Hansie Smit
Hansie Smit

Michelle Obama visit: What to wear

Michelle Obama is in the country with her two daughters, Dolce & Gabbana, and their grandmother Yves saint Laurent. Hang on, that should be Malia and Sasha and their ouma Marian Robinson. Now see the mere fact that I made a mistake like that shows you with how much style the Obama ladies arrived on our dusty continent. The least we can do is put on something special to show how much we appreciate their visit. I’m not saying throw the kitchen sink at it and organise a bogus graduation ceremony like the Free State is doing for Oprah. Just dress up a little and operate at a higher than normal level of fashion.

Michelle’s visit is said to be both a PR and political exercise so it’s probably a good idea to think about what active wear to don. You don’t want to come around the corner tomorrow morning in last year’s spandex only to see Michelle, her two daughters and her mother jogging towards you in this year’s spandex. That’s moerse embarrassing. While we’re on the subject, no white Judron pants please. And if the people of KwaZulu-Natal can refrain from wearing Sharks jerseys until, say, Friday afternoon that would be great.

The US first lady will also meet our third lady, Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma, and try and squeeze in a sit-down with her only husband, President Jacob Zuma. The Zumas will be well-advised to steer clear of traditional leopard skin overthrows — elsewhere known as fur. The developed world frowns on this. Best will be to pitch up in a suitable nylon to polyester ratio and note every now and then how comfortable it is to slide around in that amount of plastic. Mrs O herself will probably be dressed in recycled designer shopping bags fished from the Pacific Ocean by Greenpeace so don’t even start comparing fabrics.

Then the Obamas would like to take in some of the sights while they’re here. Let’s hope those don’t include someone wearing Crocs. Obviously we can’t ask them to stay in their hotel rooms for six days so let’s do what we can on our part to keep as many Crocs off the streets for as long as possible. And if whoever is chaperoning the Obama kids can please make sure they only see our best fashion outlets it will go a long way in strengthening trans-Atlantic ties I think. Chain them to the floor in Sandton City if you have to. Heaven forbid they wander into a Pep stores or Pick n Pay’s clothing section. They’ll be scarred for life plus we’ll probably be dragged before some neutral court for crimes against Milan setting off a diplomatic crisis we can ill-afford at this time.

What else? Colour. Very important. I’m not sure what this season’s colour is. Going by the amount of volcanic ash in the air it’s a dark moosh. Going by what Michelle got off the plane with it’s either red or black. Very confusing. Being her first major trip alone and probably groggy after the long flight I won’t trust her instincts for the first 10 hours of the trip. That leaves us with moosh. No moosh-coloured clothing? Dig to the bottom of the laundry bin.

OK, that’s it. All the fashion tips you need to shine the next couple days. Let’s hang in there and make sure the rainbow nation makes for good Obama family viewing this week. Next week it’s back to normal. Until dad decides to grace us with his presence. Then it starts all over again. I’ll keep you posted.

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