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Shelley O

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Alright bitches, you clearly all have opinions on this one, so let's get to it.


First Lady Michelle Obama attends the inauguration of her husband Barack wearing an ensemble by Isabel Toledo

"New York-based designer Toledo said the coat and dress were made of Swiss wool lace, backed with netting for warmth on the bitterly cold Washington morning, and lined in French silk.

"I wanted to pick a very optimistic colour that had sunshine," Toledo told New York Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn. "I wanted her to feel charmed, and in that way would charm everybody."



This is what we mean when we say she needs gays. She clearly has style and taste, but she often makes questionable decisions that only a gay can shoot down. Par example: We think the coat is lovely. Bright and optimistic, it stood out in a sea of dour winter coats.

But THIS, honeys:

This is bad. We don't care what the press says, they may be her "signature," but her constant cardigans are not flattering. They make her look older and slump-shouldered and the three-quarter-length sleeves on her make it look like the sweater's too small.

Couple that with the fact that there is literally no contrast on this ensemble anywhere. The dress, sweater and coat are all exactly the same color and the dress and coat are the same fabric. Who dresses like that outside of Barbie?


That's not entirely true; there was SOME contrast. She wore contrasting gloves and shoes. The problem? The shoes and gloves clashed with each other. We're not so old-school that we think a woman's shoes and gloves should match exactly but when the entire ensemble is in one color, the clashiness between the yellow-green gloves and the blue-green shoes really stood out.


In a Jason Wu dress for the inaugural balls

"The one-of-a-kind silk chiffon dress is embellished all over with Swarovski crystals, floaty bits of organza and silver thread embroidery and was custom made by Wu.

The first lady accessorized with diamond chandelier earrings, a white gold and diamond ring and a stack of diamond bangles by jeweler Loree Rodkin."



It's okay. It's just okay, though. We're reminded of Julia Sugarbaker's opinion that Nancy Reagan's one-shoulder, white, inaugural gown made her look like Wilma Flintstone.


It doesn't make us say "Wow, what a gorgeous dress." It's just kind of disappointingly bleh.




More pics:










[Photos: WireImage/Getty Images]


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236 comments:
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so glad ya'll are taking this on. i loved her daytime look. the gown reminded me of a chenille bedspread.


Thanks, TLo!

I actually remembered the Jason Wu sketch, and even though I wasn't crazy about it (preferred Monique Lhullier's) I thought it worked for her. Besides, she's married to the best accesory of them all, so she could have worn a paper bag and still would have looked gorgeous.

I already said my part about her inaugural outfit in the Kate Hudson thread (sorry to get so off topic, there hehehee).

I think it boils down to Michelle is definitely more into practicality than Jackie O glamour. She dresses like a working professional mom, so she goes the route of simplicity. (She's impartial to J. Crew) Don't expect her to go all out fashion-wise.

Still, I think you guys should offer your services. She needs some gays around.:0)


The day look reminded me of my Aunt Sue's Barbies from the 60's. The ball gown was pretty-- for a 25 year-old to wear to her wedding. *sigh*
So much potential. Michelle! Dress your age- and your era!


I could not take my eyes off of those shoes....didn't she notice that they just didn't work?


Well, gays would be useful, BUT:

1) Day look I thought was fine. The cardigans may be "not chic" but honey it was cold yesterday and I'm sure it was warm. The shoes were inexcusable, the gloves, however, were perfect.

2) I liked the dress. White is a super color on her, strapless can look very David's Bridal (see Biden, Jill) and though I think the dress would have been better with either a very full skirt or as a column, it was still lovely and different. In.


I don't think the yellow dress fit her - it looked too tight across the hips and the bling was tacky.


I had the same Wilma Flintstone flash back on the white dress. The fabric did look like a chenille bedspread, and it was too long for her or something - she kept stepping on it - and was she wearing sandals under it?


I'm with Stacy - the first thought i had when looking at the gown was "chenille bedspread." So disappointed as Michelle is so stunning and not afraid to be bold in her fashion choices. this one just kinda didn't work for her.

The daytime dress, though, thought worked much better - gold being bright, atypical, stood out. What I really wanna know though is HOW did she stay warm? I mean there's only so much pashima or lining you can sew for lining in that type of dress. I was freezing every time i looked at her.

She carried it off well and as noted, she had the best accessory of all in her handsome, well dressed, confident hubby.

Good luck to them 'cause we as a country sure do need it!


How can you say anything negative about Mrs. Obama?? She is an amazing woman.


She showed restraint in picking her inagural gown and of course we all wanted "hit them over the head glamour" LOL, but the gown fit the times, I guess, dreamy and not excessive.
She did look extremeley happy and what a great honor for Jason Wu, a really nice guy in a sometimes vicious industry!


The day look, loved the idea, execution could have been better.
The little ones were adorable in their J Crew coats, thank goodness they didn't make them wear hats!


No one is saying anything negative about Michelle, anon, we are talking about her clothes, please.


I really loved the "lemongrass yellow" outfit. Not so much the shoes or the neckline detail, which was too Queen Elizabethish.
I did not, however, love the gown. The minute she appeared it it, I thought "Ugh, Grandma's tablecloth". The train did not work for dancing at all. Ms. Obama kept pulling it around, which made for an uncomfortable picture. Jewelry, however, beautiful.
I did love Jill Biden's gown. Perfect for dancing and I do love red!! She looked great.


The girls looked adorable.


I assume you will be getting to Jill's daytime ensemble....please?


I loved the shoes and the gloves (an unexpected color choice) but pretty much hated everything else. Someone in the other thread said that it looked like she'd raided the queen mum's closet and I couldn't agree more. The look was dowdy and frumpy and didn't flatter her at all. It seemed a little over-embellished for a day look and for such a solemn occasion. All that brocade would only look good on a sofa. And I know we just discussed whether yellow looked good on blondes and the consensus seemed to be that yellow looks better on darker skinned women but I don't think this color looked good with her skin tone at all. I've heard it described as chartreuse (even though it lookes pale yellow in some pictures) and chartreuse is a tough color for a human of any color to pull off.

The ball gown was stunning but not quite right, somehow. She has very broad, athletic shoulders and I thought the dress made her look like a linebacker. It was probably too young for her as well.

And speaking of too young, I only got a glimpse of Jill Biden during the ceremony but her dress and coat were much too short. Paired with the knee high boots, she looked like a cougar hot on the trail.

Thanks for some honesty re: your assessment of the fashion. I know that everyone is so besotted with the Obamas that it's hard to be objective about anything related to them.


We're reminded of Julia Sugarbaker's opinion that Nancy Reagan's one-shoulder, white, inaugural gown made her look like Wilma Flintstone.

A Designing Women reference... I love you guys.


WHAT was she thinking with the dress with a train?! Not remembering that she would be dancing in it, obviously. Constantly reaching behind to grab the train and yank it around. Not a good move. Felt bad for her. But on such a great night, a minor matter.


I agree with many of your comments, however, she is the first lady and not in the running to become America's Next Top Model. She looked beautiful and she is a classy lady. She stayed true to who she is, a wife, mom and America's First Lady. I also admire her for standing out there in that cold looking so relaxed.


I'm happy for Jason Wu.

His career is about to take off big time.


The gown just seemed so fussy to me, and she doesn't seem like a fussy sort of woman. They looked great together, though.

I actually like her nod to the '60s with the daytime ensemble. There's that simplicity that a previous poster mentioned, but it's also very clean. She needs a gay to take that feel and bring it into this century.I think the cut of that era really flatters her body, which is probably why she's drawn to it. She's got a great upper body, ideal for sleeveless numbers.

And shoot me if you must, but I love cardigans. I'm always cold and I'd love to see her influence trickle down into the mass market.


You hit the nail on the head with the daytime outfit. Certain elements of it work (great textiles, great colorts) but not together. The whole look made her look huge and old.

Her ball gown--what a great and unexpected choice. This reminded me how hot and young she can look. If it were me I would've picked one of the more known designers with sleeker and more tailored designs, but this was a much better choice. I'm sure it was gorgeous up close too.


Are black women allowed to consult with gays regarding their style issues, since the black community over-whelmingly voted for Prop 18, thereby denouncing everything homosexual including gay fashion sense?


I really enjoyed watching last night's ball. What a beautiful, sharp and classy first family! And I admit to getting a bit misty eyed when Beyonce sang during the first dance.

But I have to agree with Stacy. My very first reaction was "hey I had a bedspread like that when I was a kid!" And I'm not a big fan of the yellow dress. I don't think any of Shelly O's choices are terrible, though. Just not what I would choose. I would have preferred something sleeker.


I was pretty sure that Mrs. O was going to wear a white gown. While I applaud her color choice, I was just a little disappointed.

