February 8, 2011 at 5:58 pm , by Sonia Harmon
Looking to revamp your wardrobe? Take some style cues from our First Lady, who’s the subject of Kate Betts’ new book Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Style. “I think people have forgotten that style is powerful,” said Betts, a contributing editor at Time. “Everybody can relate to beautiful colors or the way she presents herself, and I think she’s used her style to really connect with people.” We talked to Betts about some of the staples of Michelle Obama’s wardrobe, and why they can work for you, too.
1. Don’t be afraid to wear bold colors. “Michelle Obama has made color an expression of power so it feels more attainable by someone who might be afraid of wearing bold colors. People really notice you if you’re wearing a beautiful pink dress or turquoise cardigan.”
2. Your shoes don’t have to be high-heeled and painful to be chic. “High heels have gotten crazy over the past few seasons. When Mrs. Obama wears flats it’s not only about the fact that flats are back in fashion, but also that she’s wearing shoes that she likes.”
3. Keep your style fresh by taking fashion risks. “The risk that people talked about the most was when she wore a cardigan to meet the Queen. A lot of people thought she should have worn a jacket or something more formal. I think that was a perfect example of her saying, ‘This is who I am and the way I dress, and this is the way I feel great about myself.’”
4. Find your signature accessory. “I love the fact that Mrs. Obama wears a lot of floral prints and bold jewelry. She’s made that her signature.”
5. Mix in budget-friendly finds. “When Mrs. Obama wore JCrew gloves to the inauguration, most people could relate. It was a way of connecting to people and making herself very accessible.”