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Shelley O Watch


Darlings, if we DON'T do a post about Shelley O's outfits for her European trip, our inbox will collapse under the weight of all the missives begging us to do so. We do it for you, kittens. And for the children.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama walk to 'Marine One' as they depart
the White House in Washington, DC. President Obama is on his first visit to Europe.

Coat by Thakoon
Black sheath by Michael Kors

Well, at least she seems to have found the right heel height to wear when she's with her husband. Please, Shelley. No more flats. As for this look, it works. It's appropriately First Lady-ish.

President Barack Obama and wife Michelle walk down the steps of Air Force One
at Stansted Airport ahead of the G20 summit in Stansted, England.

Jason Wu dress
Black Michael Kors duster
Her signature Black Azzedine Alaia belt

We don't think wearing a belted duster like that is the best idea for a woman with a set of substantial hips, but it is a stylish and striking look, so points for that. Plus, that's probably the highest a First Lady's hem has ever gone.

Michelle Obama during presidential visit to 10 Downing Street in London, England
when she and the President met Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah Brow.

J. Crew pencil skirt and sweater

Oh Shelley, honey. No. Just no. Don't get us wrong, they're lovely pieces and we're trying to get behind the whole "thrifty" thing in a time of economic uncertainty, but save the J. Crew pieces for Washington brunches and photo ops in your victory garden. Don't wear them when you're going to meet world leaders for the first time. Besides, pretty as they are, they don't actually go all that well together. You're all washed out and colorless, Shelley! No one wants that!

[Photos: Getty Images/WireImage/DailyLife/]

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Loved the first 2 outfits, no complaints.

Iffy about the latest ones to meet the Browns....#1 - she looks a darn sight better than Sarah Brown who is very dowdy here. #2 - I think her string of pearls made the cardi more dressy. #3 - I definitely don't love the skirt.

But really, I have to agree with the Gays - a cardi & skirt combo is a tad too casual to meet world leaders and family for the first time. Even if it is tea with Sarah Brown.

Looking forward to more posts!!

I normally don't watch any of the news shows, but I had to this morning just to see what Shelly O was wearing. Love the first two outfits. Very First Ladylike!! Nice to see the Duchess is well represented!!
BUT WTH was she thinking with the PTA Mom look to go to 10 Downing Street??
I like the cardigan, I even like the skirt, BUT just not the right outfit to meet the Prime Minister of England, for Pete's sake.
I hope she doesn't show up in J Crew to meet the Queen tonight!!!

Outfit #1 is a little generic 1st ladyish. They look like they are going to morning mass.
Outfit #2 love the color and the jacket and belt combo. Looks very much like her style.
Outfit #3 again very much Michelle Obama style. I love the cardigan. I used to get these old beaded cardigans at Domsies for a song.

Speaking of forced casualness, "Shelly"?


I love beaded cardigans, too. I have two of my Mom's from the 50's and I still wear them. But I really don't think I would wear one with a pencil skirt to meet the Prime Minister!!!

Agree on all three points. Loved the first 2 looks. Last look was meh and seemed underdressed.

I really liked that Thakoon coat. The color is lovely on her, but I can't tell if it's a really pale blue or white. It might just be the lighting that is giving it that slight blue hint. Either way it's lovely. And love that she's wearing Kors.

Looks 1 & 2, enthusiastic IN.

But J. Crew? I think not.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of forced casualness, "Shelly"?


Sense of humor?


I love the Jason Wu dress and that's about it. I feel that sometimes she's a little too casual for these types of events.

another laura

oh god, not the cardigan. Somebody has got to get to our First Lady and get her off the cardigans. Just back away from the shelves, dear, just back away.

What is it with the new policy of dissing the English, anyway? They give the Prime Minister crummy gifts, she wears tacky clothes to go to their house. WTF?

However, I just adore the first look, it's just perfect. Second one, I applaud the effort and I'm so glad she is continuing to venture outside the red, blue or pink traditional First Lady (non) selection of colors.

FYI, Mrs. Brown is also wearing a knit top and skirt. Mrs. Obama looks more springy, though. And I do think the pearls made it dressier.

This was an informal meeting between two couples, and the First Lady looked wonderful, polished and fit, and rested. Any criticism only sounds snarky.

I have always hated the word "duster," haha. It looks ok on her though.

I am tired of Jason Wu, the most boring designer alive. Even if she is going for stylish and simple, there has got to better out there. Over it.

I like her J. Crew pieces, but not for the occasion and not together. (Good LORD the men's J. Crew is such boring crap compared to the women's...but that's most brands, I guess).