Her inauguration day suit made her look matronly. The bling around her neckline was a nice touch, though.

The suit and coat she wore over the weekend was gorgeous. It had color contrast and style and she looked fabulous. Does anyone know who designed it?


I LOVED both of the looks.


Having been several times to the Hall of the First Ladies at the Smithsonian, there were only two dresses that stood out to me. Mamie Eisenhower's pink gown and Lady Bird Johnson's gold satin gown and coat with the fur cuffs (I know, not at all acceptable now, but it was gorgeous). I have a feeling that Ms. Obama's will fall into the "meh" catagory. Heck, maybe I'm the only one, but I hated Jackie Kennedy's gown.
That all being said, I am still a big fan of Ms. Obama. And Sasha and Malia looked absolutely adorable!!!


And by the way, I thought Laura Bush looked absolutely beautiful and elegant.


The black and camel outfit Michelle wore over the weekend - loved it, very chic, I thought.


Why don't they get that the greenish yellowish color they put her in is probably the LAST color they should have chosen?? JEWEL TONES PEOPLE!!

I liked the inaugeral gown, but find it hard to believe after looking at all those sketches on WWD that THAT is what she ended up in. However I am REALLY thrilled for the designer. She just made his career.....


Oh dear GOD.
People this is Project Rungay, started because of Project Runway, a show about CLOTHES.
No one is assasinating the woman's character!!! Did you wander on to the wrong blog??
NO ONE IS IMMUNE!!!
If you are getting dressed up and leaving the house you are a target, so GET OVER IT!


PLUS: with that skin, why isn't the gown a bold WHITE white, not ivory or whatever it is. most of us are forced on half-baked white, but with her skin tone, as Michael Knight would remind us, black people look great in white. REAL white.

I really was hoping against hope for the Badgley Mischka suit. That suit's OK, but some contrast would have really helped it out.


I liked the day outfit. But I would never think of putting olive green gloves with a chartreuse dress.

And am I allowed to comment on the kids clothes? A red scarf with a pink coat? My mother would not have let me out of the house.


I love Michelle - but I was disappointed in both choices.

I was expecting a coat in a rich saturated color - maybe with some gorgeous boots. This look was a little to Spring for me considering the weather. I would have told the designer to make me something that can be worn with thermal underwear!

The gown was just ok. I'm not a fan of one shoulder dresses and, while the white was a good idea, my mind always goes to bridal....

But, they looked so happy and gorgeous together - what a great day!


When Jason Wu was being interviewed on CNN, he said he was as surprised as everyone else when Mrs. Obama walked out wearing his gown! Which leads me to believe she had a couple other choices on hand. She really kept it under wraps!

The girls looked beautiful!

What a handsome family!


I dunno fellas...I think all of this just makes Michelle more like the rest of us regular folk. Unlike Jackie O, I think Michelle is comfortable and confident in her own skin, and doesn't feel the need to present herself as anything other than what she really is.


I thought the day look was smashing. Read other comments around the web and the stupidest comment was from What Not to Wear's Stacy London, who concluded it was not commercial enough. Huh? Who cares? It's not supposed to be. She's the first lady not a catalog model.

The problem with the ball gown is read flat on TV even HDTV.

Have to disagree with the Laura Bush thing, she looked like a dried up eraser.


Anonymous said...

Are black women allowed to consult with gays regarding their style issues, since the black community over-whelmingly voted for Prop 18, thereby denouncing everything homosexual including gay fashion sense?

Actually, Mrs (& President) Obama opposed Proposition 8. While 70% of those cited in the CNN exit poll (it's widely acknowledged exit polls are more inaccurate based on intrinsic geographical biases than standard opinion polls) who voted in favor Proposition 8, the idea of prohibiting those African Americans (or anyone else--what about the 53% of the Hispanics who voted in favor or the 51% of white males?) who don't discriminate the counsel/friendship/love/respect/etc of someone based on their sexual preference (or race, or sex) is rather bigoted, wouldn't you say?


As I blathered yesterday, my opinions on the day look are pretty much TL0's: day, good, until you take the coat off & then the cardigan dowdies it all down.

The evening gown photographed beautifully from a distance at the evening events. The close ups make it look ridiculously fussy and I dislike. But (train notwithstanding) she looked comfortable in it, and that has to count for something; the first lady shouldn't have to think about her clothing too much while in public.

Yes. I am stretching to figure out why she'd have chosen that gown.


The Boss of You said...

"The problem with the ball gown is read flat on TV even HDTV."

*******************************

Ha! You are right, and that is why I thought it looked good in photos & on t.v. at a distance. All the little fussy bits washed out.


I think she looked great. It was an inauguration, not a red carpet event. But I do agree with you about the cardigan. Bleh.


I thought the Isabel Toledo outfit looked good on her. I agree that the 3/4 sleeve on the cardigan makes it look too small, perhaps because she is so tall.
I would have liked it if she had worn boots with this outfit and an stunning overcoat. The long jacket just didn't seem substanial enough for the cold day.
The evening dress was very appropriate for the occasion. Very elegant. I liked the train and little tufts.
And didn't Beyonce look nice. See how much better she looks when she shows a little restraint?
Mariah on the other hand, entirely too much ta-ta.


I thought Laura Bush looked absolutely beautiful and elegant.

I did love Jill Biden's gown. Perfect for dancing and I do love red!! She looked great.

I assume you will be getting to Jill's daytime ensemble....please?


Add Aretha Franklin to the order... please.


Thanks for posting this.

I didn't see the shoes until much later, but I did like the yellow outfit. The color was unexpected and really stood out.

My reaction to the ball gown was much the same as Suzanne's - every designer in the world clamouring to design a gown and that was the best they could come up with? It's not bad. It's just so-so.

I've said it before: she is an attractive woman in desparate need of some (new?) gays to advise her on her wardrobe.


I wish you guys would take her off your list of people to comment on. She's not a celebrity; they're asking for it. She's an ordinary person in an extraordinary situation, and the bitchiness that I, too, love to engage in when it comes to Sarah Jessica Parker et al. seems just wrong here.


Anonymous said...

I wish you guys would take her off your list of people to comment on. She's not a celebrity; they're asking for it. She's an ordinary person in an extraordinary situation, and the bitchiness that I, too, love to engage in when it comes to Sarah Jessica Parker et al. seems just wrong here.


Every single newspaper and TV channel is talking about her dress. EVERYBODY has an opinion about it. Most of the readers asked TLo to post about it, in fact, people couldn't even wait to talk about it and started talking about it in the Kate Hudson post. I sincerely don't understand the objection. We're not talking about her husband or even her as a human being.

I was very disappointed with both choices. I was expecting something more sophisticated.


Michelle just needs to have a few lunches at some bistros on Dupont Circle and meet up with her DC Gays to help her tweak on some of these details.

But her best accessory- her happiness shining through in her smile.


Day outfit: didn't make a huge impact on me. Kinda reminded me of a grandma outfit, though the color was a nice contrast to the dark overcoats and a great foil to the cold weather. Didn't notice the cardigan until just now. And incidentally, if there's a person who could bring cardigans back, it's Michelle. (I was one of maybe four people on the face of the planet who loved her whole election day outfit, fire-blazing red-and-black dress, cardigan and all.)

But that inaugural gown? Mon dieu! That dress-length diaper thing put 40 lbs. on her! She looked like an overgrown wedding cake. I was so looking forward to something much more flattering. Still, it was very classy for her to choose a new, young, foreign designer (Wu's Taiwanese) for her gown. I still have big, big love for Michelle and can't wait to see more of her sartorial decisions from here on through. The next four years will be wonderful.


Anonymous said...

"I wish you guys would take her off your list of people to comment on. She's not a celebrity; they're asking for it."

********************************
Anon, I applaud your compassion - but she's also a politician's wife and routinely handles criticism on topics she no doubt sees as much more meaningful. Besides, TLo would have to be very stern with we minions to go "hands off" on the First Lady; a gaggle of us rudely hijacked yesterday's thread right off of Kate Hudson onto Ms. Obama because we just couldn't help ourselves! (For which I belatedly and rather insincerely apologize.)


C'est moi, c'est moi Lola

Good point about having a distinctive style but still needing some gays.

I didn't care for the lemongrass outfit. As others have said, it made her look too old and too large. "Shelley O" is a bit wide in the hips (like moi) and I felt the outfit did not help with that!

As for the Jason Wu - pretty, but I couldn't see any detail on TV. It's something that might be given a pass on the red carpet, but just not wow-able for me. And watching her fuss with the train while dancing was painful.

