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The Top Ten Fashion Icons

Michelle Obama

In her closet: Jason Wu, Narciso Rodriguez, Zero + Maria Cornejo, J.Crew, Rodarte, Talbots, Azzedine Alaïa
Iconic outift: Chartreuse-yellow Isabel Toledo dress and coat on Inauguration Day, 2009
Key accessory: Lanvin sneakers
Thing you can't imitate: The photo ops

Let's get the cheesy clichés out of the way at the beginning: Michelle Obama, our commander-in-chic, has proudly exercised her right to bare arms. There now! Touted as the savior of Seventh Avenue before her husband was even sworn in, the First Lady has in fact crafted a look that's totally non-hyperbolic: She's an everywoman with smart high-low taste, a good figure, and, on occasion, the need to dress for a black-tie event with the world's most powerful rulers in attendance. Her efforts have landed her on Vanity Fair's International Best-Dressed List for four years running, an unheard-of achievement for someone who isn't married to a minor European nobleman.

Photo: Ron Sachs-Pool / Getty Images