Choosin’ Suits

Green + Blue = Fun

Given how threadbare my own wardrobe is, I love how Michelle is rotating clothing items.  From the spangled broaches, to belts, dresses and now her green Jimmy Choos, her recycled couture is either great populist image crafting by her handlers, or its just who she is…I’m tempted to lean in that direction.  I work in a pretty much all male environment, so my work wear involves lots of drab repeat items during the week, I figure they wear the same suit three times a week, therefor I can pull off the same sweater set on Monday and Thursday.

The green pumps Michelle was sporting at Georgia Browns last week were the exact pair she was wearing on Inauguration Day, which is remarkable because I thought they looked a little snug for the amount of time she would spend on her feet.  Additionally, I figured those shoes would already be on display at the

American History Museum right next to Judy Gardlands ruby slippers by now.  But she’s still rockin’ em, which also leads to fantasies about playing dress up with Sasha and Malia in the First Lady’s closet.  I’m 30 and I really would do that.

However, Michelle’s color choices are what really intrigue and delight me.  Not only because in general, they are so daring (and at times confusing) but it’s made me realize how “native” I have become as a Metro Area resident. See for example, the spectrum of color I’m sporting with my sister and cousins (who are MA locals  visiting last month, but they are teenagers so they get a pass).


When my family and I first moved here from Mobile, Alabama, it was the summer and my mom had picked out bathing suits for my sister and I that were both horizontally striped and bright neon and pastel.  The neighborhood pool was just down the street and I remember taking my swim test for the swim team in my green and yellow special and hearing the kids snicker about my weird suit.  We never bought the team suits (which were darker and considerably more sleek) and competed in meets in our widely strapped, low cut striped suits, which had to do with our budget mostly, but my Mom’s southern flair as well.  My Mom used to dress my sister as basically twins, with each of our outfits just a little different than the other, but always bold and vibrant.

Winter came and despite the majority of my classmates wearing grey, black and navy snow wear, my sister and I were decked out in brightly colored jackets that you could see a mile away.  My Mom must have had a ball picking out her kids first snow suits, having been raised in New Orleans, and I remember taking lots of pictures for her parents, who fawned over our stories of snow days and sledding when we would go to visit.

We were new comers to DC and obviously didn’t get the memo that such use of color was a bit odd for the neighborhood snowball fights, pool pep rallies and the playground.  Although it was fun, we sported camo to most of our swim team meets to intimidate our opponents and I was always accused of “ruining it” for my December Capture the Flag teams because of my seizure inducing snow wear.

Which is I suppose why I’m fascinated by the local response to Michelle’s wardrobe (and that of Sasha and Malia).  Her choice of the green pumps with the azure jacket and dress last week wasn’t bold it was a bit wacky.  I want to create some sprawling theory about how her choice in color reflects her belief that color is relative, but I’ll spare that half-smoked platitude.   The girls outfits on Inauguration Day reflected a Mom that is well-versed in buying stylish but age-appropriate winter wear, which I suppose I was a little jealous of.


In the end, I just think shes from outta town and I’ll be interested to see how and if DC changes her over the next four years.  She’s busted into town with a whole new approach to First Lady Fashion, but a part of me digs her irreverent, sometimes incoherent, choices.  I’m realizing what a buttoned-up fuddy-duddy I’ve become since moving her when I was ten, and I am wondering whether or not my Mom held onto those jackets she bought us (which my younger siblings would done as well).  A part of me feels like telling the Obama girls to shrug off the looks or confused whispers….welcome to town ladies, and keep up the wackiness.

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