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First Ladies in White

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Le fashion faux pas! Quel Dommage!


Michelle Obama and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy attend the D-Day landing memorial ceremony in France. Michelle is wearing a coat by Michael Kors over a dress by Narciso Rodriguez and a Givenchy belt. Carla is wearing Dior, bien sûr.


The First Ladies came under fire from the European press for choosing a light color for the somber occasion. Frankly, we think that's horseshit. It's a memorial, not a funeral. More importantly, it could be seen as memorial to the Allies' victory as much as it is to the men who died there. They're both appropriately dressed. It's not as if they showed up in plunging necklines, dripping with sequins, for god's sake.

Having said that...



Oh, Shelley, honey. We are getting SO tired of the belts. Yes, they're your signature and yes, that's a pretty fierce belt, but we're going to keep on saying this: YOU'RE WEARING THEM TOO HIGH. It looks awful when she's sitting down and she knew she'd be sitting down. As for the rest of the outfit, it's fine. We're just as tired of her tendency to wear outfits in all one color but that's not as egregious when the color is white.

Carla looks great, but then again, Carla was a model.

[Photos: Getty Images]


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65 comments:

The people who are criticizing them for wearing white should read an etiquette book. In summer, white is considered to be as correct for mourning as black. Black and white together, as in Michelle's case, are "half mourning" ,which is perfectly correct for such an occasion.


BELT!

That's all I can say.

I knew you ladies were waiting to jump on that belt. LOL!

Yeah, I ain't too crazy 'bout it m'self. But she's doing good by sticking with the Duchess. Simple and tailored works with ShelleyO perfectly.

And I'm with you on the white bullshit. Some folks need any lame excuse to complain about her.


She looks good, as does Carla. I agree that Mrs. Obama's belt looks a little heavy considering the lightness of the overall outfit.
I agree with Margo Anderson about white being correct for mourning. It is also a patriotic for both countries.
Poor Mrs. Brown. She looks frumpy next to the both of them.


I think Michelle looks great in that outfit - except for the belt. It makes her look so short-waisted. A skinny belt at her natural waist might look OK, but the few times she's worn a sheath without a belt, she's looked the best.


I think they both look pretty good. Not loving Michelle's outfit as much as Carla's (I love the neckline on her dress). And I think the complaints about white are pretty stupid.


actually, she isn't wearing her belts too high. she's wearing them in the natural nook of her waist, at the smallest part of her body. any lower and they'd be slung on her hips. belts are dressing 101 for those of us with tiny waists and full hips (and i am guilting of having this be my default look as well) but i agree she needs to vary it up a bit (though i do covet the belt). there are other ways to cinch a waist besides a belt.


Well, in Chinese culture, white is associated w/ death & worn @ funerals. As is silver.
That said, I think they both look fantastic.


Miss Heather

Poor Mrs. Brown. She looks frumpy next to the both of them.

Who among us mere mortals would not look frumpy, dumpy, and/or unchic next to these two goddesses? :-)


Mrs. Brown's dress isn't really all that bad. It's the color. So British and drab (just kidding, sort of!)

But she could use some color in her wardrobe.


"Carla looks great, but then again, Carla was a model."
... not necessarily, as obvious from your previous post on Tyra. I actually think it is more the Bruni-Tedeschi "europena aristocracy lineage" that speaks volumes on her style. And the woman can pull almost every outfit on flats, wich i find truly amazing! (though she rocked those louboutins the other day)


ooops! european, not europena


I too find Carla's ability to wear flats with everything truly shocking. She has the most amazing body and attitude for clothes. And I loved the details on her outfit.

Thought the white was a nice way to acknowledge the day while not wearing plain old black. Really, some Americans and Francais wear black every day as it is!

It was charming to see them both wear similar colour schemes while keeping their own fashion identities. That said, Michelle's belt is too much like armour the way she wears them EVERYwhere.


