Michelle Obama's style influence has been undeniable, with women around the world taking notice. Beauty and fashion expert Mikki Taylor is one of those women, inspired by the First Lady's eloquence and contemporary fashion flair to write <i><strong><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Commander-Chic-Every-Womans-Managing/dp/1439196729" target="_blank">Commander-in-Chic: Every Woman's Guide to Managing Her Style Like a First Lady</strong></a></i></strong> (Atria Books; $26.99). Here are five winter apparel essentials for every working woman's closet, so you can channel the First Lady's style savvy and make it your own. <i>—Janell Hazelwood</i>
<strong>Cashmere Cardigan:</strong> It's always a smart purchase, Taylor says. "Forever chic, a cashmere cardigan is good to invest in— in all weights and shades." Try this featherweight <a href="http://www.jcrew.com/womens_category/sweaters/jcrewcashmere/PRDOVR~23241/23241.jsp" target="_blank"><strong>cashmere cardigan by J. Crew ($178)</strong></a>, a brand favorite of Obama.
<strong>Elegant Pants: </strong>"You'll get a lot of repeat wear out of these," Taylor says. Invest in a great silhouette in quality fabrics and a nice color palate that complements you. If you're tall like the First Lady, these <a href="http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=850630&locale=en_US&kwid=1&sem=false&sdReferer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bananarepublic.com%2Fproducts%2Fwomens-pants.jsp%3Ftid%3Dbrgobue8t%26kwid%3D1%26ap%3D7%26sem%3Dtrue%26mkwid%3D6952xrBO%26adid%3Donanan%2Berchoyvp%2Bcnagf%26creative%3D6673355043" target="_blank"><strong>lightweight wool Banana Republic pants</strong></a> ($110) come in long lengths.
<strong>Perfect Pencil Skirt: </strong>With the proper fit, pair a perfect pencil skirt with a statement-making blouse, Taylor suggests. Try this <a href="http://www.whitehouseblackmarket.com/store/browse/product.jsp?maxRec=57&pageId=1&productId=570034752&viewAll=true&prd=Modern+Stretch+Pencil+Skirt&subCatId=&color=&fromSearch=&inSeam=&posId=48&catId=cat210002&cat=Dresses++Skirts&onSale=&colorFamily=&maxPg=1&size=" target="_blank"><strong>button-detailed version by White House/Black Market</strong></a> ($88), another brand worn by the First Lady.
<strong>Statement Dress: </strong>"Never underestimate the sophistication of a great dress," Taylor says. Find necklines that work for you, and several clean cuts, and get one great silhouette in different colors. This <strong><a href="http://www.jcpenney.com/jcp/X6.aspx?GrpTyp=SIZ&ItemID=1ccf673&SO=0&x5view=1&Cat=Liz+Claiborne&Pcat=WOMEN&Ne=4294957900+29+3+23+1031+1035+18+949&DeptID=70656&NOffset=2&SelDim=4294957900~&CatSel=4294938497|dresses+%2b+skirts&Dep=WOMEN&PCatID=70656&Nao=0&N=4294938497&CatTyp=RLE&CatID=78030&PSO=0&bcCat=3&cmAMS_T=XGN5&cmAMS_C=MERCH&cmAMS_Z=XGN5TOPOFRESULTS&CmCatId=70656|78030&sa=1" target="_blank">Liz Claibourne Jacquard Rose Print dress</a></strong> ($70) has two of Obama's common style elements: a shift silhouette and a bold print.
<strong>Statement Accessories:</strong> "These extend mileage of your wardrobe," Taylor says. You can add statement pieces to spice up ensembles worn time and time again. Obama often carries bright-hued totes similar to this patent leather<a href="http://www.zappos.com/dooney-bourke-patent-leather-east-west-shopper-midnight" target="_blank"><strong> Dooney & Burke</strong></a> bag ($278).