Ever wonder how Michelle Obama is able to make an affordable fashion statement with her stylish wardrobe?
First, let’s cut to the chase. For all the haters: the taxpayers are NOT footing the bill.
Other than that, the answer is as classified as a covert military operation overseas. Although first ladies are expected to dress well, the Associated Press reports they don’t receive a clothing allowance or a salary to help pay for their clothing.
In its quest to find out who pays for Mrs. Obama’s wardrobe, the news organization referenced the adjusted income for the Obamas last year, which amounted to $481,000. Assets totaled $1.8 million to $7 million. In addition the AP mentions that Mrs. Obama (or rather her personal aide) looks for clothing discounts.
A complete breakdown of the situation comes courtesy of Joanna Rosholm, press secretary to the first lady, who admitted, “Mrs. Obama pays for her clothing.”
“For official events of public or historic significance, such as a state visit, the first lady’s clothes may be given as a gift by a designer and accepted on behalf of the U.S. government. They are then stored by the National Archives,” she told the AP.
Donated clothing worn by Mrs. Obama includes her two Jason Wu inaugural gowns, a blue Carolina Herrera gown worn to February ‘s state dinner for French President Francois Hollande and a gold beaded Naeem Khan gown that was worn to the 2012 governors ball. Both gowns are currently on display at the American Museum of Natural History.
The first lady’s office had no comment on whether the couture gowns worn by Mrs. Obama for her six other White House state dinners also were donated, the AP mentioned while stating how the office would not say how many gowns have been donated for other big events the first lady is expected to dress up for, such as the annual Kennedy Center Honors ceremonies, governors’ dinners and White House correspondents’ dinners.
In regards to finding affordable wares for Mrs. Obama, Anita McBride, chief of staff to Laura Bush during her time as first lady, gave credit to the Obama White House for working to find a cost-saving way to “keep Mrs. Obama in all those incredible clothes and to have the use of them not once but multiple times.”