This combination photo shows Cindy McCain (L) at the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota September 4, 2008, and Michelle Obama at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado August 28, 2008.
Cindy McCain or Michelle Obama for the White House?
Among fashionistas, the wives of the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama are drawing the kind of enthusiasm that Nancy Reagan and Jacqueline Kennedy once attracted.
As might be expected, style mavens' critiques focus less on what the potential first ladies say or do than on what they wear.
While Obama won fans for wearing a relatively affordable $150 dress on talk show "The View," McCain drew attention for her expensive tastes. Vanity Fair magazine estimated one outfit she wore at the Republican National Convention this week was worth $300,000.
The choice of John McCain's running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who took part in beauty pageants in her youth, also has caused a buzz. But Mickey Blum, director of survey research at Baruch College, said her style could not be compared to McCain and Obama.
"That's a different look because you have to look a little bit more serious and professional," Blum said.
The consensus at New York Fashion Week is that both potential first ladies have style but most designers in the traditionally Democratic-leaning industry would much rather have the chance to dress Obama over McCain.
"I am in the fashion industry, I live in New York -- I'm probably not going to go for McCain to dress," designer Rebecca Taylor told reporters.
"Michelle is really fresh and she could sort of go where Jackie O went given the right sort of tools and grooming," she said. "I think it could be nice for America to have somebody who's a little bit more stylish as their first lady."
Obama, 44, is a Princeton and Harvard educated lawyer who has appeared in Vogue and was named on Vanity Fair's 2008 International Best Dressed List.