Azzedine Alaia!!! It's like, a toooootally important designer!

thank you, thank you for covering the trip!

I'm not a fan of outfit #3 but only because the pieces don't go well together. I don't mind that they are J. Crew- beautiful pieces are beautiful pieces. I don't even mind the casualness of the outfit since it appears she was dressed appropriately judging by Sarah Brown's outfit (which pales in comparison).

I think she looks great in all three outfits. We could debate the appropriateness of the last ensemble, but she still looks light years better than the other woman.

Actually, now that everyone has mentioned it...Sara Brown IS pretty dressed-down. I definitely don't think Michelle looks too casual in comparison to what THE HOST is wearing, so you can't really knock her for that. The pieces still don't really work together though. Maybe if the color of the skirt was a little more vibrant or something.

I think she looks great.
The first look is appropriate, without being dowdy.

I love the Wu dress with the duster. I actually think the combo is doing great things for her figure. That color is fantastic on her, and I don't mind the higher hemline. It's not like she's wearing a mini-skirt or anything.

The J. Crew pieces...someone made a really valid point...Sarah Brown is also wearing something casual, so I think it's ok. Michelle's outfit is much prettier, though. She looks like a breath of fresh air.


I'm sorry but that sweater is one step away from Quacker Factory.

I agree that Sarah Brown is wearing a casual look, but it is a dress; when you wear a skirt and a top, the "casual effect" becomes even more pronounced.
I'm kind of over Jason Wu at this point. She needs to start shopping somewhere else. There's more fashion life than J. Crew, Michael Kors and Jason Wu.

#1- Very nice
#2- I hate belted anything.
#3- Too casual

Thanks for the post, Tlo!

Moving onto the band wagon, I say thumbs up for looks one and two. YES to the "even a tiny heel looks better than flats" observation.

Look number three was o.k. for the event, given what Ms. Brown wore - but missed the ensemble look; I'd have preferred if the shell underneath the cardigan had picked up the green in the skirt. I have to say, I don't think she's going to give up the cardigans totally (and wearing a sweater *is* quite British, given the climate and their traditional hardiness with regard to central heating.) Accepting her attachment, I liked this cardigan more than many she's worn.

p.s. Thank you for indulging our insistence on the First Lady fashion watch, TLO.

I actually like #3 a lot. Am I the only one?

Some ppl are funny. So what if she wore J. Crew to meet the queen? Good quality well fitted clothes are Good quality well fitted clothes jeez. I mean really, its not like J. Crew is affordable to everyone anyway.

She is just as important as the Browns or any other world leader so as long as she doesn't shop up in her knickers fine by me. For all we know Sarah Brown's dress is from the Highstreet. *smdh*

Also America is a pretty casual nation non? but even then I think she looks appropriate for the occasion especially given what Sarah Brown was wearing

I'd be behind #3 if it was with a much brighter/dressier skirt or another of her signature colorful dresses. But I LOVE the cardigan. I say let the woman be warm, dammit!

Also, I would ADORE #2 if that belt didn't make it go all puffy.

no LcgN i like it alot too. I'm not sure about the colours going together as well, but they are so light and springy that the pictures might not be doing them justice.

Then again, I also have such an ensemble a silver sparkly cardie over a white pencil skirt. I think I'll wear it to church for Easter lol.

I've heard it said before and I must agree: the coat in the first look is VERY Chanel...and that is not a bad thing at all. She looks fantastic, sophisticated, and very "First Lady" (in a good way).

LcgN said...

I actually like #3 a lot. Am I the only one?

no LcgN, you're not the only one. I like it too, I love cardigans and I think the combination looked pretty and sunny (as opposed to dowdy Mrs. Brown). I didn't think it was too casual, maybe she chose it because she knew that later they were both gonna be visiting a hospital, so I think it was appropriate.
I loved her outfits for the trip.
I can't wait to see what she'll be wearing to Buckingham Palace (and I bet it won't be J. Crew).

another laura

Several have commented on how Ms. Brown is also dressed casually such that Ms. Obama should not be criticized for doing so. that's fair enough.

But to my eye, the cardigan looks dreadful on its own, and looks dreadful with that skirt. Ergo, yuck. I just really don't love how she looks in these elbow-length cardigans.

I do believe, though, that I like the shoes she's wearing in that photo.

I LOVE the length of skirt #2 on her. It shows her beautiful legs to advantage, but is still totally appropriate.

