They’re two of the world’s biggest style icons, eschewing the catwalk for charity events, preferring airport to fashion runways as they tour the globe alongside their famous hubbies. It’s not just that Michelle Obama and Kate Middleton are living embodiments of the phrase better halves – they’ve seemingly discovered the secret to seriously enviable style, letting their inner substance shine through in daring, classy and always en-pointe choices. But who wins the battle between dueling First Ladies of Fashion? We have them face off below!
Round One: Portrait of a Lady
Kate Middleton in Roksanda Illincic vs Michelle Obama in Tom Ford
Michelle gets our chic kudos for the old-school, old-glamour, old Hollywood romance pairing of that chignon with those Cinderella gloves, but this one’s all Kate. The Duchess’ effortless pretty (and peek of collarbone) makes our FLOTUS look almost fussy.
WINNER: For keepin’ it clean, Kate Middleton
Round Two: Waist Not, Want Not
Kate Middleton in Alexander McQueen vs. Michelle Obama in Michael Kors
Trying to find a waist on these ladies is like trying to find an empathy neuron in the brain of the photographer who recently snapped topless pics of the Duchess of Cambridge…difficult. Luckily, when it comes to her cinch-waisted fashion, Kate doesn’t need our sympathy. Mrs. Obama almost gets full marks for going gorgeously glam in sparkly evening attire, but that big black band looks positively Victorian in its restrictiveness, while Kate could probably enjoy a muffin or two and still have room to, well, breathe.
Winner: For pullin’ off breezy with ease, Kate Middleton
Round Three: Daring to Pair Prints
Kate Middleton in Prabal Gurung vs. Michelle Obama in Moschino Cheap and Chic
This one’s a little tricky. Technically speaking we’re Team Kate here: the simple cut of the dress, the understated jewels, the demure bag-heel combo all simply work by both complementing and allowing the ensemble’s prints to take center stage. But Michelle’s Moschino is much more daring in the patterns it mixes, lifting her outfit beyond mere “working” status to a leader in bold statements.
WINNER: For bein’ bold, Michelle Obama
Round Four: Chillin’ Out, Maxin’, Relaxin’ All Cool
Michelle Obama in Clu w/ a Lambertson Truex tote vs. Kate Middleton in Ralph Lauren Blue
The bag, the bracelets, the shoes, the clear comfort that doesn’t sacrifice an ounce of chic? Cute dress, Kate, (ok, we like your boots, too) but that’s how you kick back in style, the Obama way.
Winner: For turnin’ the tarmac into a runway, Michelle Obama
Round Five: Sheer Delight
Michelle Obama in Resort 2012 vs. Kate Middleton in Alice Temperley
We love Michelle’s penchant for sweet, high-waisted dresses with no or capped sleeves and a high neck – complementary elements responsible for millions of compliments on our first lady’s fashion sense. But Kate’s sheer choice is the more interesting one, equal parts pretty-pretty-princess and innovative fashion icon.
Winner: For takin’ the plain out of pretty, Kate Middleton
Round Six: Color Me Beautiful
Kate Middleton in Reiss with Sylvia Fletcher at Lock and Co. hat vs. Michelle Obama in Peter Soronen
Kate’s coordinated pops of red show she’s a woman who knows how to make a statement without causing a ruckus. But if this outfit of the new people’s princess says, “I’ve got taste,” Michelle’s says, “I’m HERE!” This faceoff boils down to the Duchess’ demure daring vs. Obama’s full-on rockstar wail of an ensemble – which, far from inducing a headache, just so happens to hit a series of style high-notes perfectly on-pitch.
Winner: For bringin’ it like a rockstar, Michelle Obama
Round Seven: A Girl’s Best Friend
Michelle Obama Ralph Lauren and Tim Binns vs. Kate Middleton in Stella McCartney with Cartier necklace
These ladies understand the power of a statement necklace to make or break an entire outfit – and, consequently, an entire night. With things all tied up as we enter into the final round, Michelle Obama just manages to eek past Kate Middleton, whose classic Cartier necklace goes with her hair, which goes with her dress, which goes with her ring-stud pairing for a whole lot of understated that’s not quite strong enough to outshine Michelle’s wham-bam-wow bejeweled showstopper of a finale necklace.
Winner: For blindin’ the competition, Michelle Obama!
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(All Photos Via: Getty Images)