Why This Under-$100 ASOS Dress Is a Hit with Michelle Obama, Huma Abedin, and Jessica Alba

What's ASOS' secret? How did a UK high street retailer manage to pull off endorsements from both the First Lady and young Hollywood's finest?
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Hayley Phelan
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What's ASOS' secret? How did a UK high street retailer manage to pull off endorsements from both the First Lady and young Hollywood's finest?
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Could this be the most famous dress of the year? And it's not even designer!

First worn by Michelle Obama in that iconic image of her and the President which circulated during the President's reelection in November of 2012, and then by Huma Abedin earlier this month, ASOS's $93.34 checkered skater dress has now made its way to Hollywood: Jessica Alba recently wore the frock to an event for her baby line, the Honest Company, in Seattle yesterday.

Now the question is: What's ASOS's secret? How did an online UK high street retailer manage to pull off endorsements from both the First Lady and young Hollywood's finest?

Well, it holds appeal for a few reasons. The obvious one? It's inexpensive and accessible--which means that women can look up to the First Lady, to Abedin, and to Alba and think: They're just like me! I could wear that dress too!

But the silhouette, a fit and flare throwback to a '50s housewife dress, is a fitting choice as well.

The First Lady and Abedin are not just wives and mothers--but women whose roles as wives and mothers are central to their public image. Obama wore it on the campaign trail with her husband in mid-August 2012. Abedin wore it to support her mayoral hopeful husband Anthony Weiner, and Alba wore it to promote her company, which shills "honest" mom and baby products like premium diapers and natural bath and body products.

On the About page of her Honest Company website, it reads:

"But, there is one role [Alba] enjoys above all others: Mom. "Being a mom is the most profound experience I've ever had," she says.

Yet these women embody the new archetypical wife and mother: The power wife; a woman with her own career and public persona, but who stands by her man, too. The fact that it's affordable and flattering (she's thrifty--but doesn't sacrifice her femininity!) is just icing on the cake.

Care to channel your own "power wife"? The dress is still available on ASOS's website--though we doubt that'll last long.

Update: According to ASOS' we can thank Michelle Obama for making this style a hit.

"The style of the dress originally came out almost 3 years ago--it initially didn't sell very well but after Michelle Obama wore it they repeated a small amount of the style and it completely sold out," a spokesperson told us. She added that the dress is on the verge of selling out again. But fear not: The design team is currently working on an update of the style.