Did you see Michelle Obama on Leno this week? To paraphrase one of my favorite Barrington Levy songs — every day I love her just a little bit more.

I would be ever so proud to have her as the first lady. But this post isn’t about politics. It’s about fashion!

55 Secret Street already gave Michelle some fashion recommendations, and I think Stereohyped hit the nail on the head when they cited her style icon status as key to her increasingly successful campaigning.

I look at Michelle and she makes me want to step up my style game. And she makes me think I can almost afford to do so — this Obama mama shops at H&M and J Crew (love that Italian Deco tank!). Fabulous blog Mrs. O really details her fashion better than I ever could.

Michelle is a fashion trendsetter. She’s not afraid to accessorize, and the central focus of her look is often a bold, jeweled brooch. As the LA Times notes at the Democratic National Convention: “…with her jeweled pin, she may have single-handedly brought back the brooch. Grandmas, guard your jewelry boxes.”

The LA Times reader poll rated her DNC style as “matronly,” but I say give it time. If Michelle becomes first lady, we might be in for a whole new renaissance of pinned on chest jewelry. So, Mrs. O — if I may be so bold — might I recommend some fun, funky, fresh brooches to breathe fresh life into your favorite retro fashion accessory?

Michelle admitted she likes to shop online, and she’s always looking for a bargain. So I extend this invitation to Michelle Obama, and any woman who wants to work a little of her style into their wardrobe. Brooches FTW! Come with me to Etsy, where everything is handmade by talented artists, and prices are waaaay cheaper than Neiman Marcus or Saks. Just sayin’.

I’d like to think Michelle Obama is technologically savvy, well read, and funky enough to appreciate steampunk style, and I think this cool steampunk Springs and Things pin would get folks talking in a good way. It’s delicate and pretty, yet edgy and cool. And it’s $25 from Etsy shop The Grand Design.

Michelle could stave off the haters and those who question her patriotism with this big, bodacious USA rhinestone pin. Ten bucks and over the top. (Is it me, or does that pin look like it would go great with Weavin Steven’s hairstyle on Joanne Cash in that episode of Split Ends?)

I personally prefer the simplicity of this lovely vintage mother of pearl brooch. It’s a mere $35 from Ye Olde World Shoppe. Classy and refined, just like Michelle!

This mahogany pin made of Scrabble pieces is cute, timely and cheap — just six bucks.

We already saw that Michelle likes to pile on the flower brooches. A floral accessory can be so fresh and fun, and it’s a fabulous accent for spring, summer — even fall if you choose your colors right.

Eleanor Rot makes some pretty flower pins — I could totes see Michelle working the delicate ice blue and metal Liana flower brooch. A STEAL at four dollars.

I also love the $45 darling coppertone Dahlia brooch/headband by Australian designer Begurple Designs. Very pretty, very unique, great seasonal colors. Michelle could so pull off the wrist corsage/brooch. Tres chic.

Is might be kind of weird to wear floral jewelry in winter, when you can see your breath and the ground is blanketed in white. If you’d like a seasonal spin on an eye catching accessory, this snowflake brooch could be the ticket. $240 is pricey by Etsy standards, but the creator, Beadmatrix is an award winning jeweler. Their Moonlight Corona biwa pearl brooch was the Silver Medal Winner for Wirework, at Fire Mountain Gems 2008. So $220 is worth it for that kind of craftsmanship.

Another way to rock a brooch is to combine it with another piece of jewelry. Check out this stunning black enamel brooch necklace, for example. $63 from Stacy Cameron Jewels, who also makes ribbon wrapped, brooch studded bangles.

How do you feel abut Michelle’s accessories, bellas — do brooches strike you as a touch matronly? Or are you ready to add a new accessory to your fashion arsenal?

