Style and substance may be two criterions to deem a winner – if there even was one -- in a debate, but for fashionistas, sartorial selections define the best dressed. For the first round of the 2012 Presidential Debate, First Lady Michelle Obama and Ann Romney were subjects of an unofficial fashion faceoff, which may not have been as intense as the discussion between President Barack Obama and opponent Mitt Romney, but still amounted to a debate.

So who was the best dressed at the Presidential debate held at the University of Denver?

Depends on your view of recycling.

Obama donned the indigo-blue Preen three-peat dress designed by Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi for their Fall 2011 collection. She previously wore the same dress in January for a speech at the U.S. Department of Labor. And for a trip the year before to London. This was first pointed out by the First Lady fashion blog, Mrs. O. Obama also stuck with her blue grey nail polish called “Vogue” by Artistic Nail Design, which the New York Times reported flew off the shelves when she wore it to the Democratic National Convention.

There is no other argument than of the Mrs. Obama’s attempt to be thrifty by wearing a repeat dress, just like Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, who frequently re-wears some of her frocks. Fair enough, too, since majority of the Wednesday night debate was about the economy and its dismal state, which could have been a secret motive for Obama’s fashion choice. Perhaps, then, those metallic pumps the FLOTUS paired the dress with could jolt the deficit.

Romney wore a cream suit set paired with classic pearls. After the biker-country chic black leather Leno dress earlier in September and the bold red Oscar de la Renta at the Republican National Convention in August, Mrs. Romney kept it safe and classic. But still, a slight peplum flare – which has segued into trend for Fall from Spring 2012 – along with the cutout details at her skirt’s hemline added that edge that was too saturated in those said past outfits.

It does appear, though, to have been a draw for many fashionistas, like Fashionista’s Executive Editor Leah Cherikoff, who said, “Everyone looked good.” Styleite, on the other hand, clearly voted for Romney, saying her “conservative attire was the right choice for such a large stage” while Obama’s “look fell short.”