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Look of the Week: In this 90s-style track jacket Michelle Obama has outdone herself

<i>Derek White/Getty Images</i><br/>Michelle Obama in an all eco-leather look from Palmer Harding.
Getty Images for ABA
Derek White/Getty Images
Michelle Obama in an all eco-leather look from Palmer Harding.

Jacqui Palumbo, CNN

Former First Lady Michelle Obama is in the middle of a month-long book tour and, as always, her style choices are making headlines. But there’s been a noticeable shift in her clothes, from the classic silhouettes she’s known for to more playful, cool-girl styles.

On Tuesday, in Atlanta, she took the stage at the Fox Theatre in a colorblocked Roksanda x Fila track jacket and slouchy high-waisted black slacks over a bright blue Christy Rilling asymmetrical bodysuit. She completed the look with black pointed Stuart Weitzman booties and half of her hair pulled into a top knot.

The outfit adds to a growing list of style hits that she’s been accumulating while promoting her third book, “The Light We Carry,” which reflects on how she’s dealt with relationships, self-doubt and anxiety during uncertain times.

For Obama’s first stop in Washington, DC, for a discussion with Ellen DeGeneres, she wore a double denim Ganni get-up featuring a fitted jacket and wide-legged jeans with oversized pockets, while for her homecoming stop in Chicago this week she opted for an aubergine Stella McCartney workwear jumpsuit from the line’s winter 2022 collection. On a second day in Atlanta, she wore an edgy eco-leather ensemble, with jacket and flared pants from Palmer Harding.

Behind Obama’s looks is her longtime stylist, Meredith Koop, who has been documenting each outfit on Instagram.

“I’m always thinking through the different moments: what’s appropriate, what’s appropriate for the audience that’s going to be seeing her, what’s comfortable, and what’s going to look cool,” Koop told InStyle last year.

In Koop’s post showing off Obama’s bespoke Roksanda x Fila outfit, commenters effused over the vibe shift, with one calling her “spiciest sporty spice!!!” and another saying, “She looks like she is having fun in this fit!”

Koop has been styling the former First Lady for more than a decade, first as an assistant, then as her primary stylist in 2010.

During Obama’s last book tour, in 2018 and 2019, for “Becoming,” which sold 10 million copies in its first few months, she often wore more formal pantsuits, ranging from vibrant purple or blue to pristine white. However, one of her most talked-about looks on that tour was a divergence from that formula: a yellow shirtdress and sparkling thigh-high Balenciaga boots that she wore to an appearance in New York City.

Now, Koop says she’s staying true to what makes her longtime client feel the best as she wraps this tour — which may explain why casual-chic is the reigning mood. She told Vogue in late November that the former First Lady “is wanting to be more and more comfortable. That is huge. That’s like most of it. What’s going to be physically comfortable for her body, for her.”

Top image: Michelle Obama in Roksanda x Fila.

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