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Shelley O on the Cover of Essence

"ESSENCE magazine was granted exclusive access into the White House for its May 2009 issue, which features First Lady Michelle Obama and her mother, Mrs. Marian Robinson, on the cover."

What a sweet picture:

It almost makes us feel bad that we're going to criticize her clothes again. Oh, calm down. We love the floral dress:

It's from Talbots and it perfectly suits her style. Colorful, floral, arm-baring and slightly retro.


Since she picked out her own clothes for her Vogue shoot, we're assuming she picked these out as well, especially since she made the same mistakes she always makes: too matchy-match with an out-of-proportion accessory. We like the cardigan (by Hanii Y) and the belt (by Sacai), but the former clashes slightly with the dress and the latter is just too big.


[Photos: Essence.com/Talbots.com]


Post a Comment
71 comments:

I'm sorry, I think every cardigan she's ever worn is just awful. Why does she do it? To look like a "real" mom? Honey, you're the First Lady; it's okay to be a little elitist, we won't hold it against you.


I love ShelleyO like no other, but the REAL STAR here is the first Granny!

She's fabulous, no-nonsense, and is the source for all of the qualities we love in Shelley.

Plus, we get a preview of Shelley in 25 years. She's a lucky woman, and I'm sure #44 is the first person to say so!

Can't wait to buy this Essence.


Oh, and the fashions are nice, too!
:0)


Their skin tones look a little ashen or over flashed, but the smiles are beautiful. The clothes aren't bothering me.


I love the dress. The cardi is fine. The belt, I'm not loving, but it's her thing. I love a woman who loves and acknowledges her mother.


Her mom actually looks to be styled more youthful with better pops of color, great fitting slacks, and nice layered jewelry.


Love the dress, would probably like the sweater if it was paired with something else. The belt is hideous and does not go.


The belt is not, in and of itself, hideous. The way she wears it, however, is. Michelle, honey, belts are not meant to worn right under your boobs, unless it's an empire-style dress (and, even then, it should be a narrow belt).

Dress is cute.

Not a fan of the cardigans.


Yeah, she doesn't wear the belts particularly well. This one is completely, glaringly out of place. And it's not that she necessarily looks bad in cardigans - it's that she PICKS cardigans that she looks bad in! She needs to think about proportion a bit more. I don't think the color of it clashes with the dress at all, though it's still not my favorite look. Agreed that her mom looks better.


Grandmama showed out. I like Michelle's dress, but I could do with a lengthy suspension of the belted cardigan. There are plenty of other cover options (ref. 1st Mom).


* Ref. 1st Grandmom


Michelle's Mom has 40 years on me, and her skin is better than mine has ever been! Very jealous!

What a beautiful pair they make. It's a nice Mother's Day tribute.


Aw, I like it all and doesn't Mom look great, too!

It's fantastic that Michelle has such a distinctive personal style. In this case, I think she's right on the money.


Is that the same cardigan she wore to the inauguration luncheon at the Capital building? I think it might be.


I think a smaller belt would have been better. But the dress is lovely and suits her.

And I dont care what y'all say - I love that she loves cardigans. I love them too and have cardigan envy when I see her in them.


aDORE the dress and am heading for Talbots...

But seriously man, she needs a belt-and-cardigan intervention. I love both of these things--but she does not need to wear both with every damned outfit.

And, further, I hate the belt-over-cardigan look. Hate it.

Love her, though.


formerlyAnon

I love to see mother-daughter dynamics that work. And I LOVE to see folks in the public eye who don't seem compelled to drag any negatives that exist in their private relationships out for public discussion.

Her figure and the dress would have both looked better with a cropped jacket or cardigan. If she HAD to ruin it with a longer cardigan, belted, then it should have been a narrower belt, I think.

Is she stubborn, or do these magazines not have stylists to make suggestions? You'd think she could be swayed by a few suggestions backed up with polaroids - oops I AM old, nowadays they have those new-fangled digital cameras, don't they . . .


I agree entirely with your comment about color. She consistently picks the slightly wrong "matching" color. Like this case--yeah, it's green, but not the right green.


Agree on everything: Lovely dress, nice sweater, but the colors are wrong. And as Sixgables said, "seriously man, she needs a belt-and-cardigan intervention."

Belting anything has been a big trend for a while now, and clearly it's got her in its evil clutches.

