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Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Style Hardcover – February 8, 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Betts, a Time style and design contributor has been an avid observer of first lady Michelle Obama’s style since she first stepped into the limelight. More than a fashion handbook, this book serves as an exploration of the societal and political implications of Mrs. Obama’s style, a pondering of why style matters, and an argument for the notion that “[s]tyle is a part of the content of one’s character.” Betts parses the first lady’s choices of clothing (cardigans and floral dresses rather than navy blue pants suits) as well as her persona, from her warmth and openness to her decision to let cameras capture her hula-hooping on the White House lawn. Betts also takes a fascinating, well-researched look at first ladies throughout history (Mary Todd Lincoln was criticized for her fashionistaesque extravagance) and muses on the ways in which they were a reflection of women’s roles during their years in the White House. With its fine mix of deconstruction and designer interviews, well-sourced research and sumptuous photos, Betts has created a book that is eye and brain candy alike. Photos. (Feb.)
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From Booklist

Lots o’ buzz will accompany this fashion portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama. As befits another buzz-maker, ex–editor in chief of Harper’s Bazaar and now author Betts, the book is filled with hyperbole, adjectives galore, comparisons across the century with other POTUS’ (Presidents of the United States’) wives, and a bit too much of me, myself, and I. Despite the use of superlatives, and even though Betts is no objective third-party observer, she not only takes great care in following Obama’s transition from power wife to power mom but also credibly examines the personal styles of Jackie Kennedy, Hillary Clinton, and Nancy Reagan, to mention three influential presidential companions. What is of prime importance is the recognition that style matters and that the careful expression of personal style—which all three women demonstrated—is the highest manifestation of a woman secure in herself. Great photographs add power to the author’s words; and sidebars, such as notes about couturiers (including Arnold Scaasi) and the 10 commandments of First Lady style, provide some additional intelligence. An easy read that is bound to be asked for by many readers. --Barbara Jacobs
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Potter Style; First Edition edition (February 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307591433
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307591432
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,080,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Kate Betts is an award-winning magazine editor and bestselling author who has held top positions at two of the worlds most successful fashion magazines, Harper's Bazaar and Vogue. In 2003 she was named editor at large at Time magazine where she created the first globally published style supplement, Time Style & Design. Betts was named editor in chief of Harper's Bazaar in June 1999. She moved to Bazaar from Vogue, where she was the fashion news director from 1991 to 1999. Betts began her career as a reporter for and later the associate bureau chief of the Paris office of Fairchild Publications. Betts was recently named one of the top 10 fashion editors by Forbes magazine. She was the 2011 recipient of the Mary Lou Luther Award for excellence in fashion journalism. She has written for over twenty publications including The New York Times, Glamour, New York, Elle, and Travel+Leisure. She has appeared on television regularly since 1993 including The Charlie Rose Show, The View, The Today Show, and Good Morning America. A graduate of Princeton University, Betts lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wonderful Book. A must have for any Obama Fan. Great Gift or for Personal Collection. Beautiful wording and Pages. I so Love Michelle Obama.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Amazing what barriers she's knocked through by dressing oh so very, very well!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
So well written that I sent a fan letter to the author.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a nice book with good info and beautiful pictures, however it should be called first lady style. I thought the book would be strictly about her fashion sense and inspiration but that wasn't the case. It is a well written book though- so I can't complain too much. The cover art is a bit misleading to the actual book contents though.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a terrifically fun book by Kate Betts, fashion writer. It's loaded with sumptuous photos and informative essays. A great book for reading, the coffee table, and to give as a gift.
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Format: Hardcover
A wonderful addition to any library, especially for those interested in fashion and its place in the political arena. Ms Betts illustrates, not only through photographs and drawings, but also with lively prose, Michelle Obama's celebration of fashion and its role in the life of a 21st century First Lady. "Everyday Icon" examines all aspects of Michelle Obama's style, from her high fashion gowns to her most casual clothes. In short, a fabulous book!
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Format: Hardcover
The must have coffee table book for the spring. Kate Betts makes the case for style and substance as worn by Michelle Obama. A fashion book that is readable, enjoyable and entertaining. We loved it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book! For anyone who loves style, fashion, and history this is a must have for your library. Betts's conversational writing style makes this an absorbing read alongside the amazing array of photographs. Betts also includes a fascinating history of past first ladies and their style. Who knew that Mary Todd Lincoln was a bit of a shopaholic!! Betts makes a compelling argument why style matters, and how Michelle Obama has become the most important icon of style for women today.
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