Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What about Jill Biden? And Aretha?



Fashion punditry is in full swing on the implications of Michelle Obama's outfit for the swearing-in ceremony. What does her championing of lesser-known designers such as Isabel Toledo mean?

An easing of relations with Cuba? (Toledo and artist husband Ruben are both Cuban-Americans who met while attending high school in New Jersey.) I'm not sure I'd go that deep.

What it means is that Michelle Obama isn't afraid to defy convention, from her color choice (greenish-goldish-yellowish) to her footwear (green patent Jimmy Choos).

I've yet to hear anyone weigh in on Jill Biden's ensemble. I love the red coat and the black knee-high boots, but am not digging them together. I was cold for her, and wanted to get her a pair of black tights. She's a stylish woman, no doubt, but her look was considerably less polished.


And, for the record, I loved Aretha Franklin's hat. Wearing a hat for many women is like winning in poker: Go big or go home. The Queen of Soul hit the jackpot.

What is your take on the inaugural fashion so far?

47 comments:

  1. All Presidents pale in comparison to JFK. He set the standard, which no President since has matched. As for Jill Biden, she must have been freezing. I like the fact that Mrs. Obama did her own thing as far as what she wears. She is a confident woman and she rocked her outfit.

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  2. Loved Mrs. O's outfit. Hated Jill Biden's outfit. Dress and coat were to short. The red was a bad color choice for her.
    Should take Mrs. O's lead!

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  3. Mrs. O looks really polished walking down the street during the parade. Those colors look great on her.

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  4. I just can't believe she can walk in those Jimmy Choos! My feet hurt watching her. Oh, to have young knees....

    For me, the fashion faux pas was Cindy McCain's bizarre turquoise jacket with the rhinestone pin and the very tightly pulled-back hair. She looked like she was still mad about losing. NOT a flattering outfit.

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  5. Michelle is a tough woman. In high heels with her legs exposed in 15 degree weather, no coat, no scarf, just gloves. She can't POSSIBLY be warm.

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  6. Oh my God, with the economy in shambles, people losing jobs every day, and wars everywhere, you take the time to discuss what the First Lady wears like it means anything? Two words: WHO CARES!

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  7. Michele looked very nice. Loved the little bit of "sparkle." Did not want to see Jill Biden's knees. Dress/coat was too short. What I didn't like about Aretha's hat was that it was too overpowering and distracting. She sang beautifully, but whenever they showed her, all I saw was her hat.

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  8. Michelle looked hott, and Aretha's hat threw me off at first but it grew on me.

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  9. These fashion opinions are funny. I loved Jil Biden's red coat - she is so tiny and it looked very nice on her, but her dress was not a good choice. She wore boots often, but for this occasion, they are a bit too casual. Aretha Franklin looked fine - she is always a bit flambouyant, but the hat overshadowed her singing. Michelle's outfit was very attractive, but not a good color (especially for television). The same outfit in a darker green and different fabric might have been better.

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  10. Look, just beccause everyone is crazy about BO and the first black prez and all the historic significance doesn't mean we are all blind. Jill Biden is the one that took a fashion challenge and looked great in the red coat and black boots. Aretha needs to wear anything that will take your eyes off her size and Michelle Obama;s dress looks like the outfit my grandmother wore to my parents wedding 50 years ago. She can be a brilliant woman, funny, engaging etc etc, but fashion icon......Don't think so

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  11. Jill Biden looked like a hot mess. I'm sorry you are 57 years old. Not to mention the wife to the Vice President. HOOKER BOOTS WITH NO TIGHTS AND A SHORT SKIRT are the OPPOSITE of anything a lady of the White House should wear. Jackie O would roll over in her grave to see such trash. Not to mention, practicality?? Would a classy pair of black tights hurt you Jill? Not show enough leg? Not enough easy access for Joe there? Jesus. Disgrace. At least Michelle aimed to look classy. Not really digging the color but she gets an A for effort. She's known for shaking it up a bit with her ensembles, but I'll give her points for knowing this was an occasion to look ladylike....and not a 2 dollar 57 year old hooker.

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  12. The shoes were J Crew not Jimmy Choo and Jill's boots were awesome!!

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  13. A link between the choice of a Cuban-American designer with an easing of relations with Cuba is not a question of going deep, it is a question of missing the mark, since the Cuban-American community is strongly opposed to any easing of relations with Cuba.

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  14. DOCTOR (she earned the title) Jill Biden looked darned good. I have to say I was kinda digging her look. It was hot in a Mrs. Robinson kinda way.

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  15. If Jill had put on black tights I would have loved her outfit. I thought Michelle's outfit made her look larger than she is....not what a woman usually wants!

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  16. Jill's boots were hot. I don't think women know how much guys dig high heels.

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  17. mrs. obama looked terrific. aretha's hat suited her. mrs. biden's coat and dress were WAAAAAAY too short. i liked the boots but she should have NEVER been showing those knees. Her dress was nothing special and should have come to just below her knees. and a cap sleeve? give me a break. it's freezing outside. it looked like she put absolutely NO thought into what she was going to wear today. also her coat should have come to at least the top of her boots, preferably two or three inches below the boots.
    to those who posted to say: who cares?? well, this is a fashion blog. so those of us on here expect to talk about fashion.

