Saturday, January 29, 2011

Fuss about the First Lady's fashion

Tina Berning

The first lady's decision to wear an non-American designer to the state dinner for China has drawn praise and criticism from a host of commentators. The loudest of them was Oscar de la Renta (who has in the past dressed many first ladies), an American designer who criticized the first lady for wearing European clothes. Of course, his comments made headlines around the blogsphere and even into mainstream newspapers. Well today in the New York Times,  Kate Betts wrote a fantastic op-ed that will hopefully put the issue to rest.

Maybe she chose not to promote a specific American brand at the state dinner last week, but she certainly promotes a healthy sense of enjoyment and individuality in fashion. With her brio and idiosyncratic clothing choices, Mrs. Obama has rewritten the dress code for women who work. We wear cardigans now instead of always jackets, flats instead of impossibly high platform heels. We have a little fun with fashion, even to the point of being more frivolous. And, most important, we dress for ourselves, something the first lady does so effortlessly it’s hard to imagine that there had ever been any dress code for her position. With her floral prints and hula hoops, she’s not afraid to flaunt her femininity — so why should the rest of us be?
You can read the rest of the article, "Boosting America, in Her Own Fashion", here.


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