US first lady Michelle Obama packed a suitcase of her favorite designers for her first overseas trip in that capacity, wearing many of the same labels she has put on the fashion map — including the unstuffy retailer J. Crew.
As she toured London on Wednesday ahead of the G20 summit and met British Queen Elizabeth II, Obama stuck with many of the labels that she wore during inauguration festivities two months ago — Jason Wu, Thakoon and Isabel Toledo — reaffirming her role as champion of unsung US fashion.
She also wore items by the better-known Michael Kors, whom she also wore for her first official portrait, and J.Crew, the brand she once said she shopped for online at night.
“She’s continuing her understated glamor,” said Anamaria Wilson, fashion news/features director at Harper’s Bazaar. “She puts her own individual twist on things. She’ll mix a print, wear a nice vivid color. ... And she’s still wearing American designers, fostering American fashion, something we need to be doing right now.”
The two-tone Toledo dress she wore to meet the queen had an ivory camisole top, origami-style waistband and a full tea-length black skirt.
British reporters had buzzed about whether Mrs. Obama would bare her arms with the queen; she did not, covering them with a black cardigan, but later shed the sweater for the G20 working dinner.