Oh Michelle, lets just hope your looks for future public appearances do more to accentuate the beauty you have, not play it down!


well.. the bracelets were pretty and the manicure nice.

and that is all I can say on the plus side.
----

three-quarter-length sleeves on her make it look like the sweater's too small.
I've posted before that this is a problem that designers keep pushing them and they only look ok on petite women and she is not petite.


TLO - I LOVE that you found a way to quote Julia Sugarbaker!!


It was a very long day for her, so maybe she picked outfits that she felt comfortable in and it was super cold.

I loved the color of the suit and loved the gloves.

The gown material was very pretty up close so maybe that was important to her.

Mrs. Bush looked really nice and put together, loved her coat.


I, too, loved the day outfit. I liked the evening gown at first, but then, when I saw it up close, was like "Wow!! Laura Bush wore the tablecloth a few years ago, and Michelle wore the bedspread!" It was too loose on her, the material was too voluminious, the shoulder strap looked like a rifle strap, and it was just too girly-girly for her, I thought. I would have liked something clean and tailored for her, and if she wanted to go for more volume, as much as I hated Rami, one of his dresses would have looked great on her. Just too much. Out on the evening look!


Anon 9:41 AM

What is this GothamTomato - this is about fashion not the teflon people.


Anon 9:41 AM

What is this GothamTomato - this is about fashion not the teflon people.


Here's the difference, I think, between the comments in fashion reviews and us on this site. We're mean. (Me, included.) It's part of our fun. And I just don't like it when we're mean to somebody whose life has not, in fact, been devoted to appearance in the way that the lives of most of the people we judge have been. But, hey, it's just one opinion, and you get to carry on.


Daytime, I thought the color and lace pattern were awesome, but she should have ditched the cardigan and gone with red shoes.

Evening, I love the skirt, but the bodice is a bit too busy. The fluffy bits got distracting trying to figure out what was going on. I did like her dressed in white.


I have loved everything Barbie since Barbie was invented/born so maybe that's why I really liked the day outfit...especially at first glance. I thought she looked very bright and festive and special and really stood out. I loved the color, the lace, and the gloves. I was a little iffy on the tiara around her neck for daytime but let it slide. Barbie coulda pulled that look off easily. That being said...Barbie would NEVER and I mean NEVER have worn those shoes with that outfit, not to mention the cardigan. Still, I liked the overall look. I thought she looked lovely in the white gown and I'm so happy for both of the designers! Go Michelle! BTW, Barack looked perfectimoso all day/all night. Love him!


I can't add much more than what's been said but I am glad TLO made the sloping shoulders comment.

Our new First lady is an attractive woman with great presence and confidence and clothes should look naturally good on her. However my roomie noticed she has shoulders that tend to slope especially when she walks. I think that unfortunately tend to detract a little from the outfits she is wearing.

And I agree, i dont feel anyone is being really mean here concerning her. No one is asking for the opulence of the 80s or runway Haute couture. But you would think for 1 of the most important days of the decade there would someone on hand to make sure she looked her absolute best for the cameras.

Frank


I think our new First Lady absolutely GLOWED!!! She had the best fashion accessory of all...HAPPINESS!!! :)

jh :)


Michelle Obama is a beautiful woman, but she needs a stylist. Her choices are not right for her body type or skin color.


Cardigans. must. go.


The daytime ensemble outdoor is IN, just barely, I would have liked it a lot more without the cutesy tie thingie, if it was needed for practical purposes, I would rather see a different thingie).

The daytime ensemble indoor is OUT.

The inauguration gown is OUT.

Final verdict: When you can get the most powerful Accessory in the world gazing at you with adoration, you can't be nothing but IN.

Also, she made me feel prouder as an American than he did because of her exuberance during the daytime activities.


I loved the day look, but only with the coat still on. I agree it lost something at the lunch, but as she was going to be outside most of the day, I think she made a good choice. Of course, the woman is so beautiful, tall and lean she could pull off the proverbial potato sack and still look good.

I was unimpressed with the gown, and I am with those who noted it did not show up well on television. I have a feeling it looked much better on the hanger than it did when worn.

We also have to give Mrs. Obama some slack here - she had maybe an hour from the end of the parade until she had to leave for the first ball (and that was just to stay on schedule that had them back to the White House around 3 AM). During that time she had to get her kids settled and figure out where the movers put everything. Reportedly she didn't actually choose the dress until yesterday, so she may have had to do that too. I wonder if the fit would have been better had she had some time to breathe and relax.


I don't feel compelled to record a judgment of her fashion sense, and I doubt Mrs. O is checking this site every couple hours to see what people think. I do think it's exciting to have a First Lady who might remotely be thought to HAVE a fashion sense. I was excited to anticipate what she'd be wearing, and I thought the day outfit was OK. Didn't love the shoes, but I did think it was pretty cool that we have a First Lady who looks good in yellow.

As to the evening dress - I thought she looked cute and excited and a little overwhelmed. And obviously in love with her husband. Maybe that doesn't have much to do with the dress.

As to needing new gays - I suspect she'll have more substantial issues on her mind. And that's as it should be.


TLo,

Could you please post pictures of Jill Biden's fashion choices for 20 January 2009?

Thanks!

TampaBay


I was watching yesterday and I remember it being said that Mrs. Obama has lost weight in the last few weeks so some outfits that were chosen and fitted a few weeks ago did not fit now. I am guessing she went with what fitted best.

I liked the night look but the day look was all meh to me.


In Support of Cardigans:

Not that Michelle has to worry about this, but cardigans have their place for women of a certain age with arm issues. My advice to young women with nice arms...exercise. They will not stay that way on their own. It is a horrible day when you realize you are now sporting your grandmother's flabby arms. Thank GOD for cute little summer cardigans...please, designers out there, make more of them!!! Sleeveless is not for everyone, as much as I'd like for it to be.


Absolutely LOVED LOVED LOVED the lemongrass ensemble. The inaugural gown...not so much :(


a said...
I thought Laura Bush looked absolutely beautiful and elegant.

I did love Jill Biden's gown. Perfect for dancing and I do love red!! She looked great.

I assume you will be getting to Jill's daytime ensemble....please?

Add Aretha Franklin to the order... please.


Aretha Franklin looked great and always looks great because she has personal style and knows how to fine tune that personal style (or has some great gays to do it for her) for every occassion.

Aretha you rock!

Cannot wait to comment on Jill Biden fashion. Loved the red gown from what I could see on TV.

TampaBay


Who dresses like that outside of Barbie?

On occasion, I do. I don't care what Kors says about matchy-matchy, I like stuff that matches, dammit.

I also liked the daytime look. As for the cardigan, I think she may have added it for warmth, because that open coat didn't look like it was doing much to keep out the cold.

And even though we're relatively apolitical here at Project Rungay, may I just say...thank all that's holy that we're talking about Michelle's fashion sense as First Lady.


Anonymous said...

I don't feel compelled to record a judgment of her fashion sense,

... I thought the day outfit was OK. Didn't love the shoes

... As to the evening dress - I thought she looked cute


Honey, if this is what you're like when you're not judging, what are you like when you're being judgmental?


Please please do a general critique of the inaugural outfits!!

I thought the Obama girls looked adorable, but then, they always do!


I didn't think either look was flattering to her. The daytime outfit looked like she borrowed it from Queen Elizabeth. It was just missing the hat. And how could her shoes and gloves not match. Oh honey!


I liked the day look except it should have fit her a little better, been a couple inches shorter and she definitely should have had different shoes.

I liked the ball gown, but wasn't wowed by it either. I think it would have looked better strapless.

I feel weird critiquing her fashion when I am SO happy to have her as first lady!


Thanks for taking it on, TLo! I haven't read the other commenters so apologize if I'm duplicating or triplicating.

The cardigan was just bad. No other word. My god, do I need to resurrect the sweater sets of yesteryear again? Is this the trend? no likey. But I liked the sheath/coat of the inauguration outfit. I liked the green of the gloves but I did NOT like those shoes. Bad Michelle, Bad Bad Bad!

I applaud her choosing a young American designer for the gown and also appreciate that she didn't go for sequins, etc. It looked good for the far-away shots. But up close? Meh.

I give her a B+


I thought she looked gorgeous in each outfit. The gown was beautiful.


I HATE to say this, but her gown gave my flashbacks to the horrible wedding shower game where you have to create a wedding dress for someone out of a roll of toilet paper. It comes out looking freakishly similar to Michelle's dress last night.

Love her daytime outfit...hated the shoes, but oh well...makes me feel better about my own bad shoe days.


Thanks so much for posting guys! I've been eagerly awaiting your opinions about the new First Family wardrobe from the moment they stepped out yesterday morning.

