Image is everything
It’s like we were waiting with bated breath. And so the moment that Michelle Obama appeared on ccn.com/live in her yellow Isabel Toledo sheath and coat, my friends and I started hurriedly facebooking each other. "She looks gorgeous," I wrote "Yes," my friend typed in. On no!" another wrote, "Her dress looks like my Christmas curtain." And so we went, until another friend, John, signed in with a terse comment as cold as ice water " People, please!!" he wrote I knew it was a cautionary post. A poke to tell us that we were missing the main point, that this was about a bigger issue, about the first African American President appearing on the White House steps, an important historical moment and there we were blogging about fashion. My friend could not be more wrong, He was already speaking to the converted. But I also knew that before President Obama opened his mouth to say a word, the world would judge the moment he appeared, how he looked (confident or not) and what Michelle, his wife, wore. Clothes and fashion are an important part of the Obama appeal and you can bet the First Lady’s staff put as much thought into her coming out wardrobe as Jon Favreau placed on the words coming from the President’s mouth. The consequences of her choice were immediate. American designers roared with approval. "Her choice," they raved, " showed she both her enviable confidence and her bold approach to fashion." And J Crew”s stocks rose by ten cents (her J. Crew green leather-gloved hands clasping her husband’s were everywhere). The world was endeared.
First impressions affect everything and everyone. Studies show that job interviews are basically decided within the first few moments of an encounter and research indicates that we determine whether we feel someone is trustworthy in just 1/10 of a second. That is pretty powerful. And so was Michelle in her yellow Toledo dress.