If someone is advising her to wear enormous white bows, and belts at the top of her rib cage, that person should be arrested and tried for treason.


I think this is one of those sum is less than the parts situations. Like you guys said, all the things individually are fine - she certainly looks fantastic in bright colors - but together they could be better. Also, I didn't realize how gorgeous her mom was!


Love the dress.

I'm ok with the cardigan, but why is it so damn tight? Also, I think I would have liked it more open.

HATED the belt. Wrong belt. Wrong color. Wrong style. Wrong size.


Love, the dress, don't mind the cardi, hate the belt....but mom rocks!!!


too many cats

On a previous thread someone suggested that the first lady might have a touch of color blindness.
Although color blindness is generally known as a problem men have, women have it as well.
My colorblind husband sees no problems in some of MO's color matches (I've started asking him.)
Just a possibility.


sixgables said...

aDORE the dress and am heading for Talbots...

But seriously man, she needs a belt-and-cardigan intervention.



LOL. She really does.


Another day, another cardigan.


Mariana (The Unoriginal)

Boys, what a great community you have created here. I love to read all the comments. And thank you so much for all these fabulous posts, I've been with you guys since day 3 or 4, and have never left. Keep up the good work!

Heading to Talbots too to check out the dress : )


formerlyAnon

Anonymous too many cats said...

On a previous thread someone suggested that the first lady might have a touch of color blindness.

*****************
Possible. I never realized, until I was in my 40's, that I don't see some greens quite the way others do. (When you disagree with everyone with whom you live and about 80% of visitors polled, on what color the living room couch is, *then* you realize there's a problem!)


another laura

God, I'm just one note about the cardigans. And the note is "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO"

The First Grandma shouldn't be wearing 3 layers of spandex tops, either.


well, once again I have to come here to say that I love her cardigans, this one I think goes very well with the dress, since it has the blue trims in the sleeves and the collar.
The belt is the only thing that's a little off... but I forgive her, because that picture with her mom is just adorable.

and for those asking about her cardigans: "they are awful, why does she do it?"
maybe because she likes the cardigans?????? I think at this point is safe to say she likes them a lot..... for me at least it's nice to see there are so many types of cardigans! i love them too!


People keep asking why she has the cardigan belted so high, maybe she is just high waisted? I'm really high waisted and if I wear things at my natural waist it looks as if everything is just under my boobs. This would also explain the belts over things, since it can be a real bitch to find things that hit at your waist so you have to improvise.


another laura

Anonymous 5:27, if she is that high waisted, wearing (those awful) cardigans makes a little sense because it can hide the fact that the waist of the dress isn't hitting her right, but belting just emphasizes the problem. It's just a mistake. That unfortunately she keeps on making!


I love that she goes for a flattering look without a care about the "snootiness quotient" of the source. The dress is dead center in her color palate [see Color Me Beautiful, the bible on this issue].

So what if the sweater isn't an exact color match? You could spend months and bleed a lot of life's blood trying to get the perfect shade match. I do think that another thing she is trying to communicate to average Americans with very limited clothing budgets is that you don't have to buy whole "sets" to look put together. If the clothes are clean, fit well, and a flattering color, you've done a good job -- is the message. The slight mismatch doesn't offend me at all.


Sad. Lose the belt and put a darker cardigan and this would have been perfect. Love that dress.


The talbots dress comes with a belt. Why not use that to belt the cardi instead one that is too wide and dark?

Did she always dress like this or is this some sort of advice gone bad situation in which she was told not to wear suits or jackets or heels or anything too career-y because she's so tall and imposing?


You guys are too much sometimes. Because the cardigan is not the exact same shade of green it suddenly "clashes"? Uh...there are few, few instances in which ANYTHING should match EXACTLY (uh, gross) and the colors look fine with each other (even if there is a whole lotta green and blue going on). The outfit, however, still sucks. Can't she get some help with this kind of thing? Looks like her mom could give her some pointers.


honesty.not.pc

I LOVE her and I think she looks great.

The more I see of her the better. She is so classy and smart and charming!


Anonymous said...

You guys are too much sometimes. Because the cardigan is not the exact same shade of green it suddenly "clashes"? Uh...there are few, few instances in which ANYTHING should match EXACTLY (uh, gross)


Did you miss the part where they said she always makes the mistake of being too matchy-match?


