Michelle Obama Style Watch

Posted on November 14, 2011

Shelley O’s been a busy First Girl lately, so let’s check how she did on the style front.


First lady Michelle Obama arrives at the Tomb of the Unknowns during a Veterans Day full honor ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

We’re not big fans of coats that match skirts, but it’s a great-looking set. It hasn’t been THAT cold on the east coast lately, so we tend to think the boots and the gloves look a little heavy.  We also think the boots are too long for that skirt. They should end right below the knee.


U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama attend the NCAA men’s college basketball Carrier Classic between the Michigan State Spartans and the North Carolina Tar Heels  in San Diego, California.

Cute, we guess. It’s a much more casual event so we don’t have a problem with that aspect of it. What bothers us is that she looks quite a bit like a mime. Also: man shoes.


US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama pose for a portrait with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Honolulu, Hawaii.

This is a little too wrinkled and they’re not her best colors, but it’s interesting and pretty.


US First Lady Michelle Obama poses with Rosmah Mansor, wife of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, as she hosts Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders’ spouses at Kualoa Ranch in Ka’a’awa on the island of Oahu in Hawaii.

What a fabulous print. It totally suits her. We hate the way the dress is constructed, what with that giant napkin hanging off the front of the skirt, but she cuts quite a figure here.


[Photo Credit: Getty]

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  • Anonymous

    I will NEVER allow myself to be photographed next to Michelle Obama. No matter how many times she asks. 

    • MilaXX

      I’d look like a midget just like the prime minister’s wife of Malaysia.

      • Sobaika Mirza

        Me too. Couldn’t Mrs. O have done mortals a favor and worn some flats?

        • Anonymous

          An inch or two of heel either way wouldn’t have made much difference.

        • MilaXX

          She’s not wearing a very high heel to begin with and I’d rather people own their height. Besides wearing flats wasn’t going to make her tower over Rosmah Mansor any less.

          • I’m 5’11” and I almost always wear heels.  I do this because heels are stylish and complement my outfits.  People have told me from time to time that I shouldn’t wear heels because it makes other people (i.e., men?) uncomfortable to be around a 6’1″ woman.  I say I shouldn’t have to sacrifice style just because I’m tall.  I often look like a giant in photos…kind of funny really.

          • MilaXX

            Exactly, I’d much rather see a stylish tall woman, than some shrinking violet. I’m still not standing next to you in pics, but WERQ that height.

          • Anonymous

            Totally agree. I do often feel “less than” when standing next to a very tall person, but I can’t imagine telling a tall woman to wear flats just so I can feel better. (But, Elana, you’re probably right: people probably means men in this case. Can’t exactly put all the blame on the men, though; there are plenty of women who think they can’t be with a man who’s not tall.)

          • Here’s the thing: sometimes us tall people feel like big galoots and yeti’s when we stand next to smaller people.

          • Anonymous

            “galoots.” 🙂

          • I think “tall” is such a relative term.  If you’re 5’4″, a man of average height (5’9″) is tall.  Women like to feel feminine so they enjoy being with a taller man.  That being said, I finally had to let go of my height requirement for men and have been in a relationship with a “short” guy for over a year.  Personality trumps height all day long!

      • I would I’m 5’9″ and muscular it would be the only time i wasn’t the tallest or biggest girl in a photo.

      • but she IS a midget

  • Anonymous

    Just when I think I couldn’t love you guys any more, you give me the mime comment. <3

  • Anonymous

    The Malaysian First Lady is so cute.

    • Anonymous

      Her feet are the cutest thing. 

      She looks like she’d be nice to go to the salon with.

      • Anonymous

        Looks like a size 4 shoe to me.

        • She’s actually super notorious in Malaysia. Nobody likes her :/

  • Anonymous

    Not loving this round of looks for the First Lady, except for the last dress. I think she looks fab in it.

  • scottyf

    Meteorologists T&Lo said…
    “It hasn’t been THAT cold on the east coast lately, so we tend to think the boots and the gloves look a little heavy.”

    It was between 30 and 40 degrees, with wind gusts of up to 35mph on that day. Take THAT weather bitches.

    Plus, she’s a fierce black woman from Chicago, who don’t PLAY with the cold.

    • Anonymous

      Bwahahahahahaha!! Your comments always crack me up, but this one had me nearly falling out of my chair!

    • If that coat wouldn’t drag the ground if I wore it, I’d write her begging for that entire outfit!  

      And, Scotty’s right – it was 50 in North Carolina that day, so I know it was colder in the DC area!