My issue with outfit #3 is that the pieces don't go together. I actually think the pretty beaded cardigan w/pearls is OK for the occasion: hanging out with the wife of the British PM, whose own outfit is nothing to write home about (looks somewhat funerary, in fact - and ew on those cottony-looking black tights). In fact, they both look similarly 'business casual,' tho with different degrees of effectiveness. I would like a different skirt on Michelle tho.

I think the black kitten-heeled pumps in #1 and #2 are the same ones from her Annie Liebovitz photo shoot in Vogue.

Count me in the group who think outfit 3 is good. As repeatedly noted, it's appropriate considering what Mrs. Brown was wearing. Also, I think that the cardigan and skirt look better TOGETHER than either piece alone.

formerlyAnon said...
p.s. Thank you for indulging our insistence on the First Lady fashion watch, TLO.

Shelly O fashion is worth watching on any day but I look forward to her (with great hope) of maybe seeting some new fashion trends.


I love the first two, I like the second.

And have you guys ever thought of blogging about the Real Housewives of NYC? YOu would have a blast with this crew, and they do go to fashion shows, and wear some gorgeous clothes. And Jill have a designer give her a private show at a luncheon with 20 of her friends.

I don't know. I want that cardigan badly, like NOW. Too bad I'm unemployed and can't even afford J.Crew!

Mommyca said:
I can't wait to see what she'll be wearing to Buckingham Palace (and I bet it won't be J. Crew).

12:21 PM

I just caught a glimpse of the Obamas arriving at Buckingham Palace on CNN, and Shelly O was wearing a gorgeous black swing coat. It looked like perhaps she was wearing either a cream colored sheath or maybe a cream colored shell and skirt underneath. The clip was so fast and short. They didn't show too much, darn it, but it definitely was NOT J. Crew!!!!

I like the 3rd outfit too. I pretty much wear cardigans everyday to work (it is cold!) and like when they have interesting touches. I'm not sure that it was appropriate to meet the prime minister and his wife, but we also don't know what she had planned for the rest of the day. If she is just going site seeing while her (since she isn't really there to discuss international issues of finance), then I think it is perfect. Dressy enough to get tea, but casual and comfy for the rest of the day!

Boys, I know that your fingers were tripping the light fantastic over the keys, and I know the photo caption is a typo, but Sarah Brow made me laugh, especially when dazzled by that forehead!

Anyone, everyone, any other name ideas for Mrs. Brown? At first glance, I thought it was Fergie piling on the pounds again.

D'ya think that's a Marks & Spencer off the hanger she's rocking?

She looks great. I love the yellow dress and duster -- she may have "substantial hips," but she also has a tidy waist and a lovely figure, and the belt totally sets it off.

I agree that outfit 3 is the least impressive, but it's cute enough, and she looks a whole lot better than Ms. Brown.

Not only don't the cardigan and the skirt go together, but her hips look ginormous in that combo.

First look looks like she's invaded the Queen Mother's closet again.

I know she wants to look conservative, but why does conservative have to look dowdy?

But the second look hit the nail on the head! That's how I want my gal to look, and you can tell she's trying.

And sorry ladies, but I LOVED the JCrew set. That sweater is gorgeous and right up my alley.

I know, I'm weird. teehee...

Oh, it's going to be interesting to see what she wears when she meets Old Liz.

This is kind of cool. Most people are dying to meet the Queen, but in this case the Queen is dying to meet #44 and the Missus.

I agree that in general wearing a belt with an outfit like the dress/duster can be dicey. But with that combo, styled the way it was, it worked and actually minimized her hips.

Pics are now coming out from the visit with the Queen. She's wearing a pretty black coat, a cream top, black pencil skirt, the black kitten heel pumps and her pearls.... and, a BLACK CARDIGAN. Sorry to disappoint, y'all.

If she was in Paris, I'd also say no to the cardigan.

But she's in England, and cardis are veddy British.
(And it's not like it's a Pauline Fowler cardigan).


The coat/dress combos are indeed splendid. I don't think they accentuate her hips, rather, highlight her small waist. The last ensemble was meant to be edgy yet reserved; it was neither. I have a friend who wears similar pairings. In both cases, it just makes me sad.

Thanks for the commentary, TLo!
It's always illuminating to hear from your expert fashion knowledge!

another laura

Yahoo news has posted photos of the Obamas, Queen Liz and her consort. Shelley O looks great.

I've always known that Elizabeth is a wee thing, but I always thought the Duke of Edinburgh was really tall. The Obamas are simply dwarfing them in the photos they're showing at Yahoo.

another laura

Oh my god, you're right, she slipped off the pretty black coat and is wearing another g*****n elbow length cardigan to meet the Queen. GAH!

