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. HouseDiva

    This is why SELF LOATHING leads to racism...you cant have it; therefore, you HATE it. you don't understand it; therefore you HATE IT 😉

    Michelle is beautiful!

    December 22, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  2. Observer

    To Boston Irish:

    Your name implies that you are not so proud to be an American...

    December 22, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  3. Left&Left

    A tall, elegant, beautifully conditioned, intelligent ,successful black woman....I don't blame you pencil penised losers for being afraid.

    "Just let that hate come out"
    Clayton Bigsby

    December 22, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  4. Sensible Cape Coral FL

    A beautiful dress does not always photograph as beautiful on TV. Solid colors are best as prints or designs are too distracting.

    December 22, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  5. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    Michelle will do us all proud as First Lady. Her grace and natural beauty will serve her well in her new role.

    December 22, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  6. Once you vote Black

    This designer has her work cut out for her. Michelle has lumps in places that only a soul sister can have lumps. She is big, lanky, and wide. Her arms reach her knees, and her dresses tend to be low in the front and high in the back. How do you put a ribbon on something like that? Has anyone else noticed she looks a lot like Aunt Esther from Sanford and Son?

    December 22, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  7. Noah

    This is hilarious. Who knew how much venom I could get from the loony left for simply making a set of observations. Hey lunies, you do realize that Obama is currently vacationing in Hawaii in a 9 million dollar mansion right? Get over yourselves. You are the biggest hypocrites

    December 22, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  8. AJ

    Given the Obama's hatred of gay people, Michelle will need to find a straight designer. Maybe she can find someone in Warren's church to sew her frocks!

    December 22, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  9. karen

    She will make us proud. A mother, daughter, wife, attorney and without the huge ego.

    December 22, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  10. Susan in SC

    To Womack Boston, MA

    The BIG difference here is that the Obama's purchased Michelle's clothing & accessories, not the Democratic party, not the transition team, not the Obama campaign. Sarah Palin did not have the sense of style or the means to purchase her $200,000 wardrobe. Michelle Obama's wardrobe was much, much less costly!!

    December 22, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  11. Elizabeth

    Noah,
    Your mom must be one elegant lady, Michelle is in good company.

    For the rest of people who are just plain mean-spirited, its Christmas. If you don't have anything good to say, please don't say anything.

    December 22, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  12. Pete

    Big Mama,

    She's a nice enough looking lady, but she wears her clothes like a potato sack. There is nothing fashionable about her, as Forrest said, Kmart sucks.

    December 22, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  13. yellow dog democrat

    Boston Irish....I'm afraid your ignorance is showing again!

    Michelle is like everyone else – sometimes we pick the right outfit sometimes we don't.....It's probably a good thing that we "all" don't have the camera and public opinion pointed at us 24/7 – we would probably fall on our faces a time or two also.....such much for the human race....we are all have short comings – even you "Boston Irish". Even me "yellow dog democrat" but thats a story for another time.

    December 22, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  14. Oh the Drama

    It seems that we still have some people pretty ticked off about the election outcome.... Sorry Losers the non racist have spoken get over it. Dang you people go on and on and on and on. So freaking what who cares what you think go start your own secret organization if you want Because the KKK is bankrupt. say it with me " My name is... and I am a Racist.

    December 22, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  15. WELCOME TO THE OBAMA SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

    WAKE ME UP IN 4 YEARS WHEN THIS NIGHTMARE IS OVER!!!!!!!!

    December 22, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  16. roy

    Funny CNN, during the campaign all we heard about was PALIN's clothes! I guess since those clothes got returned you have to find someone else for the 'political fashion spotlight'.
    Hopefully Michelle will ignore this and do what she has been doing all year...regardless of what clothes she wears.
    I am waiting for the 'CNN Correspondents Fashion Show' where we can watch Jack Cafferty, Campbell Brown, and Lou Dobbs strut THEIR stuff on the runway...now THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT! 🙂

    December 22, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  17. Gail

    you people do know that in this country, people are wondering how they are going to buy groceries next week, or pay the next utility bill. All this fuss about clothing? Surely, we all have something better to do with our time...

    December 22, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  18. Cindy

    Michelle Obama is so tall... she's long and lanky, but she's got a big.. well, ya know what I mean. But it's ok, cause, so does Jlo...

    Bless the woman who is married to a spouse in the spotlight... who doesn't have a perfect model body. I think Michelle is couragous and beautiful, and she's going to be a fantastic First Lady.

    December 22, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  19. obama-mama

    Boston Irish – Nobody gives a rat's behind how you feel. The black and red dress she wore on the night he won the election looked fine hater.

    December 22, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  20. Joyous

    Don't you people have anything to do. I personally hope Michelle does not change a bit.

    If half of you had accomplished as much as she has in her life, you wouldn't have half the time to be sitting on your rear ends hurling insults at someone who is busy living her life.

    December 22, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  21. phyllis

    WATCH THE CHANGE ONCE SHE GETS INTO THE IVORY TOWER....THERE IS NO WAY SHE WILL DRESS THE WAY SHE DOES NOW..AND PLEASE STOP COMPARING HER TO JACKIE KENNEDY, SHE IS NOTHING LIKE HER..HER ELITEST AND SMUG ATTITUDE WILL BECOME APPARENT

    December 22, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  22. billy-bayou

    Dan, Tx:

    "If you can't say something nice"...... The obama family may be setting an example you would follow. I don't need them setting an example for me or my family. We don't hang with the likes of Rashid Khalidi, Rev. Wright, Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dorn,Tony Rezko and God only knows who else.

    December 22, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  23. Barb

    I believe that Michelle is going to do things her way and be her own self independent woman. I admire how she has worked her way up the social ladder BUT wish someone would take both she and Oprah to a more fashionalbe store for their clothing.

    I am 78 years old and I really do not care to see the shape of someone's rear end. Why do skirts and dresses have to be tucked in at the waist line and then under the behind? It turns me on just as much as the pants the young men wear with the crotch down to the knees and the waist just above the crack of their fanny.

    Please show a little more dignity and not show off the fanny.

    December 22, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  24. Susie

    This "dress" Michelle Obama is wearing in the photo with Maria Pinto is a disgrace! Since when did women's breast become a "centerpiece" for the entire world to see? I would hope she will read some books on etiquette and dress BEFORE representing the people of the United States as first lady! I find this dress very offensive! Please cover yourself some and leave something to one's imagination!!

    December 22, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  25. Proud to be an American

    I'm just glad Michelle is not getting any fashion advice from Laura Bush who seems to have borrowed all of her clothes from her mother–in-law. I agree, the red & black dress was not becoming, but come one ladies, which one of us has not made a fashion mistake in our lifetimes.

    To Helen in VT...if you think Mrs. Obama needs a haircut, then I would venture to guess you may need a makeover as well. I don't understand all of these personal attacks on Mrs. Obama. Disagree with her husband's politics all you want, but that should have no bearing on her. Your anger would be put to better use by expending that energy doing something positive in your community.

    God Bless America and help and strengthen the Obamas as they face the daunting challenge of trying to serve and unite this nation.

    December 22, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
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