The Dress

by Erin on January 21, 2009

Michelle Obama Isabel Toledo

There was no way I wasn't going to love this dress. First of all, I love that color. Secondly, I love Isabel Toledo. (I actually met her — and her fantastic husband — once. She's even better in person.) Then, when you add in that she is wearing all that as THE FIRST LADY, well, you can see how one might become a bit overwhelmed.

And then those fantastic gloves! Swoon. [Disclosure: I have a vintage pair in just that color.]

I read a couple of pages of people's comments on this on the NYT caucus blog, and was disappointed that no one seemed to realize that Michelle Obama does what I advocate everyone should do: she wears what makes her happy. Could she have worn some boring royal-blue, be-Spanx-ed sheath, by Oscar de la Renta (no offense, Oscar, but you know what I'm talking about) and gotten relieved and approving nods from the Fashion Commentariat? You know she could. But she obviously loves those gloves: they made her happy, so she wore them. WITH a yellow wool lace Isabel Toledo!

The thing is, you can't please everyone all of the time. You can't even please most of the people most of the time. Which is why, especially when it comes to clothes, you have to please yourself. You're the one wearing them; you're the one in the pictures; you're the only one whose happiness is even remotely under your own control: so do what feels right!

Michelle Obama Jason Wu

I like this one too, even though it's not my taste. (In other words, I don't have a tulle-laden Jason Wu in my closet next to my green gloves.) I do think it looked great. But even if I didn't, I'd see that Michelle Obama is accessorizing it with the only things that really matter: confidence, happiness, and the kind of ease that comes from having made one's own decisions.

And that, my friends, is something that I hope the new First Lady brings firmly into fashion.

{ 84 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous January 21, 2009 at 8:15 am

AMEN! and her girls were dressed adorably, too! Kim

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sixties sewer January 21, 2009 at 8:20 am

I agree with everything you said. And look at the “gown” photo. His eyes are riveted on her. I think her confidence also comes from what appears to be the deep love between them.

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lucitebox January 21, 2009 at 8:24 am

I hated it when I first saw it. It looked sparkly in the first online photo I saw and Im not into sparkles for daytime. Im so glad it wasnt! I love it that the dress coat combo is throwback to the 60s. Shes amazing. Her confidence and intelligence is deeply inspiring. I like it that they both seem to have a sense of humor, too.

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tea January 21, 2009 at 8:28 am

Anonymous Kim: Yes! Those little girls were wearing DARLING coats. I want one for myself. The coat, not the little girl, though a daughter would be nice to have one day, too.Also, I’m excited about the yellow dress because I’ve been meaning to make this type of ensemble for a while now. Erin, when you talked about searching for a good winter dress yesterday, I was thinking about how much I want to make brocade sheaths with long matching jackets. Dozens of them. And here, the first lady wears exactly what I’d been thinking of. (I have stockpiles of the fabric, too.)Meanwhile, although I’m not much of a one-shoulder person myself, I loved the texture and drape of the ball gown. I’m glad I wasn’t anywhere near her because I would have wanted to touch touch touch it. Plus: Backing up to say: Isabel Toledo! I loved the article about her in the NYer last year(?) and decided that if I lived in NY, I would very much want to be her friend and hang out with them and have a generally nutty time.

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oracle January 21, 2009 at 8:29 am

Erin, I love your post. Totally. I love the way you are dealing with this momentous event; it rings true to me in every way, and it’s so *you*.Congratulations from a Canadian, you guys. And may you be able to admire many, many more of First Lady Obama’s confidently and gracefully worn dresses!

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DWJ January 21, 2009 at 8:30 am

I didn’t know if I liked it or not at first but what I love is that she is such an individual! She wears what she likes and thats how I like to dress. She made herself happy and it truly showed and I’m pretty sure Pres. Obama thought she was pretty hot too. And isn’t that all that really matters?

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Fae January 21, 2009 at 8:30 am

Also worth pointing out – She was wearing GREEN shoes, too!

