First ladies have made quite the impression over the course of history, especially when it comes to fashion. The current First Lady, Michelle Obama, has quickly become a fashion icon of sorts. She’s gained notoriety by seamlessly mixing mall brands, couture pieces, and up-and-coming designers. She’s even been known to re-wear an outfit or item, like her Alaia belt or a Michael Kors dress.
Casual wear: The First Lady has been spotted out wearing everything from athletic wear to (my favorite) jeans! Although she’s not seen out in jeans too often, when she is, she tends to wear skinny styles. She wore a pair of bold metallic skinny jeans with a herringbone jacket from Wes Gordon’s Spring 2012 collection while attending the Kid’s Choice Awards with her daughters. Other notable pairs include a paint splattered pair from Alexander Wang, and various colored jeans.
Business Wear: The First Lady is seen most often in dressier separates like skirts with sweaters or blazers. For these pieces she tends to play with pattern and color, often at times finishing the look off with her signature, a unique belt. She has become known for mixing brands like J. Crew or Talbots with higher end designers like Tracy Reese and Michael Kors. One of her most notable outfits, a pencil skirt and beaded sweater both from J. Crew, sold out almost immediately after she was spotted in the outfit.
Formal Wear: For formal events, the First Lady tends to wear sleeker looks from couture designers. In the past she’s been seen in Vera Wang, Thakoon, and Narcisco Rodriguez. For the First Inauguration, she wore an elegant one shoulder, beaded white chiffon gown, designed by Jason Wu. Wu’s popularity soared almost immediately. All eyes will be on the First Lady to see what (and who!) she wears to the Second Inaugural Ball.
Other Fashionable First Ladies:
Laura Bush: Mrs. Bush was most notably known for her close relationship with designer, Oscar De La Renta. Most of her formal outfits, including one of her Inaugural gowns were designed by De La Renta. To one White House reception Mrs. Bush wore a red dress by the designer and three other guests were wearing the same dress!
Nancy Reagan: Mrs. Reagan was known for her luxurious sense of style, she often wore the color red and furs, favoring embellishments and silky fabrics. She became famous for her silk neck tie blouses, a style which was common at the time, and made more popular by the former First Lady.
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis: Jackie Kennedy’s classic, sophisticated style has transcended time. Bringing a youthful look to the White House, she favored boxy suits, shift dresses, classic jackets. She wore European designers like Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, and Dior. She even inspired a few designers as Valentino commented on her iconic style saying, “Her style was always a great inspiration for my work. She had this inner quality to make elegant the simplest dress, the most shabby raincoat, the oldest pair of slacks. Her way to wear a scarf, a pair of sunglasses, to choose a bag or shoes or go barefoot, or with a tiara was natural, she was not thinking twice, she knew by instinct.”