Michelle Obama in Vera Wang

Posted on December 06, 2011

We are at a loss for words. No, really. Just look:


U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama at 2011 Kennedy Center Honors in Washington in custom Vera Wang.

What else can you say to that but “Brava, Shelley. BRAVA.”

Someone needs to tell the guy on the right that the wacky print ties have been out of style for 20 years.

What? All our bitchery was getting backed up being so nice to Shelley. We had to express it somehow.



[Photo Credit: Getty]

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  • I gasped. Love, LOVE that colour on her. 

  • Bravo, standing ovation for Shelly O here.  So refreshing to see a First Lady not dressed like the first Grandma. 

  • Color and bodice are GORG, but the bottom of the skirt looks a little can-can.

    • BerlinerNYC

      Agreed. I feel like the emperor in Amadeus, saying Mozart’s piece had “too many notes.” This is too much dress.

    • More agreeance here.  The bottom of that skirt was giving me a headache as I was staring at it, trying to figure out how it was put together.

    • Anonymous

      Couldn’t have said it better myself.  It’s my fave color and it looks great on her.

  • P M

    Bow down, everyone. Bow down. 

  • Sobaika Mirza


  • I feel like the bottom of the dress is a little too much, but everything else is AMAZING!  I also love 1) that the First Couple are holding hands – super cute, and 2) Yo-Yo Ma is looking at Shelley like, Dayum, First Lady, you werq that crazy Vera shit!

    • Anonymous

      I know, they are adorable and it makes me so happy.

      If there’s ever some kind of tell-all revelation gaspfest after the Obama administration is over and it is revealed that theirs was actually a troubled marriage, JFK Marilyn Monroe blah blah blah, I will cry inside for weeks.

      • Anonymous

        I KNOW! Me too!!! It feels so totally authentic. I feel like they are really decent people, and an adorable couple. I am really proud of them. 

      • Anonymous

        WORD.  It’s probably sad how much I have invested in believing that their union is all that it seems (not perfect, just enviable), but so be it.  And for what it’s worth, I don’t think you can fake what they’ve been showing us from Day 1. Or more accurately, showing each other: love, respect, and yes, some good old fashioned adoration. Every time I see them, I think some variation on “Man, he loves himself some Michelle, and she’s loves herself some Barack!”  They make me happy AND proud.

        • Anonymous

          I know, I do love the fact that they have never pretended that the other was perfect but they accept those flaws and truly respect one another.  Really admirable.

      • You need to watch Wanda Syke’s “I’ma Be Me” special.  She talks about not being concerned that Obama was going to be another Clinton because you could just tell looking at the first couple that they…ummmm…don’t really want to use her exact words, but the implication is they love each other.  Very funny.

        • That is one of the funniest comedy specials ever. Makes me LOL every time I see it.

  • Mary Stansbury

    That guy next to President Obama is the governor of the wonderful state of Colorado. Considering that formal attire out here isn’t the most fancy or trendy, I’m proud that he at least wore a tie!

    • Anonymous

      Too true.  It could have been a bolo tie!

      • Anonymous

        Mr. Meowing insists on wearing his bolo ties when we go to semi-dressy events.  Sigh.  I have limited influence, even after 35 years together, although I did dissuade him from donning one for a funeral recently.

        • Anonymous

          Aaaw. some things must be accepted. Sounds like you found the best way to work with it.

        • Anonymous

          Perhaps where you live works against you? I always think that bolo ties and their (less-worn but still seen in my region) relative, string ties, have a regional acceptance that makes them o.k. for all but the most formal events. And I do mean *most* formal. State weddings and funerals.  I’m in a very informal city in the Southwest, and I’ve seen them at weddings (on the male members of the bridal party), on family members at funerals, gala fundraisers, at a federal judge’s investiture (on what would have been the podium, had there been one), etc.