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Anonymous January 21, 2009 at 8:33 am

Erin – once again you have eloquently expressed what I was thinking. Loved her choices, and wished all day that I was tall enough to wear clothes like that. And 60s Sewer, I completely agree. As Whoopie Goldberg said a few weeks ago, you can really tell that they are nuts for each other and some “whoopie will be going on in the White House.” Nice to see a great example of a married couple with great affection and admiration for each other.

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Lisa Simeone January 21, 2009 at 8:33 am

Completely agree, Erin!Not only is Michelle Obama the queen of all she surveys, she doesn’t have to dress to please the hoi polloi; she only has to dress to please herself, and that self is one stylish, elegant, confident, mesmerizing package.I LOVED the daytime ensemble she wore yesterday and totally disagree with those who are saying that sparkles are verboten in the daytime. Baloney. The tiny — and subtle — sparkles were emblematic of the importance of the day, The Occasion, of the day and of history, while simultaneously adding a touch of glamour. And I’m all for glamour!I’m also all for the “throwback to the 60s” and the whole vintage vibe. It’s timeless, it’s elegant, it’s classic, yet it’s still modern. Isn’t that why so many of us wear vintage in the first place?!And the pop of color from the gloves and shoes was PERFECTION.As for the Inaugural Gown, hey, look, no, it didn’t “read” well on television. But screw television. She was dressing for real life, not for TV. Once I saw still photos of it, I saw how ethereal and shimmering and delicate and unusual and gorgeous it was. Also, gals, white makes a statement. While 90% of women, when they think “gala,” automatically think boring black, Michelle Obama (who looks delicious in black) thinks something else. She is a queen. She is a blessing. She is a bright star in our for-too-long dark-filled firmament.Ave Regina!

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annasoc January 21, 2009 at 8:39 am

I’ve loved Michelle Obama’s fashion choices all along, even the dress she wore on the night of the election. Real clothes worn by a real woman. I thought she looked elegant at the swearing in ceremony and regal at the ball. And yes, his eyes were riveted on her in that white dress. What a beautiful, intelligent, talented First Family!Anna

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Becky O. January 21, 2009 at 9:01 am

When I saw her yesterday, I saw gold (rather than yellow).I remembered back to my favorite publisher- Guillaud Potter and the Mattise book they did years ago with gold pages inside. They did it because they could : )It made me happy to see her so happy. Confidence is always the best accessory!

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Sal January 21, 2009 at 9:08 am

I adored both outfits, but even if I hadn’t, you’re point is a good one: She absolutely SHONE because she was happy and confident.

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Anonymous January 21, 2009 at 9:15 am

YES!!!! thank you so much for saying this. Fie on the small-minded nay-sayers! Hurray for Michelle (and the fact that she’s a woman of serious accomplishment).

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Alison January 21, 2009 at 9:33 am

I thought she looked fabulous, the gold colour was interesting, and the whole outfit was elegant and flattering. The ensemble had clear “Jackie” allusions to me.

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diopsideanddiamonds January 21, 2009 at 9:52 am

I thought the dress was a lighter shade of the glove color, anyhow. I waivered on her ball gown. I like the body of it, but wasn’t crazy about the shoulder strap, I thought it cut her off between the shoulder and neck weirdly. But it’s still a beautiful gown and (neck thing aside) looked great in it.

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Renee January 21, 2009 at 9:55 am

Erin, you couldn’t have said it better.I’m so impressed by the fact that she looked so comfortable in both outfits – which showed that she is really comfortable with who she is.Bonus points for wearing the beautiful heels, and not being afraid to appear taller than her husband.And as far as the gown – she did have one more accessory – did you see that coctail ring? wow.

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diopsideanddiamonds January 21, 2009 at 10:01 am

Also… If you can’t look sparkly and shiny on the day your husband gets inaugurated as president, when *can* you look sparkly and shiny? :)

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Nora January 21, 2009 at 10:07 am

I was SO excited when I saw her wearing chartreuse (with olive gloves! to die for)! So symbolically awesome–the color of new growth–and walking a great line between classic and bold. The evening gown was also less my taste, but lovely–and lovely on her. (Your blog was the first one I went to this morning by the way, because I KNEW you’d have a good take on the outfits – and I totally agree with your take away lesson.)Also: loved Aretha’s hat!Smart, creative, confident, well-read, thoughtful, caring (and damned good looking!) people in the White House…that’s some change I can believe in! Hooray!

