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In her new book Commander in ChicEssence editor-at-large Mikki Taylor doles out fashion and beauty tips for the everyday woman based on examples from Michelle Obama.

“I love her clear cut assurance, the way she owns her style from within,” she explained in our Media Beat interview.

And one thing FLOTUS has done, according to Taylor, is inject a much needed sophistication into America’s dress code. Casual Fridays? No, thank you, she says.

“I think that we’re a little too relaxed. I think a relaxed nation creates other kinds of flexibilities that shouldn’t exist. Let’s treat each other with the respect and the honor that we are due, and so the subliminal things play into that. If we’re coming to work in sneakers, if we’re coming to work in ripped jeans and plaid shirts, who are we representing?”

Part 1:Mikki Taylor on Her 30 Years at Essence
Part 3: Mikki Taylor Reveals Why She Left Essence