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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Hallelujah! Michelle Obama has spoken! And she’s politely told the world to fuck off, which makes her my kind of lady.

In case you haven’t been keeping up on the tempests in teapots that pass for news these days, Obama wore an Alexander McQueen gown to a state dinner for President Hu Jintao of China last month. Various designers, commenters organizations and run-of-the-mill Internet trolls took to their most-likely-made-in-China communications devices to complain that Obama should have worn an American designer.

Michelle Obama in Alexander McQueen. Click for photo source.

If Obama NEVER wore an American designer, maybe I’d agree that it was time to give someone from the U.S. a chance, but considering what she’s done for the likes of Narciso Rodriguez, Jason Wu and J. Crew, this whole “controversy” is a big yawn to me.

Obama finally responded today on Good Morning America.  She said:

“Look, women, wear what you love. That’s all I can say. That’s my motto. I wear what I like because…I gotta be in the dress, so…”

I’d be all modest and say, “I couldn’t have said it better myself,” except that I have said it better myself! Just look at my blog header and you’ll see the motto I picked when I started blogging in 2007: WEAR WHAT YOU WANT! As I’ve said many times, you’re not going to be able to please everyone all the time. It’s better to feel good and do your own thing, whether you live a quiet, private life or if you’re one of the most photographed women in the world.

And just say “no” to fashion bullying!

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30 Responses to “Michelle Obama Believes in the WendyB Motto!”

  1. Ruby Tuesday says:

    She looks “Hot” I love A McQueen and good for her, why not show off when you can…We Britts well we are the other half of the special relationship after all xx

  2. Wear what you want….unless you represent the United States as First Lady.

    So far Mrs. Obama has done a superlative job showcasing American designers. But she’s also missed a few times too as when she wore the Chloe trainers in the White House garden.

    So no, she doesn’t get to wear what she wants. She gets to wear what is appropriate. When she is no longer the First Lady she can wear what she wants.

    • WendyB says:

      Well, clearly I disagree, because as we both note, she’s done an awesome job for American designers, raising the profile of some very obscure young brands and promoting all pricepoints, including J. Crew. I don’t remember Laura Bush making a new designer like Jason Wu a worldwide name. I don’t think Obama has to have a 100% record. It’s a global economy. Let’s be realistic. A lot of American brands, including J. Crew, are actually made in China. And the famous complainers just make themselves look petty. If Obama was a regular wearer of de la Renta, would he dare say anything to her on this occasion? I think not.

    • athena_ak says:


      What’s your definition of “appropriate”?

      Mrs. Obama wore a formal ball gown to a formal dinner that she and her husband hosted. In my book, that counts as both event- and position-appropriate. Any other details are entirely at her discretion.

      • I think that the First Lady rocks almost any outfit that she wears and I’ve blogged about it in the past.
        And I admire her for supporting young designers and not just sticking with the old guard.
        I just think that the motto “wear what you want” is a little broad for someone in her position.
        Fair or not, what she chooses to wear is a political decision.

  3. Esther says:

    AMEN! I don’t understand why it caused such a big stir… after all, she has worn items from Lanvin and Alaia (although these were on “lesser” occasions, I suppose). So she chose to wear a dress from an incredible (but non-American) designer. Kudos for her! I’d like to point out that other first ladies don’t always wear clothing made by designers from their home country, let alone from a “mid-tier” label like J. Crew.

    And, oh Lord, what if her sneakers are from a non-American brand? 99% of “American” brands are made in China now, anyway.

    • WendyB says:

      I know, Esther. If she wore a non-American designer to the inauguration, THAT would have been inappropriate. But to wear nothing but “American” clothes for the duration of the presidency? When, as you point out, most U.S. goods are made overseas because U.S. consumers don’t value labor and demand cheap goods? WTF.

      • Esther says:

        Exactly. Have any of the other American First Ladies done this? Even Jackie O wore mostly European designers, and everyone always moons on about how she is an amazing AMERICAN style icon. I think Michelle Obama is a beautiful woman, and she deserves to wear beautiful gowns (whatever their country of origin) wherever and whenever she feels like it.

        Now the question is, is Obama’s tux an American label? Because heaven forbid he chose to wear a European-label tuxedo!

