This post has been updated.
In a fittingly somber, black ensemble, First Lady Michelle Obama joined her husband in paying tribute to American service members at Arlington National Cemetery in honor of Veterans Day.
Obama chose a skirt and matching coat with a large black lacy print for the event, coupled with a turtleneck, statement necklace and knee-high boots. Although the bracelet sleeved coat is very Jackie O, extremely tall boots may seem a departure from Obama’s usually conservative style.
However, the fashion-forward first lady is only keeping up on the one of the lasted shoewear trends. The last few fall seasons have seen a flood of tall footwear, and stylists and fashion bloggers have been quick to deem the style work-appropriate. CBS’s “The Early Show” correspondent Katrina Szish said in 2009 when the trend first started to emerge that a clean, un-adorned pair of over-the-knee boots can be office friendly when paired with a tailored jacket and fitted sheath dress.
By these standards Obama seems to be hitting the mark. The demure nature of the rest of the outfit, and the length of her skirt — which falls right over the top of the boots — downplays the inherent edginess of their height. In this way, they act more like a thick pair of leggings for the brisk November day than garish leather accessories.
Obama is not the first high-powered female to embrace the trend. Former secretary of state Condoleeza Rice made a stunning appearance in knee-high, heeled boots with a long black, military inspired coat while visiting the Wiesbaden Army Airfield in February of 2005 (photograph courtesy of the AP). Robin Givhan, a former Post fashion writer, said Rice challenged expectations and assumptions with the look.
“She was not hiding behind matronliness, androgyny or the stereotype of the steel magnolia. Rice brought her full self to the world stage — and that included her sexuality. It was not overt or inappropriate. If it was distracting, it is only because it is so rare.”
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