Michelle Obama and Ann Romney style: Who will make the more fashionable first lady?

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Michelle Obama and Ann Romney have had their style compared by nearly every major news outlet since their husband’s election campaigns began to heat up. Although far less important than the economy or improving America’s foreign relations, the cut of the first lady’s frocks versus the accessory selections of Mrs. Romney have still made headlines — and generated a mountain of intense scrutiny.

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“Their interesting and chic outfits, created by variety of American and international designers, have impacted perceptions across the nation,” reports Today.com about the phenomenal level of attention garnered by these potential first ladies.

While Michelle of course already holds that title, after tonight when a president will be selected by the American public anew, she will either retain her post — or pass the mantle to Ann. As we know from Mrs. Obama’s track record wowing audiences with her sartorial choices — or angering many through her finery’s expense — the style and aplomb of America’s first lady is a critical aspect of this role.

“Both women and their respective camps know the importance of public image, and how they choose to dress is in clear alignment with what they seek to project,” asserts New York magazine about the impact of their self-presentation.

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The message in their fashions will resonate with voters on a more subtle level than the idealistic speeches and direct jabs made by President Obama and Mitt Romney. Through their underlying meaning, these ladies’ clothing can directly influence final election decisions.

Will people be drawn to what the Los Angeles Times describes as Michelles “unapologetically feminine dresses in interesting prints and edgy cuts,” which exemplify the promise of evolution embodied by the Obama campaign slogan, “Forward”?

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Or will Ann Romney’s “classic with a touch of glamour,” as The Huffington Post puts it, win out as an accurate reflection of a populace hungry more for conservative stability than change?

Click through the side-by-side comparisons of Ann Romney’s and Michelle Obama’s looks from the campaign season above, and note which woman’s choices appeal to you. Who do you think will make the most fashionable first lady?

Based on the proven correlation between taste and values, this might be an indication of who you would prefer as president.

Follow Alexis Garrett Stodghill on Twitter at @lexisb.