Sarah joins Michelle among 'first ladies' of fashion with three costume changes in Italy

by These days, as Prime Minister's wife Sarah Brown understands only too well, the talk at G8 summits is as much about fashion as it is pressing global issues. So she packed with care for the latest meeting of world leaders in Italy.

Perhaps mindful too that her sophisticated friend Michelle Obama was attending, the 45-year-old had picked out three simple but super chic outfits.

The mother of two began the day in a black blazer and cream skirt, accompanied by her signature accessory - a set of bright beads - as she left Heathrow with husband Gordon Brown.

Before landing Sarah performed a quick change slipping into a dignified belted jacket and skirt appropriate for her audience with Pope Benedict at the Vatican along with the other G8 wives.

Her final - and most striking - ensemble consisted of a bold skirt featuring a vivid orange stripe and crisp white three-quarter length sleeve shirt.

Never one to lag behind in the fashion stakes, US first lady Michelle created an impact with just one dress – a dazzling canary yellow shift worn with a green corsage.

On Friday, France's picture-perfect premiere dame Carla Bruni-Sarkozy is set to show off her style credentials at the event.

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