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Michelle Obama: White House Style

March 4, 2009
Michelle Obama wears Michael Kors for the Official White House Portrait

Michelle Obama wears Michael Kors for the Official White House Portrait.

Since my last post covering the Inauguration Ball and Michelle Obama’s gown at this event, one month of First Lady wardrobe changes have graced the various pages of style magazines and blogs. Without further ado, here’s what’s been making my favourite kind of news.

Modern Classic

Michael Kors' dress for spring 09, worn in black by Michelle Obama, top

Michael Kors dress for spring 09, worn in black by Michelle Obama, top

How to define Michelle Obama’s style? Two words: modern classic. The black Michael Kors dress that Michelle wore for the Official White House Portrait (pictured, top) is a perfect example of this First Lady’s affinity for clean lines that produce a bold look. Other words to describe her style might include simplicity, effortlessness, casual elegance, bold colour punches, perfectly accessorized…  Michelle Obama knows how to put it together and work it.

February 26: Michelle Obama at the White House Concert Honouring Stevie Wonder and wearing a dress designed by Wonder’s wife, Kai Milla. Don’t we absolutely adore this green shade on the First Lady? Her shoes and accessories are just right and make this look a glamourous spring-inspired look. Check out that luscious bob- this is one of my favourite overall looks for Michelle.

Feb. 26 Michelle Obama wears a dress designed by Stevie Wonder's wife, Kai Milla and accessories by Loree Rodkin

Michelle Obama wears a dress designed by Stevie Wonder's wife, Kai Milla and accessories by Loree Rodkin

February 24: Michelle Obama wears a Narcisso Rodriguez dress to President Barack Obama’s first speech to Congress.

Feb. 24 Michelle Obama at the Congressional Address wearing Narciso Rodriguez

Michelle Obama at the Congressional Address wearing Narciso Rodriguez

February 22: On Oscar night the Obamas were celebrating at the Governor’s Dinner with Michelle wearing a lovely strapless gown by Peter Soronen and a multi-stranded pearl necklace by Tom Binns.

At the Governor's Dinner Michelle wears Peter Soronen accessorized with a Tom Binns necklace

At the Governor's Dinner Michelle wears Peter Soronen accessorized with a Tom Binns necklace

February 22: Michelle wears this fun polka-dotted blue dress by emerging designer Jason Wu (who also designed the gown Michelle wore to the Inauguration ball) as she takes local culinary arts students on a tour of the White House kitchen.

Michelle Obama wears Jason Wu

Michelle Obama wears Jason Wu

February 18: Speaking at a African-American History Month Celebration event, Michelle wore one of her favourite clothiers: mass-retailer J. Crew. Her pale green cardigan perfectly accents the crisp white blouse, tweed skirt and berry-toned heels. We adore the cobalt blue belt: a refreshing colour stroke on this otherwise text-book outfit.

African American History Month special talk by Michelle Obama wearing J. Crew

African American History Month special talk by Michelle Obama wearing J. Crew

February 16: Michelle steps out of the Marine One helicopter and onto the South Lawn of the White House. While this look might be identified as ‘shlepping it,’ I’d say that this is a solid outfit for getting around in helicopters and being dropped off in a yard. Besides, she might need those boots- the George Bush’s dogs have only been gone for a month. Who knows what’s left behind.

Michelle Obama on Feb. 16 walking on the South Lawn at the White House

Michelle Obama on Feb. 16 walking on the South Lawn at the White House

George Bush's dog Barney in 2004

George Bush's dog Barney in 2004

February 11: Michelle Obama attends the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration at the reopened Ford’s Theatre wearing this full-skirted dress by Isabel Toledo (who also designed the gold suit Michelle wore to the Inauguration Ceremony). We love this look on Michelle: flattering her shape while being fun and sophisticated. A perfect score!

Michelle wears Isobel Toledo

Michelle wears Isabel Toledo

February 11: At the Howard University to introduce a panel discussion, Michelle drapes a long strand of pearls over a coral-coloured dress by Maria Pinto.

At Howard University wearing Maria Pinto

At Howard University wearing Maria Pinto

February 7: Comfort and style for the First Lady as she boards the helicopter Marine One for a family trip to Camp David. T-shirt, lounge trousers, cardigan and flats- Michelle looks appropriate and ready for some R&R.

Michelle goes for casual departing on the family trip vacay to Camp David

Michelle goes for casual departing on the family trip vacay to Camp David

February 6: Michelle attends a performance of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre at the Kennedy Centre wearing a dark grey turtle neck dress accentuated by a sparkly brooch.

Bling brooch steals the show at the Kennedy Centre

Bling brooch steals the show at the Kennedy Centre

February 5: Cobalt blue by designer Proenza Schouler does the trick for the National Prayer Breakfast where Michelle Obama spoke. The first lady looks smashing in this bold colour.