I think they look fine.


formerlyAnon

I thought Ms. Brown would have looked quite smart (though, yes, it's a drab color) if the outfit had fit her better. She needs a very good seamstress/tailor and to invest the time and patience in having all her public appearance clothes altered to fit(while wearing the undergarments with which she will wear them!) I suspect she might need some professionally selected undergarments as well.

It's not rocket science but she's just got to bite the bullet and invest the time. She's got a decent figure but can't get away with schlepping around like the rest of us may do - the photographers are not following me (thank god) out of the parking garage at work!


Maybe if the belt were worn on the dress instead of on both the dress and the coat? I dunno. I'm high-waisted/long torso'd too, and I have a dress whose wide belt is intentionally set at that narrowest part. It's uncomfortable as hell when I'm seated. I don't know why she does that so often.

Love Carla's dress.

PS. Aren't white roses a symbol of mourning?


formerlyAnon

Didn't comment on the Obama & Bruni duo - because they look good. It's been said. Agree about the white being appropriate & not loving the belt.

Maybe she should look for some clothes with a contrasting band of pattern or color at the waist if she feels the need to mark it.


That's where my grandpa used to wear his belts. Nice and high! Move it down, Michelle -- we know you have a waist in there somewhere!


Lose the belt blah blah ad nauseam

Why doesn't Brown get his wife a tailor GAH!


I love Shelley and I kind of disagree with the constant scrutiny of her appearance (as opposed to what her husband is doing) but this is a fashion website, not CNN, so it's okay! I think she needs to improve her posture. I know she is a tall lady trying to talk to Carla, who is shorter, so she probably feels awkward, but she would pull off the look so much better without rounded shoulders!
I think Carla looks better than Shelley not only because she is an ex-model but also because her ensemble is more understated, glamourous and flattering. ShelleyO always seems to be making a statement and can sometimes come off as a little gaudy.
Poor Gordon Brown's wife, yuck.


Margo, exactly what part of Michelle's outfit consists of "black and white together"? Are you talking about Carla's outfit?

I think Carla looks much better than Michelle in this case.


another laura

OMG, guys, thank you for being over Shelly O's belts. Thank. You. She is extraordinarily shorot-waisted and we don't need to keep pointing it out, do we? She could have worn that sheath and jacket with a not overstated piece of jewelry and been stunning. More old fashioned, yes, I suppose, but Stunning with a capital S. Instead I yet again want to tell her to stand up straight.


beautifulmonday on 6/9/09 at 1:53 PM said...I too find Carla's ability to wear flats with everything truly shocking.

Even in flats, Carla towers over her hubby. This is why she no longer wears high heels on official occasions.

TampaBay


@TampaBay: oh, I know why she does it. I just stand in awe of the fact that doing so never makes her look stumpy/schlumpy/out of proportion.


But then, she has about a foot on me.


beautifulmonday on 6/9/09 3:10 PM at said...@TampaBay: oh, I know why she does it. I just stand in awe of the fact that doing so never makes her look stumpy/schlumpy/out of proportion.

Never thought of it that way. You are right! IMO Shelly O looks "stumpy/schlumpy/out of proportion" when she wears flats or low heels.

TampaBay


Is it me, or is Michelle's belt a version of the one that Kelly wore on TFS during the sketching challenge?


Not a fan of the coat-that-doesn't- close-properly look. Shelley O is just emphasizing her pooch, here, rather than choosing a design that puts the emphasis up at her face and neck.

The belt was too machinist and thick-looking. Still, kudos for her willingness to keep mixing it up and surprising us.


The belt's a fuckin' GIVENCHY, dude!

Oh how I would've loved to have my ass whupped with that!








Okay, I just said too much. *blush*


She ruined the fucking outfit with that belt! I'm so sick of those belts!


Anonymous on 6/9/09 at 3:42 PM said..."The belt's a fuckin' GIVENCHY, dude!"

How the hell do you know it is a GIVENCHY?

TampaBay


The Euro press were just tryin' to pick a fight with their own politicians using Shelley & Carla as cover.