    • Anonymous

      I actually kind of like the crazy print tie, though it probably wasn’t the event for it. Or maybe it’s just because I like our governor and his wife used to work with my father so we almost sort of know each other. ~grins~

    • I though that was Hick!

    • The title “Governor Hickenlooper” really just screams for a wacky printed bow tie.  But lets not lump our state into not being fancy or trendy…after all, Mondo is a native Coloradan!

  • Anonymous

    That color should be pert of her regular rotation. It looks great on her.

  • foodycat

    POTUS *knows* his date is the prettiest girl at the party.

  • BuffaloBarbara

    Wow–I am not a Shelley fan by any means, but this is… awesome.  The pair of them look great here. (My grandmother actually voted for them because, “My goodness, they’ll look so much better at formal dinners than the other one!”)

    • Sarah Lynnae

      Heehee! Your grandma has her priorities straight.

      • BuffaloBarbara

        To the disappointment of policy wonks everywhere, looking good at state events is a major part of the job. ;p

        • Anonymous

          My political science professor spouse would scowl at this, but you are so right! On the other hand lack of style pizzazz didn’t hurt Angela Merkel, Indira Ghandi, Mrs Thatcher..

          • Anonymous

            Or Hillary Clinton (“the lady in pantsuits”)

          • Anonymous

            I will never forgive her or her daughter for refusing to live curly. I guess curly hair is too…unserious…too…ethnic…I don’t know. 

          • Anonymous

            Or Golda Meir

        • Anonymous

          Lucky Mr Obama has the looks AND the goods!

    • Anonymous

      Bet Jackie won some votes for JFK, too. Elegance/style/intelligence is powerful stuff. 

    • Anonymous

      God bless your grandmother!  She wants the nation to be represented fashionably.  Love it!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for providing this delicious antidote to the previous gaggle of batshit looks.  That color is perfection on her. 

    • Exactly what I was going to say. Nice eye cleaner after the tri-FUG-ta of Madonna, Chloe, and Parker.

      Our Prez and First Lady look like they were cast in Hollywood. Gorgeous couple!

  • scottyf

    It bears repeating:

    It’s in the reach of my arms,
    The span of my hips,   
    The stride of my step,   
    The curl of my lips.   
    I’m a woman
    Phenomenal woman,   
    That’s me.

    –Dr. Maya Angelou

    • Anonymous

      Scotty!  You love the Charlie Brown Christmas cartoon too?????

      • scottyf

        Since I first saw it when I was a kid, it’s not Christmas for me without it.

        • Anonymous


          You’re right–Christmas season begins with seeing Charlie Brown (and the original Scrooge, with Alistair Sim).  I remember when the C.B. BEGAN, so it has great sentimental value for me.  I refuse, tho, to buy the DVD, must see it on TV–oldie here.  Merry Christmas.

  • Anonymous

    Love the color, don’t like the bottom of the dress. She looks fab in the color though.

  • Anonymous

    Je l’adore! Stunning! Bellissima! Kakkoi! Bonita! The jewelry! Her glowing skin and smile! her hair! I’m out of languages to massacre, but I can go on and on and on about how completely drop dead gorgeous she looks and how much I admire her as a person all day long.

  • muzan-e

    I went back three times.  Because unexpected and perfect beauty does that to me. 

    Their smiles are filling that whole room. 

  • Anonymous

    Overall, she looks amazing. But am I the only one who thinks the fit on the bust of a custom-made dress should be just a tad more perfect?

    • Nope, I was about to write a comment about that as well.  The way the bust fits here isn’t great – it looks like it’s too tight, or something, like it’s smooshing her chest.  Color’s great, and it’s a great look overall, though.

  • Anonymous

    The color is stunning on her, i especially love the adoration i always see in the first couple’s faces for each other….

  • Beautiful!!

  • Wowie!

  • Susan Tower

    She looks wonderful.  BTW  the guy on the right is the Governor of Colorado.  Those ties are his signature.  He is kind of a wacky guy in a cool and good way.

