Saturday, January 26, 2013

First Lady of Style - Michelle Obama

A lot of you know I have a love affair with fashion. I think it began when I was a little girl and my mom used to make my clothes. That talented woman could whip up the cutest dress and matching purse for me out of a bag of scrap cloth. Many times she didn't use patterns. She taught me how to make clothes for my dolls. And from that I learned to design. To put the ideas in my mind into an outfit for Barbie. Let me tell you, my dolls were the best dressed in the neighborhood and the envy of my female classmates.
Vintage Singer Sewing Machine
A younger me entertained the idea to perhaps work in the fashion arena. Maybe a fashion reporter, maybe the actual designer. I even started my college education in a retail major but soon realized my dream was going to be just that, a pipedream. I switched up and went for something practical, business administration with a minor in law. Yah. Booooring, right?  Anyhoo, over the years I've kept my ear to the fashion world. I consumed beauty mags, oohed and ahhed over all the beautiful creations that came out of New York fashion week, and plopped myself in front of the tv every time there was anything on about the fashion world (documentaries, reality shows, etc.).

Once in a while a style icon strikes a chord with me and I get this urge to emulate her in my wardrobe. (And secretly harbor a desire to design for her!)  
ARMS: Michelle ObamaNewsflash: I'm head over heels for Michelle Obama and her style. Not since Jackie Kennedy has a first lady taken the fashion world by storm. Her style choices are spot on for her body, her role as the President's wife, and as a role model for her daughters and the American woman. Best of all: she owns the style, it doesn't own her. She doesn't ever look like she's wearing an outfit for the sake of making a statement or as a means to make the front cover of the latest Vogue magazine. Mrs. Obama always looks comfortable with what she's wearing. And that comes through in every photo I've ever seen of her.

I love that she mixes specialty store clothing (i.e. J. Crew) and department store accessories (i.e. Target) with designer pieces and shoes. And it all works! It's a great example to set. Sure, we expect our first lady to be impeccably dressed and are not surprised to see her wear current trends from the top fashion house designers. But in these economically trying times its refreshing and appropriate for our first lady to set the example of wearing items that are budget friendly for the average modern woman.

I also like the way she promotes "Made (and designed) in America" by making it a point to shy away from international designers by wearing items from American couturiers. Especially up and coming designers. Like Jason Wu. Five years ago he was a relatively unknown designer, working hard at his craft. Then lightning struck. In 2009, Michelle Obama wore a beautiful white gown custom made by Jason Wu to a presidential inaugural ball and a star was born. Suddenly everyone wanted to know all about him. To see more of his work. Before long, his designs were featured at Target where the average jane could purchase one of his pieces and feel as special and look as grand as the first lady.
 Photo Credit - Cliff1066 (Flickr)

Again in 2013, Mrs. Obama chose a Jason Wu design to wear to another inaugural ball. It was a flowing creation of red chiffon and velvet, and diamonds. Gorgeous!! And again, Mrs. Obama was a breathtaking vision as she was twirled around the dance floor by a smiling, very proud and admiring husband.

Now I'm not as tall or as young as Mrs. Obama. Nor do I have that enviously toned body and arms. So I have no illusions that if I wear the items from J. Crew or Target that I'll look anywhere near as chic as she does. But gosh darn it, I can sure try! Okay, now don't even get me started on her new hair's perfect for her. (And maybe for me too; will have to take that up with my hairdresser at my next appointment....)

So tell me, are you a fashionista? If so, who are your style icons?


  1. Learning by sewing for dolls is good education in both design and wardrobe economy in later life. I knew a mother of three girls who would window shop with a note pad, buy some material,
    and the girls dressed like a store window display.

    1. How clever of that mother and her girls! My mom could look at an outfit in a picture and recreate it without a pattern. She had an amazing talent. Me, not so much.
      But I think sewing/designing for my dolls gave me a good sense in how to dress myself in a way that's right for me.
      Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting!

  2. I love her too. She has a distinct style but I hadn't noticed that she sticks to American designers, that's fantastic!

    1. Glad to hear you're a fellow admirer of the first lady's style! And I totally agree that its great that she sticks to American designers. Buy USA!

    2. Oh, and thanks for visiting!! and commenting!

  3. Wow! My Mom sewed really well, too, and she has an old Singer much like the one in your photo. Or she HAD one. My daughter has it now.

    1. My mom used an old singer like the one in the picture but hers was set in a cabinet (she could swing the machine down into the cabinet and close it up when not in use). She never used anything more modern. Not sure where that machine is now, tho. Amazing that such an old machine produced such great clothing.

    2. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!


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