Michelle Obama's election outfit gets dressing down

Fri Nov 7, 2008 2:28pm EST
 
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By Michelle Nichols

NEW YORK (Reuters) - All ears were listening to President-elect Barack Obama's victory speech this week but fashion-watchers were looking closely at his wife Michelle's dress -- and the verdict was not so good.

Despite comparisons during the campaign to stylish 1960s first lady Jacqueline Kennedy, Michelle Obama was derided in opinion polls for her choice of a black and neon-red dress from Narciso Rodriguez's spring 2009 ready-to-wear collection.

In an online poll by USA Today, 65 percent of more than 10,000 readers believed the Harvard-educated corporate lawyer and future first lady "had an off day" and 35 percent said "She looks fantastic as always."

An online poll by People magazine mirrored those results, while a Los Angeles Times online poll found 45 percent hated the dress and 34 percent loved it.

"The normally impeccable Michelle O made a questionable choice for her husband's historic election night victory," wrote Lesley Scott, editor of fashion and lifestyle blog www.fashiontribes.com . "It's less than flattering."

"However, every fashionista worth her salt takes risks," Scott said, "which means the occasional misstep."

Not everyone disliked Obama's choice, which was shown on the catwalk only two months ago and is not yet available in stores. New York magazine hailed Obama for being able to hold her own against France's first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, a former supermodel.

"We have a feeling she'll continue to mix affordable pieces with designer pieces as First Lady, but this wardrobe choice proves this woman knows fashion and we have an exciting four years of political fashion ahead of us," the magazine said.   Continued...

 
<p>Michelle Obama (L), wife of President-elect Senator Barack Obama and Jill Biden, wife of Vice President-elect Joe Biden hold hands as they arrive onto the stage following Obama's speech during his election night rally after being declared the winner of the 2008 U.S. Presidential Campaign in Chicago November 4, 2008. REUTERS/Jim Young</p>