Style and Substance

Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Style by Kate Betts

First Lady Michelle Obama has become quite a polarizing figure, thought not always for political reasons. As former Harper’s Bazaar editor Kate Betts discusses in her new book, Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Style, Obama has quietly made a name for herself as a pioneer on the front of personal style. Betts, in her interesting look at the current First Lady’s sense of style and reflection on the women who held the post before her, succeeds in starting a thought-provoking discussion on style while treating her readers to the fantastic images that inspired it.

Michelle Obama, as Betts puts it, succeeds in “taking Hillary’s intellect and dressing it in Jackie’s pearls”. Essentially, Betts argues with this quote and throughout the rest of the book, that Michelle Obama is the epitome of the Postfeminist Woman. She has not only staked a claim for herself in the still male-dominated professional world, but she remains confident enough in herself to celebrate her femininity at the same time.

Interspersed throughout the book are, of course, fabulous photographs of the First Lady and her enviable wardrobe. Complementing these photos are images of the designers’ sketches that preceded them. These images are so alluring that if you’re anything like me, you will find yourself jumping ahead for a peek at the next tranche of photos!

Overall, I found Everyday Icon to be strikingly similar to its inspiration: chock full of both style and substance. This is recommended reading for anyone with an interest in fashion and style.


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