Politics in Style – Michelle Obama vs. Ann Romney

Ever since Jacqueline Kennedy, fashion has probably never made such a big splash in American politics. Not until Michelle Obama, who became the First Lady 4 years ago. As the youngest First Lady of the US since Jacqueline Kennedy,  Michelle, with double Ivy League pedigree, chic style, cool but friendly demeanor, has become a role model for many young women and a darling of Hollywood and the fashion industry. With the 2012 presidential elections in the spotlight, we cannot help to wonder if Michelle's fashion superiority will be challenged by Ann Romney, wife of the presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Let's take a look at the two women's styles.


Michelle at the Democratic National Convention 
September 3rd in Charlotte, North Carolina

“Like so many American families, our families weren’t asking for much. They didn’t begrudge anyone else’s success or care that others had much more than they did…in fact, they admired it.” Michelle's speech that night brought down the house. I've heard many of my friends say they got teary-eyed while listening to her speech. Michelle chose a custom-made dress by Tracy Reese. The dusty pink color looks great with her complexion. The less-conservative, sleeve-less design suits her build well and gives her a very approachable yet still formal look.

Ann at the Republican National Convention
August 27th in Tampa, Florida

It was Ann's national debut. She stepped out in a lovely Oscar de la Renta dress, featuring to-the-elbow sleeves, a delicate waist-cinching belt with a floral embellishment. The dress is of a playful fit-and-flared shape. The bright red makes Ann stand out very well on TV against the blue background. The coat's simple yet slightly structured silhouette gives her a strong look which is appropriate for the occasion. Watch Ann's full speech here.


1st Presidential Campaign Debate
October 3rd in Denvor

Michelle stepped out in a dress and a blue jacket from Preen's fall 2011 collection (she wore it twice before). Ann opted for an all-white look. It was a pleasant neutral and friendly color palette. Both ladies looked professional.


2nd Presidential Campaign Debate
October 16 in Hempstead, New York

Both ladies stepped out in hot pink. Maybe to honor the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month? Despite the similarity of their choices, Michelle's white necklace seems to accessorize her outfit better than Ann's chunky green choice. Michelle also had a cleaner silhouette with her fitting jacket, whereas Ann's dress looked wrinkly due to the fabric choice.


3rd Presidential Campaign Debate
October 22 in Florida

Michelle recycled a gray custom Thom Browne dress that she wore during the Democratic National Convention back in September. This time she added a belt and a silver ribbon pin. The black lace overlay gives her dress a modern elegant twist.

Ann wore an Oscar de la Renta with an emerald green bodice and a floral skirt. She accessorized with a lucite necklace similar to the one she wore at the second debate. The color choice was a bit unfortunate though: the green is reminiscent of an old 1980's rug. The floral pattern on her skirt looks nice but seems too housewife-ish for such an occasion. I'd say this outfit choice definitely did not do Ann any favor.


Other Occasions:

So who do you think wears it better as a First Lady? Also, get your voice heard by voting!


First Ladies' Background

Michelle Obama
As the first African-American First Lady of the United States, Mrs. Obama not only serves as a pillar, upholding her role as the matriarch and backbone to the Obama family legacy, but also has been popular in the Entertainment and Fashion industry. She always appears fashionably chic: many of her wardrobe choices do a great job match traditional looks with a modern twists. Michelle Obama favors many younger, less known designers such as Jason Wu, Narciso Rodriguez and Isabel Toledo.

Ann Romney
Wife of Mitt Romney, who is the Republican nominee in the 2012 U.S. presidential election. Ann was First Lady of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007 while Mitt Romney served as governor of the state. During the election, those conservative button-downs won't do the job any more, since Ann Romney's style is for sure to be compared to First Lady Michelle Obama who is an international style star. But unlike Michelle Obama, whom fashion designers would die to help dress, Ann Romney has not been so hot among designers, since "the fashion industry is predominantly on the left".

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