Michelle Obama recently gave a tell-all interview to Elle Magazine, reporting the truth of her outfits when she was the First Lady.
The magazine reported how Obama felt ‘scrutinized’ for being the first African American First Lady of the United States.
As is evident with current BLM protests, racism has always been a major issue in the US.
Obama felt she was watched and analyzed more pertinently than her white counterparts. During her time as First Lady, she was criticized specifically for how she dressed.
Consequently, Obama felt she needed to strategize her clothes. As Elle Magazine reports, she ended up styling them in a way that made her a style icon.
However, except for some select couture gowns, Obama revealed that she paid for all her clothes herself.
Usually, the First family is assigned a budget for things like clothes, makeup, and accessories. Obama chose to set an example by managing her wardrobe with her own money.
In the written interview, Obama wrote, “I paid for all my own clothes and accessories—with the exception of some items like the couture-level gowns I wore to formal events.”
“[The couture gowns] were lent to me by the designers and would later be donated to the National Archives, thus adhering to White House ethics guidelines.”
Over the years, she chose to support local designers, especially lesser-known ones. She wanted to use her platform as the First Lady to support up-and-coming fashion stylists and designers.
In regards to this, she wrote, “I wanted to draw attention to and celebrate American designers, especially those who were less established, even if it sometimes frustrated the old guard, including Oscar de la Renta.”
She continued, “[De la Renta] was reportedly displeased that I wasn’t wearing his creations. For me, my choices were simply a way to use my curious relationship with the public gaze to boost a diverse set of up-and-comers.”
Obama did not want to just include high-fashion pieces in her wardrobe. She usually mixed up her style, pairing ‘a Michael Kors skirt with a T-shirt from Gap’.
This gave her some balance, allowing her to escape labels that marked her as ‘too high fashion’ or ‘too casual’.