    • Oh, HELLS YEAH.

  • My goodness she is tall, you kind of forget that when she is with the POTUS but next to the Malaysian first lady wow.

  • Anonymous

    And once again (and apparently forever more), her very best look is evening – the gray/pink strapless with the Japanese PM.

    Also – love the boots, just save them for another occasion (I believe we’ve seen them before). And for the love of God, please get rid of those awful shoes you wore to the basketball thing. I love flats and oxfords too, but those are just wrong, wrong, wrong. Maybe you can return them for an exchange or refund (perhaps they’re from Nordstrom?).

  • Anonymous

    Man shoes?


    Those of us who like to walk more than 8 feet without pain yearn for the return of those sensible stacked heels.   BRING US BACK THE STURDY 2 INCH HEEL, PLEASE!

    ahem.   I’m sorry, did you boys say something?   Oh, yes.   Mime.   Excellent.    Although, it’s the tween-tastic intarsia heart that kills the sweater for me, more than the stripes ever could.    And, those pants fit her beautifully.  

    • Anonymous

      She had to wear shoes like that. They had to walk across the court on the carrier several times. Basketball courts are slippery anyway, and there was a lot of condensation from the dropping temps. Very slippery. Even the players had a hard time.

      • Anonymous

        So….maybe us ladies should refuse to go anywhere that isn’t a basketball court?    Come on, throw me a bone, here!

    • BerlinerNYC

      The man shoes were probably my favorite element on the whole page! What a fun and unexpected choice.

      • Anonymous

        Completely agree, love them!

  • MilaXX

    Outfit number 1 – Yeah it has been that cold. I’ve done a few gloves/coat/boots looks myself.
    Outfit number 2 – not liking the top or the shoes.
    Outfit number 3 – I like the dress but i think the sash and belt are fighting for attention.
    Outfit number 4 – Really pretty . I don’t  mind the napkin effect here, she looks pretty.

  • Anonymous

    I am surprised you guys liked the lace effect coat and skirt.  I think a striking color would have been better.  She is tall (I relate, being 5’9″ myself) and that is a lot of lace!

    • Ann Erickson

      well, she was going to a memorial service. dark / black is appropriate.

  • Anonymous

    Self-confidence is her best accessory and she has it in spades. Go Mrs. O.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t like the skirt at Arlington (it’s too heavy to hit her so high on the body), and she looks a little tired in Hawaii, but for me she is ever and always an IN (not that you asked).

  • aimee_parrott

    So is it wrong that the first picture of Shelley with the First Lady of Malaysia made me think of the first shot of Wallace Shawn and Andre the Giant standing next to each other in The Princess Bride?  “We are but poor lost circus performers.”

    Just me?

  • That first outfit… NO.  Thou shalt never wear wallpaper.

    The others.. much better.  Love the third, especially with the detail in the back.

    • Anonymous

      I am rather taken with the beaded back of the 3rd look too, but I keep thinking how uncomfortable it would be to sit down and have those beads digging into my tailbone.

  • I’m one of those women who loves a menswear touch and I think those man shoes are great, but not with that outfit.  It’s too casual and not terribly feminine — plus, adding a bright pop of color with the shoes would have been fun.   

    But Shelly O is working out and has perhaps dropped some weight, but not too much, and she is looking damn fine.

  • Anonymous

    Mr. President is so hot. 

  • Anonymous

    The weather has been variable this fall in the north east.  Today is beautiful, sunny and warm.  Several other recent days have been as well.  But over night it can turn very cold and windy.  So kudos to her for dressing warmly and appropriately.

    That said, I hate all of these looks.  None of them are flattering and none of them look fashion forward.  The matching coat and dress ensemble look like upholstery and make her look ginormous.  She also needs a better bra.  I do love the man-shoes and the pants but the striped top with the heart just kills it.  No one over the age of 16 should wear clothes with hearts on them.  It looks ridiculous, like she raided her daughter’s closet.  The gray and pink dress is interesting but it’s a wrinkled mess and the color is very unflattering.  Not loving her hair here either.  The print on the last dress is beautiful but the shiny fabric kind of kills it.  Such a strong, busy print needs a simple style.  It looks like she’s wearing a table cloth.  Not a good run for the First Lady.

    • Anonymous

      Oh, thank you. I was thinking I was the only one annoyed by the heart sweater. Especially because it was a fine sweater otherwise.

  • Sorry but none of this is remotely working for me.  

