You might think the folks at J. Crew are suffering from bliss fatigue by now, especially with the news, announced on Wednesday, that Michelle Obama made People magazine's best-dressed list for 2009. As everybody knows, the First Lady's love for the preppy chain's duds, first professed during a 2008 appearance on Jay Leno, has worked fashion magic for the brand. When she showed up in London this past April sporting a J. Crew "crystal constellation" cardigan, the item sold out by 10 o'clock that morning in the U.S., and the retailer's Web-site traffic surged by 3,000 percent. These and other appearances of the Crew-clad First Family initially led some to conclude that our current First Lady is "just like the rest of us." Well, just to set the record straight, Michelle Obama's closet is also an homage to brands a wee bit more upscale than J. Crew. Donna Ricco, Isabel Toledo, Narciso Rodriguez and Thakoon are among the designer labels spotted on the First Lady in the past year or so. And while the J. Crew ensemble that Obama wore for Leno was bought for all of $340, her Maria Pinto v-neck dress cost $900, and the Thakoon Panichgul threads she wore to the Democratic National Convention reportedly set her back $1,500. Then again, perhaps she saved up for that outfit with all the money she saved shopping at J. Crew.
—Posted by Robert Klara