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CEMETARIAN We Dig Memories January 21, 2009 at 10:12 am

She could have worn a tow sack and still been beautiful and classy.

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Lisa Simeone January 21, 2009 at 10:15 am

Obamanos!

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Polly January 21, 2009 at 10:38 am

Loved her day ensemble, I agree w/ you on the night (not my style) but it looks great on her and she’s confident and beautiful. She’s so real.And the gloves! Killer!

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vespabelle January 21, 2009 at 10:47 am

From my blog readings, it seems like people who sew really like it (while others who are into fashion but aren’t sewers) have mixed feeling. I really like Michelle’s style, but sadly, my body is unlike hers so I can’t follow her fashion trends (other than brooches and flats!)

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Mme Marron January 21, 2009 at 11:02 am

Of course I loved both the dresses. The ball gown reminded me of Mamie Eisenhower’s: ultra feminine, crystals and rhinestones, soft color. In fact, I think Mamie’s was the last gown that was as soft and tulle-y as Michelle’s. And I really, really love the irony here–because of course the tulle and rhinestones is just about where the similarities end. I think somebody could write a really fun article comparing Mamie’s and Michelle’s ball gowns, how they reflect changes in women’s lives, and images of women, over the last 50 years.

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Serena January 21, 2009 at 11:15 am

I must admit, my first REAL impression of Michelle Obama’s style–on election night (I wasn’t an Obama supporter, so hadn’t paid too much attention to her style)–was not good. I thought that dress was hideous. However, she’s completely redeemed herself. The color of the daytime ensemble, the gloves: lovely! I’ve never liked one-shoulder gowns, but that one is beautiful, and it looks great on her.

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Anonymous January 21, 2009 at 11:19 am

I love that it was a dress with a cardigan (plus the coat). I don’t like suits (unless they are vintage), and thought her set was so refreshing.

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mickey January 21, 2009 at 11:31 am

I loved her daytime outfit and the fabric of the gown but I really didn’t care for the cut of the gown. It seemed to chop her up into pieces to me. I think I would have put her in something princess-seamed to accentuate her long line.So nice to see such a stylish First Lady again!And I liked Aretha’s hat.

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Toby Wollin January 21, 2009 at 11:46 am

I have only one thing to say about Michelle Obama’s amazing daytime ensemble: Wool Lace. Who’d a thunk such a creature existed???

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Laura Dickerson January 21, 2009 at 11:49 am

I thought of you when I saw Marisa Tomei’s dresshttp://l.yimg.com/k/im_siggiNuDxHJKc8GB3VRLFqPUZA—y626-x495-q75-n1/omg/us/img/d0/d6/1473301057_5830764942.jpgPockets!Another yes vote for Aretha Franklin’s hat. I was regretful thatthe Obama ladies were bare-headed on a cold day.

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What-I-Found January 21, 2009 at 11:51 am

I read some other blogs about her outfits and was struck at how many posters (not here) were all upset because she had broken some “rules”…sparkles before five or diamonds before six or whatever. The people couldn’t even agree on what the “rules” were…they were just sure she had broken them. I appreciate the attitudes here…the rule is wear what makes you feel good. And it’s clear she did that. And Arethas hat was FANTASTIC!

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The Slapdash Sewist January 21, 2009 at 12:00 pm

I’m totally with you on liking Michelle because she dresses for herself and nobody else. I absolutely loved her day ensemble (though I wished the girls were wearing hats; I was on the Mall and it was coooooold). I wouldn’t have put her in that dress–the waist seam needed to be higher or lower, and it needed to fall more softly from the waist seam rather that poofing out immediately into a shelf/ridge at hip level–but I loved her in it because it was obvious she personally chose it because she personally loved it. There was no stylist dictating what she should wear because it would “read well” and project some sort of manufactured image. Brava, Madame First Lady. Don’t lose that indepedent spirit!!!!

