First Lady Fashion: How to Dress Like Michelle Obama

By By Erin Donnelly

michelleobama1With all due respect to Laura, Hillary, Barbara, et al, it’s been quite a while since we’ve had a fashion plate First Lady. Especially one like Michelle Obama, who transitions so easily from affordable high street buys (like the J. Crew skirt and cardigan set she wore on Jay Leno) to straight-off-the-runway labels (Isabel Toledo’s lemongrass sheath and coat for the inauguration, Jason Wu’s stunning white one-shoulder gown for the inauguration ball). Always polished, designer-savvy, and not afraid to show the free world her killer arms, Michelle is a modern-day fashion inspiration. To help you steal some of her presidential style, we’ve rounded up Obama-esque looks from her favorite American designers…and a few that just look like came out of the White House.

Outfit One: J.Crew Chic: When Michelle Obama appeared on Jay Leno in head-to-toe J.Crew, the mass retailer’s heart skipped a beat. Since then, the Obamas have shown love for “the Crew” by dressing Sasha and Malia in vibrant J.Crew ensembles for the inauguration. To mimic Michelle’s look from the show, pair J.Crew’s Dazzling-Dots Pencil Skirt with their aqua and green Havona Tank, which boasts a charming floral neckline, or their Printed Lattice Cami. Complete the look with a super-soft cardigan; we like Cotton Cricket Cardigan with olive green piping. Michelle Obama The View

Outfit Two: Donna Ricco Dame: It was a “View” to a thrill when Michelle joined the talk show in an off-the-rack black and white dress Donna Ricco dress. As luck would have it, you can score the same dress-the Banded Waist Sleeveless Dress-for just $98.

Outfit Three: Holy Toledo: We’re going to go out on a limb and assume that Isabel Toledo’s high-fashion designs are out of your price range. But if you want to duplicate the First Lady’s stunning lemongrass sheath from the inauguration, you can try Carmen Marc Valvo’s Yellow Office Dress, Milly’s Beaded Tank Dress, or Newport News’s Sateen Sheath Dress (a steal at $39). Pair with rich green accessories.

michelleobamafashionOutfit Four: Wu Wow: First Lady inauguration ball wear usually consists of long sleeves and lots of sequins-aka the Mother of the Bride look. That’s why Michelle Obama’s Jason Wu creation-a dreamy one-shoulder white gown-was such a breath of fresh air. Go long in Faviana’s floor-sweeping version, or go Grecian in Maggy London’s knee-length model. For the real deal, check out Wu’s designs on

5 Other Michelle Obama-Inspired Frocks: We could totally see Michelle (or YOU!) in these dresses.

Ann Taylor Cotton/Silk Pleated Floral Dress: A graphic floral print, sheath cut, and cinched-in waist are all Obama style signatures.

Spiegel Belted Sheath Dress: The First Lady loves her vibrant colors, so this bold orange would be perfect.

Donna Ricco Tie-Back Border Print Dress: We love this festive print, and we know Obama loves her Donna Ricco.

Banana Republic Back-Zip Sweater Dress: This turquoise stunner is similar to the dress Michelle wore during the Democratic Convention.

Newport News Purple Sheath Dress: Priced at just $39, this simple stunner is a great glam buy.

Michelle Obama’s Style Rules:

-Don’t be afraid to bare arms. If you’ve got guns worth showing off, don’t be afraid to go sleeveless.

-Swap your jacket or blazer for a cardigan. Michelle’s fitted, feminine cardis keep her from looking dowdy.

-Be bold. Black and white are fine, but the First Lady really shines when she’s wearing a rich jewel tone.

-Play with prints. Don’t shy away from floral prints or graphic patterns.

-Cinch that waist. Selecting dresses with belted waists and banded waistbands helps Michelle break up her long figure.

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