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Michelle Obama Reveals Her Fashion Motto

10/18/2011 at 06:00 PM ET

Miss Piggy InStyleCarolyn Kaster/AP

First Lady Michelle Obama may be a major fashion plate, but she’s not choosing her daily looks based on labels — it’s all about practicality.

Speaking to reporters Monday during a roundtable at the White House for her Let’s Move! campaign, Obama revealed her personal style motto. “I have to wear what I love,” she said. “I have to feel good in it. My day-to-day wardrobe choices are very practical. I’m like, ‘What’s the temperature?’ ‘Am I going to be sitting in the grass?’ ‘Will I be playing with kids?’ ‘Can I sit on the floor?’”

The First Lady explained that her key concerns are generally about her shirts bunching up or not covering enough of her back, because “if I bend over [I'm] worrying about that … embarrassing shot,” she joked.

And though she chooses her casual clothes — H&M, Gap, Talbots, Target (which she wore Monday, above) with a purpose — naturally, she also shops for what she really likes. “It’s like my music,” she explained. “Everything in my closet is something that I love, so that I can make choices based on what makes sense, knowing that I’m going to love whatever it is. I think that tends to be my philosophy.”

Obama said that with the focus off her clothes, she can focus instead on the people she’s with at any given event. “If I’m comfortable in what I have on, that’s second nature, and then all my attention can go to the people in the room that I’m with at the time, and I don’t have to worry about whether something is riding up or whether my feet hurt. I don’t want to waste anxiety on something as limited as clothes.”

However, when it comes time for major galas, the First Lady does think a bit more fashionably. “I try to be thoughtful about spreading the wealth: young designers,” she said. “Mixing things up is important to me.”

But at the end of the day, it’s about the personal impression she’s making on others, and not so much about her looks. “Ultimately, did they walk away feeling good and inspired, and maybe ready to think a little bit differently?” she said. “That’s what I’m hoping to do with the interactions I have.”

–Kate Hogan

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Showing 41 comments

Selena on

She is a “fashion plate”?????? Seriously? She looks like a “fashion disaster”. She needs to focus on her baboon butt face and see if she can get help with it!

Lotus on

I love the First Lady’s fashion sense and she seems like a down-to-earth person. I’d love to run into her at at Target.

Isabella on

Suddenly she became a fashionista….I wish I could bring her pictures before they were campaigning….Two sisters separated at birth.

cgeeblanco on

I love how so many of you are calling her fat and criticizing the amount of money she spends on clothes. First of all, given that 66% of the US population is either overweight or obese, I have a hard time believing you all are taking a break from your day job as models to comment on this post. Second of all, the lady was employed before she came to the White House and made a heck of a lot of her OWN money. If she wants to use it to buy herself a dress from Target of all places, I don’t see why that’s a problem. Bunch of bitter Betty’s lurking around these parts.

packer on

She should not wear the belts and her high heels do not look good on her. You can see her feet, needs to find a better pair.

cindy on

im so sick and tired of hearing about her and her “fashion sense” the only first lady that had any real fashion sense was Jackie Kennedy, not this lady who uses her money friviously. I dont hear anything about her doing any good to the community, at least the last first lady Laura Bush promoted reading and schooling. how about some scandal? rather read her go to rehab like Betty Ford or something.

lynn on

Blah, blah blah. . . . .

Sofie on

All you idiots are haters Mrs. Obama is beautiful elegant and she has a great sense of style! @Selena your a my friend are the baboon!!

Lucky on

She even likes to “spread the wealth” when it comes to fashion. Geez. Give me a break.

Selena on

@Katie Roy, Natalie also thinks Michele can “do no wrong…, so obviously, she lives in a fantasy world. People who are secure within themselves don’t have a need to mention what “size” they wear. Natalie is lacking in brains and self confidence. Michele Obama, well……there is nothing good about her.

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