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Melody January 21, 2009 at 12:16 pm

I love both of Mrs Obama’s outfits.In my opinion “fashion rules” aren’t real rules anyway so feel free to break them. I agree with the poster who said you should be able sparkle on your husband’s special day.Some felt the evening dress wasn’t fitted enough. I disagree. Most hollywood actresses wear their gowns too fitted and it doesn’t look classy at all. Anyway President Obama thinks she looks good no matter what. I also loved Aretha’s hat.

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oracle January 21, 2009 at 12:23 pm

Mme Marron,Do you know the name of the style of hat of the woman in your avatar, or can you locate it for me in history? I *so* love it!

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Katxena January 21, 2009 at 12:32 pm

You didn’t mention one very important accessory Michelle wore with that Wu creation: the look on Barak’s face. I LOVE seeing the two of them together — they are so obviously into each other.

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harthad January 21, 2009 at 12:53 pm

I thought she looked lovely in both outfits. Bravo to her for being an individual. Who else would have the guts to pull off a suit that color? (I see the press are calling it “lemongrass.” For once, the name is actually descriptive.) And to me, the evening gown looked very Grecian-goddess, very classical; a nice subtle reference to the cradle of democracy!

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scormeny January 21, 2009 at 1:16 pm

People, love that dress/jacket combo or hate it, it is TOO COLD for the ensemble she had on, here in DC in January. Even as a Chicagoan, this was a silly choice for her, and on the two occasions where she and the President got out of the car to walk along in the parade, you could see her struggling to hold the “coat” closed (smiling all the while, but it did blow her poise a bit). That woman was FREEZING, as was Mrs. Biden.Jacqueline Kennedy, who by the way had the flu and a 104-degree temperature on inauguration day, wore an Oleg Cassini ensemble that included a wool jacket that buttoned to the neck, a fur muff, and a hat. Lady Bird Johnson had on a hat and a sumptuous fur coat (see them here in several great photos: Couture Allure blogpost. Fur politics aside, these women were at least dressed as chicly as possible for being outside for an extended period of time on a winter day. Unfortunately, Mrs. Obama was dressed for an Easter event, not a January event, which made me question her sartorial judgment.

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HollyP January 21, 2009 at 1:52 pm

Thank you for posting an unobstructed view of her outfits. In all the news photos I could find, you couldn’t see her clothes because some guy with big ears seemed to be standing in the way. In every.single.photo. Can you believe that?!I too love the gloves!

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Little Hunting Creek January 21, 2009 at 2:09 pm

I loved both dresses, and the Fashion Police obviously did not go to Cotillion, becausen as Etiquette says, she is First Lady now, and according to “The Rules” whatever the First Lady does is correct. She wears sparkles in the daytime? The First Lady wore it, it is now correct. And she is such a gracious, intelligent lovely person, whatever she wears, her spirit shows through.

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sewjune January 21, 2009 at 2:10 pm

I immediately thought of you when I saw what Michelle Obama was wearing today at another prayer service … a dress and flats, not the usual first-lady suit! She definitely has her own style and the dress this morning was refreshing. Saw it on the news, haven’t found a link to a picture but maybe later.And I liked the sparkles on her dress yesterday … certainly if your husband is being sworn in as president, you can wear what you want!

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becky f. January 21, 2009 at 2:12 pm

Erin, you put it so well — as always.I have to say that I loved Jill Biden’s outfit and her gown, too, though it seems people are debating whether they were “appropriate.” Under the happy and confident guideline, I think they were winners!

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A. January 21, 2009 at 2:49 pm

Right On!I love how she takes risks and exudes confidence and just takes obvious joy in fashion. I love that she doesn’t even have to *say* that it’s ok to be smart and like clothes, because it just so clearly *is*.I also love that she went with a gown that says youth. She could have pulled off stately, but where’s the fun in that? She looked so soft and beautiful, and about 25 years old. Our first lady is a stone cold fox!

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Marla January 21, 2009 at 3:08 pm

I loved the dress – I also would call it gold rather than yellow. At any rate, she looked absolutely REGAL in it; you could definitely imagine her as a Queen.