I don't think anyone is saying that the cardigan should match exactly, but not all shades of the same color look good together. In particular, greens with a blue undertone often clash with greens with a yellow undertone when they're worn in the same outfit, like here.


why the f*** is this lady always with cardigans?!?! they never look good, except on my grandmother...


Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone is saying that the cardigan should match exactly, but not all shades of the same color look good together. In particular, greens with a blue undertone often clash with greens with a yellow undertone when they're worn in the same outfit, like here.


Actually anon, they pretty much were saying that, but ok. And it may just be my monitor, but both greens look like they have a blue undertone. Why would someone make a dress in blue and yellowish-green?


Anonymous said...

Actually anon, they pretty much were saying that, but ok. And it may just be my monitor, but both greens look like they have a blue undertone. Why would someone make a dress in blue and yellowish-green?


No one said she should have a cardigan in the exact same shade of green. You're arguing a strawman.

On my monitor, the greens in her dress have a yellow undertone. And why WOULDN'T someone make a dress in blue and yellowish green?


Oh, is it a strawman argument? Maybe you should put down the Logic 101 glossary and read all the "That clashes! It's a different green!" comments in this thread. Ugh. (And, uh, they wouldn't make one because it would be ugly. Not that this dress isn't, but...)


"Anonymous said...

Oh, is it a strawman argument? Maybe you should put down the Logic 101 glossary and read all the "That clashes! It's a different green!" comments in this thread."

LOL. Honey, I'm not the one with the logic problems. If you check the thread, you would see that absolutely NO ONE said "That clashes! It's a different green!" That's a textbook strawman argument.

To help you further in your quest to understand logic:

"doesn't match" does NOT equal "should be the exact same color."


i love that everyone swoons over her fashion, when it isn't that great. hello, people?! no one talked about freaking laura bush's amazing fashion sense, but my gosh, we think michelle obama is such a fashionista, except she isn't. she wears twin sets and cardigans = NOT A FASHION ICON


Anonymous said...

i love that everyone swoons over her fashion, when it isn't that great. hello, people?! no one talked about freaking laura bush's amazing fashion sense,


Because she didn't have any.


I thinks she looks good in the cardgians.


I would like to see her in more jackets though. I don't care for the cardigans, but I'm not the one who has to wear them, it's her prerogative (enter Bobby Brown stage left); however, IF the goal is to display affordable pieces then there are a lot of wardrobe possibilities, that would still look good/better/great on her, that are being neglected.


Love seeing a Mother & Daughter so close. Makes me miss Mama P (my absolute BFF & partner in crime) all the more.

I do think it's high time Michelle mixes up a bit (besides the occasional wonky color combos). How about a skirt & a pullover (the malachite separates from Michael Kors Spring Collection would be divine)? Or a jumper w/ a shirt underneath? That belt sucked the entire light Spring feeling right out of that outfit. It reminded me of the "roger" Carrie Bradshaw wore throughout the Sex & The City movie.
Mrs. Robinson, on the other hand, looked absolutely perfect. The color combination was so flattering; the sweater layering was so hip yet appropriate (I bet that's how she's always described); not too much jewelry, the shoes-- well, I would have thought a green kitten heel, but the boots were nice & sensible.
& her hair! Gorgeous!

I'm really looking forward to learning more about Mrs. Robinson & her relationship w/ Michelle!

Thanks for the 1st look, TLo!


I am sick of the pandering to Michelle Obama. She's not unique as a fashion statement. She's unique because she's the first black first lady. Big deal. Let's try to get race out of this and judge her as harshly or as "specially" as everyone else who's trashed in this space.


A little testy, no?


Emma P. said...

I do think it's high time Michelle mixes up a bit (besides the occasional wonky color combos). How about a skirt & a pullover (the malachite separates from Michael Kors Spring Collection would be divine)


There is nothing green in Michael Kors' spring collection. What are you talking about?


Anon 11h19 said "I am sick of the pandering to Michelle Obama. She's not unique as a fashion statement. She's unique because she's the first black first lady. Big deal. Let's try to get race out of this and judge her as harshly or as "specially" as everyone else who's trashed in this space."