    • Anonymous

      I wouldn’t criticize a guy for a printed tie – men have so little ways to express themselves in formal wear. 

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    GORGEOUS! Love the color on her. And I gotta say, her hubby always looks better (and younger) when he’s on her arm.


    • It’s true. I hope he thanks her every day for that.

  • Tamara Hogan

    Gorgeous. And how adorable is it that they’re holding hands?

  • Anonymous

    OMG. Stunning.

  • Anonymous

    Brava indeed!

  • Anonymous

    I’m jealous that you guys have such a fabulous First Lady. 

  • Anonymous

    I saw pictures of the First Couple earlier today and I just knew they’d get the TLo treatment. Say what you will about his politics, they are a couple truly worthy of adoration.

  • Brad and Anne White

    Lovely! Just lovely.

  • Anonymous

    So perfect. She has the height, figure, and bearing to carry off that color and the floufiness at the bottom like many others couldn’t.

    I love how happy they always look together.

  • Anonymous

    I could have standed a little less foofaraw at the bottom there, but otherwise I love the look. She wears color so well. I really hope she sets the fashion standard for future First Ladies.

  • Hmm.  This is the first thing I’ve seen her in that I haven’t loved.  It looks a little too tight at the top and I don’t love the ruffles at the hem.  The colour is great, though.

  • Judy_J

    They both look smashing! 

  • Anonymous

    The President and 1st Lady both look fantastic.  Love their smiles.

    The color of her gown is beautiful on her.  I think the bottom ruffles are a bit on the fussy side though.  I’d have preferred just the draping from the knee down with no ruffle underneath….minor  criticism.

  • Anonymous

    The President is a lucky man.

  • Anonymous

    On a less statusque woman all that at the bottom would be overwhelming but she has the height and curves to make it work.  Gorgeous!  And I will proudly say I AM a huge fan of her, her politics and her intiatives.  🙂  Grow a vegatable, eat and be happy!

  • Anonymous

    She is quite the picture of regal beauty, and she knows it.  That smile comes from looking in the mirror before you open the dressing room door and present yourself to the masses, and thinking, “I look FABULOUS!”  She makes him look younger and more carefree, too.  Now, if he would only lose the American flag pin in the lapel of that wonderful tux……he’s the PRESIDENT, for cryin’ out loud.  He doesn’t need to advertise his patriotism. 

    I believe the ceremony will be broadcast on 12/27 so we can see Shelly’s dress in action.  I can’t wait to watch that ruffled hem undulate across the floor.

    • Anonymous

      He doesn’t need to advertise his patriotism.

      Ha! If he didn’t have that little pin on, we’d be hearing every right wing nut job on TV waving their little hands and stomping their little feet and accusing him of not loving his country and we’d have another million chain mail e-mails floating around about how he’s a Socialist, Bolshevik, Antichrist, not-born-in-this-country, Communist blah, blah, blah.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t doubt his patriotism for a second, so I agree that he doesn’t need to wear the pin as any sign of proof or advertisement…however, I rather like it.   My dad always wears his flag pin on his suits, with pride. 

    • Anonymous

      Don’t you remember when he came under criticism in the 2008 primaries for not wearing a flag pin?  He’s worn one ever since.

    • Anonymous

      I think the American flag pin is obligatory for presidents now, and its absence would cause a great hue and cry.

  • HA! That’s John Hickenlooper, governor of Colorado. And that’s a beautiful color on Michelle.

  • Anonymous

    I love the pic where it looks like Yo Yo Ma is making eyes at her, while the President is distracted shaking hands (with someone who looks like Tim Gunn in profile) in the back. Dang lady, save some for the rest of us.

    She looks fabulous in that color. I just want her to stand up straight; ma’am you are regal–embrace it!

  • Anonymous

    Stunning. What a fabulous couple.

    And I have to say it, why is it that commentators here only mention Obama’s politics when they disagree with them?

    I am a fan of the Obamas, for fashion and policy.