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Cookie January 21, 2009 at 3:37 pm

I loved the afternoon ensemble on first sight! It had a traditional yet sporty vibe…just right when we’re in a recession. (The necklace might have cost a fortune, but it reads subtly.) (Is that a necklace?) My favorite touch is that she’s wearing a cardigan under the coat…a little nod to being willing to be a touch frumpy if it gets the job done; i.e., she may be taking her coat off and on throughout the day and doesn’t want to be caught in just a single, skimpy layer of clothes.The evening dress says “young” to me, AND I LOVE IT! I adore white evening clothes, anyway. It’s not what I would choose for MY style, but she looks lovely and delighted and chic. I especially like the airy-ness of the overlay. Seems breezy, optimistic, fresh. And her jewelry is subtle…very VERY nice. (Plus her arms, throat, etc. look fantastic.)

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Angel - Having a Nemesis January 21, 2009 at 3:38 pm

I love that she accessorizes with J Crew (the gloves, the kids coats). What completely stands out to me is the image that the Obama family projects. Michelle (we’re on a first name basis in my head) is no wallflower, and she is just as responsible for her husband as POTUS as he is. She is, in every way, his equal. Every interview and image I see of their family projects this, from their clothing style to their body language, and it is just lovely. Her white gown? Stunning. Simply stunning. And you can bet your ass that those gloves are selling like hot cakes!

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Cookie January 21, 2009 at 3:39 pm

PS: I would have liked the scarf under the coat to be a paler shade. I think I spotted a scarf…anyway, it jumped out a bit too strong for my taste and was a teeny bit distracting from the overall impression.

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Nadia January 21, 2009 at 6:10 pm

I love the bold statement!

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Zoltar Panaflex January 21, 2009 at 6:39 pm

I haven’t got any reason to critique the wearing apparel of anyone, most women in the public eye in political word don’t often go insane with poor choices and too much attention-grabbing outfits.However, I must say I have liked *everything* that Mrs. Obama wears. I like her style, she exudes confidence, poise, and excellent posture. I liked her inauguration outfits, her election night outfit, all of itI like seeing anything she wears, and I don’t see her pulling a Nancy Reagan, wearing extravagant clothing at someone else’s expense.Both President and Mrs. Obama are admirable, and I can’t wait to see what they are capable of in public service, executive decisions, and all else that lies in front of them.When’s the last time we were all THIS HAPPY, and have so much to look forward to?

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Penelope January 21, 2009 at 7:51 pm

I loved her color choice for the inauguration gown–everyone else was so boring! Yet it still fit in, rather than looking odd amongst all the black wool greatcoats. It’s right that the First Lady stands out from the crowd.

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Georgiana January 21, 2009 at 9:15 pm

I love Michelle Obama. As a person, she seems great. Her fashion choices are beautiful and unconventional and original. She is a real, strong, confident woman, and that definitely shows in her fashion choices. I love having a first lady and a role model like her. She is inspiring me to take more risks in my personal dressing, and be more outspoken and true to myself in my life, too.

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Linda January 22, 2009 at 3:27 am

I agree with you totally. I love and covet those green gloves, lucky for you you have a vintage pair. As to the evening gown, I think she wore it well. To me, this is a great example of less is more and kudos for her to wear not the tried and true of the old guard designers!

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Anonymous January 22, 2009 at 4:18 am

I too have gloves the same color! I immediately know I would love everything she wore.

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Mindi January 22, 2009 at 7:17 am

I usually like everything she wears and I think she is generally awesome. I think I am the only person in the world that thinks that green lace wool enseble was ugly and matronly. It did her no favors. I did love the gloves though.That being said, she was beautiful in the evening gown later in the day.

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Lisa @ the Vintage Fashion Library January 22, 2009 at 8:34 am

LOVE the yellow Isabel Toledo ensemble. LOVED it at first site, especially with the pop of green. One of the fashion people on CNN said that he wouldn’t be surprised if the ball gown was originally strapless, and modified to one shoulder, to avoid slippage. That distracted me after that, trying to figure out if it was. Although the white dress didn’t play well on TV, I still loved it. And I just love watching the two of them together.

