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First Lady Style: Carla vs. Michelle

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP

    Despite the drama, traffic, and scandal that pervade political summits like this week's U.N. and G20 meetings, they provide a unique opportunity to see the world's two most fashionable first ladies in action -- Michelle Obama and Carla Bruni.

    While it's true that the two presidential spouses have similarly classic taste (there was even that slightly awkward moment back in June when the two appeared at an event wearing eerily similar ensembles), this trip has really highlighted their differences.

    One would think that Bruni, being ... well ... French, would have a slightly more avant-garde approach to style, but in reality Bruni really sticks to sophisticated and conservative classics most of the time. This trip has found her wearing nearly uniformly black, shoulders always covered, and armed with her reliable black ballet flats (Sarkozy, let's remember, is a bit shorter than his former model wife).

    In contrast, Mrs. Obama has been wearing brights and brights most of the summer, and these early fall summits proved no exception. She's worn bright blues, corals, and even a quite sexy bare-shouldered floral Thakoon dress with pearls and heels. So much for the idea that Americans are more conservative.

    Both women are inarguably stylish and glamorous, so it will be interesting to see how the two -- who seem to be more friends than frienemies -- will influence each other as time goes on.