When shopping for clothes is a tall order

It is most striking when she stands next to her husband. Barack Obama is no slouch at 6ft 1.5in, but as Michelle Obama hugged him on stage on election night, she was very nearly his equal in height. A kitten heel, giving her barely more elevation than his block heel, was all the help she had. At 5ft 11in, she doesn't need any.

Michelle Obama will not be the tallest woman ever to have called a US President her husband - she loses that claim to Eleanor Roosevelt by half an inch - but she's 2.5in taller than her Democrat predecessor, Hillary Clinton, and 6.5in taller than current First Lady, Laura Bush. Even the model-like Jackie Kennedy was 4in shorter.