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Helen January 22, 2009 at 8:36 am

The strap with that stiff bodice on her evening gown does not work. If she needed the strap to hold up the dress, then put on two. Otherwise, the bodice is crying out to be strapless. One-shouldered gowns work with a goddess column of silk.

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Eirlys January 22, 2009 at 8:47 am

Eagle-eyed commentators spotted that Michelle was wearing sheer tights for the inauguration ceremony but peeled them off at some point later in the day: more evidence of her putting comfort first, thank goodness. She’s gonna be fun to watch.

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Natasha January 22, 2009 at 9:20 am

I HATE the yellow dress. The design is good but the color I do not like at all. I think it’s an odd, puke-y type of color that doesn’t look well on any skin. The white gown – GORGEOUS! I like that Barack is checking out his wife too!

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margot January 22, 2009 at 9:41 am

The yellow/gold/green coat and dress with green gloves and shoes? Superb! Very sophisticated and yet very approachable. The white dress – would like to see it in person, but I think this might be a case of an inexperienced designer not quite doing the foundation quite right. It takes expertise to pull that off (ie Lady Di’s strapless/one strap creations)

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wundermary January 22, 2009 at 9:46 am

I was also hoping for more hats. I actually cheered for Aretha’s. I think a pillbox would have been right at home with the day suit, even if it would have caused people to suggest that she was trying too hard to channel Jackie.Neither ensemble was exactly what I would choose for myself. I absolutely loved the colors of the day suit and she looked truly fabulous in both the day suit and the gown. someplace I heard it said that the gown was actually a soft yellow but read as white. I do not know if that is true. Oh, there was a scarf under the coat of the day suit and it didn’t quite match. Suprise! Even the First Lady has a hard time finding a perfectly matched scarf. It kind of makes me smile that she was practical enough to put it on, rather than totally freeze. I am really glad that she is wearing what she likes and not trying to be all cookie-cutter about it.

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Chantelle January 22, 2009 at 9:58 am

I loved Michelle’s daytime dress; it’s an unusual colour that makes her look positively radiant! I also love that her gloves and shoes were a different colour – and is that a red clutch? What perfect colour choices!I love that the ballgown was a ballgown and not something for the red carpet. It was clearly a dress that she could comfortably wear to 10 balls.Michelle clearly chose clothes that she was comfortable wearing for hours and hours and that looked beautiful on her. She dressed for herself (and her husband), and I hope that she continues to do so.I also loved Aretha’s hat.

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[MONSTER] January 22, 2009 at 10:54 am

She exudes confidence,I think she looked absolutely fantastic!Sending Dress-Love to you! I adore the Dress a Day!

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Julie The Vintage Goddess January 22, 2009 at 11:23 am

Fashion rules are really like the Pirate Code anyway…more what you’d call “guidelines” than actual rules.So I say sparkle for the day, white shoes after Labor Day, not matching gloves and shoes.I loved everything she wore this past week including that great 50′s inspired dress/skirt set to church yesterday morning.Buh-bye power suit for every occasion.

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Ellie Finlay January 22, 2009 at 11:50 am

At first I wasn’t too thrilled with the gown — mainly because I don’t tend to like clothes I think of as frilly and foo-foo. But then I thought of something. That white dress with the single shoulder strap called attention to and contrasted with her beautiful, luminous, glowing, rich, BROWN skin. She did not try to de-emphasize the fact that she is African American but, rather, actively pointed to it, revelled in it. I just love that. And then when they started dancing, I began appreciating the gown more and more.And I love the yellow (whatever) outfit. I wish so much I could wear some version of yellow but I just look washed out and quite ill when I try to wear it. (I’m way too fair.)Now, how do we bring back HATS???? (I LOVED Aretha’s!) It was ridiculous seeing all those women AND men bareheaded in those freezing temperatures.

