On November 4, 2008, President Barack Obama made history as he was elected to serve as the 44th President of the United States of America, and while the world didn't quite know it yet, Michelle Obama was stepping up to be the most talked about First Lady since Jackie O, particularly for her distinct taste in fashion.
It all started with the one Jason Wu dress, and spiraled into a 4-year hobby of style stalking the FLOTUS. We wanted the goods, and she always provides, serving up high-end designer looks blended with items attainable by the masses from brands like J. Crew and Gap.
We loved that Michelle was a working mom, former lawyer, FLOTUS, and damn well dressed...but it seemed like all she got was crap for it.
"Her dress it too expensive." "Her shorts are too short." "She is wearing tennis shoes."
Give it a rest.
During the bid for President Obama's re-election, Michelle's fashion sense was brought into the spotlight once again, but this time not for her options in brands when it came to dressing, instead for her right to bare arms..and legs.
The conservative Virginia voter Bobbie Lussier expressed her concerns to NPR's Ari Shapiro, and when describing why she wasn’t keen on the Obama Family in the White House, she had very little to say about Presidential policy, and even less to say about politics in general, instead she attacked Michelle Obama’s fashion sense:
I don't like his wife. She's far from the first lady. It's about time we get a first lady in there that acts like a first lady, and looks like a first lady. They talk about more like her dresses and how she looks and stuff and her arms and whatever. [...] You see her walking around in shorts, and you know, just real casual wear.
Another report from ABC detailed the price by price of every item Michelle wore while on vacation with President Obama in Hawaii during the Holiday season, and we don’t even have to mention how worked up everyone got when Michelle Obama debuted her new bangs, nor do we have to point out Nancy Reagan had each dress designed exclusively for her from Oscar de la Renta, Bill Blass, Carolina Herrera and wouldn’t be caught in anything that the average American could acquire.
Be it good things or bad things, we can all agree that there are far more important things to discuss than Michelle’s affinity for mixing high and low designers. We can also agree that no matter what she does when it comes to clothing, she will be scrutinized.
If she finds a bargain on stylish threads, people criticize her for not showing off American designers, but when she dons designer clothing, she catches flak for not wearing designs available to every man.
I for one, thoroughly enjoy style-stalking the First Lady. She is the most realistic example to young women that we can be both style conscious in functional gear, and be a well-versed leader.
Besides, it is just a little freaking fabric! Fashion is fun; politics are not! Let us get our fill of American policy by any means necessary, even if that means just tuning in to check up on Michelle Obama’s threads.