Photo used with kind permission from photographer Luke Vargas
"No drama" may be a mantra for President-Elect Obama, but for Mrs. O it's a different story, at least when it comes to her fashion choices. We've covered most of her style signatures-the floral brooches, the jewel colours, the statement belts- in exhaustive detail.
However, one Michelle Obama favourite seems to have escaped our attention until now--her penchant for a dramatic sleeve. Yet another distinctive element of her highly personal style, Mrs. O often uses a flared or draped sleeve to add an unusual element to an otherwise classic piece of tailoring. This checked wool coat for example, is given an unexpected twist with the addition of a dramatic bell sleeve that gives it an almost medieval flavour.
Similarly, this classic Peter Soronen skirt suit is given additional interest with a fluted three-quarter length sleeve while a simple black coat is given volume here with extravagantly flared sleeves and an elegant trapeze cut. The stunning red suit Mrs. O wore on Super Tuesday all the back in February 2008 was another early indicator of this emerging style signature.
One more example of Mrs. O's style savvy, these over-sized details not only add individual touches to a sleek and professional wardrobe, they also have an impact on camera or in front of a large crowd that more conventional tailoring would lack. Mrs. O carries the same approach through to other aspects of her wardrobe, often opting for an over-sized collar or exaggerated buttons. While comparisons with the Kennedy White House have been abundant, Mrs. O's taste for a dramatic and voluminous sleeve recalls a much older Camelot, giving our First-Lady-in-waiting a fabulously regal and statuesque silhouette.