When It Comes to Fashion, Ann Romney Just Can't Win

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When It Comes to Fashion, Ann Romney Just Can\'t Win
Just two days since the second Presidential debate, while the two hopefuls Barack Obama and Mitt Romney jabbed it out loud, clear, and sometimes off-topic in the town hall ring (let’s keep the pensions in your pants, boys), a quieter, more colorful debate was rumbling on the sidelines: a fashion fuchsia-pink face-off between the dresses of Michelle Obama and Ann Romney. The consensus: Michelle, in a coat blazer and matching dress by Michael Kors, was victorious.

This patriotic version of “Who Wore It Best?” is general go-to fervor for the fashion section of pop culture weeklies and blogs anytime the two ladies step out on the campaign trail. Michelle always comes out on top. Regardless of who takes the White House in November, Ann just can’t win.

Fashionista wrote a comprehensive case for why fashion is always turning the cold cap-sleeved shoulder to Anne, highlighting the following observations:

– Fashion in general is tinted in blue: 53.9% of the total contributions the industry gave to the presidential race went to Obama.

– “Runway to Win” campaign: a project put together by designers Diane von Furstenberg, Marc Jacobs, Derek Lam, and others with Michelle Obama shows where some of the industry’s heavy-hitters allegiances are.

– Anna Wintour: the Vogue editor is a staunch supporter of the President’s bid for a second-term and widely influential voice in the industry.

– Sales, sales, sales: Anything Michelle wore during her husband’s first 100 days in office flew off retail racks and crashed retailer’s sites in minutes; Michelle, who often opts for up-and-coming designers and more accessible brands like J.Crew, White House Black Market, and H&M, is a billboard for that coveted Middle America purchasing demo.

Now, is it really so shocking that an industry comprised prominently of women and gay men would get behind the First Lady of a party that’s pro-marriage equality and a woman’s right to choose? While none of this is all that illuminating, the facts, figures, and name dropping make a more solid case for why fashion tends to prefer Michelle’s closet to Ann’s. But it’s more than just partisanship.

Aside from the fact the Democratic voting base tends to lean younger in age, fashion in general has always been the most youthful of industries. If you were getting dressed for the office, a cocktail party, a charity soiree, night out with the girls, whose closet would you rather dip into? Further than that, whom would you prefer to just hang out with? That’s why the fashion industry also gravitates towards FLOTUS. If clothing is an extension of someone’s personality, Michelle is just more dynamic than Ann.

Michelle is smart, vibrant, articulate, professional, fun—she represents characteristics of a modern woman, regardless of age. Not to say Ann isn’t any of these things, but ultimately where you can visualize Michelle independent of her husband, that’s just not the case with Ann.

You always just see someone who stepped out of Stepford, raising 40 kids or whatever, and that just doesn’t resonate with the majority of young women choosing careers over children and cooking in 2012. Fashion-forward designers want to dress the first type, and while I’m sure Ann is kind and warm and you just want to hug her after you meet her, you want to high five, fist bump and then hug the hell out of Michelle.
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