As the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama is raising our awareness of the need for physical activity, the needs of military families, and the value of growing our own vegetables. She has balanced the public life that comes with being married to the President with the private life of being a mother to their two daughters. For Michelle, there is no escaping the judgement of the fashion police; every outfit she wears is scrutinized in print and on the internet. Donning several different looks since her husband first announced his intention to run for President of the United States, Michelle joins the ranks of style icons who will be long remembered when she claims the “classic” look as her own. As an added bonus, she has been able to merge the two worlds of designer-labels and High Street finds in the spirit of “reaching across the aisle” that any politician would admire.
President and Mrs. Obama hosting a White House military dinner held in honor of Iraq war veterans
Michelle looks nothing short of elegant in her blue sleeveless Jason Wu gown. By foregoing a statement necklace and accessorizing with earrings by Suzanna Dai, she draws attention to her face without ever taking away from the gown.
Official White House Portrait
For her official White House portrait, Michelle took a sleeveless Michael Kors dress and elevated it to stunning Little Black Dress status by simply adding a double strand of pearls that hits perfectly at the neckline. The pearl earrings add just the right amount of “pop” around her face by complimenting the necklace without competing for attention.
Looking happy and relaxed, Michelle appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno wearing a mint green skirt by J. Crew, a gold-flecked sweater by Michael Kors and a pair of low, pointed-toe heels. She added a bejeweled gold belt that tied in beautifully with her sweater. Note: this is the same skirt she wore in 2009 when she visited 10 Downing Street (see picture below). As a modern classic woman, Michelle knows how to mix-and-match pieces. not only getting more mileage out of her wardrobe, but achieving two totally different looks.
Source: The Look on Today
Sarah Brown, wife of Gordon Brown, and Michelle Obama on Apr. 1, 2009, in London, England.
Source: Jack & Jill Politics
Simple and elegant describe the black and white checked dress worn by Michelle when she and the President returned to the White House after their trip to Copenhagen, Denmark.
Source: Michelle Pictures
Michelle greeting visitors to the White House.
She adds a pop of color to the black and white DVF wrap dress by wearing classic red closed-toe pumps.
President and Mrs. Barack Obama Michelle Obama (wearing Marchesa) at the White House for a State Dinner held in honor of British Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha.
While promoting healthy eating in California, Michelle color-blocks with classic pieces.
A winning combination for a winning night. As her husband gave his victory speech after winning re-election for his second term, Michelle graced the stage in a recycled dress. She first wore the Michael Kors’ dress to a White House party in December 2009 and then again for the Medal of Honor presentation ceremony in November 2010. On election night, she added a cropped black sweater and heels and looked as elegant as ever.
Fashion Lessons Learned from Michelle Obama
1. Experiment with different looks until you find the one that is yours.
2. When accessorizing an outfit, consider where you want the viewer’s eye drawn.
(For example, if you want to draw attention to the dress, forgo a necklace and wear only earrings and bracelets; if the dress is to be a backdrop for a statement necklace, wear a solid-colored dress with simple lines.)
3. Buy classic pieces. They can be worn years later and not look dated.
4. Recycle select pieces by adding different accessories to create a new look.
5. Mix-and-match not only individual garment pieces, but high-end and mass-retail designers. Pick the best of both worlds and bring them together.
6. It is totally acceptable to recycle a dress for major events.
For more on the style of Michelle: “The Candidates’ Wives (Part II) — Michelle Obama“