May 14, 2009

Inspired by… Michelle Obama: One Strand of Pearls, 6 Looks


Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend but pearls are like a big sister who will always be there for you. I received my first single strand of pearls when I graduated from high school. At first, I thought I could only wear them on special occasions. But as I got older I realized their versatility.

Here, I’ve styled a pearl necklace six ways to show how the jewelry can work for the office, a luncheon or a date. I took inspiration from Michelle Obama when creating these outfits. Notice I said inspiration, not getting the look for less. Rather than having a cheaper copy of a celebrity outfit I prefer to take elements of people’s style that I admire and make it my own. For example, I love how Michelle mixes her studded Azzedine Alaïa belt with more feminine pieces. Instead of mimicking one of her belted outfits from head to toe, I took a blue dress from my closet and swapped the simple patent belt I usually wear with it for a studded one. I’m also a fan of the first lady’s unique color combos. I’ve worn my green sweater set with a white skirt before—paired with simple nude stilettos. But I thought about Michelle’s interesting inaugural lemongrass and jade coupling and tried an unexpected color on my feet. Mrs. O wouldn’t necessarily wear neon, but I love anything fluorescent—and the electric yellow is definitely more original than nude.

1. Vince dress, Forever 21 belt, Stuart Weitzman pumps, vintage pearls
2. J. Crew cardigan, Hard Tail tank, Ann Taylor belt, vintage skirt, Calvin Klein pumps, Alex and Ani bangles
3. Theory button-down, Forever 21 cardigan, Forever 21 belt, Forever 21 pants, Bolo flats
4. BCBG cardigan set, Elie Tahari skirt, Manolo Blahnik sandals
5. Ann Taylor cardigan, Cosabella cami, Target boy’s belt, Forever 21 abstract skirt, Prada pumps
6. Forever 21 dress, assorted brooches, Giuseppe Zanotti peep-toes

Which Michelle Obama Inspired Look Do You Like Best?

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Leave a Comment


  1. Sal commented:

    They’re ALL fab, Sydne, and all very Michelle. I know the pearls were a touchstone, but these looks are also all either cardigan- or dress-based. Perfectly evokes that slightly preppy and decidedly feminine look that Michelle does so well.

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    • Sydne commented:

      Very true Sal. I guess it was fun for me to resurrect my old preppy style. I used to live in cardigans. Thankfully I kept most!

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  2. Diana commented:

    Love these outfits! Pearls truly are one of the most versatile and fab accessories.

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