      • WendyB says:

        Didn’t Jackie have (French-born) Oleg Cassini knock off European looks, so she could say she was wearing American? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oleg_Cassini I have to read more about it…

      • Esther says:

        Okay, for some reason it won’t let me reply to your reply! I was under the impression that Jackie wore a lot of French designers, but perhaps I had that bit of information confused. I’m not a big fan of Jackie O (ohhhhh I know, it’s practically blasphemous for me to say that).

  4. Sally says:

    Michelle rocks. And so do YOU!

  5. TexNYQueen says:

    First – I love that my wordcheck is sorpanos!

    Second – it\’s an homage of sorts to the late McQueen.

    Third – it\’s red in celebration of Chinese New Year.

    Fourth – the gown is absolutely beautiful.

    And as ya\’ll have pointed out – just about everything is made in China.

    Kudos to the First Lady for looking glamorous!

    • WendyB says:

      Best she looked in a while, I thought. I rather see her wearing a flattering gown by a British label than looking lumpy in an American label.

  6. Megan Mae says:

    “Wear what you want” Amen to that! It’s great reminder. I’ve been feeling a bit intimidated by my own clothes lately. They’re all things I love, but some part of me wants to hide in a plain black tee and jeans some days.

    That said, Lady Obama looks gorgeous and that McQueen dress is not only lovely, but very appropriate.

  7. StefM says:

    The first thing I thought was, Go girl! Then I thought of your motto!

  8. Would your swear rings have been appropriate seeing as they’re by an American designer? x

  9. Well yes. And oh joy I think she has to actually pay for her clothes. I wonder if Barack ever says Honey, you don’t NEED another dress, how much did you spend last month?

  10. Lara says:

    She looked gorgeous (is always appropriate) and I think there was an homage to China in the color choice. Love that she’s promoting this way of thinking!

    PS – you’re the only blog I subscribe to that does abbreviated posts in my Google Reader! 😉 Love ya!

  11. Hooray for Michelle. That is a fabulous motto (of course it is, it’s yours) and it’s about time someone had the balls to say that.

    And anyway, the dress is beautiful, he was an amazing designer and she looks stunning in it. And if there’s a better way to stick two fingers up to the press than looking amazing, I can’t think what it is.

  12. Kristin says:

    Standing O for our first lady AND Wendy B!

  13. Mary Panjari says:

    She looks amazing. That McQueen is TDF. What a load of bullshit. Hasn’t America got other more pressing stuff to worry about?

  14. I think it is a bit parochial to always expect her to be in American designers. Surely the US is a big enough country that they don’t need to worry about sharing? The US is one of the best countries in the world for promoting its home-grown labels, this is one of the dumbest criticisms I’ve ever heard. Last time I checked, Oscar de la Renta was a world-famous designer who had no problems with exposure. Sounds like a severe case of sour grapes to me.

  15. Hahaha team Wendy & Michelle rock!

    PS got the goodwife as my anti-spam word – is this politically motivated :)!

  16. I think Michelle Obama looked fab in McQueen and Roksanda Illincic in China, and she consistently supports American designers – surely she can wear what the hell she likes?

  17. liz says:

    OMG i read this and thought of you immediately! : )

  18. liz says:

    had to comment again to say this anti-spam word is lizthe1! awesome.

  19. stacy says:

    Obviously, I’m all about supporting American designers, but for God’s sake, there aren’t that many good ones. Ooops, did I just say that? No, I didn’t. I wrote it. But, seriously, great design is great design… period. American, European, whatever.

  20. People really need to get off of the Obama tit! Like seriously, it’s a dress, she looked amazing in it, end of story.

  21. prunella jones says:

    Damn straight! What could be more American than wearing whatever the hell you want?

    It’s like, I was eating pancakes at The loveless Cafe last Saturday, and one of my friends was all, “Hey Pru, the nineties called, it wants it’s outfit back!”

    Well, like the proud patriot I am, I gave that bitch the finger. Because, if you can’t lounge around wearing a Nirvana tee, plaid flannel shirt, long thrift store cardigan, old cords, and Doc Martens, while cramming carbs and coffee on a cold winter morning, then obviously, the terrorists have won.

    Plus, I love that dress Michelle wore. Why does Belle de Ville hate America?