Michelle Obama in Chris Benz

Posted on July 12, 2012

FLO put on her campaigning dress and hit the trail.


First lady Michelle Obama speaks to supporters and volunteers at the Barbara Goleman High School in Miami Lakes, Florida in a Chris Benz dress.

We always associate green-and-blue combos with the late ’60s/early ’70s post-mod styles. It’s a combo that has only sporadically shown up on the runways since then because let’s face it, it’s a tough one to pull off. We think this dress looks fantastic on her, but we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the pleats at the waist and how much better this would look on her without them. For once, she chose a pretty perfect little belt to pair with this dress, but the shoes clash. This is one dress that pretty much required neutral-colored shoes. We would have been fine with a couple of silly putty pumps, even (although our suggestion would have been black).

Still, it’s colorful, stylish, and attention-getting, which is clearly what Shelley needed to be here.


[Photo Credit: Getty]

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  • Sobaika

    Is the dress sequined?? I can’t tell but I really want it to be sequined.

    •  I think the print has some spots of white in it, which make it seem sequined.

      • Sobaika

        Booo, I really liked the idea of her in a sequined globe. Whatever, she’s still fly.

        • Anathema_Device

           Wouldn’t that be an awesome craft project? Sequin a globe with the corresponding color of sequins? Like a earthy disco ball.

          • JosephLamour

            Now I want to do that. I wish I had a bedazzler.

          • adnama79

            I made a world map out of corresponding colors of trash (mostly plastic) with my preschool class once.  It was pretty awesome.  Now I’m totally doing the sequin thing with my kid.  Thanks for the idea.  🙂

          • Anathema_Device

             So great! I have way more ideas than time or energy…

  • The first word that popped into my mind was accessible.  She wants and needs to be that, on the campaign trail.  Props to our lovely FLOTUS.

    • VanessaDK

       She looks like a globe deconstructed.  Nice symobolism.

  • It looks like a bad camo print. I don’t love it.

    • I thought the same thing about the print looking like camo, Liana!  Then I thought maybe it was just my military brat childhood rising to the fore…

  • beebee10

    Love it from head to toe!  

  • it looks like a weird version of a globe. I totally get the retro reference, but it just screams “PLANET EARTH!” to me.

    • SayWTH

      I thought the exact same thing when I saw it. Wish she had chosen different shoes, but other than that, looks nice!

      •  it does, but now I totally have “we are the world” stuck in my head! haha

        • Anathema_Device

           Didn’t see this before I posted my own song response to you. LOL

    • Anathema_Device

       I know. I got a version of that KT Tunstall song in my head: “Her dress is a map of the world, it’s a map of the world/You can see she’s a beautiful girl, she’s a beautiful girl…”

      • Ogden1990

        And now the Tunstall song is my ear worm for the rest of the day.

  • dress_up_doll

    Love the dress and belt combo. She looks picture perfect in this one, but the shoes are tragic. My first thought was a black (fabric) pump with a not-so-high heel.

  • She looks perfectly suited for the job at hand.  Love it.

  • What I want to know is where can I buy that belt!

  • mjude

    love her

  • teensmom99

    It is perfect in every way and . . . finally some one is dressed for the weather.  It’s summery and yet not beachlike–which deserves extra points. And I can’t help it but I loved the shoes.

    • peacockprincess

      Ditto–I think the shoes are spot on.  Black would have been distracting and there is never an excuse for putty shoes. 

    • I can’t really tell from those pictures but I suspect the shoes might have looked like a better match in different lighting. I love the gold heels, though!

    • CrazyAuntie

      me too – I think the shoes are fine.  Great look!

  • MissAnnieRN

    I don’t understand the placements of pleats at the waist like that. I suppose they can camouflage a tummy, but Shelly doesn’t have much of a tummy to speak of. Love the colors against her skin. I am loving the trend of aqua and coral paired together this summer and my first instinct would have been to pull that hue in with the belt in a small amount.

    And as always, I covet the First Arms. Slowly I am building a celebrity composite dream body. It includes Kate middleton’s hair and Michele Obama’s arms.

    • greyhoundgirl

      “The First Arms”–LOL–love that!

  • jmorino08

    Yeah… the dress definitely doesn’t need those pleats, but I kind of like the shoes with it. 

  • Chickadeep

    Coral kitten heels would have been cute with this. That blue-green thing is definitely a ’60s-’70s color combo but I think FLOTUS is pulling it off. The fit? Well, pleats are not kind to most of us; this doesn’t bother me as much.

