Ways you can change your wardrobe Dressing
For eight years and thousands of outfits later, Michelle Obama has made a mark on fashion like no First Lady.
It was so striking to see a powerful, strong woman dressed with a very feminine, almost romantic sense of style.… She looked so polished and feminine and also delivered this really powerful and impactful speeches.
She’s also proved she knows how to use fashion as a tool—to cement diplomatic relationships by wearing designers from countries such as India and China during official state visits and White House dinners, and to champion small American businesses by celebrating up-and-coming design talents.
What truly made Obama such a powerful style icon during her time in the White House, though, was the wink that her clothes made to women everywhere,
1. She Wore the Sleeveless Dress.
Over the course of her time in the White House, the sleeveless dress became Obama’s go-to fashion choice—whether she was championing her Let’s Move campaign at a White House event or receiving a dignitary for tea.
2. She Went for Statement Jewelry.
Not a lot of women are bold enough to throw on an oversized bejeweled necklace, statement earrings, or even a brooch and know that this is all it takes to look utterly fabulous, but Obama has statement jewelry down. During her time in the White House, she has gravitated towards adventurous jewelry choices and some of her best style moments over the years have included jewelry.
3. She Put Away the High Heels
Obama has famously stayed away from sky-high stilettos during her time in the White House, opting instead for kitten heels, ballet flats, and even occasionally sneakers (when the situation called for it).
Whether she was stepping off of Air Force One in a flirty dress and ballet flats or wearing gladiator sandals on a tour of the U.K., she showed women that you don’t have to wear high heels to be stylish.
It’s likely no coincidence that the fashion runways went in this direction during Obama’s time in the White House, with ballet flats, intricate flat sandals, and sneakers being the choice of the style set over the last eight years.
4. She Mixed High/Low.
Obama, who came into the White House during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, felt like a breath of fresh air on the fashion scene largely due to her affordable fashion choices—from a $34 dress to a $199 cream Talbots sheath. Sure, women know she has some of the most expensive designer dresses hanging in her closet, but she also shops like an everywoman and knows a great bargain when she sees one.
5. She’s a Print Master
Wearing prints has oftentimes felt like a fashion challenge—that is, until Obama came on the scene. Choosing everything from florals to geometric prints, Obama is every bit a print master. While previous First Ladies largely wore items in solid colors, Obama showed women how much fun fabric can be, utilizing this trend like a pro.
6. When In Doubt, She Belted.
Obama seems to rarely leave home without wearing a belt (a runway trick that instantly gives women a waist). With her Alaia corset belt that seemed to be her sidekick during the 2008 campaign to the J.Crew bejeweled one she wore with both a Thom Browne coat and a strapless Naeem Khan gown, Obama knows how to work a belt like no other.
7. She Made Cardigans Cool
Before Obama came onto the world stage, most women considered the prim cardigan something their mother would wear. Over the last eight years, Obama has worn a cardigan everywhere—on the cover of Vogue, on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno and even to meet the Queen of England. (Not everyone was a fan of that last choice; Oscar de la Renta told Women’s Wear Daily in 2009: “You don’t…go to Buckingham Palace in a sweater.”)