I disagree re the belt here (check out one of the London looks if you wanna see Extreme Belt Error!).

The gunmetal grey pulls the whole thing together. Without it, she'd look like a nursing attendant for one of the veterans!


TampaBay said...
Anonymous on 6/9/09 at 3:42 PM said...How the hell do you know it is a GIVENCHY?


From TLo:

Michelle Obama and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy attend the D-Day landing memorial ceremony in France. Michelle is wearing a coat by Michael Kors over a dress by Narciso Rodriguez and a Givenchy belt. Carla is wearing Dior, bien sûr.


I better hand the crack pipe back to Nina! LOL! LOL!

TampaBay


I'm surprised no one has commented on this yet:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_FW86_jO7k_A/Si5aMuvegQI/AAAAAAABC5E/QT5SKPnIlp8/s1600-h/Michelle%2BObama%2BMemorial%2B5.jpg

jesus christ shelley, there's photogs around!


If Mrs. Brown's dress fit just a little bit better, I'd give them all an A.

Nevertheless, a couple of straight guys I work with consider all three of them to be FLILFs, big ass belts, flats and snug wraps be damned.


ZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Seen it before, Shell...makes her look short waisted and thick through the middle. Lose the belt over the coat thing pronto!


Shelly's belts may be armor in general, but that belt IS armor for her floating ribs. Is she expecting a spin kick from a short person to land from out of nowhere?


Lord how I loathe that belt over a whole outfit look. It's like...well, pants tucked into ankle boots.


I do love that belt. Me want! But agree with you that it needs to be lowered down a bit.

Those two pics side by side are positioned in such a way that make Carla look like she has a giant ear, lol.


Now, if she could wipe that scowl off her face...


If Mrs. O had the excellent posture of Mrs. S, would the dress/coat/belt look better or worse? I actually think standing straight would raise that awful belt in the front and accentuate the stomach pooch.

Later in the day, photos show Mrs. S without her coat, revealing the lovely dress beneath. Mrs. O's belt makes removing the coat nearly impossible.

I wish Mrs. O would ditch the belts, put her shoulders back, and stand tall!


Mrs. Obama looks terribly short-waisted in that belt - it's not at all flattering and she needs to stop doing that. It makes her look a little hunch-backed. If she really is that short-waisted, she needs to never wear another wide belt.


Love the belt, in and of itself.

Don't mind the belt when she is standing and walking.

But lord have mercy, when she sits down, it looks like a pushup boobie belt.

Not quite flattering ...

Otherwise, a good outfit and still love that she is stylish and always happy when she shows up at TLO.

Just sayin-


Agreed on all accounts. Love those First Ladies, though!


too many cats

There are a couple more pictures in this story of the belts that took the First Lady to London.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1191620/First-lady-flamboyance-Michelle-Obamas-confident-duty-chic-London-city-break.html


Anonymous @ 4:24 PM wrote:

I'm surprised no one has commented on this yet:
jesus christ shelley, there's photogs around!


Oh good - someone else did notice. There's a couple of pictures where MO looks like she's giving the ol' stink eye. Looks mean. Not a good look atoll. Yikes!

Jilly


brilliant said on 6/9/09 at 4:29 PM..."Nevertheless, a couple of straight guys I work with consider all three of them to be FLILFs, big ass belts, flats and snug wraps be damned."

For all of us slow people, what's a FLILFs?

TampaBay




Nevertheless, a couple of straight guys I work with consider all three of them to be FLILFs, big ass belts, flats and snug wraps be damned.


bitchybitchybitchy

And I'm with you on the white bullshit. Some folks need any lame excuse to complain about her.


Amen. there's absolutely nothing inappropriate about white for this occasion.


For all of us slow people, what's a FLILFs?

TampaBay



Well, MILF's are Mommies I'd Like to F#@$.
So, it's safe to assume that FL's are First Ladies.


