Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Women in politics: Michelle Obama's Style

The style
Michelle Obama's style is classic, but always with a modern twist, either in the colour, or in the accessories she wears. You recognize she has her own style, and you get from her a sense of a woman working a wardrobe, using the same item in different ways, in her own personal way.
She is a Tall Body type A and a Deep Autumn.
The elements
A. Key garments:

1. Dresses: shift dresses or full-skirt dresses, in interesting colours, prints (in clear silhouettes with minimal detailing), and cuts. Black and white prints (stripes, polka dots, occasional animal prints), abstract flower prints, accessorized with belts, cardigans, brooches and statement necklaces from modern costume jewellery designers (for instance, Erickson Beamon or St. Erasmus).

2. Cardigans in flattering colours, often accessorized with brooches and/or belts. I find her take on the cardigan plus matching top (top centre and bottom left photos: a different texture or print but in the same colour), a fun twist on the traditional twinset.

3. Trouser and skirt suits with interesting cuts, materials and colours. Anything resembling a business suit is far from her wardrobe. Her suits are pure style statements.

4. Skirts, mostly full, and wide-legged trousers in an array of colours.

B. Accessories
Costume jewellery, judiciously used. Usually, one item takes centre stage, so their is no overload. The most seen brands on her are, among others, Alexis Bittar, Carolyn Rosenberg, Erickson Beamon, St. Erasmus, Tom Binns and Lena Wald. Vintage pieces like Miriam Haskell's or Czech brooches are also important in her jewellery box.
  • Brooches. I think she has contributed more than anyone else to bring this accessory back from the vaults of fashion memory. Once associated with ladies who were young in the 1950s and 1960s, it has become again an edgy and versatile accessory.
  • Pearls. No modest string of pearls, but a modern take with double row bubble-gum sized necklaces, colourful pearls, and piles of smaller ones.
  • Statement necklaces from different costume jewellery designers.
In this department, she does what every reasonable woman should do: first, she uses lots of flats and her heels are always reasonable; second, she buys multiples. The 4-inch-high-heel trend in nowhere to be seen in her wardrobe.
Granted, she is a tall woman, but I don't see how if she were shorter she would possible wear anything else with the kind of job she does.

  • Belts. Thin (1") and wide (over 5"), being 5ft11", she can very well wear them all.
  • Bows, as brooches or as part of an outfit, placed askew and asymmetrical.

    C. Simple, but effective makeup and a versatile hairstyle
    She usually wears a mostly natural, neutral makeup, easy to maintain throughout the day. When she turns up the volume, it is her eyes she plays up.

    Michelle Obama as style inspiration: 10 Favourite Looks.
    Valuable blogs to follow Michelle Obama's style are Michelle O Style. and Mrs. O.

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