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  18. As time passes, it will become obvious that Jill Biden is a natural when it comes to Fashion, and Michelle Obama has more daring than Fashion sense, hence her many hits and misses.

    Her inaugural outfit by Toledo was a definite miss, for it was confused, day time of evening? and worst of all it made her look BULKY! Biden's outfit was much more chic, if a bit underdressed, but definitely showed that Bidden had a keen eye for fashion.

    Also Biden's figure is more forgiving, and Obama's offers much less room for error and it shows.

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  19. So psyched I have boots like Jills! Going to wear them now with more flair!

    They both looked great. And so did Cindy McCain...

    Why do we women make sport of ripping each other up on our clothes...

    Let's start honoring each other as beautiful NO MATTER WHAT!

    Time for a new era of conciousness.
    Out with catty, in with caring for our fellow women. Period. End of story.

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  20. Jill Biden looked sooooo much more stylish than Michelle Obama - she clearly has a sense of fashion. And boots are a great way to stay warm when you wear a skirt.
    Not only did the First Lady's green accessories and yellow outfit clash with each other, the outfit made her took HUGE and was much too glittery and festive - I guess she had not read her husband's speech highlighting the hard reality we are all going through. Loved the fact that the girls were wearing Crewcuts!

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  21. I usually love Michelle's choices in clothing and her young and fresh sense of style...she is not afraid to try something new and certainly doesnt seem to stick to that typical "frumpy and conservative" style that you often times see other first ladies with. I thought her suit was a beautiful color but I was a bit surprised at the dark green shoes...I thought they were a bit off. Jill Biden is a pretty lady for her age and seems to dress "very young"...which is okay...hey who said we HAD to age gracefully? LOL Her outfit would have been okay had her dress/skirt been a little longer. And Aretha? Go SISTA...LOL In my opinion, she has earned the right to wear anything she wants...even if it is a hat that is nearly the size of her body! Good luck to the new President and his family...and lets pray that they can make good decisions for this country...regardless of what they choose to wear!

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  22. Jill Biden is one hot older lady and I dig her young style! She's so tiny and has a great sense of fashion. Black tights probably would have been a better call, but I like the sexiness of her bare-legs. Slut!

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  23. Jill Biden looked absolutely ridiculous! She looked like the Julia Roberts character in Pretty Woman. I agree that black tights could have saved her some disgrace, what sycophant told her that it was appropriate for someone of her age and position to dress that way for such a serious occasion? I dressed more appropriately today to watch the ceremony on television!

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  24. People must be blind not to see the poor fashion choice of Mrs. Obama. As a fan of the dress she wore on The View, this mother of the bride outfit was very unflattering and made her appear larger than her husband-something no woman wants. Jackie Kennedy would be spinning in her grave to hear her fashion choices being compared with this faux pas at such a historic event. A new stylist is needed.

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  25. Jill Biden looked like Barbie without Ken. Did she not have a mirror?

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  26. Although I wasn't crazy about the color or fit of Michele's outfit, it was appropriate and tasteful. Jill Biden's outfit, however, was a completely inappropriate choice for such an occasion. Her need to try and look hot has clouded her judgement. She looked tacky for such an important event. Maybe for work but not an inaugeration. Malia and Shash were absolutely adorable and beautifully dressed. Barack Obama always looks perfectly tailored and Joe looked nice too. Aretha's hat...well, a shocker..but hey, it's Aretha and she has to have a little flair...I guess.

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  28. Last night Campbell Brown had on a red coat that looked EXACTLY like the one that Jill Biden wore to the inauguration. Anyone else see it? It caught my eye because it was MUCH too small on Campbell Brown, particularly in the arms. Had the same collar and assymetrical line on the front closure.

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  29. Didn't care for the color of the First Lady's dress worn during the Inauguration. It wasn't flattering and reminded me of the upholstery on a sofa my grandmother had in the 70s. Mrs. Biden's look was completely wrong: just because they make go-go boots in your size doesn't mean you're young enough to wear them. The outfit smacked of "old-lady-raiding-teenager's-closet". It was a look that one wouldn't have expected from a senior senator's wife. Stylist 911, stat!!

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  30. JILL BIDEN LOOKED SILLY! Come on, did she not get the memo about the importance of this event? Completely age and event inappropriate. Michelle Obama looked as stylish and put together as always!

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  31. Michelle Obama's outfit was pretty, but I don't think it was appropriate for the occasion and it did not compliment her. Jill Biden definitely didn't look appropriate. The dress and coat was too short for this occasion and she should have worn different shoes. This is a special event and deserves something more classy than boots.

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  32. I liked the way Michelle Obama's dress looked on her body because it was very flattering. However, the color choices were undesirable.

    Jill Biden's outfit, in contrast, simply clicked (even with the boots)since she was highly striking in red.

    Aretha, as much as I love your music, that horrible gray outfit (mainly the overpowering hat) had to go! It looked like a train wreck!

