"How does Mrs. Obama, a fashion icon with far more expensive tastes than Mrs. Bush, swing it?"
starters, the Obamas reported adjusted income of $481,000 (U.S.) last
year, and assets worth $1.8 million to $7 million (U.S.)."
"And like most people, Mrs. Obama (mostly her personal aide, really) looks for discounts."
(Ed Note: "Nice fashion house you got going there...would be a shame if anything happened to it...")
"Here’s how Joanna Rosholm, press secretary to the first lady, explains it:"
Obama pays for her clothing. For official events of public or historic
significance, such as a state visit, the first lady’s clothes may be
given as a gift by a designer and accepted on behalf of the U.S.
government. They are then stored by the National Archives.”
saves Mrs. Obama considerable money, although the White House refused to
say how often the first lady wears donated clothes and the National
Archives declined to say how many such items it has in storage. The
White House did say that the first lady doesn’t borrow any clothing and,
for the most part, buys her own clothes."
"The clothing donated by
designers includes Mrs. Obama’s two inaugural gowns made by Jason Wu, a
lesser-known designer before Mrs. Obama turned him into a star in the
fashion firmament. Wu declined to discuss how he works with the first