One of my absolute style icons is Jackie Kennedy. I wish I could dress exactly like her everyday. Since she left politics (1963) there has been something of a vacuum in terms of style at the very top in the USA.
What refreshing change to have someone who looks great, enjoys her clothes, and in many ways outshines her husband (although his rendition of Amazing Grace last week was very touching).
Michelle has a feminine, shaped figure, with relatively large hips. She is also, for a woman, very tall at 6′. She is toned, with good muscular arms and really great legs. She has deep-cool colouring and looks best in strong colours, with bright colours working well too.
Here she is in patterned knee length day dresses. Certainly the overall silhouette is good. Her slim upper body, long limbs and delicate hands are all shown off with the knee-length skirt and the bracelet level sleeve. Unfortunately I don’t think the scale of these patterns (see below) or even the colour is great on Mrs O. I feel she should stay away from pastels, fussy prints and muted shades.
The black dress with pink and green is nice enough, but the high neck and boring black belt make this a characterless choice. Also as she is so tall she can get away with a much more dramatic scale of pattern. This looks almost ditsy. The green dress is a bit better with the round neckline, but again the pattern is again a little bit small. The creamy shoes are too light for her legs and pick up the beige background in the dress. The skirt and polo neck is a nice shape but it really doesn’t come together, does it? The sweater is a good colour but it needs lighting up, or bringing out, with a better skirt. I would have had her in dark red boots or tights too rather than black. And the colours in the skirt are far too warm – it’s a good skirt but would look far better on a red-head or someone with reddish-brown hair.
When Michelle choses strong, bright colours, colour-blocked or just solids, she looks amazing. Her skin, eyes and teeth look so bright and vibrant. These looks are also a bit more fashionable and daring. The lower necklines give a more open look and actually stop her looking so very tall. The large colourful jewellery with the plain fitted “body con” dresses are on the right scale for her. And although she looks just fine in a fuller skirt some of the styles she has chosen make her hips look really big. The colour blocked dress in the middle gives some interest at the shoulders, making her hips look in proportion. The neckline on the red dress has the same effect.
Let’s have a look at Michelle wearing the pants. Trousers tend to work better on women with slim hips and straighter, but as someone who has much of her height in her legs Michelle can certainly look very nice in trousers. Below we have a bad look, and OK look and a successful look.
The peplum top and white trousers is not a good look. Michelle looks good in white (much better than cream) but the yellow ruffle draws our eye in and we feel that she is short and wide. As her hips are bigger than her upper body I would generally suggest darker pants, although in all these pictures Michelle has gone the other way. The fuller cream trousers and embroidered cardigan is a nice, modern look, but the colours could have been so much better. Best of all is the monochrome look in the last picture. These purply blues look amazing on her, creating a pulled together, elegant effect. The long silver beads just help to make the outfit a bit more interesting and she looks completely at ease, unlike in the other two pictures.
The very best look for Mrs Obama is wearing a full length evening gown. I will cover this in a future post.