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

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

Future first lady Michelle Obama with one of her favorite designers, Maria Pinto.

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. DebM, Allentown, PA

    Ya know, it's going to be fun watching all these Obama haters throw apoplectic fits for the next 8 years. I'm just going to sit back and enjoy the show.

    December 22, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  2. susan, GB MI

    I like the fact that she can wear a dress from White House/Black market, and some other reasonable clothing, and go on the View, and think she looks appropriate.

    Why does money have to equal fashion sense? Many of us have some items that are expensive ( as I am on my feet all day, it is shoes, and for others it is other items), and also items that are timeless and not expensive.

    She always looks put together, and is always herself when she dresses,and that is what it is really all about.

    December 22, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  3. Marie banderas

    Noah, guess YOU dont know, fashions for women closely follow what First Lady wears, and that sets trend for all the rest of us women of any age..I personally ( at 68 years of age) will be very glad to see ( finally) some pretty and comfortable clothes come in to choose from ! I am very tired of clothing I refuse to wear, and so looking forward to having better choices now..Yes, even senior women want decent, attractive clothing to wear..THANK GOD, we now ( for at least 8 years) have a much better role model for designers to give us prettier clothing !!! Hopefully, shoes TOO..
    Way to go, Michelle, I sure thank you !!!!

    December 22, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  4. Huh????

    I just do not get it. I do not feel she is in the least attractive. She seemed mean spirited during the campaign. I am just happy that we will probably not have to see the First Lady too much. Oh well, you know what they say...beauty is in the eye of the beholder.... If others think she is attractive, they are entitled to their opinions, as I am entitled to mine.

    December 22, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  5. Ian Minneapolis, MN

    Ok wow, If your bashing Obama for going on vacation, Bush has spent over 2 years of his time in office on vacation in texas. That is a fact. When bush was first elected he planned to spend every weekend at his ranch in texas. So before you start bashing Obama, just remember Bush did the same thing except ten times worse. He went vacation as soon as he was elected and immedietly after 9/11

    December 22, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  6. obama-mama

    Kevin in Ohio: I adore my first lady.....

    December 22, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  7. RealityKing

    Funny how progressives NEED Michelle to be completely different than her white counterparts..

    December 22, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  8. obama-mama

    @ Willy Brown: You're right. She's not June Cleaver...SHE IS REAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 22, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  9. anonymous

    I don't think you should compare it to Palin's wardrobe since Michelle's wardrobe doesn't cost anything near $150,000, don't criticize her for being a fashion icon, which wasn't her decision

    December 22, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  10. obama-mama

    Naquib where is your birth certificate.

    December 22, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  11. billy-bayou

    Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. I see no beayty in that photo, all i see is one negro woman and one caucasian woman wearing loose fitting, slightly revealing clothing in an effort to advertise thier endowments. The photo suggeste something you might see late at night in certain sections of Las Vegas.

    December 22, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  12. Rus

    i can't believe some ignorant people are still talking about her comment. Her great grandfather was a slave owned by white piece. Wall Street Journal did a huge report on it. Most white people ripped the benfit of slavery and slaved based economy for last hundred years. You won't believe what prompted her to made that because you never had it hard like her ancestors.

    December 22, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  13. naqib

    For the first time in my adult life... I'm proud to shop at Target

    I know... couldn't resist... besides... I love Target!... hate Walmart.. but do love Target

    December 22, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  14. Everything in Moderation

    I suggest she select a new favorite designer. The dress she has on in the photo above is anything but flattering.

    December 22, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  15. Rachel

    The difference between Cindy McCain and Michelle is Cindy is and will always be a snob. Sarah Palin went nuts on her free ride and bought stuff she was not acustomed to wearing. I think Michelle did just fine. Now days everything goes. At least she didn't come out in jeans and a Tee! None of her clothes looked like Potatoe Sacks nor did they look like flour sacks and I know all about them. I was a depression kid and had a few flour sack dresses with panites to match. We were always clean and proud we had something new to wear. Get over the high fashion trend that Hollywood introduced and get into the real world. Michelle is a beautiful woman and has more to offer than a "stylish" wardrobe.

    December 22, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  16. carlo

    To billy bayou:

    I'm also from the bayou and I am quite accustomed to "your" type. Straight hillbilly hick. Good day.

    December 22, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  17. Everything in Moderation

    Debby – I think the terms are hoodwinked and bamboozled, not snuckered.

    December 22, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  18. Fenarkleman

    Yes, Pete, you are crazy.

    Michelle Obama rocks! And Cheney WAS America's F-Bomb Czar. Now he's outta there! Yes!

    December 22, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  19. rachel

    Not that big of fan of her, but like the dress she has on in the picture.

    December 22, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  20. Mickie

    To all "Noah"s – if Michelle spent the money on designer clothes that Cindy McCain spent, you would be outraged by that - just another bigot. I don't see first lady Bush cutting back on wardrobe expense either. Michelle could wear jeans and I wouldn't care, because it's the person who counts and she is smart, vivacious and sincere. (By the way, I'm white, 64, and blue collar female from PA.)

    December 22, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  21. obama-mama

    @Huh????? – I wish I could see a photo of you and tell you what this beholder thinks. I know for sure you're ugly on the inside. Jealous!

    December 22, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  22. Matt

    @ RealityKing

    Indeed we NEED her to be different than people like Cindy McCain and the Palinbot. That's a good thing. Neither of those two buffoons could keep up with Michelle in a conversation anyway. As it is, I'm suprised Cindy McCain can hold her head up under the weight of all that eye make-up. Palin probably finds it pretty easy though since her head is entirely empty. Funny how the GOPers out there NEED for their women to be stereotypical as an affirmation of their male domination.

    December 22, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  23. Laura, Boston

    I think Michellle Obama will look good in just about anything. However, I wouldn't even compare her with Jackie Kennedy. Jackie was quite the lady. Adorned with gloves and high quality items. Michelle is more down to earth and I mean that in a good way. She is comfortable with J Crew fashions as well as designer fashions whereas Jackie always looked like she was out of the cover of Vogue Magazine. Never a hair out of place. Jackie would not have been seen in jeans and a baseball cap as Michelle has (again not bad mouthing Michelle).

    Cindy McCain dressed quite beautifully. The stepford comment is way off base. She is a woman in her late 50's and I think she looked great.

    We need to stop downing women for their attire period!

    December 22, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  24. carol

    Kevin in Ohio December 22nd, 2008 10:34 am ET

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

    What a totally ignorant comment, not to be trusted or adored and that is why???
    What a pity we still have so many stupid fools out there, time to grow up and get a life!!!!

    December 22, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  25. Robert

    I'm really going to enjoy these next 8yrs watching the Obama haters spill their jealously and hate. Man! life is going to be good.

    December 22, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
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