You yourself pulled race into it. I mean, how much can you say about essentially the same outfit with a few substitutions here and there?...After a while saying the same thing about the same type of outfit is just boring...It's all already been said, there are only some many ways out there to phrase it.


ditto what sewing siren said!


Anonymous said...

Emma P. said...

I do think it's high time Michelle mixes up a bit (besides the occasional wonky color combos). How about a skirt & a pullover (the malachite separates from Michael Kors Spring Collection would be divine)

There is nothing green in Michael Kors' spring collection. What are you talking about?

Sorry, the malachite pieces are from his Resort 2009 collection.
Thanks for pointing that out.


Funny, I like that she doesn't matchy-match since her colors never perfectly match and she instead works from a group of complementary hues. Sometimes it doesn't work as well, but who cares. It's wonderful to see a high-profile women who is comfortable in both her own skin and in her clothes. So many women show what they feel about their figures in their body language and it's sad to see. It shouldn't be so hard to like, if not down-right love your body, ladies!

P.S. I agree that I have a problem with so many empire-waist belt looks but again, she likes them and I'm sure she will tire of that look at some point.


Oh god, the Anonymous people have thrown crazy all over this thread! Get a moniker and be a real person with your opinions, ok?

My two cents: There are people who dress well and there are people who dress well and who also display a distinct personal style. Not all of our First ladies have. So don't beat up on one who does.

She also doesn't have "an agenda" for how anyone else should dress (if she does, I missed out on the press release.) Her like of cardigans doesn't say YOU have to start wearing them, ok? I didn't start wearing huge pearls when First Lady Bush #1 did or pants suits when Hillary did.


Love the dress, love the cardigan, the belt not so much.
Personally, I'm very happy she's wearing cardigans all the time. It's becoming her trademark, and a nice one. I also like the not perfectly matching colours.


Just want to get an opinion...

What would be the best way for ShelleyO to wear a belt? Because as a fellow high-waisted woman, I'm not sure what's the most flattering way to wear one.


I like the dress and LOOOOOOOOOve the shoes.


Emma P. said...

Anonymous said...

Emma P. said...

I do think it's high time Michelle mixes up a bit (besides the occasional wonky color combos). How about a skirt & a pullover (the malachite separates from Michael Kors Spring Collection would be divine)

There is nothing green in Michael Kors' spring collection. What are you talking about?

Sorry, the malachite pieces are from his Resort 2009 collection.
Thanks for pointing that out.


Ooh, no, thank you. I went to go look at them because they sounded intriguing and I didn't see them anywhere. Now I can still check them out!


I too love ShelleyO, however...perhaps, just perhaps she should wear dresses WITH sleeves and seasonally appropriate and she wouldn't need the cardigans.
Just saying...
Jamitha


Great picture. I always seem to see that some of the colors don't "go". That is the main issue I see when she goes off the mark.

That dress is gorgeous on her.


I'm not offended by the cardigan, but I *really* wish she would not wear that belt...it's not flattering at all.


My 10-year-old daughter wrote to Malia back in November, and last week she got a reply! Actually, it was a form letter from Michelle herself. After staring at the signature with a magnifying glass and holding it up to the light at many angles, I have finally determined that it is, in fact, a computer-printed signature. Oh well, it's still pretty cool! Maybe cool enough to put in a frame...


I think the dress is great for her, and I like her cardigans and I generally like her belts but not this one with this outfit.

And I am also slightly color-blind (I have a very dark green bag that I thought was black and I have worn navy with black by mistake) so that could be her problem.


I think it's a bit too glaring to wear this in public, but on a cover, it's nice.
Marian's smile looks a bit strained ...maybe cause she's not use to it?


The problem, for me, is simply that those big belts, worn so high, with loose clothes underneath, always give her a pooch. But this is an illusion- that tight magenta dress was poochless. She's choosing fashions that uglify part of her. Lord knows I've done it, but she's got enough people around her to tactfully give this advice. It makes me crazy!


potty mouth princess

As I said before, she's so tall that it's almost a contradiction that she should be so short-waisted. No belt or just a skinny belt would have worked just fine with the cardigan/dress.

The dress on its own is adorable, but you don't outshine your Mama in a photoshoot like that.

Mama Robinson looks fabulous. Love her style.


Is her belt made of PURPLE SUEDE??


I like the dress but that's about it.


I love the dress!


They look fantastic (!!!) from the neck up.





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