But at least it's snappy black and white with pearls.

(From Anon 1:26 pm)
Update: I looked again at the video posted on BBC News, of Michelle and Barack meeting the Queen and Prince P. Michelle is actually wearing a black A-line (possibly pleated? hard to tell from grainy video) skirt, not a pencil skirt as I reported earlier.

The black satiny trench she has on is GORGEOUS.

Well that does it. I was wondering what to wear on my European trip next fall.

Now I know.

Why deny myself the comfort of being an American in a cold, cruel (crewel?) world.

I'm packing my cardigan.

Agree with the other posters who thought she dressed appropriately with the jcrew outfit. I thought she looked great. Casual but not cheep. I love that we have a first lady who is not afraid to wear clothes that are off the rack. The rest of us nine to fivers can relate to that.

"I mean really, its not like J. Crew is affordable to everyone anyway."

Right? I mean I have a Michael Kors jacket I got for cheaper than some of my J.Crew pieces (granted, I got it at Nordstrom Rack, but still)

I think I would like the third outfit a bit better if what she was wearing under the cardigan complimented the skirt more, but I think it's a fine outfit for the occasion.

I adore the dress in the second look, yellow is such a great colour on her. Could do without the duster though. Possibly because dusters scream middle school to me since that was my outwear of choice.

Just got of a web site showing a picture of the Obamas with OEII and Prince Phillip taken sometime today.

Shelly O looked great!!


Re: the J Crew combo - Michelle and Sarah were visiting a cancer care clinic, so I think the issue was practicality on the go. Love her in all of these on the page - the outfit she's wearing to meet the queen, not so much.

1) I cannot believe no one has mentioned that Mr. O, since he took office, has been getting more and more Malcolm X in the facial expression department. Like serious fierce. He's not really my type, but that look could melt anyone.

2) That cardi looks like it walked out of an Anthropologie catalog. If the rest of the look was more anthro, it would have looked better, though probably not right for the occasion.

Perez hilton is announcing that the suit between Bravo and Lifetime is over and that Lifetime is free to run Project Runway now. Any truth to that?!!?

I like the last outfit the best.
I much prefer a cardigan over a duster. Look at the lady she's standing next to- it's better than wearing all black!

& all this talk of her "hips" makes me laugh. maybe it's proportion because her arms are so toned.. but really.. her hippy? no.

I like all the looks.
I do however despise the kitten heel. No matter how great of a shape a person has a kitten heel makes a girl look bigger than she is.

I love the first outfit, hate the second one and the third one is too casual. That's what I would wear for a PTA meeting.

She looks great!!

Love the silky trench coat.

Oh thank you baby jesus its not the McCains there !!!!!

I like outfits #1 and #3 (though, yes, a little plain for the event) and adore #2. A fuller coat might have helped her hips here but you have to look a few times to notice the hips issue as the color and overall style is gorgeous on her.

Of course, I have to look a few times at any picture with her and our President in it as it takes that many times to look at her clothes rather than him. Is it bad to have a crush on your president?

there was some tulle? netting under the skirt she wore to meet the Queen, a white tee? an a black cashmere sweater from J. Crew

I do not approve

I don't think the tulle overlay on the skirt is awful. It doesn't look like a ballet tutu or anything.
I wish they would show a larger pic of the coat Shelly O wore with the outfit. I only saw small snippits of it on the news. It looked beautiful!

I think the 'white tee' she wore to visit the Queen is actually a sleeveless, cream-colored, matte satin top. Pics are now coming out from the post-Queen state dinner, and it looks like she took off the cardi (thank goodness!) and is wearing her pearls, the sleeveless top, and her full black skirt. Looks fab.

I know you do it for the children...

But do you walk children in children??? 'Cause that would make you both fine people.

Does she ALWAYS have to wear a freaking cardigan? J. Crew makes me recoil.

OK, having said that, the Jason Wu number is cute. I hate the belt though.

Sorry, but you guys are just plain WRONG in regards to the JCrew outfit. I think she looked lovely.

Bethany said...

Sorry, but you guys are just plain WRONG in regards to the JCrew outfit. I think she looked lovely.

ALRIGHT, Bethany. Thanks for letting us know.

I like the first one. I like the yellow and black but the belt is too high and just loks weird. I love the j crew sweater for myself, but not for that occasion and really not with that skirt.

