Frances Folsom Cleveland, 1886-1889 and 1893-1897

Frances Cleveland’s Skirt and Bodices
Gifts of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Cleveland and the Heirs of the Estates of Richard F. and Jessie B. Cleveland

The original floral chine skirt and peach velvet bodice were probably made around 1895 by the House of Doucet of Paris. The floral bodice was created later from fabric taken out of the skirt. Baltimore dressmaker Lottie M. Barton made the green velvet bodice.

When Frances Folsom married President Grover Cleveland in a White House wedding in 1886, she became an instant fashion icon. Women copied her hairstyle and dresses. Her influence was so great that a false story claiming the first lady was abandoning dresses with bustles hastened the demise of the twenty-year fashion staple.

Courtesy of Library of Congress