For clothing company J. Crew, Christmas came early this year.

When Michelle Obama, wife of then candidate Barack Obama, sat down with Jay Leno October 27th, she wore a cute, mustard-colored outfit that suited her figure and looked good with her skin tone. One can only imagine that by this point in her husband's campaign, there was a stylist on hand to make sure she looked presentable at least. But nobody bothered to tell J. Crew that the future First Lady would be wearing their clothing.

The company wasted no time, immediately training its phone crews how to sell the outfit, and setting up a special page with the exact outfit Mrs. Obama wore. Since then, their sales have been doing very well, thank you, although the company can't break out numbers yet.

For a company, you can't buy this kind of positive association. Mrs. Obama's outfit stood in complete contrast to Cindy McCain's bank-breaking couture and Sarah Palin's $150,000 wardrobe budget-gaffe. It screamed modesty, taste and style, and helped us embrace Mrs. Obama's everywoman appeal (in that tall, gorgeous, attorney, soon-to-be First Lady sorta everywoman way...)

Total cost of her outfit? $385. If I were about to appear on national TV, I'd spend that without thinking twice. That's a completely affordable outfit, by any reckoning.

In fact, you can now buy it for $337.98, since the tank top is now discounted. Now, we're not including shoes or accessories, but based on what the McCain and Palin were spending, Michelle could be wearing $700 Prada pumps and $500 earrings and STILL have a modest outfit in comparison.

Is this a sign that frugality is coming back in style? Stay tuned.


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