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TODAY's Matt Lauer talks with First Lady Michelle Obama about her fight against child obesity and the President trying to quit smoking.
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updated 2/10/2011 12:21:44 PM ET 2011-02-10T17:21:44

Just how approachable is the first lady’s style? Michelle Obama once again made her mark as ambassador for affordable fashion when she appeared Wednesday on TODAY in a $34.95 H&M polka-dot frock from the Swedish clothing company’s current collection.

Known for her fun, casual style, Michelle accessorized her dress with a red leather belt and bright yellow shoes — an ensemble that had fashionistas and fans alike praising her coordination. When questioned by TODAY’s Matt Lauer about  being called a fashion icon, the first lady responded that while’s she complimented, it’s not something she prefers to give too much attention to.

“Everybody's got to get dressed in the morning and put on something,” she said. “I hope people find it nice, but it's not something I focus on."

The first lady made waves in the past by choosing outfits from popular retail companies. In 2008,  she wore a $148 black-and-white, high-waisted print dress designed by Ricco — sold at White House, Black Market — on “The View." The frock sold out virtually overnight and put the designer on the map. Since then, she’s worn everything from J.Crew cardigans to Target dresses to designer Thakoon gowns.

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An outfit donned by Michelle Obama offers immense exposure — and business — for retailers. According to New York University finance professor David Yermack, the first lady generated roughly $2.7 billion in value for the fashion and retail companies whose products she wore for over 189 public appearances between November 2008 and December 2009. It’s like the Oprah effect — but for fashion.

“It means so much to this country to see a first lady who understands that we are having tough economic times, and she is part of it,” said TODAY style contributor Stacy London in a 2009 TODAY interview. “She is representative of it and can still look great and convinces other women to look great, too.”

More on Michelle Obama:
First lady: No smoking or Facebook in White House
Fashion-forward first lady turns backward — to vintage
Michelle Obama: 'Life is about good food'

© 2013 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints

Photos: Michelle Obama’s effortless style

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  1. Michelle Obama's effortless style

    The first lady looks as sophisticated in designer dresses as she does in outfits from J. Crew. Take a look at her great style:

    First lady Michelle Obama and her mother Marian Robinson visit with Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan at the Diaoyutai State guest house on March 21, 2014 in Beijing, China. (Andy Wong / Pool via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Ping-pong fun

    Michelle Obama plays table tennis at the Beijing Normal School, a school that prepares students to attend colleges overseas, in Beijing, China on March 21, 2014. (Andy Wong / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Welcome to China

    Michelle Obama waves as she and her daughter Sasha leave their plane at Capital International Airport in Beijing on March 20, 2014. (Alexander F. Yuan / Pool via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Green day

    Vice president Joe Biden, first lady Michelle Obama, and Irish Prime Mininster Enda Kenny's wife Fionnuala O'Kelly smile during a St. Patrick's Day reception in the East Room of the White House on March 14, 2014. (Ron Sachs / Pool / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. We're green with envy

    Kermit the Frog is welcomed by Michelle Obama at a screening of Disney's "Muppets Most Wanted" on March 12, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Win Mcnamee / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Seeking shades

    President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama make their way to board Air Force One before departing from Homestead Air Reserve Base in Homestead, Florida on March 9, 2014. (Mandel Ngan / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Pretty prints

    Michelle Obama delivers remarks during s workshop titled "I'm Every Woman: The History of Women in Soul" with (L-R) Grammy Museum Executive Director Robert Santelli, and music artists Melissa Etheridge, Janelle Monae and Patti LaBelle in the State Dining Room at the White House March 6, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Jump to it

    Michelle Obama sports a chic black jumpsuit during an interview with Jimmy Fallon on Feb. 20, 2014. (NBC; Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Pretty as a painting

    Michelle Obama, in a bold print skirt, is escorted by Rose Cameron, CEO and founder of WAT-AAH!, a line of bottled water targeted to kids and teens, as they view the "Taking Back the Streets" art exhibit at the New Museum in New York on Feb. 20. (Richard Drew / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Snow bunny

    Michelle Obama skis at Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen, Colo. on Feb. 15. This is the third year in a row that Michelle Obama has vacationed in Aspen over the long President's Day weekend. (Chris Council / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Ultimate elegance

    President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, in a dramatic Carolina Herrera ball gown, arrive at a state dinner at the White House on Feb. 11. The dress featured a sheer black top with hand-embroidered and beaded appliques and sleeves that dipped just below the first lady's elbows. (Jewel Samad / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Lady in red

    First lady Michelle Obama, French President Francois Hollande, and President Barack Obama wave at the balcony of the White House on Feb. 11. (Alex Wong / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Deep green

    Michelle Obama, in a hunter green Azzedine Alaïa dress, waves next to U.S. Army Ranger Sgt. First Class Cory Remsburg, who was injured while serving in Afghanistan, prior to President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech in Washington on Jan. 28, 2014. (Joshua Roberts / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Vision in blue

    First Lady Michelle Obama smiles as she listens to President Barack Obama speak at an event on expanding college opportunity in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington on Jan. 16, 2014. (Mandel Ngan / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Bold bling

    Michelle Obama wore a festive lucite necklace while speaking about education in underserved communities in the State Dining Room following a screening of the movie "The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete" at the White House on Jan. 15, 2014. (Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
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Video: Michelle Obama's $35 dress

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