Money doesn’t equal style

June 14, 2011

The Huffington Post headline read: “Michelle Obama Leaves for Camp David in $29.99 Gap Dress.”

Gasp!  And it’s not the first time that the First Lady Of The United States (known affectionately as FLOTUS) has flouted fashion tradition and chosen fun off-the-rack clothes at retailers that average Americans frequent.

Frankly, I like that Mrs. Obama is equally comfortable walking in public in fabulous one-of-a-kind designer gowns as well as fun finds available in malls across the country.

By the way, I don’t recall seeing articles saying “The President was spotted wearing the same Armani suit he wore when he visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.”  Guys have standard uniforms that are easy to plug into the correct occasion.  At formal affairs, they can wear a tuxedo.  I also don’t recall fashion/style writers commenting: “At the State Dinner, Mr. Obama wore the same tuxedo that he wore at the Inaugural Ball.”   And, of course, white collar guys who are signalling a relaxed moment in public rely on the standard uniform of sport-coat-no-tie-with-shirt-unbuttoned-at-the-collar.  Again, I don’t hear anyone say, “Mr. Obama is wearing the same $50 shirt that he wore on his casual date night with Mrs. Obama in Chicago in 2010.”

But I digress.

Notice the picture of the First Lady and you’ll see that she wore the “Gap dress” as a tunic, along with a pair of white slacks and low-heel-yet-stylish sandals. She had a different vision for the dress, and made the look her own. To me, that’s style.  Style is how you speak and act and put your look together.  It’s doesn’t come from the amount of money in your bank account or how much you pay for your clothes.

My friend Cindy La Ferle, a fellow writer from Royal Oak, has one of the most put-together looks of anyone in town. And she’s not afraid to say that she loves to shop at our local resale shops…often choosing vintage clothes for her wardrobe.

Of course, you can find stylish women wearing expensive clothes. But the most stylish women I know understand that money doesn’t equal style.



  1. Love the post, Cindy — and thanks so much for your compliment! I am not so sure I’m “put together,” as I just wear the things I enjoy — and they have to feel good and be comfortable. (Life’s too short for itchy or tight clothing!!) Cheers!

  2. Well, Cindy, every time I’ve seen you, you look marvelous! I agree about the itchy or tight clothing. But I like your sartorial philosophy: wear the things you enjoy as long as they feel good and are comfortable!

  3. You are right about how put together the First Lady always looks. She seems comfortable in her own skin. I have said for years that I’d like to have someone help me shop for clothes that best suit me. Somewhere along the way I missed the lesson on how to figure out what my style is.

  4. I agree, Cindy that our pal Ms. LaFerle always looks spiffy. And so does Mrs. O!

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