December 22nd, 2008
10:08 AM ET
14 years ago

Michelle Obama's urban chic heads to D.C.

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Future first lady Michelle Obama with one of her favorite designers, Maria Pinto."] CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) - Michelle Obama turned the campaign trail into a runway this year, sporting eye-catching colors and feminine cuts that sent fashion bloggers buzzing.

As she coupled chic designer splurges with off-the-rack goodies from J. Crew, H&M, White House/Black Market and Target, fashion spectators say her ability to make a strong statement on a budget sends an important message during tough economic times.

Watch: Michelle Obama, First Lady fashion icon?

"Michelle Obama can't be too over the top; she has to be recession chic all the way," style expert Mary Alice Stephenson said. In a soured economy, the choices she made throughout the campaign show that "she gets it," Stephenson said.

And it's inspiring American women to emulate her style.

Full story

Filed under: Michelle Obama
soundoff (182 Responses)
  1. Noah

    I personally think her wardrobe is ridiculous. She wears flowered dresses that my mother wore in the 1980s. It is hilarious to me that the media goes ga-ga over what Mrs Obama is wearing and yet they wrote scathing articles on Cindy McCain's expensive clothes (she is a much better dresser than Obama) and Sarah Palin's "borrowed" clothes. The media has lost all credibility

    December 22, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  2. Pete

    Maybe I'm crazy, but she always looks likes she's wearing a potato sack, just in a different color.

    December 22, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  3. KJL

    It doesn't hurt that she's athletic and vivacious. A real beauty.

    December 22, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  4. vicki

    She is not only smart but gorgeous too.

    December 22, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  5. VAisforLovers

    It’s good to see that she shops at, and supports such a wide variety of retailers and designers. She has worn some dresses that I wouldn’t wear myself, but she’s also worn a lot of outfits that I see normal, everyday business women wearing. What’s important is that no matter what she has on, she wears it with confidence! And despite the rude remarks/comments from those that do not support the Obama’s, she still stays true to her own style. Good for her!

    December 22, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  6. Rose in Virginia

    She has the beautiful skin tone that can compliment any color... She's great! And NO noah.. her wardrobe isn't ridiculous... YOU ARE!!

    December 22, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  7. Mari

    The future First Lady is BEAUTIFUL! She is brilliant, articulate and a wonderful wife and mom!

    BRAVO MICHELLE! Don't even listen to the 'haters' they are jealous!

    December 22, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  8. obama-mama

    I love our incoming first lady. Gorgeous.

    December 22, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  9. Jamaica Nice

    An African American first lady....god bless America!

    December 22, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  10. Big Mama

    HA!! HA !! Pete and Noah the Attention Seekers, are upset because the first lady is not blonde and anorexic looking!!

    December 22, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  11. G.R.I.T.S. - Girl Raised in the South

    Noah – Cindy McCain deserved all the negative attention she got for her wardrobe. It was very Stepford Wives, first of all. Second, when the entire nation is hurting economically, it is pure idiocy to continue to wear designer clothing that costs more than most families make in an entire year. Just because you have it doens't mean you can't tone it down and be a little more sensible/sensitive. The only thing ridiculous is you, you have continually bashed the Obama family for all manner of imagined failures. The only one who lacks credibility is you.

    December 22, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  12. RealityKing

    What was that budget?

    Apparently America has to ask these days..

    December 22, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  13. Kevin in Ohio

    Fashion over Patriotism. This woman is not to be trusted, nor adored.

    December 22, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  14. Matt

    All matters of taste and fashion preferences aside, getting upset at wha3t Michelle Obama wears when you're the type of person who is probably also flipping through the pages of 15 different nonsense magazines chock full of celebrity pictures and's pretty silly. If Brangelina started running about in trash bag clothes and tying newspapers to their kids, you'd probably be first in line at the newstand and blabbering about how they have a such an impressive social and environmental conscience.

    December 22, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  15. Debby

    Who cares the country is going into a depression and we have to read about Michelle Obama's wardrobe and their vacation in Hawaii in a 9 million dollar home. You people who voted for this guy got snuckered.

    December 22, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  16. Margi

    Michelle is beautiful and brings her own style of grace to the White House.

    December 22, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  17. Womack Boston, MA

    I thought we were complaining about expensive wardrobes this time around. Oh that is just for Sarah Palin, OK, sorry.

    December 22, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  18. Dan, FL

    This is a big joke. For the first time in my life I am proud of my country. Can you believe it.

    December 22, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  19. WIlly Brown

    Don't be fooled by the media hype. June Cleaver she is not...

    December 22, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  20. Kay

    Mrs. Obama should just be herself. It is okay to go glamorous for very special occasions but otherwise she would be better off keeping things plain and simple. The economy being the way it is right now, if she does otherwise she will be severely criticized. Although, in this day and age, no matter what anyone does, there are people out there who will find something to complain about. Enjoy your family and being the First Lady, Mrs. Obama.

    December 22, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  21. naqib

    I wish I had a 4 million dollar budget
    But then again... I didn't get a 600,000 property discount from Tony Rezko... I had to pay for mine.

    December 22, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  22. Matt

    @ Big Mama

    Nor is she a pill-popper...and we know how them GOP boys love (i.e., need) their womenz to be drugged up docile and compliant.

    December 22, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  23. Linda from Prescott AZ

    to Noah: You are a hateful guy aren't you?

    Cindy McCain wears clothes that most women cannot afford; she also tries to dress to like a much younger woman than she is.
    Sarah has no sense of style, just spending other folks money.

    get a life and let those of us who appreciate our new first lady enjoy ourselves.

    December 22, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  24. Scott

    LOL!! okay if you say so.....

    December 22, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  25. cherrystrawberry

    Noah You are ridiculous....Flowered dresses were all the rage this past summer...hence if you dont know what you are talking about....then shut IT UP!

    December 22, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
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