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The conventions are over, the presidential race finally official. That means hyper-scrutiny of every word spoken, every gesture made and every look worn by the candidates’ wives. From now through the election, WWD will weigh in periodically on the sartorial selections of Michelle Obama, Ann Romney, Jill Biden and Janna Ryan, beginning here, with a look back at the convention choices of Obama and Romney. 


This story first appeared in the September 8, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.



Who has done more for American fashion these last four years? Michelle Obama has shown an affinity for dresses and a will to experiment.

Tracy Reese iridescent brocade dress: A fabulous fusion of flamboyance and elegance.

Laura Smalls floral sheath: An artful, modernist alternative to typical convention blue.

Laura Smalls batik printed frock: Smacked of trying too hard, with one foot in classic daywear and the other in cocktail hour.


Throughout the convention period, nothing Ann Romney wore went unnoticed or undocumented. No doubt the sudden exhaustive attention takes getting used to. So far, Romney has looked polished, working the unfussy side of lady.

Oscar de la Renta shirtdress:
Simply chic, its vibrant red commanding attention.

Alfred Fiandaca shirtdress:
A clinical cut in unexpected girly pink — feisty and a campaign lesson, to boot. Romney should choose fabrics that wrinkle less or take a travel iron along the trail.

Shirt coat over khaki pants: Dressing down with panache.