I have to disagree with look #3...I thought it worked. Cardi and skirt may be a bit casual, but these particular pieces were elegant and classed it up a bit. In all, I think Michelle looked great.

What she wore to see the Queen had to do double duty.
Look classy and not outdo the Queen (and ya wanna talk about dowdy) then go to a "working" reception/dinner.

"O choose an ivory and black silk crepe dress by Isabel Toledo, paired with a black satin opera coat by Jason Wu.....Mrs. O’s Isabel Toledo dress features an origami-inspired bow detail at the waistline. She paired the dress with a black cashmere cardigan by Alaia and a double strand of pearls."

So it is a sleeveless dress worn in a cold building...I would wear a cardigan too. Loved the sparkly cardigan for visiting a cancer center, lovely and a touch of spring.

For me the thing I love the most about her fashion choices is how approachable they make her seem. Nothing up-tight or starched about them.
Plus I really think she does not care if people think her hips look big and she loves to. I applaud her anti-high heel stance.

Meh for all three.

Th first is, as the French would say, correct. But a little dowdy - it looks like something Barbara Bush could easily wear.

The second gets points for originality (at least by First Lady standards) but the dress is much too short and the belt hits in a weird, unflattering place.

I actually like the third look the best but it's really not appropriate for the occasion. Lunch with her gal pals, yes. Tea with the PM's wife, not so much.

I just got a glimpse of the Buckingham Palace outfit on tv and it did not impress.

Speaking of forced casualness, "Shelly"?


As a Michelle I don't think Shelly is forced at all, in fact nearly all of my user names start with Shelly.

Ach, I disagree about the JCrew, TLo. She & Sarah Brown were heading off to visit a cancer care center and I think it was perfect for that. Very comforting sort of look with a little pizazz.

And, they'd already met when Gordon & Sara were in DC a few weeks ago.

My only quibble about these three looks is that the Jason Wu (fabulous color & perfect for the cocktail reception they were attending right after landing) was a tad too short.

The tall girl's problem.

oops- that was supposed to be walk children in nature.

I had a glass of wine.

Ach, I disagree about the JCrew, TLo. She & Sarah Brown were heading off to visit a cancer care center and I think it was perfect for that. Very comforting sort of look with a little pizazz.

And, they'd already met when Gordon & Sara were in DC a few weeks ago.

My only quibble about these three looks is that the Jason Wu (fabulous color & perfect for the cocktail reception they were attending right after landing) was a tad too short.

The tall girl's problem.

I think she loves lovely in yellow - she seems like she's glowing in both those photos.

I really wish she would try some lovely jackets/blazers instead of just cardigans though. Jackets can also keep her warm but have more style and structure. Plus her signature belts would still look great over a nice blazer.

For the J. Crew outift, I think the color of the skirt is great for spring, but there are better outfits to dress it up. Case in point:
Granted, that look is too casual as well, but a light-colored top works with the skirt when set off by the brown belt, and the pops of darker teal and yellow in the necklace and shoes keep the look vibrant.


I love the J. Crew ensemble - it's pretty and feminine, and it suits her.


Loved all three!

Perhaps you boys are too stuffy to handle the last one ;P

I can't be the only one here who looks at this coverage of Michelle Obama and thinks "Let's hear it for the Rainbow Tour, it's been an incredible success." Can I?

She certainly wears a lot of Michael Kors - isn't she much younger than his usual demographic?

I don't like the yellow thing with the belt, but I love that green skirt on her. And I don't really see what the difference is if she's wearing J Crew or Mizrahi for Target for that matter, as long as she looks good and is in line with the occassion. For a casual meeting, why does she need a $3000 outfit?

Re the J Crew outfit: let's keep this all in perspective. Madonna just toured a Malawian orphanage in a $3,000 track suit, for God's sake. How totally disrespectful - both the track suit AND its price tag.

The first look is certainly "First Ladyish" but too old and dowdy for Michelle Obama. The second is hot and she looks radiant. I've seen plenty of pics of her in dresses where she does look hippy or bottom heavy, but she doesn't appear so here. It's very flattering.

Ordinarily I can't stand pastel colors or a push-up sleeved cardigan embellished w/ pearls (at least for myself), but damn if it doesn't work great for her! Put me in the thumbs-up column for look 3.

That jeweled cardigan from jcrew was listed by USA Today as being part of jcrew's specialty line and retails for about $300- hardly thrifty for most americans. If she wants to portray thriftiness in these economic times by choosing mall brands that's great but cut the crap!

I think she looks fabulous! I love the green skirt and sparkly cardigan. Gorgeous!

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