Day outfit: Meh, okay. At least it wasn't a full-on Jackie clone, but the accessory colors were off, and unlike many opinions I've seen in the press, I think the color did her no favors at all. The detailing on the neckline looked like an overdone afterthought. Also, I definitely agree with you about the cardigan.

Of course, her hubby looked good, and how adorable were those girls?! Absolutely precious.

Evening: Terrific color on her, and she looked fabulous. However, it appears that the gown was one of those that look better in person than it does on camera.


I agree with the bedspread comments. Just as Scarlett O'Hara made a dress from old draperies, Michelle Obama's dress looks like it was made from an old chenille bedspread from grandma's house. Not flattering with all that fabric.


So have you contacted the White House yet, maybe gone directly to Jackie Norris to volunteer your services? I was hoping you'd have some things to say, especially when I saw that hideous cardigan. She's a stunning, amazing woman. She needs to shine, not look like my grandmother! (Who shone like the sun but cardigans really ARE old school and they were hideous even back then!)


I just saw a recap of the past few First Ladies Inaugural gowns, and it makes me really like Michelle's. From the Carter's through the Bush's, they were all hideous.


Heresy on the blog that is based on the show with a weekly parade of runway models, but...

I wish all supermodels had Shelley O's frame. Willowy, athletic, womanly. Realistic. And compellingly beautiful because of it.

To me-- clothes just drape well on her. Yes, that cardigan does look a little off-the-rack, on-sale-but-not-in-my-size look to it... yet she gives it class it doesn't necessarily come with on its own.

As for the clothes themselves:

Loved the lemongrass color; the coat could have been a little more fitted but that in and of itself made it look "DC"-friendly; loved the olive gloves but not the shoes; wish the bling neckline had looked a little less bulky. Overall effect was interesting and nice and I give it a B+.

B, though, for the gown. I think my whole problem with it is that she did not look comfortable, constantly readjusting the skirt whenever she moved. Was it too long? Killer shoulders, arms, and back though! Woo hoo!

She is awesome, and I'm just tickled to have her as first lady.


BTW, I meant to add a big THANK YOU to TLo for giving us pictures and details on her outfits. Y'all are very obliging.

And on the whole, Michelle looked lovely, and charming and that's what matters. Just hope she managed to have some fun and can rest a bit, and perhaps seek a random second opinion sometimes.


Hooray for you giving an honest take on this! Sacred cows and all that, you know.

For the Isabel Toledo: loved the unusual dress color, the jeweled neckline drawing attention to her face, and the lil' show of leg.

HATED the glove/shoe color clash, as you pointed out. And yes, she has to stop wearing those cardigans that cut her off at the hips, the widest point.

For the Wu: unlike the cardigan, this showed off one of her best assets - her toned arms. The asymmetrical cut is also the friend to the pear shaped woman - not that I'd know - so points for knowing herself there.

On the flip side, I hated the fussy waistline & foofy pleats, which unfairly gave her a pregnancy pooch. Didn't care for the color or material particularly.


Loved the day suit (but minus the teal pumps - ugh!!), thought the dress was too young and debutante-y. I also didn't like the frosted lipstick she was wearing at the ball (became heavier towards the later balls as she reapplied). She has beautiful skin but sometimes her makeup is off - foundation too ashy, lipstick a bit too frosty.

Michelle, you are a fabulous, amazing woman, and your look hints at fabulousity too!! With a good pair of gays you will be off the charts.

The girls were adorable in their little coats!


Day- Sparkly corn on the cob

Evening- Sheer curtains

C'mon, Michelle.


The day look was OK - still thought she could have worn something so much nicer.

The evening gown reminded me of a dress that would have been seen in the 1973 Miss America pagent!


That ring and her nails are GORGEOUS!!


I'd love to see closeups of the print dress she wore to the church service this morning - has anyone seen any? It looked intriguing from a distance. (And no cardigan!!)

Her legs must be freezing!! I admire the no-hose thing in general, but I'd love to see her in a pair of suede boots.


Must acknowledge the flaws of the ensembles listed by the ever perceptive TLo & their motley band o' bitches. To repeat my earlier comment, the day outfit made the First Lady's back 9 look like the widest back 40. The evening gown just didn't have the oomph! I had hoped for. Too understated?
Best wishes to the designers, Jason Wu & Isabel Toledo, though (loved several of their past collections). Here's hoping this exposure will bring larger success to you both!
That said, the radiance, pride & joy glowing in Mrs Obama's face & demeanor nullifies every fashion misstep.


Day look - loved the color of the dress, coat, hated everything about the cardigan. I thought the gloves were a homerun but the shoes she probably chose because they were Jimmy Choo and therefore comfy. I would have liked to have seen the shoes in either an aubergine or a red violet for an across-the-color-wheel contrast.

Evening - the dress did her figure no favors. She has a great shape but looked wide in the waist in that silhouette. The embellishments were overly fussy. That said, didn't mind the one shoulder look as it shows that she is aware of the trends.


Michelle is lovely, which is why both looks were a disappointment. The day look was too fussy and retro. The chiffon tie blowing around in the wind looked unfortunately cheap. And accessories that could have helped didn't work at all, color-wise.

I think the worst aspect of both choices was that they didn't photograph well. Most of the time, video and pics of the day look read chartreuse to me, rather than pale gold. And the evening dress -- I'm sure all that detail looked pretty up close, but on video it was impossible to make out what was going on at all, the white-on-white just flattened out.


As I'm sure most of us feel, what an amazing moment in time for our country and I have Obama fever in a big way....but this is a fashion blog so I've gotta say the evening gown reminded me of a bedspread my sister had when we were kids that has pom poms all over it, maybe it looked better in person, and the strap wasn't working either and the cut across the chest was unflattering, would have been much better with a scoop, V, anything but what it was. The hip area drew attention to that area and made her look bigger there. I wish she had worn a bolder color. Jewelery was nice tho. As far as daytime, I thought that both looked so radiant, and I give her alot of credit for still looking so happy and energized watching the parade when you knew at that point she had to have been freezing her ass off. I agree with the gloves and shoes, sometimes Nina matchy matchy can be better than this. Keep in mind she had to walk in those suckers, so real high heels were out of the question. I imagine in the coming months, she will progress and she's going to wow us, esp if she hires TLo.
And the girls were absolutely adorable!


I wrote about this too.

She looked BEST when she wore Narcisco Rodriguez to the Lincoln Memorial and the outfit she had on while she was on the inaugural train was swell too.

But as I said on my own blog, she's Michelle Obama --and she worked the Toledo outfit on the most exclusive, expensive and important catwalk of all: the road to the White House.


Brian said..."I thought she looked gorgeous in each outfit. The gown was beautiful.

Brian, you are a true gentleman and I can tell you've already gone far (and will continue to do so) in your life!


Daytime:

I agree that the overall shape seemed to dowdy...however, the color and texture more than made up for that. It GLOWED on television. And my HDTV picked up the lace detailing. The collar bling was very nice as well.

The cardigan...meh. But then again, a jacket would have been too much. Perhaps in a contrasting color...don't know how you resolve something like that. Perhaps had she not been so "matchy" with the sheeth and worn a classic wool dress with sleeves...

The shoes were dark green, but showed up teal in some pictures. Live, they looked dark green. On my HDTV set, they looked dark green.

The gloves did have an olivy tinge, but I thought they were fine.

Nighttime...

Unless your partner can dance like Fred Astaire, DON'T WEAR A TRAIN! Poor Barack kept stepping on her hem all night.

I disagree with the Rami look being what she should have chosen. I would have prefered Korto's one-shouldered "final look" from Bryant Park--the one with the bling built into the strap. That would have been classic. I would love to see Korto design for Michelle.

Back to daytime...what a stir she would have caused if she had worn the "seatbelt coat" to the inauguration! Perhaps if Rachael Zoe had been her stylist....


Do Jill!


[Michelle Obama] choices are not right for her body type or skin color.
I agree, especially about the body type part, FLOTUS would take a major leap forward sartorially if she found the 3 or 4 silhouettes that flattered her figure.

a said...
Add Aretha Franklin to the order... please.

TampaBay said...
Aretha you rock!

Adding to my previous post, and you better not say anything bad about Ree Ree!!!

Coco Puff said...Barbie coulda pulled that look off easily. That being said...Barbie would NEVER and I mean NEVER have worn those shoes with that outfit, not to mention the cardigan.
Barbie Rules!!! And as Tim Gunn told us, Barbie is a fashion icon. Ooo, during some future PR / fashion doldrum, can we have a Barbie-ology... please.


please, please do Jill!


I loved the coat and dress. I take your point about the cardigan. I wonder if the point was simply to have another layer for warmth and thus to have it match so it didn't detract from the main look. But then she shouldn't have taken the coat off.

