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First Lady Fashion – Trend Setting from the White House

No matter what the function or event, if there's politics involved, you can be sure that two things will commence once it ends: partisan backlash and a discussion over what the First Lady was wearing. Not since Jackie Kennedy lived at the White House has the nation been so interested in the style of the FLOTUS. I think the attention paid to Michelle Obama stems from her age, the fact that she is our first Black First Lady and her impeccable taste. Even if pundits and fashion magazines question some of her outfits, Michelle Obama's looks set trends, and any woman can learn a lot from her personal style.

To look "First Lady fabulous," keep theses dos and don'ts in mind.

Do mix couture items with less expensive pieces. For many women, the high price tags that come with designer clothing and accessories make having a wardrobe full of couture fashions impractical. The FLOTUS is proof that you can build a wardrobe around a few of your favorite couture looks and mix and match them with less expensive items. A classic example is the outfit that Michelle wore to the inauguration: a navy dress and coat from Thom Browne, cinched with a belt from J Crew.

Don't be afraid to accentuate your best features. Michelle has great arms and shoulders, and she's never been afraid to show them. At both of the inaugural balls, she sported sleeveless gowns, even though the look is generally not popular among First Ladies; in the last 60 years, only Nancy Reagan and Mamie Eisenhower went sans sleeves.

Do get the most mileage out of your favorite pieces. Some women mistakenly believe that after one season, a dress, top or skirt should be worn less, as it may no longer be in the height of fashion. The FLOTUS has never been afraid to appear repeatedly in her favorites, such as her black and pink geometric print sundress from Merona for Target. Michelle always keeps the dress fresh by using different accessories, such as the Sacai belt she wore with it in 2009 and the navy pearl button cardigan she layered over it just this past January.

Don't forget to dress for the occasion. The FLOTUS always appears appropriately dressed for the event that she's attending, even if that doesn't mean wearing heels and a dress. For example, at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards, she kept it casual in a pair of tight Helmut Lang foil wash jeans and a metallic jacket with a bold hounds-tooth print.

Remember that First Lady style is all about smart shopping. It's no sin to shop at Target or similar stores. When you see pieces that you love at a great price, snatch them up, regardless of the label. If you do, you'll look fashionable and feel good about being a little fiscally responsible.

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