Michelle Obama has been heralded as a style icon throughout her two terms as First Lady, notably pairing accessible brands like her beloved J.Crew with the haute couture that's required of her for the more presidential events, like state dinners and inauguration dances.
But while being a fashionable First Lady is expected of Michelle Obama in her role as the woman on POTUS' arm, it's still often up to her to foot the bill for her extensive wardrobe.
Although critics might insist that Michelle Obama's sartorial choices are purchased with taxpayers' dollars, this is not readily the case.
Instead, Michelle Obama pays for her everyday wear, as well as for many of the outfits she wears on official US outings.
Although she's expected to dress well, Michelle Obama does not receive a clothing allowance or salary for her First Lady fashions.
Occasionally, however, a haute couture gown might be purchased for FLOTUS by the US government, like the Jason Wu gowns she wore on the inauguration nights in 2008 and 2012.
But when Michelle Obama accepts these designs, she doesn't get to keep them — instead, the clothes become property of the US government, to be properly protected and stored as pieces of history.
Press Secretary to the First Lady explained:
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.
How does MObama get away with her seemingly donning a new J.Crew skirt and Tracy Reese dress on every other occasion?
The White House insists that the First Lady doesn't borrow clothes, but wouldn't remark on how much money she spent to look that chic all the time.
Instead, Michelle Obama's personal assistant said that FLOTUS wasn't afraid to bargain hunt, "considering the best offered price and buying on discount if discounts are available."
The Obamas reported an adjusted income of $481,000 last year and the family reportedly possesses assets worth $1.8 to $7 million, so we can't imagine money being too much of an issue.
H/T: US News and World Report, Photo Credit: WENN