I agree about the ball dress too. I had been expecting something really fabulous but it was no better than okay. Not horrible, but okay.


Oh.my.god.

Take a look at what she wore to the national prayer service....

Google it, people.

Yikes.

On to Aretha...while I would have hated to have had to sit behind her at the inauguration and I think the hat could have received signals from INTELSAT. Nevertheless, if anyone can wear a hat like that, it's Aretha. Besides, it was her gift to the throngs that had come down on the Mall to see the spectacle.

Not like Mary J. Blige who completely blended into the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at Sunday's concert.


Thanks for the pic, TLo! I'm with the chenille bedspread comments. But I need to say, What about Aretha's HAT!! How great was that?


As to the rounded shoulders--despite Princeton, Harvard Law, big Chicago law firm and now First Lady status, Michelle still sometimes carries herself like the tallest girl in seventh grade trying to scrunch herself down. It's amazing what we do to our children (or more frequently what they do to one another). Have some confidence about your body, girl! You're gorgeous.

I agree she's not thinking through how things look on TV versus in person. As to styling--doesn't Oprah have an army she can send over? Michelle, don't be afraid to ask for help.


SuzQ said: I think the hat could have received signals from INTELSAT.

Good one!
There's a really great book about black women who go to church with CROWNS. My only wish is that there wasn't MORE of them at the inauguration. Check out the book: Crowns by Michael Cunningham.


I liked the suit. I think the color worked well.



The gown, not so much.

Redspring is right about the posture...Mrs. Obama has a tendency to look slouched.


I thought the ball gown looked like a chenille housecoat. The style was fine, but the fabric, yuck!

I agree about the shoes & gloves & cardigan. I did love the color on her.

The coat & dress she wore the day before was absolutely fab from what I could see.

SisterZip


I usually agree with you guys, but in this case, give her a break. She's the first lady - I don't WANT her to look like she came off the runway or is competing on a reality show about one. I want her to look a little bit, if not dowdy, conservative and authoritative. The cardigan may have been boring or unflattering, but she's the President's wife - she's not putting on a fashion show. The last thing I want is for everyone to keep focusing on her clothes and decide that she must be spending too much time and money on stylists or fashion (a la Palin) to possibly relate to the rest of us. Let's take her off the pedestal for a while and just appreciate her for what she is - awesome.


Lori said...
I want her to look a little bit, if not dowdy, conservative and authoritative.


WOW! Way to set us back in the fight for feminism.


I agree that Michelle should not have taken the coat off - or if she did, that she should have removed the offending cardigan along with it. I actually really liked the color and texture of the coat and dress - it really stood out, and gave it a cheerful undertone without being standard and boring.

The ball gown on the other hand - I think it looked terrible on television, and she could hardly move without having to adjust the skirt. I do like that she went with a white ethereal look - a very unusual look for her personally - but if this was any indication, she should stick to bold, practical pieces. The flim-flam on the skirt and bodice made it look as though it was polka-dotted at times, and the strap looked like the stitches connecting it to the bodice in the back were coming undone. It wasn't a terrible look, just not a fabulous one.

And is it bad of me to really love Jill Biden's daytime look? She looked so awesome in the boots, it would break my heart if the only reason not to wear them was because she was "too old".

Add me to the list of those glad that you posted this. I was dying for a good discussion of her outfits!


I really didn't like the outfits. Isabel Toledo is alright; nothing great about her designs. She tends to be a tiny bit conservative. Jason Wu is a very talented designer but this isn't one of his best dresses. I thought it looked like a wedding gown/prom dress. Thank you for the post, Tlo, and the fab pics.


I liked the day coat & dress, but slightly differing colors would've worked better.

Those gloves and that hair and cardigan have to go.

The dress is boring. It looks ill fitted in the waist area. She's a woman with some backdoor and hips and a smaller waist. Like me. She shouldn't be wearing anything that's tight in the tummy and then goes out at the hips. It draws attention to them even more.


It was the length of the coat that drove me crazy-and its openness-flapping in the breeze with that extra length. The detailing and the color of the fabric were pretty, but the cut looked like the Queen Mother. Dowdy! And I wasn't feeling the gown, although she did carry herself well in it.


I'm glad to finally see some close-up pix of the yellow coat because I kept trying to figure out what it was, and it looked like there was some sparkle to it, but I couldn't figure out if it was sequins or what. While I'm not crazy about cardigans, I liked the classic silhouette.

What I like about her choices was that she used designers who need the publicity, rather than the standard big names. That says somethingn about her confidence right there.

Here's the thing about her choices for yesterday: I'm sure that the way they had to function, HAD TO interfere with aesthetic choices:

They had to look good in photos (in close and from every angle), but they still had to be able to be seen by the crowds farther away.

The first number also had to be warm, AND both outfits had to be able to get in and out of cars & seats over and over and over all day long and not get wrinkled - still looking fresh in all the pictures. That ain't easy & I'm sure that limited choices.

The yellow, aside from being optimistic, was a good choice for being seen. It would have been easier & more cliche for her to choose red or blue, so I'm glad she didn't.

The gown was too bridal for my taste: I would love to have seen her in something more sleek and form fitting, but then I thought about what she was likely thinking, about people saying she was too sexy. And that gown got shlepped all over town and never looked wrinkled.

AND she had THE best accessory with her to all the inaugural balls: A husband who CLEARLY has the hots for his wife. (How often do you see that? Nevah. Evah.)

--GothamTomato


"Suzanne said: JEWEL TONES PEOPLE!!"



Those are my favorites as well, especially amythyst, which she would look gorgeous in. But then, she is one of the lucky ones who would look gorgeous in any color.

--GothamTomato


I loved the chartreuse (I refuse to believe anyone who says it's yellow -- it was definitely chartreuse!). I thought it was fabulous.

As for the gown, I appreciate the idea.

The kids looked great though! Looved the J. Crew jackets.


I loved the Toledo outfit and the gloves. The shoes and the sweater, not so much. But to give her a little credit, after being out on the Capitol steps for a couple of hours, I bet she went and sat on a radiator to warm up! I'd put on a cardi then too.


YES! I LOVE Michelle so this is extra fun! The gloves were a terrible addition--she needed a neutral on her hands or nothing at all. I never got a good look at the shoes so although they look awful, I wasn't distracted by them the way I was by the Big Green Gloves. Thought the day outfit was fine, glad to see Michelle take a break from the jewel tones even though they are extremely flattering on her. Gown was also distracting with its asymmetryand fluff and was not at all sophisticated enough for such an intelligent and statuesque woman.


Daytime: Agree about the cardigan. If the First Lady was worried about feeling cold she should have had Ms. Toledo include sleeves in the design. I thought the gloves were a bold choice. Your site is the first place I've really seen pictures of the shoes, and I agree that they did not work. Shoes and gloves don't have to match but they don't have to work against each other.

Evening: I'm going to join the minority and say that I loved her dress. She looked simply gorgeous (I want her skin tone!) and our new President couldn't keep his eyes off of her. I could see all the details of the dress on camera and in pictures and it completely worked for me. Our First Lady is a hottie!


"Tlo said: We're reminded of Julia Sugarbaker's opinion that Nancy Reagan's one-shoulder, white, inaugural gown made her look like Wilma Flintstone."



I think the problem with that was she was way too old to wear that dress, she desperately needed shapewear, and the styling was bad as well.

I think the disappointment in Michelle's choice is because she's such a hot, vibrant woman that people expected a vavavoom appearance.

But given all the history, and everything standing on her shoulders, I'm thinking dignified was a better choice than vavavoom.

She can save the vavavoom for the second Inaugural.

--GothamTomato


By the way, Aretha Franklin's hat was fantastic. The second I saw it, I leaned over and said to my friend, "I hope that's Aretha. That is ~fabulous~."


honesty.not.pc

I liked her day time look but I loved her ball gown! So beautiful and the white color was just exquisit against her gorgeous skin. I liked the little details and the bare shoulders that showed off her arms. The earings were lovely too.

Thanks for pointing out the gloves and shoes clashing though, thats a big no no. I liked the gloves in color but the shoes not so much. Poor girl, her shoe options are forever limited so that she does not apear taller than her husband (Mr. President!!!! So excited).


I thought she looked beautiful in both outfits.


it's no crime to care about fashion more than the First Lady does. and to want to pass along some constructive criticism. anybody else needs to go find a political blog, please. shoo. shoo.

shelly's (tee hee) inaugural ballgown put me in an angela funk. remember angela with all her rosettes? i don't want angela dressing the First Lady.

construction and fabric and function (stumble much?) and exquisite (or not) detail matter, people! it's what separates us from the...the....unsewn.


