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First lady's fabulous fashions: Love the clothes, but who pays the bills?

Monday - 6/2/2014, 4:10am  ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Michelle Obama's fashionable clothing has become something of a given during her time as first lady. Yet her wardrobe still is the subject of endless public fascination and one long-simmering question: Who pays for those incredible outfits?

It's no small matter. Her high-low fashion choices mix everyday fare with custom creations from top designers whose gowns can run into five figures. It takes money to pull that off, month after month.

Do the taxpayers foot the bill for her clothes? No.

Does Mrs. Obama pay for her clothes? Usually, but not always.

Her office says that for official events of historic significance, such as a state visit, the first lady's clothes may be given as a gift by a designer and accepted on behalf of the U.S. government.


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