Cody Cousino / Multimedia editor
The fashion-forward first ladies of the United States have been setting trends for women around the world for decades. Style icon Jackie Kennedy brought modern silhouettes and colors to the White House, making the first lady a symbol of her husband’s administration through the clothing in her wardrobe. Current first lady Michelle Obama has followed in Kennedy’s footsteps, choosing to wear independent designers with unique silhouettes and feminine touches. The first lady’s fashion embraces American society while maintaining a less pretentious air, whether she’s accompanying her husband Barack Obama at an event or out on her own. Here are a few ways you can feel like a first lady even when it’s not Election Day.
Perfect pearl earrings are a staple of the first lady jewelry box. They should fit comfortably on your earlobe without looking costume-like. Look for pure white or ivory pearls without too much sheen. Pearls should be an understated, elegant piece that can be worn with everything from blue jeans to a ball gown.
A carefree cardigan is a classic Michelle Obama piece. She is known for making the J. Crew cardigan a closet staple for women. The piece shows up everywhere from visits with the Queen of England to volunteer efforts with children. You should look for a sweater in a neutral color such as beige, gray or navy. Long-sleeved is a good option and the hemline should hit just above your hips. This will be a classic for years to come.
The sheath dress silhouette is a timeless piece made popular by Kennedy that has gotten a contemporary revamp by Michelle Obama. The sleeveless cotton dress is perfect under a structured jacket and can be worn during any time of year. Amp it up with a bold print or color and accessorize the basic piece with a fabulous belt (I usually opt for a skinnier style).
Nude pumps are a necessity for leading ladies worldwide. They can be paired with anything and are understated without sacrificing style. Michelle Obama wears hers as kitten heels with pointed toes. It’s important to make sure the heel isn’t too high. You’re making the point that you understand how to be conservative and a lady without looking for sky-high hooker heels.
A brooch is the final touch for almost all first lady outerwear. Worn by first ladies for decades, the piece can help you channel your inner grandma-chic without looking too frumpy. Opt for something with a bit of sparkle to add an element of glam to your outfit. These look perfect on a black peacoat, a beige trench or a suede cape.
It’s important for the American public to take a cue from the country’s leading lady. Women like Michelle Obama are setting the standard for women and inspiring young ladies to look and feel their best in order to be taken seriously without sacrificing style.