Thursday, June 26, 2008
Style Notes From Michelle Obama
Michelle "everyone is sweating me right now" Obama can teach us all a thing or five about how to embrace our own personal style, whatever that might be. I debated on posting this because as I just mentioned, EVERYONE is sweating Michelle these days. And I must add that she is handling all this sweat - the good and not so great - with grace, poise and just a hint of Chicago swagger.
Yes, the black and white Donna Ricco dress she wore on The View last week sold out in mere days. Yes, Vogue’s Anna Wintour and Andre Leon Talley hosted a celeb-filled dinner for her at Calvin Klein’s crib last week. And yes, every major media outlet has already reported on how flawless she looked beside Barack at Democratic presidential election celebration wearing her purple shift and wide black patent leather belt.
While I am not a fan of the head to toe copying of what anyone else is wearing regardless of who they are (that isn’t style, it’s…copying) I did think it might be cool to identify the elements of Michelle’s current style m-o that we can all benefit from. Enjoy!
The black ribbon detail on this dress helps hide a possible bulge below.
1 - Play up your assets. Michelle has an hourglass figure so she cinches her waist any chance she gets. Ladies, this works if you’re a size 2 or a 22 providing you truly have an hourglass shape. Trust me. But maybe you hate your midsection and want to take attention away from it. Remember that the area right under our breasts is the smallest part of most women’s torso which is why Michelle’s black and white View dress was such a flattering silhouette as well.
2 - Embrace color. Although Michelle tends to favor black, it was the violet hue that made us all take note, right? And how pretty is that orange against her chocolate brown skin? Once we learn what colors best compliment our complexions, it is easier to pull this off. Regardless of our size or skin tones - the "right" pop of color always ups the wow factor. Use trial and error to figure out what right is for you.
Michelle switches up from the pearls...
Here, she kicks her jewelry up a notch for the dinner in her honor co-hosted by Talley.
3 - Accessories are our friends. Mrs. Obama favors pearls but not of the former First Lady Bush variety. (See this is where her Chi-town swagger comes in. On many others, those same pearls would appear matronly. So style really is about attitude.) The black patent leather belt added just the perfect dose of panache to her purple shift. The right accessories are sorta like the vanilla extract in my French Toast batter. The dish is okay without it but sooo much more memorable when included to the mix.
Another fly wide belt...
4 - Form fitting - not tight - clothing is key. Michelle is a grown woman with two children. So she has curves. But she, or whoever shops for her, opts for tasteful, age-appropriate clothing that accentuates her figure while keeping her camera ready. An ill fitting garment can ruin a look no matter how fly it is.
You rarely go wrong with a crisp white shirt and dark bottom. Of course this is not any white shirt. Details, details.
5 - Always dress the part. My father used to often say, "If you look good, you’ll feel good and you’ll do good." Okay maybe you had to live in my household to totally appreciate that one the way I do but it holds the same philosophy as "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have." Doesn’t Michelle already look like a First Lady?
P.S. - Totally random but worth sharing: I ate at a super-cool restaurant in D.C. this weekend that I just had to include in this post. Bodega is located in the heart of Georgetown and serves up tasty tapas and fruity cocktails all inspired by Spain. (Well, maybe not the mashed potatoes...) The portions are healthy and the ambiance is just delightful. A sweet and intimate courtyard are located in the back of the restaurant and the prices are pretty reasonable for Georgetown. Try the garlic spinach - it was really yummy!