Thanks, Michelle, for 'Grown-Up' Dresses

Hopefully, 'streamlined' silhouette spells doom for 'childish' frocks
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2009 1:18 PM CDT
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – In a clothing market deluged by “a sea of baby dolls, goddesses, empire waists, and wide A-lines,” Jackie Cooperman is adrift. “Why must it be so difficult to locate dresses cut for women neither childish nor with child?” she writes on DoubleX. Though the advent and popularity of free-flowing women’s clothing is understandable, Cooperman pines for grown-up silhouette. Luckily, trends—and the trendy first lady—appear to have conspired in Cooperman’s favor.

“Michelle Obama’s proclivity for dressing in sheaths, wearing belts, and revealing her toned, bare arms is providing a template for comfortable, authoritative dressing,” Cooperman writes, and designers—and even mainstream stores like Banana Republic, with its Mad Men-inspired fashions—are following suit. “So this fall and winter, we may, finally, have dress options that both accommodate and delineate, making us look, at long last, like women with grown-up lives.”