Thanks Sewing Siren! i have not had enough coffee yet and could not figure it out!

TampaBay


a skinnier belt, over the dress ONLY and not the coat (i truly hate when she does that...either close the coat and belt it or don't belt it...don't belt an open coat) and she would have nailed it.


Someone explain to me: Did I miss something with this wearing of the belt too high? Because the only person I have SEEN do it is Shelley O. Right here as reported on this blog.
Yesterday, I went into a Forever 21 (in the Northeast) to snag a cheap hat quick, and there was a clerk wearing a big Shirt, buttoned, over pencil jeans and a tank, with a wide belt worn up under her chest.
It looked like a big no to me. Either that, or a new way to hide your 14th week.


look at Haven's pink dress from TFS. She did the same thing when the bely would have looked better on the client much lower. IMO Shelly O wears her belts high because that is where her waist is and therefore is not a fashion statement.

TampaBay


The belt again...Ay, Dios Mio...the outfit is fine, but the perpetual belt has got to go. Ok, so perhaps I have no taste, but that one looks like she took the seat belt off of the Presidential plane. Again, maybe all my taste is shot, but why oh why, does she insist on wearing them OVER the coat as well? Is this her attempt at corseting or something?

While I'm at it, I'll add another whine. This woman has a cardigan obsession. I think she needs an intervention for this thing with the cardigan sweaters. I saw some photos of her in Paris, and someone was commenting on her dress as she was getting out of a car. Dress?? You couldnt see it for the FREAKING CARDIGAN. On top of that, the color was just horriffic with the dress. If you're going to wear one, at least try to make it complementary..sheesh. Ok, whine off.

I like Mrs. Obama, I do. Really.


Anonymous
6/9/09 1:20 PM actually, she isn't wearing her belts too high. she's wearing them in the natural nook of her waist, at the smallest part of her body.


YES, exactly! Ms. Obama should either stop with the belts entirely or wear the drop waist kind. That would have the added bonus of evening out the proportions.


SisterZip


Tampa Bay, I am worried. ( and I so need something completely stupid to be worried about) I think women are starting to wear their belts that WAY too, even when their waists are quite south. Cuz Shelley O does, so it must be right.


path on 6/10/09 at 12:40 PM said..."Tampa Bay, I am worried. ( and I so need something completely stupid to be worried about) I think women are starting to wear their belts that WAY too, even when their waists are quite south. Cuz Shelley O does, so it must be right."

path, I am glad you are worried so now I do not feel so alone. Well if you are going to wear a belt to support your ... whatevers .... then it needs to be a very wide belt say 5-6 inches. No belt worn 'Shelly O" style looks good on anyone.

TampaBay


If you are short-waisted and tall, the last thing you want to do is emphasize that high waist. A narrower belt, worn on the dress and under the coat, and lower would have been perfect. I don't understand why she can't look in the mirror and SEE this. She is so trim and stylish, but those belted coats and sweaters and the wrong belt placement is so distracting.


Gorge!!!


Why does Michelle Obama insist on wearing a belt when she's so short waisted? I don't get it. She needs to hire a stylist.


Looking at the picture of Mrs. Brown, she has a pretty good body. Actually her body is better than Shelly O's due to the better proportions. She would have looked great in a pewter grey dress/suit. She needs to add some reddish gold highlights to her hair.

I would love to get my compulsive shopper hands on that woman.

TampaBay


I think Stacy and Clinton from "What Not To Wear" have allowed waists to raise to empire levels as they dress the average figure and condone calling that area a waist, when the actual waist is six inches lower.


Well, Michelle Obama is a first lady...not a MODEL so she is not compelled to satisfy your fashion cravings. Her appeal is luring because she wears what makes her comfortable. This is the same woman who has worn flats for grand White House occasions. People love her for that because it makes her relatable. She wears what she feels comfortable in and people like that. So please, enough with the elite fashion pretentiousness.


While living in Central America many moons ago, white was considered a funeral color.





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