  • Sarah Thomas

    The Malaysian First Lady looks like she’s going to direct me to the Lido deck.

  • LOVE Shelly O. 

    1. Those over the knee boots do not work with skirts like that, looks heavy and bulky. She likes those boots, clearly, wears them a lot. Do not like.  
    2. LOVE the striped heart sweater. I think she looks great!
    3. Interesting but just can’t get behind it. Too wrinkly and bulky and it really just did not photograph well at all. 
    4. LOVE! That dress is amazing and unique and looks beautiful on her! Not a big fan of asymmetrical hemlines but this one works for me. 

  • Anonymous

    That last print is gorgeous, and PERFECT with her skin tone.  Not too sure about the cooch flap.

    I love the pink/grey number—looks like something I would pick out.  She shouldn’t have let Barack sit in her lap on the way over. 🙂

    And guys…she looks cute getting her Marceau on!!!

  • She looks fine in outfit #1.You guys thought she looked heavy but I thought she looked a little, um, ‘too chic for a cemetary visit?’
    Outfit two is great because of the pants but oh I am with you on the shoes. Ug-leee!
    Outfit three I love. I don’t have a problem with the wrinkles. That kind of material – it belongs wrinkled.
    But that last dress is the winner. No problems with the construction as far as I am concerned – I think it’s chic. And love the sandals.

    • In outfit 4, I love the dress, but my eyes keep getting drawn to the shoes. So simple, but so pretty and classy at the same time!

  • I have a cocktail dress in the same colors as the pink and grey one, and I have to say, it looks SOOO much better in person. It never photographs terribly well, no matter what the light, but it looks pretty darn awesome in person. (And, disclaimer, I have the same skin tons as the FLOTUS; I know that makes a difference.)

  • I have more to say! *shocking*

    You know, there’s nothing I like about the first outfit. Don’t like the fabric, don’t like the 3/4 length sleeves, don’t like the gloves, don’t like the boots, don’t like the necklace, don’t like the hair. But it might have been okay if the boots were below the knee, with tights. 

    I love the shoes with the striped shirt. They went to a basketball game. Can’t really see her wearing anything with a heel, or anything more casual. I suppose flats, but I like the shiny!

  • Not crazy about outfits #1 and #3, (I kinda like the mime look she’s rocking.) But damn, what a fine looking woman. She embodies the word “statuesque”.

  • Brooke U

    She’s always so much more attractive and natural looking in the candid photographs. She always looks so stiff and posed when they smile for the camera.

  • So much love, both for Shelly O (even when I don’t necessarily think an outfit is working, I love that she’s so adventurous–at least for a FLOTUS–with her sartorial choices!) and for you guys for highlighting her.  I kind of want to steal that coat from the first look, but I fear that a) as fab as it looks on her, it would probably make me look short and dumpy, and b) stealing the FLOTUS’s coat is probably frowned upon by the Secret Service folks…

  • Anonymous

    Cemetary look: very stylish and yet appropriate for occasion. Love the boots, probably because I have a major envy and couldn’t wear myself.
    Basketball look: I didn’t even realize that was a heart, thought it was an amoeba ;p , although that doesn’t make any sense. Sensible but ugly shoes. mime HA! love you guys…
    W/Japanese PM: love this look and the color combo, fresh and slightly unusual for her.
    W/Mrs Malaysian PM: gorgeous print, dress, hair and shoes. But I would never pose next to her either.

  • Anonymous

    Is the First Lady supposed to be so HAWT? I don’t mind the cut of the print dress because it’s so very “island.” Works for me. 
    Love the man shoes.

  • I love her but I have to agree with my very Republican mother who doesn’t like her hair when it is straight back from her face. It’s too severe. Just a bit of body or curl does her much better.

  • Rand Ortega

    OMG, they’re so beautiful! I wonder if I’ll ever get tired of saying that. Signs point to “No”.
    Contrary to the consensus of most fashionistas, I’m rather partial to the Coat/Skirt matchup. Prada did quite a few versions these past couple of seasons & I lost my mind.
    The heart sweater is adorbs. Playful, casual, smart & stylish. Totally appropriate for the occasion. Same goes for the shoes. Hate it when people wear stilletos to sporting events (Beyonce, Kim, Johnny, et al). Trying to be more girly than fan is not sexy or attractive.
    Love the asymmetrical frock in such unexpected colors. Those shoulders should be registered as a deadly weapon. Love the accessories as well.
    The Polynesian toned dress is so beautiful. Does anyone know the designer?