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Kristina January 22, 2009 at 11:51 am

I have answers!It was not a scarf, it was a cardigan. The dress with the cardigan over it is actually not as attractive, but it’s a cute cardigan (if you look up pictures from the prayer service prior to the inauguration, you can see the cardigan).The inauguration dress is lemon-grass, according to Toledo, and I think it’s very interesting that so many people saw it in such different ways. I wonder if it’s just that people have different eyesight, or HD TVs show it differently than LD ones.The inaugural ball dress was supposedly either a light yellow (which I doubt) or a creamy white. It was not originally strapless. It was designed specifically for her like that. If you see the bodice up close, you can tell better.I completely agree with Erin that what makes these dresses so wonderful is that she clearly choose them because she liked them, not because her stylist told her to wear them. I love a strong woman who knows what she likes to wear, and wears it well.

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Kristina January 22, 2009 at 11:55 am

Ooh, I found a picture of the dress-with-cardigan, at the luncheon, maybe.http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_FW86_jO7k_A/SXc2iPUQrEI/AAAAAAAA0hU/cteseQ_ZaW4/s1600-h/MichelleObama_IsabelToledo_3.jpgSorry about the link…I’m not much of an HTML-er.

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Anonymous January 22, 2009 at 12:18 pm

I am not a big Obama fan, but I love Michelle’s style. I love the fact that she dresses for herself and not for the “fashion” public. I love this ball gown picture. You can so the love her husband has for her.

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Cookie January 22, 2009 at 12:20 pm

Oh, there was a scarf under the coat of the day suit and it didnt quite match. Yes, I am QUITE sure I spotted a too-bright scarf at some point, too. Maybe she ditched it later on.I’m glad she didn’t wear a hat. Sorry. I lived in Manhattan for a decade and left without having worn a single hat — let alone earmuffs — in all those winters. The functional ones just look clumsy and bulky and mess up your hair…and I was willing to suffer. Ah, youth.Going hatless made Michelle Obama look sleeker, more youthful…not intimidated by a few celsius degrees. I love that look. LOVE ME, NOT MY HAT!

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Anonymous January 22, 2009 at 1:22 pm

In some pictures the dress looks avacado green, like a 1960′s kitchen. In the pics where it appears yellow it is lovely. :)

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Margaret January 22, 2009 at 2:18 pm

If anything, I liked that her inaugural outfit was DIFFERENT. It wasn’t red, it wasn’t blue. It wasn’t a suit. I liked the matching jacket and dress. I wasn’t nuts about the cardigan exactly, but you know, if SHE was more comfortable in it, then I’m “pro-cardigan.” And we’ll ALL be watching to see what she wears next!

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Anonymous January 22, 2009 at 2:30 pm

Loved the suit, loved the gown, loved the green gloves. But not with the green shoes. In the pictures I saw, the gloves were olive green, the shoes, teal green. It wasn’t that they didn’t match–they clashed! Plus, it was too many shades of green: mustard, teal, olive. I would have preferred a different color shoe altogether (taupe, perhaps).On the other hand, the shoe/glove mismatch made her seem more real: “Hey, I ordered the gloves, I picked up the shoes, and the morning of the event I noticed they didn’t go together. Oh, well, the outfit’s great, and I’ve got better things to worry about.”There was a lot of self-confidence in that ensemble.Cammy

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annasoc January 22, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Another thing I like about Michelle Obama’s fashion choices is that she is wearing the clothes of emerging AMERICAN designers, not the established tried and trues. Also no one has talked much about where she is getting her wonderful brooches and earrings, but I bet she might be sometimes wearing vintage and artisan-made pieces. I’d love to see her wearing artists’ work instead of just gem stones.Anna S.

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evalyn January 22, 2009 at 4:31 pm

Her confidence supercedes fashion. Just because I think those green shoes looked weird with the rest of the outfit (which I love – lime, lime, lime, such a nice change from blue and red), she’s not bothered by it. And I’m sorry, but that gown looks like it was made from a chenile bedspread. Too lumpy for her figure, but she seems to like. For sure he likes how she looks in it.

