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President-elect Barack Obama, left, his wife Michelle Obama, right, and two daughters, Malia, 7, and Sasha, 10, wave at the election night rally in Chicago, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008.

Jae C. Hong, Associated Press - Ap

The Obama family’s election-night fashions this year were complementary, but not overtly matching.

Damon Winter, New York Times

Sasha, Malia, Michelle and President Barack Obama wave to the delegation at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Times Warner Cable Arena Thursday, September 6, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Harry E. Walker, Mct - Mct

Stylepoints: First family of fashion

  • Article by: AMY ARGETSINGER
  • Washington Post
  • November 14, 2012 - 4:41 PM

Four more years -- of exquisitely coordinated Obama family fashion.

The president's first term made a style superstar out of Michelle Obama, but the entire First Family has a way of turning out in the same palette almost every time they're photographed.

It's a subtle color coordination that manages not to look too matchy-matchy.

The latest example: When the Obamas came onstage the night of election, they were dressed in stylish outfits that complemented without overtly duplicating one another.

This time, it was jewel tones: The first lady in a wine sheath dress by Michael Kors (she's worn it twice before) and short black sweater; Malia in a black top, bright blue skirt, pink belt and ballet flats; Sasha in a charcoal bow blouse, taupe sweater, green skirt and green-and-black flats; the president in a tie that matched the color of Malia's skirt.

The first impression? Nice-looking family. It's only when you study the clothing that you realize how together they all look.

"I call this style 'comfortably confident,'" said Lauren Rothman, a fashion consultant based in Washington, D.C. "It's not about a particular piece of clothing, it's about the overall look. A true style statement comes from great presence."

On election night 2008, the Obamas rocked red and black: Michelle wore a red and black Narciso Rodriguez dress and black sweater, Malia a red dress and black tights, Sasha a black dress, and the president a black suit and red tie.

Pay attention, and you'll see they do this all the time.

• In the 2011 family portrait, the Obamas wore blues, violets and black.

• The 2008 convention appearance showed Michelle and the girls in teals and lilac.

• A July 4th with everyone in (of course) red, white and blue.

• A vacation shot with a palette of white, blue and navy.

Happy coincidence? Doubtful.

The first lady has used a stylist, Meredith Koop, to fine-tune her closely chronicled look. And, presumably, the family has taken pointers when they're likely to be photographed.

"Studying how this family dresses and knowing how girls have their own thoughts about what they wear, I don't think they're assigned a uniform, but given options," Rothman said.

Her guess? After the first lady and daughters select their outfits, the president probably gets his assignment. "The tie is the easiest thing to match at the last minute," she said.

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