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The 'Michelle Obama dress' phenomenon
By Jamie Sotonoff | Material World

This photo provided by ABC shows Michelle Obama in her now-famous dress with cast members from "The View."

 

The White House/Black Market Tank Leaf Print dress, $148, made popular by Michelle Obama.

 

Flatten your midsection with a Yummie Tummie.

 

Bonnie Jean Patriotic Chambray Dress, $20 at Kohl's

 

Americana "Stars And Stripes Forever" Tee, $10 at Kohl's

 

USA candle ring from Kohl's, $14.99

 

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Published: 7/2/2008 12:07 AM

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THE DRESS that everyone's been talking about lately is the White House/Black Market leaf print dress Michelle Obama recently wore on "The View."

The $148, 100 percent cotton sleeveless dress has women everywhere saying "I want it!" and political pundits analyzing whether Obama's choice of an affordable, off-the-rack dress was a calculated move to try and woo middle-class female voters.

"They're saying she may have worn this dress on purpose, because the store has the name 'White House' in it," said White House/Black Market spokeswoman Jessica Wells.

Or, maybe, it was just a cute dress? Is she the next Jackie O?

Whatever the case, the dress is now the hottest commodity around. It's on back order at White House/Black Market until mid-August, but Wells said there's a chance there still might be a few in Chicago-area stores.

"There aren't many, but there are some still left," she said.

You can call (877) 948-2525 and the customer service department will locate which stores have them and in what sizes. White House/Black Market has several suburban locations, including Algonquin, Deer Park, Geneva, Lincolnshire, Naperville, Oak Brook and Wheaton.

The dress is also sold at DonnaRicco.com, the designer who made it, for $99, but the Web site says it is sold out.

If you must have the dress now, there's always eBay. At last check, there were 13 of the dresses, all going for less than $150.

"It's safe to say that this has been a phenomenon," Wells said. "It's become a part of pop culture."

Yummie Tummie

Another hot item this summer that's come with a celebrity stamp of approval is the Yummie Tummie. It's one of Oprah's favorite things for this summer, and with good reason. It's a normal tank top on the top and bottom, but a flattening-yet-still comfortable section in the middle. It's great for underneath a shirt or jacket.

Yummie Tummies come in a wide range of colors and styles, and range in price from $62 to $76. They're sold at Cache stores in Vernon Hills and Schaumburg, Hot Mama in Deer Park and at yummietummie.com. Free shipping.

4th of July gear

Kohl's stores are filled with some cute - and inexpensive - patriotic clothes and housewares for the holiday weekend. Whether it's a red-white-and-blue striped tie, a child's dress or a star-covered candle ring, they've got it.