Ever since their first campaign, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have been criticized for embracing pop culture and using unorthodox forms of press outlets. First Lady Michelle Obama, in particular has been chided for wearing expensive designer clothing and trendy ensembles. While President Obama ran for presidency, his wife's choice of fashion was deemed "distracting." First Lady Obama's most talked about fashion choice is her signature sleeveless dress. For her first White House photograph, the First Lady wore a black sleeveless dress. However, many (including fashion experts) found the ensemble to be inappropriate especially since the photograph was shot in the wintertime when everyone else was wearing long sleeves. "Most of the complaints centered on the dress conveying a sense of informality on a serious occasion," said Chicago Tribune fashion reporter Wendy Donahue back in 2009. Obama's most recent controversial fashion choice was a $6,800 J. Mendel jacket she wore to Buckingham Palace during the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Nevertheless, the nation grew to accept Obama's comfy yet elegant style. One Jason Wu dress and a Vogue cover later, America's First Lady was dubbed a fashion icon. Not since First Lady Jackie Kennedy, has the nation had such a fashionista in the White House.
Now, it's election season again and President Obama's campaign opponent Mitt Romney is making sure his wife gets her style noticed too.
Ann Romney did not make too much of a splash when she was first introduced as the potential First Lady. It wasn't until May when she wore the $990 Reed Krakoff shirt which displayed a massive bird print that Romney made her grand fashion statement. Still, she faced criticism for the loudness of the top and also how expensive it was.
Romney's latest look was at Tuesday night's Republican National Convention. She wore a bright red cocktail dress by Oscar de la Renta. The demure frock featured quarter length sleeves, a belt, and it hit just below her knee. The robust color made the aspiring First Lady stand out but the silhouette kept the dress conservative. Unlike First Lady Obama who shocks and wows spectators with fun and daring looks, Romney seems to be keeping it safe.
The republican wife credits her red fashion pick to her husband and his campaign advisor Stuart Stevens. "Well, frankly, I didn't realize that Stuart had to weigh in on this - or my husband," Romney told reporters. "It was going to be like my wedding night; I wasn't going to let him know what I was going to wear. But now they have opinions."
It may not be as important as health care or the economic crisis, but if Romney wears more American designers, she could possibly gain some patriotic fashion-loving voters - there's always a niche that deserves attention after all.
Americans, mostly women, weighed in on Romney's RNC style and praised her classic style. Commenters alluded to the claim that Romney's style is much more fitting for the First Lady role opposed to Obama's style. This is what commenters of Politico.com had to say:
"THIS is how a First Lady should dress. A+. [...] I thought she looked beautiful, classy, sophisticated....all the qualities you would want in a First Lady." - Eileen McGillen Brookshire
"Ann looked like a stylish woman. Patriotic. Selected an appropriate dress for the occasion. No sleeveless, too short skirt, no bling. She just has good taste." - Madalyn McDonald Cooke
"A FIRST lady.. for sure!" -Harriett Sharpe
"She was BEAUTIFUL and very CLASSIC!!" - Jeanie Zwiener
Others did not feel the same way and defended Obama's fashion sense. Some also made a point that both women are wealthy and are guilty of purchasing expensive designer items.
"Michelle OBAMA is BEAUTIFUL, Classy, FIT, sophisticated and a great dresser and she buys clothes off the rack, which helps our economy." - Marion Dobbins
"Michelle wears a gown to a reception at Buckingham Palace and gets ripped to shreds but Ann can wear Oscar and of course in red, and isn't she lovely. Looks like June Cleaver minus the pearls." -Dennis J Holland ·
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