    Thanks awfully, TLO. I really appreciate you keeping up w/ the FLOTUS & her fashion adventures!

    • Anonymous

      “Those shoulders should be registered as a deadly weapon”

      or a National Monument. 

  • Anonymous

    OMG. I am the same size as the Malaysian first lady. WAHHHH.

  • Anonymous

    Oh guys, I just can’t get behind that last dress.  Great colors for her but it’s pretty much a disaster after that.

  • Anonymous

    I must be the only person who likes the basketball ensemble. The fit on those pants is amazing and super-flattering. I love the shoes, especially with those pants. I tend to think appliques on sweaters are precious, but otherwise the sweater is sporty and the overall outfit has a great line.

    • I like it too!

    • Anonymous

       I LOVE the mime outfit. It’s the only one here I do like.

  • Anonymous

    I love the second look. Casual and stylish.
    And while I have no problem with anyone showing their arms and shoulders (and hers are great), I can just imagine, how shocked the Japanese PM were – bare shoulders are a total no in Japan .

  • Looks like Anya made the first lady a dress

  • Anonymous

    Can we discuss for a sec how adorable POTUS looked in that bomber jacket at the Carrier Classic game?? 

  • Anonymous

    I love love love her man shoes. She should wear them more often. And who is that teeny-tiny woman with the teeny-tiny feet? I think I love her, too.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t always agree with Shelly’s style choices, but I love how she always wears everything with the air of “I don’t care what you or any bitchy fashion bloggers think”!

  • Anonymous

    She never looks bad, and she almost always looks good or better. I do think she needs a casual shoe makeover, though. Pumps with dressy casual just scream “teacher.” She can do better. 

  • I love the outfit she wore to the basketball game (“man shoes” hmmph!) and love the matching skirt and long coat. The pink/beige dress looks unfinished, and the Hawaiian dress looks like it’s literally coming undone. All in all, Shelley projects a happy, confident vibe. What a wonderful First Lady.

  • The where she’s posing with Rosmah Mansor looks like a prom picture with a photo backdrop…something about the lighting. But I love the dress.

  • Diana Martinez

    Hate all of those outfits (except the mime one – but you’re right about the shoes!).  Michelle, my belle, you can do better!

  • I’m not crazy about the turtleneck with heavy necklaces in the first photograph.  I love that sweater she wore to the basketball game, even if it is a little juvenile.  In the picture with the Japanese prime minister, I want to draw a balloon coming out of her mouth saying something like, “Whoever packed that piece-of shite steamer is going DOWN.”

  • Anne Lucchesi

    Mime outfit needs jeans and boots and she’d be fine. That top is adorable without being twee. And I love how this woman rocks heels whenever she wants. Let the shorties look short!

  • Anonymous

    Looking good across the board.  My only comment is where is her red poppy on the suit?   If Lady Gaga can wear one while carrying a teacup I would think that they could scare a poppy up for the FLOTUS. (They are becoming harder and harder to find every year…)

    • Aren’t poppies a Rememberance Day thing, more seen in Canada and Europe. More fitting for Memorial Day but not really obligatory in the US even for Memorial Day. Veteran’s Day is more for our living vets.

  • Anonymous

    I was on board until I saw the Malaysian dress.  Not my cup of tea but I thumbs up to the other looks including the mime getup.  

  • I love the boots in photo 1, and the top she wore to the basketball game is super cute.

  • Anonymous

    Oh God. I am Malaysian, and I can tell you almost everyone hates/fears the PM’s wife. We all believe she ordered the execution of a Mongolian model for having an affair with her husband. And by execution I mean detonated with bombs. I am not kidding.

    • Holy crap!

    • oohsparkley!

      Yikes!  Now that you mention it, Malaysain PM’s wife does look like she could cut a bitch (or blow one up).  Shelly O. looks fab.  And I love the mime outfit, manly shoes and all. 

  • Anonymous

    I can’t read “Malaysian prime minister” without thinking of Zoolander. I like the 3rd look quite a bit.

  • it was freezing in dc on veterans day so she is excused for the heavy look – in my view!

  • Man shoes? Basketball fans will tell you that some people will cut you if you mark up their court with heels. Plus, it was the most sensible shoe to wear when being on an aircraft carrier. 

  • Man shoes? Basketball fans will tell you that some people will cut you if you mark up their court with heels. Plus, it was the most sensible shoe to wear when being on an aircraft carrier. 

  • Anonymous

    I love her in the mime getup! LOVE