This election business is serious stuff. But here at IND Style we'd rather talk hemlines than health care. And in breaking news, I'm happy to report that both Michelle Obama and Anne Romney rocked the ladylike silhouette when delivering their convention speeches. Whew, the only thing worse than a bombed speech is a bad dress. (And in some cases, the dress is worse.)

Michelle, naturally, brought an edgy vibe to her pink Tracy Reese dress with blue-grey nails and minimal jewelry. While Anne took the classic approach with bold gold pieces and red laquered nails. As diverse as the politics of these two ladies are the style inspirations this fall. As menswear leads the pack with pinstripes and loafers, ladylike dressing has made a resurgence a la Mad Men (yes, Mad Men is still inspiring our sartorial choices). Think peplums, pencil skirts and feminine silhouettes. Some of which never really were out of style, per fashion gurus like Harold Clarke who recently opened a couture atelier in the Oil Center.

On a recent afternoon in his store a customer admired a peplum-centered dress.

"Are peplums back?" she mused.

"They were never out," Harold replied with a smile.

That's the thing about ladylike choices – they are truly timeless. But, if like yours truly, you want a little rock and roll with your peplums and peep toes. There are some easy ways to do it. It's all in the details.

Michelle does a great job of making her look modern with that edgy manicure, and come fall we'll see more greys as well as greens and blues on nails. She chose a demure J. Crew pump. But a funky little bootie (grey suede would be divine) could take this look in a new direction. (Maybe not convention-appropriate, but if you're a creative type it's just the balance of professional and fashionista.)

Anne kept things as classic as they come with her black peep toes and glossy red nails. A semi-bold bracelet keeps it modern. But, if you'd like to sass things up, a leopard shoe would be just the ticket. A solid red dress is a great starting point for some serious color blocking. I would love a purple or blue heel with black belt and chunky gold bracelets.

Both ladies kept it seriously polished with hair and makeup. If you'd like to give ladylike a funky twist try a braid or a messy bun. (A really messy bun.) And if you're feeling seriously scandalous check out some patterned tights — you'd definitely get our vote.


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