I recently had the pleasure of reading Michelle Style by Mandi Norwood. The book, basically, deconstructs the fashion style of the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama.
I took some notes of little style tips really struck me.
1. Every Woman has the right to Bare Arms.
One of Michelle's best features are her trimmed and firm arms. That's why she can always pull-out sleeveless outfits. I heard she regularly has special work-outs for those arms alone. Worth it!
2. Style is not in-direct proportion to price tags.
Michelle, can have the most expensive clothes, stylists and designers to dress her up for free, yet she still shops at still wears clothes from retail shops. I'm not familiar with Target & J. Crew, but I have seen these dresses, that she wore, off-the-racks from H&M. Certainly something you and I can afford, as well.
3. Clever Color- Combos.
Women have a tendency, as we grow in age, to stick to classic colors. Brown, Beige, Gray, and the ubiquitous black. While, we can never go wrong in classics, it takes a certain bravado to experiment with colors. Michelle certainly is not afraid of colors. Sometimes, she hit it, other times, she miss. I like that she finds dressing up as fun, and she doesn't mind committing style mistakes. Certainly, She's not a classic.. but she's definitely not Boring.
But sometimes, color combination can be tricky as hell, especially if you can't take standing out in the crowd of blacks. This instances, she got bad reviews.
4. Don't be scared of Prints.
Prints can sometimes be overwhelming. People attention tend to revert to the print, rather than the personality. Plus, for regular women like us, prints cannot be used as a wardrobe workhorse. It becomes very obvious that we keep on wearing the same clothes. :) I think, the trick is to keep prints to a minimum. Inner shirt. Scarves.
5. Add elevated touches to cheaper clothes.
Check out how her pearl chokers elevate these off-the-rack J. Crew cardigan and skirt. I noticed that the trend these days are no longer head to foot designers. But it's picking the right thing to splurge one's money on. Jewelry, watches, bags, are definitely investment pieces, but with clothing, one can go up and down the price scale.
6. Break with Convention.
Who would have thought Ivory White could bring the house down on an evening ball? Michelle picked an unknown designer (Jason Wu, 26 years old) veering away from the Classics old masters (Oscar de la Renta, etc.) and choosing a color, which used to be a no-no for evening.
7. Great Skin is the best Foundation
Her make-up is always understated. I rarely see her in fully-made up, even if it's for evening, she just put on neutral eyeshadows. The result is a classic look, doesn't overwhelm but compliments her but her more colorful outfits.
Lastly, It Isn't about Looking Young, it's all about Looking Good. We cannot defy the laws of time. Granting there are so many alternatives technological scientific solutions out there, we can only do so much.
It's all about that Confidence that one gains from knowing one's self and the willingness to take the risks... be it fashion or life!