I liked this line from an article on msnbc.com this morning,"Obama's grace yesterday gave no hint of her ambivalence about the public obsession with her style, which began early in the campaign." If I had her brains, strength and courage, I might be a bit peeved that suddenly lots of folks care more about the threads on my back than who I am, what I have done and what I will do as a person. To mis-quote Shakespeare, "Some women are born fashionable, some achieve fashion greatness and some have fashion thrust upon them." Maybe she was already in one of the first two categories, but she is definitely in the third category now.


Okay, to be fair, there are a few more items to discuss here.

Michelle Obama had to navigate a mine field of 'gotchas' choosing her clothing. Too elaborate or too expensive? She would be accused of being Marie Antoinette. Red? Blue? Too patriotic. Too revealing? Tacky. It also appeared that Michelle consciously wanted to promote less well known American designers.

I thought "Shelly O" looked good during the swearing in ceremony, but agree that the color of the shoes was a miss. Black or espresso gloves and shoes would have been better. Not happy with the sleeves on the cardigan at the luncheon, but hey, a girl's gotta keep warm.

I don't like the evening gown at all. Perhaps Michelle was going for a softer, girlie look but it just screamed "bedazzled chenille bedspread" as others have mentioned. The gown is supposed to be pale blue, but it looks white in the photos. And IMHO, white is for brides or resort, not DC in January. Rami, where are you?

And I have to know - does the propeller on Ms. Franklin's hat generate electricity? But I have to give Aretha credit for choosing a neutral warm gray so she didn't upstage Mrs. Obama.


suzq thanks for the heads up on the National Prayer Service --
this was posted by an anon yesterday but it seems to fit...

THE EMPEROR is NAKED

- ann


Stacy Wills said "...the gown reminded me of a chenille bedspread."

Bingo! That's what I thought, too. Cheri


She often looks like a 2-by-4, which is tragic because she's so beautiful. The day look was so close to being fabulous! I wondered, especially since it was so cold outside, why she didn't consider a hat? And no hat on the girls, either? What are they, nuts? Hats are great and 20-degree weather gives everyone the excuse they need.

The gown: chenille bedspread, exactly. Although I had a dress with similar lines when I was in high school (1981). I wish she had gone for elegant instead of, well, fluffy. I am going to enjoy watching her sense of fashion evolve.


lisasabatier said...
The black and camel outfit Michelle wore over the weekend - loved it, very chic, I thought.

10:01 AM


I thought that was absolutely gorgeous, and I wished she wore that at the Inauguration.

When she's on, she knocks it out. But when MO is off, she crashes.


I didn't care for the lemongrass outfit. As others have said, it made her look too old and too large. "Shelley O" is a bit wide in the hips (like moi) and I felt the outfit did not help with that!

um ... my understanding is that it had to be designed to accommodate an additional "accessory:" a flak-jacket.

Let's not forget the realities that she has to deal with, as well!

~ hb33 ~


Shooting off my big mouth again:

GothamTomato said...
Ahhh...I should have known it was one of the anonymous knuckheads, shouldn't I? LOL.

--GothamTomato

7:58 PM


The anonymous knucklehead stands by their critique.

The outfit was not flattering. It made her look older and dowdy.

Mrs. O is too young and chic for it. It would have probably looked better on her mother.

I did not mean for my comment to cause all of this bickering. It wasn't political-based. It was just my little old opinion.

As for all of this bickering over it:

"Excellent........"
*waves hands in Mr. Burns fashion*

9:02 AM


There is something about that strap over the shoulder that bothers me. It is way too bulky. It doesn't seem to be fitted correctly over her shoulder. That being said. I love her!


I love the yellow outfit but don't really understand the gloves and shoes.

The white gown looks like something I considered for my wedding, but I think it's actually appropriate for her for the inauguration ball. Elegant, modern, not too sexy, not too extravagant.

She can pull off nearly anything though - she's got a great figure and super toned arms. I'm a bit jealous.


I don't know if you guys knew this, but she was wearing a bulletproof vest underneath her dress at the swearing in and the parade. That's why the dress didn't look quite right. I wonder if it was fitted with the vest in mind or it was a last minute decision on the Secret Service's part.

I liked her yellow outfit. The clashy shoes and gloves were bad though. I think the gown is one of those outfits that look better in person and don't photograph well. Michelle seems to be into texture, and sometimes that doesn't come across that well on film.


I'm not sure anyone has pointed this out, but the day dress had body armor under it.
I think pretty much anyone would look bulky in that.

I love cardigans so I loved that chiffon trimmed cardigan. I really think being warm is pretty important.

I like her style, loved each dress for the quirky details that Michelle seems to go for. Hint of vintage for the day one, dreamy and fun (the train did seem to bug her while dancing) for the evening.
I really hope she does not change and keeps wearing what she likes and is happy in.

I just wish she had changed her dress each time she went to a ball.
10 balls, 10 dresses.


On the Toledo outfit: I do not mind the monochrome, but I loathe the mono-texture. That coat would have been beautiful over a simple smooth sheath the color of either her gloves or shoes.

One more thing, I hated the bows on all 3 of the Obama gals. The bows on the girls' coats did not bother me until Mama Michelle flounced out with yet ANOTHER bow on her coat. At least on the girls, the bows are cute and age appropriate. Toledo should have designed another method to close Mrs. Obama's coat.

On the Wu gown: boring.


Hated hated hated the gloves and shoes.Did anyone else think "Kermit the Frog" at those gloves?


Do her wedding rings mean nothing to her??? Is a cocktail ring more important?? why would she not wear them?


Anonymous said...
Are black women allowed to consult with gays regarding their style issues, since the black community over-whelmingly voted for Prop 18, thereby denouncing everything homosexual including gay fashion sense?

9:51 AM


How does this relate to the yellow bedspread, or the white one?

TLo, you guys ROCK!


I nominate TLo for first gays.

I liked both outfits and agree with your critique at the same time.
My arms are always cold in winter so I think long sleeves would have been better than the cardigan perhaps.

The evening gown somehow looked better in your pictures and I was watching in HD ! And it made her torso a tad chunky. I still loved the look.

One of the best moments was on stage at one of the balls when he stood back and said, (something like) "Isn't my wife a good looking woman." That and when they were dancing to Stevie Wonder. Our prez don't dance like a white boy y'all.


And Gotham said,
"She can save the vavavoom for the next inauguration ." WORD !


Well, when all's said and done, this was Michelle's take and I think we'll see more of this type of sensibility from her. I was enormously relieved to read that the coat was lined. I worried all day that she might be freezing cold. I also wondered if her feet were just killing her by day's end.

Both outfits were gorgeous colors on her (wasn't the daytime outfit really a green though?) but they both seemed a little bulky somehow.

The kids are unbelievably beautiful and I just adore the darling things that they wear.


I think her inauguration outfit was bold and a good choice. It was different and she looked radiant. Ok the shoes didn't completely match, but it wasn't that horrible. I don't mind the cardigan. She has to balance being glamorous and being demure. Her gown shows no cleavage at all, yet I think she achieves balance between her role as first lady and being fashionable.

It's a hard balance to make. She can't make the same choices a hollywood actress can.

A for effort. A- on the day outfit. B- on the gown.

So good, but I think she can improve.


Oh man, I feel so bad for her. It's gotta suck that everyone is taking shots at her fashion sense.

Having said that, I agree with you bitches 100%!! Please, Michelle, please hire some gays to help you out in the wardrobe department. It's so sad to see such a beautiful woman make such horrid choices.

The day outfit. I like the IDEA of it. I agree...too monochromatic and I don't know why someone didn't tell her about the gloves/shoes thing. It really is bad.

The gown...nah. Don't like it at all. When she came out, I was like...is she getting married...? Then as she moved in it, I had a couple of seconds where I warmed up to it a little bit, but then I was just like, No. She could do a lot better.


" Sara Bellum said...
I don't know if you guys knew this, but she was wearing a bulletproof vest underneath her dress at the swearing in and the parade. That's why the dress didn't look quite right. I wonder if it was fitted with the vest in mind or it was a last minute decision on the Secret Service's part."



This is the first I'm hearing about this. Where was this reported? It does make sense though. If its true, I'd think the whole family would be as well.

--GothamTomato


TLo,
Will you guys consider creating a Michelle Obama tag / label. Thank you.


The daytime outfit reminded me of the Pope and the ball gown looked like a prom dress.

And if you don't believe me about the Pope, here he is wearing almost exactly the same thing: http://newsblog.projo.com/Pope1.jpg


I thought she looked great. Neither outfit was awful, though I agree she could have done better, especially with the ballgown, but SHE? Looked great. Remember Hilary's headbands?! Yeah. Mrs. Obama is off to a fiiiiiine start even in a chenille bedspread :)


Julia Sugerbaker! You guys rock! Just curious, what would TLo's vision be for Michelle?