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  33. Michelle Obama's outfit was wonderful. She probably had a team of stylists and designers scrutinizing every hemline because all the attention would be on her. Jill Biden probably picked out her own outfit. It was reminiscent of Vivian Ward in Pretty Woman-- blonde hair, red coat, knee high boots. Let's hope she wasn't wearing the white top and blue skirt! But anyway, they both looked great. Love them both!

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  34. Jill looked awful for her age & the event.The coat is too short& she shouldn't show her knees with that boots. Very inappropriate.

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  35. Aretha- Yikes on the hat.

    Mrs. O- Wonderful everything! Loved it!

    Mrs B- Cute, but not appropriate for the occasion.

    Obama Girls- A+ They looked perfect!!

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  36. Jill Biden's outfit was appropriate for after-work-happy-hour. Just cause you're skinny and blonde doesnt mean you're hot... dont forget your 57! Michelle looked wonderful, very classy. Can we talk about the gorgeous white gown she wore to the balls?!

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  37. Please people,
    Michelle Obama's outfit was GREEN not gold and while it was an appropriate style, where was her coat?
    Jill Biden needed tights and a lower hemline on coat.

    Areatha honey, get a grip, people are NOT telling you the truth. The hat was a MESS!

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  38. Mrs.Obama had a smart style yet POOR color choice. This was not gold, more like peridot green or olive green and not exactly warm.

    Dr. Biden while petite and stylish
    she missed the memo for tights and lower coat hemline to meet the boots.

    Aretha, you missed the mark completely in that mess of a hat, what were your people thinking to even let you out in that disaster!

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  39. Personally I loved both outfits. Let's start with Mrs. O. I think the bow tying the coat was wonderful. The texture of the coat great and the color memorable and festive which is a nice mood for an historic occasion.
    The heel height and color- great.

    Dr. Biden. LOVED her look. Look after seeing the nondescript color Laura was wearing the youthful vibrance was welcomed. In fact anything NOT conservative was welcome today.

    I hate tights and like women to wear their legs bare. It is just so 80s and passe and going to a law office or something to wear that crap. Plus a lower hemline? Are we in Catholic school? For god's sake she has nice legs and knees-live! show them. Exposed skin is wonderful and boots are fabulous. Are you people living in the Victorian age or something? She really is an attractive woman. If the hem of her coat or skirt went below the knees it would have been lame and reminded me of Laura Bush 4 years ago. Any "propriety" she had is not something I want EVER reflected in fashion again. Or Lynn?? Good God. The contrast was AMAZING. It was like vibrance next to a weary witch --Lynn Cheney. The point of this election was the youth participation. Now, covering one's knees isn't youthful and she has the muscle tone to do it.

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  40. I did not think Michelle Obama's outfit was particularly appropriate for a morning event. Neither the color nor design did much for her either. Worse still, Jill Biden's way too short coat and dress, revealing unappealing bare knees. You would thing with the large coterie around each, someone would have been candid enough to point it out.

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  41. Michelle looked classy both in the morning and evening...Jill however looked very trashy...she's too old (and knobbly) to be showing her knees, and at night, she needed some boobs or a halter neck to hold the dress up, additionally it would have looked more becoming if she wore her hair up!!!
    Aretha words fail me!!!!

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  42. Mrs. Obama's outfits will become part of the Smithsonian Museum of American History's Collection and rightly so, they are classy and elegant. Mrs. Biden's outfits should just become history, retire them to the back of the closet. I am shocked that Mrs. Biden, someone who has been around Washington DC a long time, would attempt to dress like a teenager on her big day in the press limelight. She looked silly, inappropriate and she should get a fashion consultant asap.

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  43. I loved Aretha's Hat- The big bow seemed to be a great analogy for neatly tying up our countries historical loose ends!

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  44. I thought Michelle Obama did Isabel Toledo proud in her choice with a lively color for what can be a stuffy ceremony. I too felt while Jill Biden is a very petite person, her choice for a too short, age inappropriate coat and "go-go" boots were uncalled for. Her cap-sleeve gray dress was not the dress you want to wear in sub-zero weather.

    Being a Detroiter and home to dear Aretha Franklin, we continually worry, when she is out, what "outfit" will she destroy by wearing it. It appears she hs no stylist or cares not what all 350+ lbs of her looks like. I thought the fact she had a tasteful, subdued gray coat on and that fab hat, put all Michiganders at ease. The designer for her hat is a long time Detroit Habedasher(sp?). The hat was a great accessory to her very robust size. Detroit women love their hats big or don't show.

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  45. I think Mrs Obama looked wonderful although at first it seemed a little too shiny for daytime, but still very pretty. Jill Biden's skirt was too short and she needed something on her legs. I really LOVED A's hat!! It rocked! And yes this is a forum about fashion and I like to have a place to escape from all the sadness and the economy talk!

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  46. Hi Nice Blog . I don't really know a lot about Knee or art, but that's just my 2 cents. Really great job though, Krudman! Keep up the good work!

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  47. I didn't care what Michelle wore. Jill Biden looked amazing.
    Loved the dress and the boots were hot.
    The coat was cute and looked warm which is what I'm sure she was going for more than anything else.
    She's my role model and I love her style.

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