Elections | Entertainment | Nation

When It Comes To Inaugural Fashion, First Family Stays The Course

NPR | Jan. 21, 2013 2:50 p.m.

Contributed By:

Padmananda Rama

The first lady is well known for her wardrobe choices, and for the inauguration, Michelle Obama showed off her ability to make multiple style statements during a single day.

In the morning, she wore a custom-made navy checkered jacket by American designer Thom Browne. Then on the West Front of the Capitol for the swearing-in, she updated her look with a bejeweled J.Crew belt and changed shoes, switching from heels to suede boots.

Finally, during the afternoon luncheon with Congress, she unveiled a blue and white dress, also by Browne, and a blue Reed Krakoff cardigan, which she wore the day before to the president’s private oath-taking ceremony at the White House.

Throughout the day, the first lady held true to style trends we’ve watched her develop over the past few years.

J.Crew continues to be a staple of her and her daughters’ wardrobes; she often mixes high and low-end fashion; and she loves belts.

The first lady had many choices for Inauguration Day, with designers sending her potential outfits for the entire weekend, which includes inaugural balls.

Browne, who started out designing menswear and has since launched a women’s collection, said he didn’t know about the first lady’s choice until he turned on CNN in his Paris hotel room. He’s there for Paris Fashion Week.

Prior to Monday, American designer Thom Browne was possibly best known for taking a risky approach to menswear by hiking pant hems so high that they floated just above the ankle.

But for the next few weeks, at least, he’ll be known as the designer Michelle Obama chose to wear to inauguration ceremonies.

Speaking to Women’s Wear Daily, Browne said he aspires to dress clients like Mrs. Obama who “own” their look,” adding, “You can tell when she puts clothing on. It’s for her.”

As much as Michelle Obama is known for appreciating emerging designers, like Jason Wu, and luxury designers, like Browne, she also stays true to more accessible designers, such as J.Crew.

J. Crew’s creative director, Jessica Lyons tells WWD, “As far as we know, they literally ordered online and they shop like anyone else in America.”

Malia could be seen wearing a J.Crew coat, which retails online for $325, and Sasha dressed in Kate Spade. It’s not clear what designer the president chose to wear.

Copyright 2013 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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