Obama and InStyle team up for handbag collection

While fashion helps us look good, it can also do good — and that’s exactly the aim of a new handbag collection from First Lady Michelle Obama and InStyle.

Fresh off her stint as covergirl for InStyle‘s October issue, People Style says Obama and InStyle channeled their working relationship into a new line of handbags that will benefit the Peace Corps Let Girls Learn Fund, the First Lady’s project to “to help adolescent girls around the world attend school since more than 62 million girls are currently not in classrooms due to physical, cultural, or financial barriers.”

Teaming up with American designers, the line features several limited-edition tote bags that depict a country of the designers’ choosing in which “Let Girls Learn is working to provide education to young women who need it,” reports People Style, and the resulting design is inspired by the culture of the country.

Designers like Carolina Herrera (who chose Peru), Prabal Gurung (who chose South Africa), Jason Wu, DKNY, Diane Von Furstenberg, Tanya Taylor and Narciso Rodriguez all joined in on the project, offering stylish tote designs that People Style says will be available only at shop.InStyle.com starting on Oct. 10 (pre-orders started on Sept. 12).

Totes start at $52, says People Style, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Let Girls Learn.


She Leads, You Follow: State Dinner Edition

While most first families navigate public appearances and state dinners in style, the Obamas always seem to be the best dressed at any event they attend — and there was no exception at the U.S.-Canada State Dinner that took place last week on Thursday, March 10.

According to InStyle, First Lady Michelle Obama wore an indigo gown by Canadian designer Jason Wu. Featuring a mustard and cayenne red floral print, the strapless gown was cut in a figure-flattering A-line silhouette with a band at the natural waist and pleating at the bust. Mrs. Obama completed her regal look with sultry loose waves, natural makeup and minimal jewelry.

Style definitely runs in the family, as Sasha and Malia Obama attended the dinner in their own eye-catching ensembles. Both sisters settled on Naeem Khan gowns, according to Teen Vogue, with Malia opting for a cream A-line number with gold beading strewn about the bodice and skirt, while Sasha chose a high-neck lace number which she accented with a skinny leather collar necklace.

Although the First Family is dressed for the most posh of events, there are certain things we can learn from their looks to apply to the way we dress every day:

  1. Go bold – All three gowns worn by the women of the Obama family involved a print in some form or another; while Malia’s gown offered a demi-polka dot print with its patterned beading from bodice to hem, Sasha’s gown featured a bold lace overlay. Mrs. Obama’s gown, however, was done in a colorful floral print. While each pattern varies in its size, shape and color, they are bold in their own ways and add visual interest to their looks. The beading of Malia’s gown is a good alternative to an actual print, delivering both shine and texture to the look without a deliberate print. Sasha’s lace gown also offers a bold print from traditional lace, doing so with its burgundy, white and black coloring. Mrs. Obama’s gown renews a classic floral motif with its bright colors over a dark, textured background. When shopping for printed pieces, take the Obamas’ lead and look for twists on something traditional, like a beaded pattern or a rejuvenated floral.
  2. Go with grace – The thing that always makes their outfits is their grace, poise and confidence; the Obamas show that, no matter what you wear, confidence is what makes the outfit. So whether you are attending a state dinner, attending a wedding, heading out to a bar with your friends or just grocery shopping on a Sunday morning, be sure to carry yourself with confidence — confidence in not only your outfit, but most importantly in yourself.