    • Anonymous

      They feel like they have to qualify their compliment, lest the rest of us mistake them for supporters. Cause we’re commenting on a fashion blog…political stance is super important in these parts. 😉

      • Anonymous

        Thanks for that insight; you make a terrific point.

  • Anonymous

    Love the dress. They seem to have a genuinely happy, vibrant marriage.

  • Anonymous

    I love the color on her.  I thought at first the bottom was a little too much, but now I wonder if this is a dress that looks best stationary rather than moving given the intricate bottom.  Regardless, she looks lovely.

  • Anonymous

    Well done. They are a gorgeous couple.

  • Aw, she looks FABULOUS! Great color on her!

  • Anonymous


  • Linde Hoff

    Colour is nice, but I’m not a fan of the dress.

  • Anonymous

    Dear lord, can I have that dress? And her body? And her life?

  • CQAussie

    Amazing.  Saw the photos yesterday and STILL am stunned at how beautiful she looked.  LOVE HER!  

  • Anonymous

    Oooooh that royal blue on her is DIVOON.

  • Anonymous

    Barack doesn’t looks so bad either!

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    Love the color but I think this dress is unflattering to her figure.

  • MilaXX

    Beautiful gown and stunning color . Well played Shelly.

  • Anonymous

    Isn’t that the most glorious color???  I was wondering when you would post about our Ms. O.  The Washington Post simply gushed about the dress…

  • Ha! It’s Hickenlooper (the guy with the printed bow tie), what a delightfully Colorado thing to do. Shelley looks fab!

    • Anonymous

      The ‘Looper! yay Colorado!

      Shelley is beyond stunning! My favorite shade of blue evah.

  • Anonymous

    No WERQ?

  • Anonymous

    Late to the party here, but I’m firmly in the Yowza, home run camp.  That color and the shape of that dress are fabulous on our First Lady.  They both look show-stoppingly handsome.  Makes me a little teary-eyed, especially the happiness (and there’s too little of that lately ) that they’re radiating.  Maybe they’re consummate actors, but that vibe comes off as genuine to me, and that’s beauty that beggars words.

  • Anonymous

    Love that hairstyle on her, and the dress looks fabulous. The arm candy isn’t bad, either. A++, Shelly. 

  • Love the color.  Love her.  She’s gorgeous!

  • Jessica Wyatt

    Bah! She drives me crazy. SHOULDERS BACK, MICHELLE. Otherwise she looks great.

  • penn collins

    The first lady SHOULD be the center of ALL attention, and dang! Wow, Brava! Lets see one of Newt’s dozen (ex) wives pull *that* off!

  • Anonymous

    They both look fabulous and vivacious. And what a happy accident (or how cleverly planned) that the gown pops so nicely against the  burgundy walls and ceiling of the theatre.

  • Anonymous

    you cant possibly be so surprised about the color…. theyre entering into 2012, election craziness will take over, you can expect a lot of blue from now on. 

    its very pretty though, a little unflattering in some areas but her hair and makeup are stunning! 

  • aimee_parrott

    That color is perfection on her.  I love our gorgeous first lady.

  • our first lady is so fabulous, i love it 🙂 and smart too! go shelly o!

  • Ann Erickson

    love those earrings! and the color! super fierce.

  • Anonymous

    Completely awesome. And her husband there looks fine, too. A spectacular couple.

  • Anonymous

    WOW. I am not a fan of hers in general, but she looks absolutely spectacular here.

  • Lulu Lafurge

    Vah. Voom.

  • She looks gorgeous. And that color is perfection on her.

  • She is so fabulous. My favorite FLOTUSA ever.

    Also, I can’t be the only one who giggles at the 3rd picture – it looks like Obama got caught checking out her badunkadunk. Not that you can blame him. ;D

  • Fabulous. 
    Also, Oscar De La Renta must be SO PISSED. Has she worn anything by him yet? 
    No ding for the matchy match earrings? Surprising, TLo! But she does look fabulous, full-stop, so I understand not wanting to take away from that. 

