How Barbara Bush's pearls became her trademark look

Remembering the former first lady

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

HOUSTON – It didn't matter if Barbara Bush were out supporting a cause near to her heart, like literacy, or attending the inauguration of her son -- one thing was always constant: her trademark pearls.

While Bush's style was once described as "practical," the first lady turned to fashion designer Arnold Scassi to create much of her signature wardrobe. Of course, it wouldn't be complete without her signature strand of faux pearls. 

So why did three strands of faux pearls become the signature look for the beloved first lady?

When Bush turned 90 in 2015, she sat down for an interview with granddaughter Jenna Bush Hager where she explained the real reason behind the pearls. 

“The pearls are to cover the wrinkles, which they no longer do,” said Bush to her granddaughter. “You can’t wear pearls all over your face." 

Known to her family as "the Enforcer," Bush also revealed to her granddaughter that the reason she kept her signature white hair was that she wanted to do things like going swimming, and the chlorine from pools would turn her hair wacky colors. "I just decided to go white," she said. 

You can watch the full 2015 interview with Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Bush below. 



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