  • God I love the blue pumps with this – they’re in a muted blue, which is perfect. I think black would have looked way too formal/clunky. 

    • Spicytomato1

      I completely agree.

    • filmcricket

       Ditto, I think they work well. Complementary without being matchy.

    • mountainflower

      Completely with you on this one! I thought the shoes were an absolutely inspired choice, and I thought they fit TLo’s edict “goes with but not matchy” perfectly!

  • TaurusKW

    I like the shoes with this dress.  They may not be a perfect color match or compliment, but I wasn’t distracted by them, and I think if you’re going to say that something “clashes,” it really needs to disrupt your attention.  I just can’t picture pairing black shoes with this dress; I think they would clash with the summer vibe of the outfit.

  • alyce1213

    This is a great summer campaigning dress for FLOTUS, but I agree on the pleating. The belt/waist  –  just a scooch lower, please.  

  • Chickadeep

     A globe! That hadn’t occurred to me but now it cannot be unseen. Perfect!

  • AmeliaEve

    I love the way she uses accessories. They are clearly personal things that she really loves, not just matchy pieces chosen for the outfit. That belt is case in point, and I do like the shoes.

  • SewingSiren

    I love this look. Pretty much everything about it is perfect. I see what you are saying about the pleats, but they make the dress more comfortable for sitting , and also make wrinkles less noticeable.

  • I think this is a really beautiful and modern take on the “First Lady” look – gone are the days of Laura Bush and her stuffy suits. As someone else said, Michelle Obama looks very accessible here

  • Pants_are_a_must

    I love how that dress is SO planet earth. “COME TO MY PLANET,” said FLO, “WE ARE ALL FABULOUS HERE”.

  • frannyprof

    I love the colors on her. Way to go, FLOTUS!

  • It’s a strange-ish print.  She is still working it pretty damn good though.  

  • Ooh, I love it all around, including the shoes

  • n a

    ttly agree about the pleats- but man, great legs, toned back…I hope I can wear a dress like that when I’m her age!  Rock-on FLOTUS Shelley!

  • surfergirl70

    She looks fab.  And I don’t mind the shoes.

  • BazoDee

    i like the colors and the shoes look great  -particularly from a distance -they don’t clash at all IMo. Putty would have been marginally better IMO -but NOT black???!!!?? 
    As always she has trouble in the waist area -the pleats and the palcement of the belt are just not super flattering. All that said -she pulls it all together and looks great. 

    • i agree that black pumps would be totally out in florida in the summer.  and anything but the putty pump, please.  if i never see another pair it’ll be too soon.

  • She looks shiny, like someone rubbed her arms and legs down with Vaseline. Weird. Also, hate the shoes, dress looks good though.

    • Yes, I was thinking the exact same thing. As if someone sprayed her with lemon Pledge and buffed her.

    • CozyCat

      It looks to me like it was hot as h*ll there!  (I find it impossible to use profanity in a post about the Fabulous Flotus!)

      That makes the dress an even bigger success–it’s really, really hard to dress appropriately for both the event and the climate when it’s hot.  That’s the thing the always impresses me about her wardrobe choices:  like them or not, they are always intelligent.

  • SpcilK

    I want this dress and belt for myself.

  • MilaXX

     She looks lovely. Seeing her arms makes me want to go out and do more arm curls. I don’t mind the shoes, but I agree black would have been better.

  • Summer On The Beach

    When you mentioned the shoes, I looked again, and thought “those look like her inauguration shoes.”  So I google-imaged it: http://guestofaguest.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/michelle-obama-isabel-toledo-yellow-suit-inauguration-day.jpg

    What can I say?  I’m a die-hard democrat who takes shoes very seriously.

  • anotherkate

    It looks like an abstract map. Which is a compliment!

  • AmandaCathleen

    I agree with your quibble about the waist pleats here, but I have to say, she looks fantastic. And this dress just screams “Florida” to me, but in a good way. She looks fun, chic, and gorgeous. She stands out in every one of these photos (how striking is she in the first one where she’s walking out between the two flags?) Fabulous.

  • Anathema_Device

    Love blue and green together. She looks amazing here.

  • mhleta

    “Clash” is kind of a strong word for the shoes. They sort of disappear for me. Peachy would have been peachy. Otherwise, she looks strong and elegant. Classy gal. 

  • I just look at her and see a globe. That print looks like an island chain.

  • chitowndg

    Love it all, including the pleats and shoes.

  • Imasewsure

    I don’t really like it at all. I think it makes her look wide and she’s not and I just can’t get used to belts so high up. She doesn’t look bad but I can’t give it any love either.