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nyc/caribbean ragazza says:
October 29, 2008, 2:40 am
I have a few brooches from my mom I haven't worn in years. I don't think they are matronly. With the Mad Men influence you are going to see more and more structured yet feminine clothes. I love Mrs. O's style. I love J. Crew. H&M and Zara clothes just look cheap on me. :(
Olivia says:
October 29, 2008, 7:50 am
Michelle's style is on point and appropriate for a first lady. Some brooches don't look matronly, it depends on the outfit and the kind of style you'd like to convey. My mum gave me some of her old brooches, I love them & sometimes incorporate them in my work wardrobe. I love H&M since it fits within my budget...the v neck sweaters, knits and work pants, it depends on the style of pants though. When I finish grad school and start making big girl money maybe thats when I'll spurge a lil bit on brooches and clothes because updating my wardrobe takes time. *prays to God for an opportunity for young adults like myself to enter Corporate America & be a part of the work force*
Wes says:
October 29, 2008, 8:53 am
I LOVE Michelle's style... She's a definite trend setter AND style inspiration. I'm hoping next week this time we'll ALL be rejoicing!
Ms. Aja B. says:
October 29, 2008, 10:24 am
Mrs. Obama is such an inspiration! I feel like you in that it makes me want to step my game up! My mom has been wearing brooches for as long as I can remember. I'm not a huge fan of them, but I'm willing to try it out. I'm hoping Mrs. Obama has a thing for trendy but affordable hand bags as well! It will give me an excuse to extend my collection *smile*
kim says:
October 29, 2008, 10:43 am
The Obama mama has it going on. Her style is impecable. I love that she wears brooches she gives me the guide on how to rock them. I have a few and have always glanced at them in shops. You can also rock a nice felt hat and a brooch. It is certainly not matronly. Nothing about this women has ever struck me so. Michelle Obama is about to boost revenue for the economy of jewelry makers. See they are a team dedicated to the upliftment of everyone's economy. Beautiful!
DblDee says:
October 29, 2008, 10:44 am
I love to wear brooches they are beautiful accents to your outfit. If I'm wear a skirt or slacks to with a tie belt I like to put a nice brooch on the belt to bring it out more. Sometimes I'll pin them slightly to side of my waist, I use them on shawls. I just love them. Michelle Obama is just beautiful and classy. She will bring sophistication to white house for sure. :)
aquababie says:
October 29, 2008, 11:05 am
i love brooches myself. i make a few because not a lot of people wear them. i've also repurposed a few for customers converting them into necklaces.
Brandi says:
October 29, 2008, 11:09 am
Both my grandmother and mother have been known to add a brooche for that polished touch. Now that I'm working in a stuffy office, I definitely can see myself adding it for a little flair. I think Michelle always looks so pulled together. Like it's just effortless. What a wonderful sense of style! And if Michelle is matronly, what in the world are they saying about Cindy and Laura?
TJ says:
October 29, 2008, 11:23 am
I like her style. I keep brooches in my jewelry box, in classic, elegant shapes that never really go out of style. I've been seriously thinking about making a few of my own pieces by hand.
Alicia says:
October 29, 2008, 12:33 pm
I love Michelle Obama too and write about her often. She does made bold style choices and I love her ability to take risks. I do have some brooches that I just might dust off and wear these holiday season. alicia http://todaystyle.today.com/
HillerieCamille says:
October 29, 2008, 2:01 pm
I saw Michelle in Las Vegas the same day she was on Leno. By the time she got up to speak to the fired up crowd it was well after 9:15 PST, so I'm sure she was beat. She was extremely relaxed and casual. I was standing on the stage behind her, and I had a birds eye view of her whole ensemble. She sported skin tight black capri pants, a t-shirt with a little sweater and ballet flats. Her casual, I'm every woman style was very endearing. I was touched by her style second only to how amazing I felt when I was able to shake her hand and tell her how proud I am of her.
HillerieCamille says:
October 29, 2008, 2:05 pm
I was able to get several adorable brooches from my grandma several years ago. I rocked one in my hair, to cute up a bun, a few weeks ago and It was a major hit!
Trene says:
October 29, 2008, 2:14 pm
You are going to get me in trouble! Etsy is going to be my winter addiction and I blame you, Bella. I'm sending this entry to my boyfriend so he will know exactly where to purchase my Christmas and birthday presents. In the meantime you have me spending the little money I (don't) have and I love you for it!
C says:
October 29, 2008, 2:18 pm
Frankly, I LOVE this post and all I can say is that I LOVE that you wrote totes. That made my day.
Shell says:
October 29, 2008, 3:50 pm
I love Michelle!! I don't feel she looks matronly at all. I have to admit I like Michelle even more than Barack. Can't wait for her to be first lady.
curlychronicles says:
October 29, 2008, 3:54 pm
She's so adorable! :) She's got great style and she never fails to look polished and elegant.
styleosophy says:
October 29, 2008, 3:58 pm
I wear a brooch four days out of seven. I love them for the instant 'pop' they can give an outfit. Especially in the wintertime, I want to keep my neck area covered so necklaces arent' always a good fit. Brooches take the place and add to my outfit at the same time. And actually I think Michelle is making a lost accessory staple quite hot, and fresh again.
Get Togetha says:
October 29, 2008, 5:41 pm
I can't call Michelle a banger cause that's just downright hoodrat-ish for the future first lady of America ( Crosses Fingers and Toes!)...so I'll call her a stunna. God she's beautiful. Not in the model perfection sense but in her strength, poise, and ability to pull a man like Barack. You know they say that behind every good man is a good woman. Believe that!
Kweenie says:
October 29, 2008, 6:55 pm
Here is one woman that does not need the cost of a small house (i.e. $150,000) to look good. I love that she shops at places that most of us can afford.
UnalteredBeauty says:
October 29, 2008, 8:58 pm
I absolutely adore this woman and her style! I think the greatest compliment I've ever gotten was when this woman looked at what I was wearing and called me a young Michelle Obama. As for the brooches, fabulous! I need that coppertone Dahlia brooch in my life...like, now. =)
Judy says:
October 29, 2008, 10:31 pm
I love Michelle Obama's style. I collect vintage brooches and wear them all the time!
fall 2008 Hairstyles says:
October 30, 2008, 7:54 am
i like the Michelle Obama's hair style and i have all styles.I don’t feel she looks matronly at all.I love her and her's style.
ObamaFever says:
October 30, 2008, 3:07 pm
Michelle, the other "O", would be a First Lady of the likes we've never seen.
AppleDiva says:
October 30, 2008, 4:47 pm
No likey the H&M. JCrew was my first online purchase back in the day, so I love for the JCrew. I hope brooches are back because I do not wear jewelery otherwise, so I can bring out Banana Republic brooches. Woohoo!!
Tricia says:
October 31, 2008, 1:42 pm
Thank you so very much for this post! I love all your Etsy recommendations! And as I'm big on accessories - I am a fan of a well placed brooch and rock them every now and again. Gonna have to scour that site for some deals.
Suelanie says:
November 2, 2008, 6:55 am
I like Michelle Obama, but I don't find her clothes very appealing. Her wadrobe doesn't flatter her body type and clash with her complexion.
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