So, there was all sorts of buzz and speculation yesterday regarding what and whom Michelle Obama would wear to the Inauguration ceremony, the luncheon, and all the way through to the evening’s Inaugural Ball. There were two looks that I totally loved…..
The first is this fabulous navy blue Thom Browne coat, inspired by men’s neckties (according to Browne.) I adore the cut of this coat, the patterned material, and the gorgeous tailoring. According to CNN, she mixed “high and low” fashion by wearing J. Crew gloves and embellished belt.
Um, hate to tell you CNN, but for some of us, J. Crew ain’t necessarily within our regular fashion budgets. I’d hardly call it “low” fashion. Personally, I’d reserve that comment for Wal-Mart or some other lowbrow cheap, un-chic, mass market retailers. “Low fashion” aside, it’s still a great fashion turn to match this navy patterned coat with purple gloves (purple is turning into one of my favorite go-to colors.)
The CNN piece though sums up Michelle Obama’s role as a fashion and style icon, and how we women feel about her:
“As a style icon, she has the ability to inspire the public in an accessible way that one-wear red carpet fashion doesn’t come close to approximating.”
We’re not necessarily going to rush out and buy Thom Browne, because we can’t afford it, but the cut is classic and if we really and truly wanted something like it, we’d learn to sew and make it for ourselves. Or have someone help us make it. A lot of Michelle’s style is easy for most of us to imitate–classic cuts done in on-trend colors with stylish accessories are what I believe makes most of her fashion choices some of the best of any First Lady. (personally, I do the cardigan thing a la Michelle quite often. it works for me.)
The second is her gorgeous red Inaugural Ball gown….once again designed by Jason Wu
Red chiffon in a halter style. Red sends a number of signals: optimism and power are first to come to mind. In Chinese culture, red stands for good health, wealth, and happiness. The cut and style of the gown, once again, is one that many women could wear–it’s not too body-conscious nor too Hollywood glamour (much like her one-shoulder white dress from the first Inauguration.)
I wish that Wu’s collection for Target had been sized more for women than for juniors…..
Overall, it’s great to see that we have a First Lady who understands that fashion coupled with personal style conveys a message to others about who we are and how we feel about ourselves, as much as signaling our social class or status. More of us should pay attention to the idea that our clothes are powerful signifiers and pay more attention to them.
- Inauguration Day 2013: First lady Michelle Obama’s fashion choices – CBS News (inauguration2013.us)
- Michelle Obama Wears Thom Browne, Sasha and Malia Wear Kate Spade and J.Crew to Kick Off Inauguration (fashionista.com)
- Watch: Michelle Obama’s Inauguration Fashion (abcnews.go.com)