or dresses from Adolfo in the form of US$50,000 (around $223,000 now) should not appear in the annual presidential financial report, and they also advised him to refuse these gifts.
In 1978, the Ethics in Government Act made it mandatory for senior government officials to report gifts of any kind over $35 (about $50). Reagan tried to make her gifts less frowned upon by donating the clothes to museums, but it backfired and instead made her the subject of intense public criticism, largely because of the price of her clothes. high-end clothing.
Then, in October 1988, it was reported by The Washington Post that secretly, Reagan had borrowed several US$2,000 (about $4,000 now) Adolfo suits and US$22,000 (about $75,300 now) Galanos dresses without reporting them.
Tax experts said she could be found guilty of tax evasion on ‘taxable income’ – that’s what the dresses were considered to be because they couldn’t be classed as gifts due to their extreme price or their loans as the return status was uncertain – but the designers and Reagan clarified that the clothes had been given to him, on the understanding that they were “loans”.