Lovely Lady Liberty: First Lady Fashion

Originally posted 2018-11-19 11:19:53

By Christina Severino |

m obama             CS Target Dress

In celebration of our independence this weekend, a fashion feature of our very own leading ladies is warranted and may even leave you star-struck to find out who foots the bill for their glamorous garb.

Historically, the First Ladies of the United States have exuded both compassion and grace (inside and out). From her pastel pillbox hats to pearls, Jacqueline Kennedy’s iconic style serves as a quintessential symbol of modern American culture. Then there is current First Lady, Mrs. Michelle Obama. Characterized by her spectrum of fashion choices (both low and high-end), First Lady Obama’s style is often viewed as both relatable and revered by women everywhere. Her undeniable ability to confidently carry herself the same way in everything from Target fashion pieces all the way up to a luxurious Marchesa ball gown is a testament to her authenticity and presence as an emerging iconic legatee of former First Lady Fashionistas. The line between affordability and accessibility is fading, and this may bring hope to designers who are still establishing themselves or creating lower-end collections.

While it’s evident that Mrs. Obama is able to confidently play her wardrobe choices up and down with poise, it may come as a surprise that she (and former First Ladies of the past) have relied on themselves, not American taxpayers, to fund their wardrobe (high-tier couture included). Unfortunately, one of the perks not included under the job description of First Lady is a wardrobe allowance. Although the Obamas have not been totally transparent as to how Michelle’s wardrobe is funded, neither have most of the other former presidential families. However, Mrs. Obama has never been known to rely on borrowing fashion pieces from designers.  Jackie O’s father financed his daughter’s wardrobe for her role as First Lady. Former President Lincoln’s wife, Mary Todd, has been noted to have taken on thousands in debt to fund her own clothing. Additionally, former First Lady Laura Bush has also expressed her own disbelief in the amount of money it takes to keep her wardrobe up to par with her role.

The take-away message: Never underestimate the power of your brand and product, because fashion moguls will eventually take notice and embrace your ingenuity.


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