Michelle wears cobalt blue Proenza Schouler

Michelle wears cobalt blue Proenza Schouler

February 4: Michelle Obama visits a D.C. charter school looking like a sweet school-teacher in this striped blouse, cozy cardigan and full skirt. Well-accessorized wearing gold hoop earrings, patent belt and flat knee-high boots, Michelle makes learning fun: mix and max separates! Have fun with texture! (Will there be a test?)

Michelle Obama makes learning fun: textures and stripes, oh my!

Michelle Obama makes learning fun: textures and stripes, oh my!

February 2: Speaking at the Department of Education, Michelle sports the modern woman’s power suit: ditched the jacket in favour of a sheer cardigan cinched by a dramatic metallic python belt. This look is sexy and feminine without being a push-over. Far better than the traditional skirt suit, this look is firmly stylish.

Michelle works the new power suit- belted cardi makes the statement

Michelle works the new power suit- belted cardi makes the statement

January 30: Hardly a lady who lunches, we have to assume that Michelle nevertheless eats sometimes. She was caught on camera heading out with Jill Biden for a lunch meeting with Washington D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty and his wife Michelle Fenty. The foursome met at Georgia Brown’s Restaurant where we’re sure that the First Lady’s J. Crew blue ensemble turned a few heads. We adore the asymmetrical turquoise dress with tweed overcoat. The blue belt is the same one she wore to the Feb. 18 event for African-American History Month (above) and the Jimmy Choo shoes (not shown) were spotted on her fee at the Inauguration Ceremony.

Michelle Obama wears J. Crew for her lunch date with Jill Biden and the Washington D.C.'s mayor and wife

Michelle Obama wears J. Crew for her lunch date with Jill Biden and the Washington D.C.'s mayor and wife

January 29: Hosting her first reception at the White House, Michelle chose designer Narcisso Rodriguez’s cropped jacket and pencil skirt boucle suit. Her creamy silk blouse and simple pearls are a perfect compliment to the dark purple-blue tones of the suit, creating an elegant look for the new First Lady.

Michelle hosts her first reception at the White House

Michelle hosts her first reception at the White House wearing Narcisso Rodriguez

January 21: The first day at the White House was an exciting experience for the Obama family. Michelle wore a fun printed dress by designer Tracy Feith with black ballerina flats as she welcomed visitors into her new home. President Barack Obama’s jewel-toned tie nicely compliments Michelle’s coloured dress and the couple make a strong impression of the changes (style and otherwise) coming to the White House.

Michelle Obama wears Tracy Feith as she and husband President Obama welcome visitors to the White House on their first day

Michelle Obama wears Tracy Feith as she and husband President Obama welcome visitors to the White House on their first day

Read my previous posts about Michelle Obama-related fashion: Inauguration Ceremony, Inaugural Ball, We Are One celebration,  Sasha and Malia Obama look-alike dolls, fashion designer Jason Wu profile, fashion designer Isabel Toledo. To see a complete list of articles, click on Michelle Obama in the Tags category.

Images courtesy of InStyle.com.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Jordana permalink
    March 5, 2009 6:44 pm

    Michelle O the next Jackie O? I’m loving her style so far. Modern, simple, appropriate. She (or her stylist) is doing a fab job. I just love the glittery Peter Soronen gown & strands of pearls. Now I wouldn’t mind learning about her workout routine – check out her toned arms.

  2. March 5, 2009 8:17 pm

    My thoughts exactly. This is a lady who works out- I mean, really. She’s in great shape- look at that waist! those arms! those legs! Clearly she spends time working on her image and it’s paying off!
    – Johanne

  3. sage permalink
    March 7, 2009 7:29 am

    Michelle Hits so much more than she Misses. Didn’t care for the print dress @ first day on the job, but she had to have been exhausted so I gave it a sideways look, an arched brow and a pass. :)

    I’ve seen rumblings and grumblings about her love of cardigans. The sheer cardigan and python belt — gorgeous redemption.

    What fun after 8 years of Laura’s crashing bore prim suits. Great post.

    Oh, and M Kors? You owe the lady undying gratitude. Stunning.

  4. March 7, 2009 2:49 pm

    I agree- she’s definitely more interesting to watch than some other recent First Ladies… The print dress was a bit of a dud but certainly could not be missed for a boring outfit. Yeah, Michael Kors got pretty lucky- that dress is nice on Michelle but nothing special in black. It comes in way nicer colours which she could have easily pulled off. I guess she wanted to be plain – or rather, ‘classic’ for the Official Portrait. I think MK must be thinking that he’s at the top of his game right now and I guess he is. He’s definitely the most interesting commentator on Project Runway- don’t you think? Or do you prefer Nina Garcia? I must say I like her personality, too, but MK is also so much more cutting!
    – Johanne

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