My two cents:

- The day outfit just struck me as a bit off. For starters, the color - yuck. Go gold, or go green, but the chartreusiness was off-putting for the season and the occasion. Next, the accessories - I LOVE adding a contrasting color, but stick to one! Think: Reese Witherspoon in the yellow dress with red shoes. Last, the fabric/construction - I don't mind a brocade, I think the structured look can work for Michelle, but there is NO WAY the cardigan/sheath/overcoat look was warm enough for the weather. She looked cold and awkward trying to pull the coat closed during the parade. In sum, I think she could have done way better - maybe something more like what she wore to the Lincoln memorial the day before?

- The gown - whoever said it was a gorgeous dress for a 25-year-old bride got it completely right. I couldn't help but think "beachy wedding vow renewal" when I watched the President & First Lady dance (on tv). I liked the drape, didn't mind the one-shoulder (with her height, she can carry it off...I, on the other hand, look completely linebacker-y so whoever applied that adjective to her...you have no idea), but with the little flowery bits and in that color...again, it was a miss in my book. Also, I wish she would have done something else with her hair!

And a bonus cent:
- The girls' bright coats were fun, although I question the need for the ribbon belts...they're skinny little girls, they don't need defined waists! But they looked comfortable, classy, and age/occasion-appropriate (which is not easy to do for young girls these days), so kudos to Mom for that :)


I liked the daytime outfit, but really disliked the color of the gloves. The gown was so-so. I don't like the one shoulder look, the train got in the way and the fabric was definitely chenille bedspread. The First Lady was so radiant that thankfully she was able to outshine the gown.


Yellow outfit..too matronly and made her look big around the middle. Ball gown...too young and too boring.


"Anonymous said...
The daytime outfit reminded me of the Pope"



Well, the Pope IS the world's best known cross-dresser. His hats could give Aretha Franklin's a run for her money as well.

--GothamTomato


Oh. My. Goodness.

Per Suzq's suggestion, I googled "National Prayer Service", and I am floored by Ms. Obama's choice of dress for the service.
What's happened? Housedress from the 60's and black flats?
I know she must be really tired, but this was a terrible choice.


a said...
TLo,
Will you guys consider creating a Michelle Obama tag / label. Thank you.

OMG! A collaboration w/ your Philly neighbor, Jay McCarroll!
"The Michelle Obama First Lady Collection".
Brilliant!

Anonymous said...

Julia Sugerbaker! You guys rock! Just curious, what would TLo's vision be for Michelle?

I would love to see that myself, you 2!
So...
Pls?


Oh, thank god. And thank you, TLo.

Didn't love the day ensemble. Too sparkly for day, and too monochromatic.

But more than that, did not love that girly gown. She's very womanly, grown-up, looking, and needed something more streamlined and sophisticated.

And. . . Julia Sugarbaker, hooray!


Do we get feedback on Jill B's look too?? Please?


This comment has been removed by the author.

LisaSabatier said,"I thought Laura Bush looked absolutely beautiful and elegant."

Yeah, and George looked great when viewed from the rear (climbing onto that helicopter).


Did anyone else notice that Malia Obama and Hillary Clinton were dressed alike?? Royal blue coats, black scarves and black gloves.


Hated the coat-dress thing. Jesus girl, get some gays! And I really, really WANTED to love it, and her dress too.

But Hillary couldn't dress herself at all when she became first lady either, I honestly think the only ones who came in with any fashion sense were Jackie Kennedy and Nancy Reagan. So I have a lot of hope.

I see what Michelle's going for, and I love it. I think it's in the details of the execution that she gets bogged down, and that will come with seeing herself photographed over and over looking a little wrong. I bet in six months she'll look fabulous all the time.


wannabe said:

strapless can look very David's Bridal (see Biden, Jill)

Funny!


I really like what Stubenville said about Michelle Obama having to "navigate a mine field of 'gotchas' choosing her clothing."

I agree! Though I never would have chosen either outfit, I thought they were both appropriate... they weren't Gucci or anything crazy expensive/unobtainable by the general public like that. Though she looked gorgeous, she wasn't overly sexy. She didn't dress in a way that's extremely controversial. So, I give her an A+. She looked great and, for the most part, confident and comfortable. She took her gloves off after a while and at that point I thought her shoes looked nice with the daytime outfit.


And damn straight.... I smiled a ton with this comment:

"AND she had THE best accessory with her to all the inaugural balls: A husband who CLEARLY has the hots for his wife. (How often do you see that? Nevah. Evah.)

--GothamTomato"


Both outfits were BLECH, YUK and Mrs Obama walks like a man. Sorry, I'm sure she's a nice black lady but...


Sara Bellum said...

I don't know if you guys knew this, but she was wearing a bulletproof vest underneath her dress at the swearing in and the parade. That's why the dress didn't look quite right. I wonder if it was fitted with the vest in mind or it was a last minute decision on the Secret Service's part."

This would answer some questions about the fit of her dress. Kevlar's not Spanx!

Were the girls also wearing them?


Anon 4:38, I'm sure you're a nice lady (or gentleman), too, but your slip is showing.


See, I didn't like the daytime look. I did like the color and the idea of it, but I thought the cut was awful for her. She is a beautiful woman, and I feel as if she's constantly dressing in things that make her look boxy. I think I also like the daytime look much better when the coat isn't tied.

And the evening gown? I don't mind the silhouette there, but I kinda hate the feathers and other weird things tacked on to it. But, at least her husband really liked it.


Something about the feverish commentary on Michelle Obama's sartorial choices really rubs me the wrong way, and I certainly get that this is not the site for serious political talk and the criticism of her outfits is likely dispensed all in good fun and with a degree of lightness.

However, I can't quite shake off that while Michelle Obama is a public figure, she is not a celebrity. I think its a subtle but important distinction, and treating her like a celebrity ripe for ripping on puts a bad taste in my mouth.

Something else that I've seen on this site frequently, and is probably what's really compelling me to comment is the (I'm sure) joking insistence that she obtain some gays to help her. I find it irritating and patronizing when a grown woman is advised to hand over decisions of personal style to these mythological "gays" who clearly "know better." Another blogger, Rich Juzwiak, came down on Kathy Griffith's dehumanization of her gay friends by referring to them as "her gays" as if they were interchangeable and served as fashion accessories (see: http://fourfour.typepad.com/fourfour/2008/01/just-because-im.html ). I think both women and gay men get the short shift when they are offhandedly characterized in this way, in having these kinds of superficial relationships.


I love cardigans.

Go Michelle!

Designers -- more cardigans, please.


Brooklyn Bomber just give it a rest. Bush bashing is so yesterday. I would have thought you would be sorry to see them go. What are you going to blame everything in the world that you don't like on?


I loved her white gown, which made her look regal and yet totally unpretentious.

Brava Michelle.


"Anne said: But Hillary couldn't dress herself at all when she became first lady either, I honestly think the only ones who came in with any fashion sense were Jackie Kennedy and Nancy Reagan. So I have a lot of hope."



That could be because Jackie & Nancy were housewives, and very wealthy ones, with not much else to think about. And in the case of Nancy, I think she had the fashion sense of someone who mistakes extravagance with style.

Hillary, like Michelle, was a serious career woman, and of more modest means, and had bigger fish to fry than to think about fashion beyond what is appropriate for the office. Both Hillary and Michelle are career women of substance who were defined by more than what they wear. I doubt Hillary gave a thought to any of that until the cameras of the world were pointed at her.

Michelle has got a tougher road to hoe as she is quickly becoming an Icon.

In the end, Jackie became more about substance as well, making great contributions to culture and landmark preservation. But when she first became first lady, it was a different world, and she was like Princess Diana.

--GothamTomato


"Brooklyn Bomber said: Yeah, and George looked great when viewed from the rear (climbing onto that helicopter)."



Brooklyn in the house.

But you know, it's only a matter of time before someone calls you 'bitter'. Welcome to the club. Heehee.

--GothamTomato


Poor girl, her shoe options are forever limited so that she does not appear taller than her husband (Mr. President!!!! So excited).
That is going to be a major conundrum for her gays, putting together a fabulous package with heels that can't be higher than 2 inches (unless her husband is not attending the event).


Her day outfit did stand out. I thought it was a good choice. That being said, the silk ribbon to hold the jacket shut looks kind of like an afterthought or like the designer couldn't find a better closure.

