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

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

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/LIVING/homestyle/12/22/obama.urban.chic/art.pinto.jpg 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.

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Filed under: Michelle Obama