  • They are applauding the hilarious Steve Colbert. Don’t you wish you could have been there?  Obama was rather hilarious himself.

  • Anonymous

    It makes me happy to look at them.

  • Anonymous

    Can we elect our next president based on his hot wife, his fine self, his enviable marriage, his adorable kids, and his cute dog?  Oh, and his righteous values, actual integrity, and ability to express himself as an intelligent human being (yes, I’m looking at you, Republican candidates).

  • bloodshothalfblind

    goddammit! she is a vision!  im voting shelly o in 2012.  4 more years of fabulous fashion!  

  • Jessica O’Connell

    This almost makes me wish I had worked KC Honors this year… but I wouldn’t have gotten to see them anyway so HA no catering for me this year, bitches!

    Also, she looks fantastic.

  • Jessica Goldstein

    Don’t love the details at the bottom, but really who cares? The color, cut, hair, makeup, etc. are all superb. She looks spectacular.

  • Anonymous

    Yep, shoulda been a WERQ!

  • The color is amazing, and those earrings are stunning.  Love it all!

  • The top of it is beautiful, but it was kind of scroll-down fug. I gasped when I saw that hideous skirt. To be fair, I hate all skirts like that.. I don’t think that line is flattering on anyone. Hips up it’s a great look, though.

  • She looks stunning. What a gorgeous dress. The color is beautiful, and I love her earrings. What a handsome couple they are!

  • Anonymous

    That color looks stunning on her.  She hit all the right marks.  Brava Shelly O, Brava!!

  • Anonymous

    I like the top, the middle is too tight, and the bottom is atrocious! Boo, Shelly, boo!!

  • Well played, Mrs. Obama.  

  • Anonymous

    yeah, uh, you’re sitting next to the president of the US and you wear a frekin polka-dot bow tie?!?

    Shelly O. looks amazing.

  • Mariah J

    That dress is amazing…batshit crazy tie made me lol

  • Mary McClelland

    Gasp. Good gasp. Oh she looks stunning. If only the president impressed me this much! 

  • Anonymous

    She’s the first First Lady that makes me forget who she usually stands next to and then go, oh right, he’s in the picture too.

  • Fabulous!

  • These people seriously radiate strength and happiness. She looks incredible. Breathtaking. I’m so in love.

  • Anonymous

    I really am not into body snarking or commenting 


    • Please.  She’s sitting next to Yo-Yo Ma and Meryl Streep.  It’s an entire row of slouching, cut the woman a break.

  • Anonymous

    She looks great.  Fantastic color!

    and UGH.  I hate novelty ties.  They are a huge pet-peeve, and regular guys at weddings everywhere seem to universally think they are being “funny-ironic” when they wear them.  When my husband wears his Tabasco tie, he always defends himself by saying “I get so many compliments on it every time I wear it!”  To which I say “They are complimenting you because they don’t know what else to say and ‘you look ridiculous in that tie at age 42’ seems too mean.”

    But he doesn’t listen to me, and I’m stuck going to weddings with a man in an ill-fitting Brooks Brother’s navy blazer, Tabasco tie and chinos.  It’s a step up from a hawaiian shirt, cargo shorts, and Chacos no doubt.  Which is what he half-seriously always threatens to wear to formal events.  But why won’t our men listen to us?

  • It’s gorgeous and all, but that dress looks like it’s awfully snug considering it was a custom gown and everything…

  • It’s a Shelly Slam!

  • Wow, she looks f’ing amazing.  

  • Wow, she looks f’ing amazing.  

  • Anonymous

    lovely.  that shade of blue on her is perfect.  

  • Have you seen this Fabulous Obama Shopper Tote? http://www.japanla.com/detail.php?design=3711

  • And the way she’s bopping with her glasses and fabs earrings during the Sonny Rollins tribute set made me crack a huge grin.  Who did those accessories?