HR Strange But True

Power Suit: Fashion Statement or Employment Signal?

Image Credit: K2 images /

When TV’s “The Good Wife” wore a distinctive “power suit” by Michael Kors on the show, she was trying to make an impression. When another famous political wife, who has a temporary job, wore the exact same suit to one of her husband’s important “work events,” was she just making a fashion statement, or was she signaling she is getting ready for new, C-suite employment?

HRSBT has previously told you how attorney Michelle Robinson met her future husband—and future president Barack Obama—at work when she was an associate at a prestigious Chicago law firm, and he was an intern from Harvard Law School.

Michelle’s career was definitely on the fast track, taking her from a law firm to the board room. But when her husband’s career turned from law to politics, she put her own career in Chicago on hold as she followed him to Washington, D.C.

As fashion writers have noted, the First Lady’s famous signature style is belted cardigans worn with skirts or over shift dresses. However, when she appeared in that same $790 wide-collared tweed suit as The Good Wife at the recent State of the Union address, the media noticed, and social media asked what her choice of attire meant.

Fashionistas and political wags are wondering if Michelle Obama decided to “dress for success” as a subtle hint that she is ready to return to the upper echelons of business—or perhaps nonprofits or public service—when the second term is over. Will she follow in a former First Lady’s footsteps into politics? Or was she just playing a subtle joke on everyone with her choice of Alicia Florrick’s attire?