By: Catherine Schuller, AICI, CIP
Michelle Obama has proven she can look divine in custom couture but making the everyday sartorial statement is a bit more challenging…or is it? More blog posts have been written on Michelle’s well-toned upper arms than you can shake the proverbial stick at, but it seems all you need do if you experience as much public scrutiny as our First Lady is dare to wear something more than once! On the eve of her husband’s second presidential election win, a time when first wear finery is in order, Michelle chose to go the opposite route and wear a Michael Kors’ dress she loves but has worn several times in public before. Remember when she wore the $168 Donna Ricco black and white number on The View? I am fairly close friends with Donna Ricco and she said that dress put her on the map and they could NOT keep it in stock. It’s the O Factor in action, only this time it isn’t Oprah it is Obama…Michelle Obama – wielding the influence. Imagine the perk that MK is getting today? Problem is, it’s out of print! Hey if you own that dress in your closet you could probably post it on eBay and double the price of what you paid!!! Good idea, huh?
But seriously, her wardrobe repeat choice says a lot about her well-thought out appeal and why everyone loves her complete sensitivity and alignment to what is the right thing to do. She truly shows that she “gets it” as she gladly shuffles off the royal coil and becomes EveryWoman to her throng of admirers. While Barack pontificated from the podium “You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours” Michelle personified the subtext of his theme as she showed her ability to get over herself. A fashion repeat is not a fashion faux pas, by any means in this case. She knew the press would be all over what she had on and she used it to make a strong statement of unity and identifying with us. Her daughters have become teens right before our very eyes, growing up without overdone scrutiny. They are super protective of those girls. That is amazing….and not easy to do with the paparazzi press on your heels at every turn. I marveled at how Malia is nearly as tall as Michelle now!! What is in that White House water?!! The photos of them four years ago stand in stark contrast to how Barack and Michelle have obviously allowed them to blossom into their own people. Back in election 2008, Michelle color-coordinated her Narciso Rodriguez sheath with her daughters as they all played on the black and red harmonic ensemble theme. This time Malia and Sasha were truly individuals indulging in the color blocking trend as they appeared next to their parents at the packed house in McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois. Sasha wore a printed green A-line skirt, a ladylike blouse with a bow and a cardigan (is that in the family genes to wear cardigans as the layering piece of choice?) and a few strands of layered colorful beaded necklaces and Malia did the same skirt/top silhouette choosing a plain black scooped neck tank paired with a bright blue skirt and a contrasting pink skinny belt. And none of those sky high stilettos which every young teen seems to be wearing! These girls look their age! I am just awash in appropriateness of message here….such a great use of clothes to parlay an underlying point. It may be carefully crafted but it shows the depth of this First Family (okay, Barack we will forgive your mom jeans foray) and how we are in for more wardrobe watch alerts as the next four years seem to say, “the best is yet to come.”