First Ladies make it work

Jackie O was the most fashionable First Lady in history. She sported oversized sunglasses way better than Jessica Simpson did in 2004 and she made the sheath dress a staple of the ’60s as well as a style that countless women still try to pull off. But with all the changes that John McCain and Barack Obama are proposing in their platforms, their wives also posses the ability to change the face of the American presidency — both through their powerful personalities and their styles.

Let’s face it: Both Michelle Obama and Cindy McCain work it. They avoid the ill-fitting pantsuit trap (thank you, Hillary Clinton) and sport flattering, tailored ensembles. The pantsuit, in fact, is worn most gracefully by Barack Obama, who possibly looks better in a suit than any candidate before him. His red-carpet-ready look is certainly one step ahead of John McCain’s plain-and-boring image.

While we aren’t dealing with any true fashion train wrecks this election season, we still can’t forget the, shall I say, interesting, red leather jacket that Cindy McCain wore in February. I’m all about a great leather jacket (if you don’t have one, get one) but maybe the brighter-colored leather should be worn by people under the age of 30.

I’ll let that faux pas slide, though, and take into account Cindy’s overall style. The positives are that her outfits scream “MONEY!” and she sticks with warm tones like orange and gold that give her the punch of color that her overly-bleached hair lacks.

Michelle Obama has a presence equally as strong as her husband’s, and her wardrobe choices reflect this. As much of a role model as a preeminent lawyer (she was Barack’s mentor when he was just a lowly summer associate) as she is as a fashionista, Michelle Obama sticks to the classics: A-line dresses, fabulous collars and, of course, a pearl necklace. She’s been referred to as a stylistic resurrection of Jackie O, but Obama’s prêt-a-porte looks, coming from such stores as Gap and J.Crew, make her relatable to her American audience. Maybe she feels the need to balance the “change” promoted by her husband with a simple, classy wardrobe. Whatever her motives, she looks great. But her voluminous bob could stand to be deflated a little bit — Jackie would want her to be more modern.

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