Politics & Policy

Our Fashionable First Lady

Michele Obama wears fancier clothes than Ann Romney.

By now you’ve probably heard about the alleged scandal over Mrs. Ann Romney wearing a pretty Reed Krakoff blouse for which she allegedly paid $990.

Well, now. If we’re going to have wardrobe wars, let’s spread the outrage more widely. The very same designer of Ann Romney’s “out of touch” blouse just happens to be the designer of a $1,200 bag that Michelle Obama favors. Look at this image, not simply for the tote bag, but for the $2,990 Alaia jacket.

Of course no one had a problem when Michelle Obama wore $540 Lanvin sneakers to a soup kitchen.


Remember the inauguration dress Mrs. Obama wore? A beautiful crisp ivory embroidered tulle work of art, fit for a queen, or a first lady of the United States for her husband’s inaugural ball. We all expect a majestic sense of ceremony that comes with the evening event. Rightfully so, Mrs. Obama and the designer received all the great fanfare that comes with the selection.


However, in the days and months that followed, the newspapers quickly rushed to document the J. Crew sweater she wore on Jay Leno, or the trips to Target, which just happened to have a photographer inside the store ready for that perfect moment of Mrs. Obama wheeling her own Target cart.

But what about the $3,500 coats, the $2,800 dresses, the $900 cardigans, the $1,100 trousers worn to walk the dog, etc.?

Let’s look at some of the evidence. On a trip to Prague, Michelle Obama wore a $700 Moschino white cotton blouse.

What about the yellow Jason Wu simple shift dress for $2,000 as she arrived in Italy?


Here’s a large selection of Maria Pinto dresses, also not for the faint-hearted. Celebrities like Oprah and Brooke Shields chose her designs for evening events. With prices ranging upwards of $5,000, they remained largely limited to Chicago’s elite, Michelle Obama included.

A simple black and white dot dress by Jason Wu, costing $2,000, was also purchased by Mrs. Obama for her trip to Moscow.

You can’t miss this gorgeous Thakoon watercolor-printed dress Mrs. Obama wore to a Cinco De Mayo celebration in Washington D.C. Neither could the good folks at American Express, since Thakoon dresses are usually between $1,000 and $2,000.

Viewing from her box at the State of the Union address, Mrs. Obama donned this $3,000+ Barbara Tfank royal blue sheath dress.

When, on rare occasions, Mrs. Obama is challenged on her wardrobe choice, she strikes back in a way Ann Romney could never do. Telling Good Morning America that she will continue to dress in the clothes that make her comfortable — regardless of the label — she said: “Look, women, wear what you love. That’s all I can say. That’s my motto. I wear what I like because . . . I gotta be in the dress, so . . .”

Fair enough. But I say what is good for our current first lady is good for our next one.

— Bradley Scott is a winner of the Fashion Group International Rising Star Award and a New York native. His website is http://www.bradleyscott.com.


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