Advertisement

Lessons in style from Michelle Obama

Advertisement

Story highlights

Michelle Obama embodies the importance of staying true to a style that fits your life and body

"She shows that you can have fun getting dressed up and still be taken seriously," editor says

Like the first lady, anyone can repeat outfits by mixing and matching or accessorizing

Her support of designers from diverse backgrounds reflects America's cultural mixture

It’s tempting to dismiss Michelle Obama’s wardrobe as a topic so frivolous that it shifts the public gaze from its rightful focus on the first lady’s efforts to reduce childhood obesity or put healthy eating on the national agenda.

But if there’s one thing we can learn from her panache for mixing patterns or flair for pairing Talbot dresses and designer shades, it’s that fashion doesn’t have to be frivolous.

“She’s someone who has proven that you can care about looking great, and take risks in that regard, and also be an incredibly well-spoken, intelligent person who takes action and gets behind issues,” said Leah Chernikoff, managing editor of style blog Fashionista.com.

As she stands on the brink of another four years as first lady, her leadership and values should get more attention than the ease with which she transitions from slacks and cardigans to cutting-edge designer gowns. But to minimize the influence of her sartorial choices deprives the rest of us of an opportunity to learn from them, fashion consultants say.

Read more: Obamas dine out for first lady’s birthday