Michelle Obama's Gap Dress Is More Than a Fashion Statement


michelle obama gapThe First Lady became a style icon by looking sharp, bringing retro styles back in a modern way, rocking bright, bold colors and patterns, and mixing and matching little-known designers with big name ones. But Michelle Obama also deserves two thumbs-up for wearing a $30 Gap dress. It's budget-friendly but, at the same time, reflective of a bigger fashion trend that we may only be aware of subconsciously.

It's not just that most of us are constantly striving to be more economic with our fashion choices. It's that going to the other extreme and wearing super-pricey, in-your-face expensive designer styles looks more gauche than ever right now.  

Remember back about 10 years ago during the Sex & the City heyday, the Clinton era, dot-com bubble of extravagant spending?

Dropping as much dough as you could on "look at me!" Manolos or a Prada purse was something many of us aspired to.

Fast forward to 2009, more and more of us were standing on the unemployment line, and even if you could afford that stuff, who would WANT it? It seems like it would come off looking insensitive, distasteful, cringe-worthy. I mean, have you noticed -- no one's really keen on sporting a purse/tank top/flip flops with a HUGE logo anymore, like they were in the late '90s. Now, designer fashion for less is a different story. Sure, you can wear that Marc Jacobs shift, but it's best if it doesn't SCREAM "couture!!" and bonus points if you got it at a discount department store or sample sale website for 60 percent off.

That's why when Mrs. Obama rocks the Gap dress or the J.Crew pants, she's obviously not just a.) wearing what she's comfortable in or b.) trying to show us she's on the same page as the average American woman. She's also completely tapped into our cultural vibe of what's appropriate right now.

Of course, for everything there is a time and/or place. Michelle shouldn't be expected to wear budget-friendly looks 24/7/365. She's a public figure who attends major high-profile events, and let's face it -- a Gap dress wouldn't be right for a meeting with the royals. As First Lady, it makes sense that she would wear a pricier dress or gown for a formal occasion. Just like we would splurge on a dress for a wedding or suit for a job interview. But when it comes to everyday, daytime travel, or casual events, Michelle has proven that her choices aren't just fashion-forward -- they're gracefully recession-proof. 

Do you agree that wearing "in-your-face" designer fashion is tasteless right now? Do you think Michelle Obama's choices are appropriate to the times we live in?


Image via Win McNamee/Getty

celeb style, bargains, look for less, style, trends, what to wear


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bills... billsfan1104

Didnt we just have a story where she wore 500 pumps to garden or she was wearing about 4 bracelets that were about 200 a piece?? She does dress nicely and dress affordably, buts lets not pretend that she does this every single day. Because she doesnt. And before people jump all over me, I do not expect her to dress in a Gap dress for a state dinner, but I dont get why she is suddenly for the "people", because she dresses in a 20 dollar shirt.

Nraw2011 Nraw2011

This is nothing new she wears and has worn a bunch of Banana Republic, J Crew and other lower end labels.  I'm sure she wore designer labels before she became FL because they had money.  It is nice to see someone who can have her pick of designers mix high and low and it would be difficult to name a former FL who did it so consistently, if at all.  But really, from what I've seen and read, she dressed this way before she was in the White House.  

Her choices are apporiate.  Im sure we can all agree that her lack of pants suits is fantastic.  

momof... momof030404

Fashion icon my rear end. That is something the liberal media is trying to push. She looks awkward most if the time in clothes that arent flattering.

bills... billsfan1104

Nraw, the FL is also about 20-30 years younger than most of the other first ladies. So she has a larger and more of pick to choose from, and a top like the one she was wearing in the pic, is not something a 60yr old would look good in.

nonmember avatar Central Park

Love the look on the First Lady! Not many women going 48 can look that good in cloths of any price! Very nice indeed!!!

Nraw2011 Nraw2011

My point is she could have morphed in to the traditional pant suit wearing FL.   I've seen photos of former FL who seem to have given up their pre-white house style to fit into some kind of  boring FL uniform.  She is dressing how she has always apparently dressed.  

Momof030404 liberal media conspiracy theory is very funny.  

nonmember avatar Dre

I think she looks terrible most days. And the faces she makes for photographs are never flattering. I think the photo you chose of this outfit is the best because shes not looking at the camera. I do not like the dress, and what is she wearing under it? I agree with the other ladies, she does wear very expensive things most days. But she does this once and everyone is like ohhhh oh my gosh, she is just like most of America. She is like most of America - she can't dress right.

nonmember avatar just1girl

In touch with the American people? Riiight. Cuz everone I know has taken multiple vacations in the past 18 months. And I personally detest the "belt under the boobs" thing she does. I think it looks frumpy. But, yes, thank god she hasn't adopted the FL pantsuit. And she does have lovely arms.

tobem... tobemomofthree

Give me a break! Where we all the GAP outfits over the past year... Come on people, she's getting into campaign mode, just like the staged Target trip. The Obama camp wants everyone to think they are back to the down home people they were when the President was first voted into office. Lets talk about the lavish parties they had almost weekly, or the fact when they recently went on vacation taking TWO private jets because they couldn't schedule the leave on the same day. I don't know about y'all but our house can't afford one vacation this year let alone dozens, and to top if off we wouldn't consider taking two vehicles, but Private jets on tax dollars well that's acceptable. So BRAVA looking at the GAP shirt lets look at what is really happening, they think we are dumb enough to fall for it again. And that is the truth behind her fashion style.

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