    • i love the color, and the shoes are ok with me-  they harken back to the time when matchy-matchy was in, but not quite. and i agree with you about the waist.  my first thought was “is she really that high-waisted?”  i guess that’s the style now, but like you i just can’t adjust.

  • librarygrrl64

    What if the shoes were a different blue or green, but still with the same intensity, like cobalt or kelly? I also hate the pleats.

    • totally agree with your shoe choices.  how about viridian green?  or the oft-dreaded chartreuse?  anything but putty or black.  (sorry to question the wisdom of TLo)

      • librarygrrl64

        Yes, I feel that black would be too heavy and too much (especially with the gold belt). And I like viridian better than my suggestion of kelly. 🙂

  • Clueless_Jock

    Has she stopped wearing cardigans?

    • not needed in florida in summer.  and what a chance to show off those famous guns.

  • j_anson

    Wait, “tough to pull off” is a criteria that matters on runways? 🙂

  • CassandraMortmain

    The shoes are a jarring note in an otherwise well-put-together look.  I do think black would have been too heavy.  The summer in Florida is the perfect time for silly putty pumps.  If not then, when?

    While there’s nothing at all wrong with the dress and accessories, for some reason it just feels a little off to me.   I want to love it but for some reason it just doesn’t work.  Even though there’s nothing I can really put my finger on.

  • This is not one of her best fashion moments. But I like the nifty belt.

  • butterflysunita

    I love Michelle Obama posts.  She’s such a breath of fresh air amid this sea of starlets.  I love the way she looks, and I love her for not wearing neutral shoes.  And look at her smile–who cares about your shoes when you have a smile like that.  

  • Amanda in Austin

    I don’t like how the dress looks like a globe. But the best is great. The shoes are awful. Still, she is AWESOMESAUCE, and I love her.

  • kimmeister

    I think the straps are too skinny for a public event like this if she’s going to go sans cardigan/jacket.  They are barely more than spaghetti straps.

    • I agree, I think because she has quite strong shoulders – she needs much wider straps to balance it.

  • Jessica Goldstein

    This is one of my favorite color combinations, and one I’m wearing to a wedding later this year. It’s also, thankfully, coming back a little. I’m glad to know what shoes I should wearing with it! Any jewelry tips you guys want to share? 

  • ChaquitaPhilly

    I loved the turquoise/olive and the orange/bright pink combos as soon as they appeared, so long ago!
    They still look great.

  • TheOriginalLulu

    Agree with everything you said TLo, right down to the pleats on the dress.

    Those shoes are killing me, lady. What were you thinking? 

  • kikisayshi

    I also think the hem should be a smidgen shorter. Nonetheless, she looks fabulous as always.

  • Yes, I think she looks so cute and summery from the waist up, but those pleats are not doing her any favors. I love the colors of the dress.

  • That fabric looks like it might have been hand printed. You get the little flaws (the white bits) with that technique. Though I have to say you can do a lot more interesting patterns and color mixing then they did here. 

  • sashaychante

    She looks great in those colors.  I bet she was goin’ for matchy matchy with those shoes, and didn’t quite make it.

  • guest2visits

    This is another pretty look for Michelle; I think the shoes are good, but yes the black would be a little sharper.

  • granddelusion

    Wow, she looks great. Just wish she’d pull her shoulders back and stand UP straight.

  • bellafigura1

    I’m not sure we can fully judge the shoes from photographs.  I want to give her the benefit of the doubt on the shoes!  I love the globe comparison!  Funny and lovely.

  • quiltrx

    She looks great!  Summery, and perky, and not the expected ‘patriotic’ colors.  Good on you, FLOTUS!

  • siriuslover

    the dress looks like it’s a repeating pattern of Northern Europe. It’s mesmerizing. I like it (except for those pleats).

  • bailey debruynkops

    i couldn’t love her more

  • charlotte

    I love that dress! And the shoes, too! I think it looks a bit like a Trudy Campbell dress, so I fully agree with your ’60s association.

  • OneTwoThreeFashion

    I LOVE it!!! Go Michelle!

  • adnama79

    She’s so smart and pretty.  The Obamas are so good at reminding us that they know what it’s like to be a regular family with debt and at acknowledging that they have advantages now but remember the not-so-distant past of student loan debt and bargain shopping.  Even though she wears fantastic clothing now, Ms. Obama does a great job of selecting accessible but gorgeous clothes.  She never shows up looking inaccessible.  <3