Your daily (Michelle) Obama

As the media obsesses over Sarah Palin's wardrobe, a July "Access Hollywood" interview about the Obama family's thrifty fashion choices resurfaces.

By Judy Berman
Published October 24, 2008 8:15PM (EDT)

Sarah Palin's $150K wardrobe -- and her mind-bogglingly expensive makeup artist -- has provoked a great deal of discussion about the importance of women's appearance and clothing in the national political arena. Is it really vital to spend so much money on campaign trail apparel?

According to the Obama family, the answer is "no." In an interview (posted below) with "Access Hollywood" this summer (which has, in light of what I like to call "Neimangate," recently become popular on the Internet), Michelle, Barack and their daughters discuss their thrifty shopping habits. Wearing a $30 Gap dress, Michelle talks about the adorable $148 White House/Black Market number she wore on "The View" in June and gently pokes fun at her husband's fashion apathy. "These pants he's had for probably about 10 years," she says, and the girls chime in to laugh about his frumpy belt.

Michelle admits that she buys the occasional expensive item (Jimmy Choo boots are apparently a favorite), and Barack quips, "I pay the credit card bill when it comes in." Despite my mild distaste for the "women spend while men grumble or indulge" model of family fashion politics, it's a cute segment. Many women I know shop the way Michelle does, stocking up on bargains (though I don't think any of my peers would call a $148 dress cheap) and occasionally splurging on some spendy boots. And, as always, the Obama family seems normal, loving and unaffected, supporting and teasing one another in equal measure. I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll say it again: I love those kids.

Judy Berman

Judy Berman is a writer and editor in Brooklyn. She is a regular contributor to Salon's Broadsheet.

MORE FROM Judy Berman

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Broadsheet Love And Sex