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After more than five years in the White House—and more sartorial scrutiny than any First Lady since Jackie O—Michelle Obama is still delivering fabulous fashion. And her wardrobe of dressy flats, cute cardigans and bold prints has changed the way we dress, too! She always looks chic, on-trend and—most importantly—like she’s having fun with fashion. That’s why the “Mom-in-Chief” is our style inspiration! Here are the best style tricks we learned simply by following her lead.
Flats Can Be as Dressy as Heels
Hiroko Masuike/Getty ImagesAt 5’11”, Obama doesn’t need the height that heels provide, so she stocks her wardrobe with eye-catching flats in luxurious colors and textures, switching up the toe shapes from rounded to pointy to open-toe. Finally, comfortable shoes actually worth coveting!
Colorblocking Is a Major Money-Saver
TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty ImagesHave a simple dress or skirt in a fun color? Choose a top or cardigan in an equally vivid solid and voila—you’ve got an outfit that shows your confidence, without buying any new pieces.
Bangs Are Incredibly Versatile
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
When Mrs. O debuted her self-described “midlife crisis” bangs, the world took notice—and millions of women related to the idea of wanting a mini makeover to mark a milestone. Since then, she’s worn her fringe lots of different ways, from sideswept (so feminine and sexy!) to blunt (chic and powerful!) and even tucked into a headband.
Neutral Nails Don't Have to Be Boring
ROBYN BECK/AFP/GettyImagesMrs. O showed up to the Democratic National Convention sporting a dusky gray manicure and the Twitterverse went crazy guessing the shade. Since then, the hue has become a salon staple, and professional women are considering a rainbow of new neutral polishes.
A Bold Belt Brightens a Basic Silhouette
Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesA plain brown leather belt? Not for our First Lady! Mrs. Obama has made belts covered in large stones and sparkly hardware a must-have accessory. They add just the right amount of glamour to everything from a serious sheath to a knee-length coat.
Prints Can Be as Elegant as Basic Black
Alex Wong/Getty ImagesWho says little black dress is the best way to look chic? While she sticks to streamlined silhouettes, Obama is downright fearless when it comes to exaggerated patterns. Case in point: This gorgeous poppy-print number from go-to designer Tracy Reese.
Peach Gloss Goes With Everything
Alex Wong/Getty ImagesAt events where red lips might be overpowering, Obama slicks on peach-toned gloss. It’s understated, pretty and brings out the radiance in her skin.
It’s Cute to Coordinate
Mark Wilson/Getty ImagesObama has clearly passed her fashion know-how to the next generation. Lessons 1 and 2: J.Crew is an American treasure—and jewel tones always look appropriate.
Never Be Afraid to Try Out a Trend
MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty ImagesIt’s the silhouette every cool girl-on-the-street loves to wear, and—in a dusty blue knit instead of tough leather—the moto jacket looks just as easy and modern on America’s most famous mom-of-two.
If You’ve Got It, Flaunt It
Kristoffer Tripplaar-Pool/Getty ImagesWe’ve all heard this maxim, but no one embraces it quite as elegantly as Obama. Famous for her killer arms, she takes no notice of those who say she should keep them covered, and instead spotlights them in strapless and off-the-shoulder gowns, including this magical Marchesa.