Since the dawn of mass media consumption, few people have ever experienced the incessant, telescoped style scrutiny that the First Lady of the United States endures. The position has always been politicized and criticized. Dolley Madison, for instance, was considered too racy and attention-grabbing for 1809-1817 sensibilities, even though her most famous outfit was an empire waist gown that evokes the romantic beauty of ancient Rome. By our modern standards, it is still en vogue and divine.
Yet, it was Jacqueline Kennedy that took First Lady fashion to a new level of intrigue. Her taste was elegant and aristocratic. Her lines were impeccable. She became a fashion aspiration and, for media purposes, the perfect stately foil to Marilyn Monroe’s celebrity sex appeal. From that moment, FLOTUS fashion would never be the same. Those who occupied the office with little interest in fashion, such as Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush, found their dresses and color choices sparking debate whether they wanted it or not.
First Lady Michelle Obama has handled the magnification with grace and her own unique (and at times, edgy) style aesthetic. Her lean toward American designers has actually catapulted careers, such as that of Jason Wu. She has expertly mixed high-fashion with accessible brands, like as Target, Gap and J Crew. All the while, she has ignored outdated modes of thinking about how a First Lady should dress instead choosing to wear her personal brand. Thus, she stays modern, fashion-forward, feminine and strong in ways that many find simultaneously relateable and aspirational.
As Bluegala remarked:
“Throughout history the first-lady has influenced fashion trends, however, none have had as much of an impact as Michelle Obama. Her clothing choices can result in stock prices for the clothing companies to rise as much as 2–3% for up to 3 weeks after she wears an outfit. Her fashion appeals to the people as she mixes more affordable brands like Gap and Target with high end pieces.”
With the help of Ghergich & Co., Bluegala recently created and published an infographic that showcases the influence Michelle Obama’s style choices have had one buying trends, stocks and popular taste. Find out more about the “The Michelle Effect” by going through the infographic below.