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becky f. January 22, 2009 at 7:00 pm

Aha! I’m pretty sure you can see the scarf and the cardigan here: http://www.stylelist.com/celebrity-style/hottest-celebrities/inaugural-styleRight? And if you open the slideshow, there are great shots of both her shoes and those awesome gloves.

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ShopDownLite.com January 22, 2009 at 8:48 pm

I loved all both dresses!

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Anonymous January 22, 2009 at 11:08 pm

I gotta say, Michelle’s best accessory is her smile! Okay, and her husband! Waht a great looking couple…..just to be shallow about the whole thing. I love her style and am looking forward to the next EIGHT years! Teresa

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Lisa Simeone January 23, 2009 at 8:25 am

According to the knock-off monarchs — Faviana and ABS — we can expect to see versions of many of Michelle’s outfits in four to six weeks. Article in the New York Daily News:http://www.nydailynews.com/lifestyle/fashion/2009/01/22/2009-01-22_fashions_copycats_are_having_a_ball_knoc.html

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barbie2be January 23, 2009 at 10:51 am

i agree completely! i think michelle’s sense of style is perfect!

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goldilocks January 23, 2009 at 12:45 pm

If Cindy McCain were wearing that green ensemble, few would rave about it. Having a strange sense of fashion m’self, I really kind of like it, but… Michelle could show up in a shower curtain right now (which she appeared to have done at the inaugural ball) and half the world would be in love with her for it.(the saving grace on that white dress is that she has fabulous arms!)

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goldilocks January 23, 2009 at 12:45 pm

If Cindy McCain were wearing that green ensemble, few would rave about it. Having a strange sense of fashion m’self, I really kind of like it, but… Michelle could show up in a shower curtain right now (which she appeared to have done at the inaugural ball) and half the world would be in love with her for it.(the saving grace on that white dress is that she has fabulous arms!)

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Lisa Simeone January 23, 2009 at 1:13 pm

That’s because if Cindy McCain had been wearing it she would’ve looked sick and washed-out, just like the rest of us. As many have noted, few people can carry off that color.

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50sgal January 23, 2009 at 3:57 pm

I love that I get to see these, as living in 1955 I did not allow myself to watch the inaugeration, as I do not have modern tv right now, but what a great sense of style she is bring. I have to say, from here in 1955 I think that she wore matching shoes and gloves is tres’ chic and is very appropriate from where I am standing. And I LOVE tulle and that dress has a very 1950′s feel. It made me feel all a flutter, now if she will just wear a crinolin or two to somthing I will positively swoon. I heard someone belittling that the media was talking about Michele making her first important ‘decision’ as to what to wear to the ball. I think it IS an important decision and one very fitting to her role and place. She is, after all, not an elected official and she needs to very much set a tone for fashion and decorum and I want to look to her with pride and envy and think, “ooh, I’d like that dress or that handbag”. There is nothing small or unintelligent about fashion, so I am glad we here seem to realize that such a role is not small or silly but shows who a person is and how they represent themselves, their husband and the country. Yeah Michelle, I love you.

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jen January 23, 2009 at 6:12 pm

i really love what michelle wore too and i think it is apparent that she chose those things because she loves them and they are an expression of who she is, not what other expect.i also have to comment on how much president obama (i love saying that) and michelle appear to be in love – it’s so uplifting to see that.

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Shay January 24, 2009 at 8:58 am

I personally don’t like very many of the First Lady’s fashion choices but I love the fact that she wears what she likes and feels comfortable in! She doesn’t seem to feel the need to play it safe.

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ledthread January 24, 2009 at 3:31 pm

she is just so cool… i don’t always LOVE her clothes, but i like that she takes risks, looks confident, and doesn’t play it safe. i wonder if she uses a stylist? regardless, i am so excited to have a cool lady like that in the white house!

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rebecca January 27, 2009 at 6:00 pm

This is a great blog. I have to agree: Michelle Obama is a class act, especially when it comes to her wardrobe!

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madgebaby February 1, 2009 at 1:22 pm

How great is it that our President not only loves, respect, and (by all appearances) is devoted and faithful to his wife (and daughters) but thinks his beloved spouse is smoking hot! Just the hope our country needs. . . .

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