The ballgown IMO wasn't appropriate. With 10 stage appearances that included dances at 10 balls it was a poor choice. The pale details on the white dress washed out in video. After watching the media coverage until early this morning I had not clue there were crystal embellishments on it until I read about them here. And! What was up with the train? On an evening gown I can see it. In this case it was wrong, wrong, wrong. The designer knew she was going to be wearing the dress to dance in. She and the President were tripping over that needless fabric all night.


"rmh said: mythological "gays""



Prometheus? I'd say yes. Hermes? Yeah. Pan? Um, hello! Medusa? Big lesbo. Where would mythology be without gays?

Aside from Zeus, of course, who was a Scientologist.

--GothamTomato


GothamTomato:

I should have read my response over before posting. I meant mythologized. Though that's probably not the best word choice either. Despite that I hope my intended meaning comes across.


rmh said...
Something about the feverish commentary on Michelle Obama's sartorial choices really rubs me the wrong way, and I certainly get that this is not the site for serious political talk and the criticism of her outfits is likely dispensed all in good fun and with a degree of lightness.
However, I can't quite shake off that while Michelle Obama is a public figure, she is not a celebrity. I think its a subtle but important distinction, and treating her like a celebrity ripe for ripping on puts a bad taste in my mouth.



In the US, politicians are the original celebirties. What the wives of the Presidents wear has always been talked about, both favorably (Dolley Madison) and brutally (Mary Todd Lincoln). So right or wrong I'm sure she expected it. They all did.


Fleurchons all over her white dress. Somewhere, Angela is having an orgasm.


I like reading up on Michelle's clothes; the girls; the inaugural parties, etc because the real work that has to come is so frighteningly, impossibly important.

Emotionally, politicians always eventually let me down and the real world is such an ever-changing intrusion of shit, that... why not enjoy anticipating what this lovely woman is going to wear next and then ripping it to shreds when she surprises us!

PS -- tee hee. Didn't Cheney look like Mr. Potter?


PPS - I think Michelle only schlumps her shoulders when she's tired. There were times yesterday when she looked exhausted.

Re her heel-height, I don't think she has a problem being tall, but she's an athlete that feels more confident with her feet on the ground. (I was gonna write "flat footed", but that's not right, is it?)


I thought the yellow ensemble was fine. (Although I did NOT see those shoes until you pointed them out.) So annoyed over the way the news kept harping on what a 'non-traditional' color it was for an inauguration...um, hello? I thought the color looked gorgeous on her, anyway.

The ball gown though...not good. With her shoulders I would have preferred a different strap treatment. I just felt like it did her no favors.


Is the younger girl in like 6 shades of red, salmon, coral, orange and pink?


http://www.nydailynews.com/lifestyle/fashion/2009/01/20/2009-01-20_first_daughters_malia_and_sasha_obama_we.html


http://www.nydailynews.com/
lifestyle/fashion/2009/01/20
/2009-01-20_first_daughters_malia_and_sasha_obama_we.html


Sewing Siren:

I'm sure she expected it, and she certainly doesn't need me or any other internet commenter to stick up for her, but as I said it puts a bad taste in my mouth, which is why I felt compelled to comment.

I still wouldn't call politicians and politicians' spouses celebrities.


desertwind said:

tee hee. Didn't Cheney look like Mr. Potter?

I was thinking more along the lines of Dr. Strangelove.


Brooklyn Bomber said...

Anon 4:38, I'm sure you're a nice lady (or gentleman), too, but your slip is showing.


BB,
I knew I loved you.


I'm thrilled for Isabel Toledo & Jason Wu!

Michelle Obama would have shone yesterday no matter what she wore. I just saw her in the Open House clip. Love that print dress!

Loved the daughters' outfits yesterday!

My biggest fashion thrill was our diva, Ms. Aretha Franklin! Only Aretha could & would steal the thunder from everyone in that crowd!


a said...

TLo,
Will you guys consider creating a Michelle Obama tag / label. Thank you.


Done.

T&L


The day dress reminded of the outfit Glenn Close wore at the Globes, not a fan of that one either. Night dress...meh. I thought men only wore white ties with tails? Or maybe I've just been to too many Mardi Gras balls!


I did not vote for Obama--not a fan. Nevertheless, I thought yesterday was a happy one, full of optimism and support for our new president. I didn't vote for him, but I embrace him as our new President.

Barrack Obama is now the President of the United States of America and Michelle is the first lady. These are substantial, incredibly important roles to people all over the world. Appearance is important, but they aren't celebrities; they aren't there to entertain us and thankfully, they aren't fashionistas.

I love fashion as much as anyone. Lord knows I've blown enough of my own money on anything related to it...and I love your blog. I read it almost daily.

Sometimes its the clothes that make a person; sometimes it is the person that makes the clothes. Michelle might not have the most expensive or classiest taste in clothes, but I like how she uses her clothes to convey her attitude and mood. I have great hope that Michelle will prove to be a person who makes the clothes. Anything else given her station, would be frivolous.


Shanghaishrimpo

"And am I allowed to comment on the kids clothes? A red scarf with a pink coat? My mother would not have let me out of the house."

I absolutely loved the pink coat with the orange/red scarf on little Sasha. I thought she was THE star of the style show. But, then again, that's how my artsy & progressive mother dressed me back in the day. I thought both kids looked fantastic.


So very glad that you guys see the inauguration outfits for what they were -- big misses. Too bad most media outlets don't have the balls to say it.

Also, politicians (and consequently, their wives) certainly are celebrities. Considering they get their jobs based on popularity, they are rife for much of the same scrutiny as any other celebrity. After all, as Mark Turpin said, "Politics is the entertainment industry for ugly people."


One thing about the day look was that they had to wear bullet proof vests under there, so I'm not sure what that does to the fit, etc. (at least that's what I've read in news threads).

I thought the white evening gown did not help with the rouching and pleating or whatever it's called. It made her look bulky across the middle.


Scuttlebutt has it from a friend who works for the DOD that there was a threat made yesterday.

According to some reports, Barak Obama, if not Michelle as well, was wearing "bullet resistant" clothing under their garments. Miguel Caballero is one such maker of clothes if you happen to live in a drug zone like Colombia.

And the new presidential limousine is supposedly a fortress on wheels. Look for knock offs of the vehicle on the Housewives of OC and Atlanta soon! ;)


Gotham said, "it's only a matter of time before someone calls you 'bitter'."

Too late! See 5:26 above.



Emma P., I already knew I loved you -- Diana/Emma was my first girl crush!


I agree with RMH. She is NOT a celebrity. She looked beautiful. I hope she never listens to public opinion, but continues to dress to her personal taste. It's ridiculous that people pick it apart so much.

Victoria


i haven't decided about michelle yet but barack looks FABULOUS!


Thank God TLo said something about these outfits. The first thing I screamed at the TV when I saw Michelle at the ball was, "That's a freakin wedding gown not a ball gown". So far in three major events, Michelle has bombed out. Can't we hire her some gays?


Gotham Tomato said:

Hillary, like Michelle, was a serious career woman, and of more modest means, and had bigger fish to fry than to think about fashion beyond what is appropriate for the office. Both Hillary and Michelle are career women of substance who were defined by more than what they wear. I doubt Hillary gave a thought to any of that until the cameras of the world were pointed at her.

Michelle has got a tougher road to hoe as she is quickly becoming an Icon.

In the end, Jackie became more about substance as well, making great contributions to culture and landmark preservation. But when she first became first lady, it was a different world, and she was like Princess Diana.


Right, that's really what I meant. Having the cameras of the world pointed at you, it does make you more conscious. It happened to Diana too, gradually. She went from dressing like a 19-year-old schoolteacher (which she was) to dressing like a killer fashionista (which she became, in addition to her charitable works.)

Hillary went from being the first lady of a poorer state to being the first lady of the US - and quite frankly I felt she never relaxed into it. Now, she looks like she's a very powerful senator and about to become Secretary of State.

On another note, do you guys remember when Princess Diana took her shoes off to dance at one of the galas? I feel the same way about Michelle Obama. The scrutiny on her will be merciless, she'll make the occassional misstep, but I personally feel that her strenth, integrity, fierce intelligence and good heart will make her another "people's princess."


just out of curiosity, who is editing?


The day look I liked, but it was wayyyy too matchy matchy. She needed a pop of a dark purple, or a navy blue. OR A purple cardigan rather than crazy green iridescent with navy gloves and shoes.

Evening dress I hated. It was EXACTLY like a chenille bedspread. And the waist on the skirt was insane. It needed to be dropped down. Just not good,though white looks incredible on her. Oh, and it looked like a freaking barbie wedding gown. Or like a dress a 20 year old socialite would wear to a wedding on the beach, barefoot.

Now lets talk about Jill Biden, eh? How bout that skirt and jacket that blew open a ton of times almost up to her cooch?


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