Thursday, January 8, 2009

Fashion and Politics?

Practically every Thursday, I read the NY Times’ Style section… it’s one of my favorite things to do on the web. But sometimes I’m lucky enough to find an article I can also blog about and today was that sort of day!

The first article on the page reads, “U.S. Fashion’s One-Woman Bailout?” with three pictures of our nation’s soon to be first lady Michelle Obama. (I blogged about Sarah Palin and her wardrobe choices during the presidential campaign, so it is only natural I come full circle and discuss Mrs. Obama’s wardrobe now.)

The article highlights Mrs. Obama’s choices of wardrobe and style since entering the campaign trail with her husband and the influences her fashion choices has had and may continue to have on the American fashion industry. It also briefly points out the “tweaking” efforts of Cindy McCain’s wardrobe choices during the campaign, as well. Yet with all the controversy some candidates and their partners may have encountered these past few months about flashy and expensive fashion choices, Mrs. Obama has always seemed to be dressed appropriately, never over the top and still surprisingly fashionable. In fact, Mrs. Obama has had quite the effect not only in the political arena but arguably in fashion altogether.

With influences from former first ladies, like Jacqueline Kennedy, who have held the role of muse to many fashion houses and trends, Mrs. Obama surely will be bringing a unique fashion flare to the White House. Though it is important to point out the practicality Mrs. Obama understands, she has great taste and does not distinguish this through high price tags or designer labels. She has and will continue to be an American fashion icon we can all relate to. After all, she does shop at J.Crew and Target just like the rest of us.

So what does a soon to be first lady who appreciates the affordable fashions in life have to do with PR?

Michelle Obama’s fashion choices express a mood and extend a message to the public. It’s not necessarily the details of her ensemble, but like the article states, “the first lady, who throughout the campaign demonstrated not just that she understood the power of clothes to transmit a message, but a readiness to adjust that message as the need arose.”

So do you really think fashion and clothes make all the difference?

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