Michelle Obama is one of the most fashionable first ladies of all time for a lot of reasons.
From her stunning state dinner gowns to her trendsetting casual wear, everyone is clamoring to see what Misses O is wearing.
As a matter of fact, cardigans can thank Michelle for their comeback.
“The cardigan used to be something to keep you warm in the work place,” Teri Agins, a former Wall Street Journal fashion writer explained to NPR.
“It was not really an accessory you left on—unless you wore it as a part of a twin set.”
But Michelle O’s White House attire often includes a cardigan, once again making the sweater a wardrobe staple.
“She wore cardigans with her sleeveless dresses, wore a lot of print dresses with solid cardigans,” Agins says.
And her cultural influence is felt in dollar signs. The J.Crew sweater Michelle wore, priced at $400, sold out within hours the same day photos were released.
The Obama-Effect is so widely felt, NYU’s Stern School of Business professor David Yermack, tracked her looks for a year and published his findings in the Harvard Business Review.
“To put a number on it for just a generic company at a routine event, it was worth about $38 million to have Mrs. Obama wear your clothes,” Yermack found.
Now that’s power.
The whole business of sweaters itself has seen an uptick in purchases due to Michelle’s fashion choices.
“The sweater business traditionally would not be doing well in a time like this,” says Marshall Cohen, retail fashion analyst at NPD, “However, there are certain styles within the category that are doing well.”
Including the good old, cardigan.
Cardigan wearers of America, you have Mrs. O to thank for your flourishing options.