While the entire world has its eyes cast on Michelle Obama every time she steps on the stage with the prez (or anywhere else for that matter), us Chicagoans are watching just a little bit closer. Will she be wearing the next best local designer? A tried-and-true favorite? Heck, we're even tickled pink when we see her wearing Target or J.Crew. That a girl!
But if you happened to be watching the DNC a few weeks ago, you saw the first lady rocking that serious deep-burgundy number from up-and-coming New York-based designer Laura Smalls. Aside from having a label with her own namesake, Smalls is also the design director at the elite Amerex Group — she's not new to this whole fashion thing. For the past 25 years, Smalls has been overseeing various outerwear brands and is also the creator and head designer for the 1 Madison contemporary outerwear line.
How does this affect you? For starters, it's getting pretty nippy out there — perfect motivation for coat shopping. Second, the pieces are all available at local department stores like Lord & Taylor and Nordstrom for an average price of $250 to $500. Not bad considering these stylish yet functional numbers are constructed with high-quality fabrics and fiberfills to keep you warm and toasty all season long. And, of course, they are stylish, to boot. Need proof? Click through this slideshow and see for yourself.