Even as Ann Romney’s wardrobe becomes an issue in the 2012 presidential election, critics of her sartorial choices have turned a blind eye on first lady Michelle Obama’s frequent appearances in pricey designer outfits.
When the wife of the presumptive Republican nominee appeared on television last week wearing a nearly $1,000 blouse, pundits were quick to point out the price tag. MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell called the blouse "a really ugly T-shirt" that is "yet another example of how out of touch the Romney family can be with how 99 percent of Americans live."
The first lady’s expensive designer clothes, however, rarely warrant mention. There is the $1,300 dress she wore in Ghana, the $2,300 leather vest she wore to a food bank, and the $900 dress by designer Chris Benz she wore on an episode of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" benefiting homeless veterans.
When she helped Student Conservation Association volunteers plant a tree at the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in Washington, D.C., in 2009, InStyle noted Michelle Obama’s "sleek ensemble" included motorcycle boots, slim black trousers and a ribbon embellished t-shirt fromLanvin that retails for more than $1,400 at Barneys.
Visiting a third-grade class in 2009, the first lady appeared in a navy polka dot Lanvin dress that retailed for $3,643 on luxury online designer retailer, My Theresa.
Even in trips to the third world, Mrs. Obama makes sure to dress first-class. On July 12, 2009, she wore a Sophie Theallet dress while visiting a hospital in Ghana. Similar Sophie Theallet dresses retail for $1,295 at Saks Fifth Avenue. The per capita GDP of Ghana is $3,100.