In her first 100 days in the White House, Michelle Obama has stylistically transformed what it means to be a first lady, with a cultivated, accessible look, from basic J.Crew tees to designer Jason Wu's dreamy inauguration ball gown.
In just a couple short fashion seasons, Obama has already inspired the I-word -- iconic -- gracing the covers of magazines from Vogue to People, and becoming the subject of at least two style books due out this year; the first, Michelle Style by Mandi Norwood, debuted Tuesday. A comic book biography and a website devoted to tracking her daily ensembles have already been launched.
And she has drawn the obvious, if not clichéd, comparisons to Jacqueline Kennedy. Not since Kennedy has a first lady's fashion sense been so widely deconstructed.
''Michelle Obama will be one of history's most vibrant first ladies. She has a distinctive style that every American woman can aspire to whether the consumer is a Target shopper or someone more likely to be found on Miracle Mile,'' said Carrie Feron, vice president of Avon, which plans to release a Michelle Obama style guide this year.
From the campaign trail to the inauguration to her first few months of being first lady, Obama's fashion sensibilities demonstrate a unique understanding of the force of imagery. She has carefully constructed hers as that of an independent, contemporary woman, wife, mother -- like her or not.
Perhaps, most powerfully, she comes across as human, subject to good and bad days. Sometimes her hair is wind-swept and her outfits are remarkably ordinary. Other days, she is camera ready, from flawlessly applied makeup to tailored dresses that flatter her body type.
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