Shelley O Goes to the Olympics

Posted on July 30, 2012

And FLO shut it the hell down. WERQ, gurl!


First Lady Michelle Obama arrives for a reception at Buckingham Palace for Heads of State and Government attending the Olympics Opening Ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London, England. Michelle Obama wore a J. Mendel white viscose techno crepe tailored jacket with overlapped side panels and silver embroidery from the 2013 Resort collection, along with a J. Mendel ivory silk satin faced chiffon pleated skirt.

J. Mendel Resort 2013 Collection

That closeup on her face? Never looked lovelier. Her hair and makeup are flawless here. That top is difficult to pull off and under different circumstances (like if she’d worn it with pants) we would be wailing and gnashing our teeth in protest, but pairing it with that crisp pleated skirt was exactly the right way to go. And while the shoes are matchy, we honestly don’t think another color was needed here. It all works like gangbusters. As Mrs. Cathy went out in one of our least favorite Mrs. Cathy outfits, Mrs. O managed to surprise us by wearing what may be one of our favorite FLOTUS outfits.

[Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images,]

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  • She is perfection down to the final details in this outfit. Brava to our FLOTUS!!!!   The sheer, pleated white skirt makes an ideal counterpoint to the structure of the jacket. And I love the silver pumps with it.

  • Verascity

    I love ALMOST everything… but the shoulders quite simply look too small.

    • VeryClaire

      I agree, it looks as if the jacket is binding her shoulders.  A little too stiff but overall she looks lovely.

      • RzYoung

        I can see what you mean, but any bigger and she’d be in rugby/football territory 

    • ballerinawithagun

      I agree, that has been the problem with many of the now again “new” larger shoulder looks. The designers are trying to avoid making them look like 80s shoulders and only succeed in making the shoulders look as if the wearer can’t move. Constrained in a straight jacket. It makes her arms look bulky and we know that Michelle has perfect arms!

    • YoungSally

      I think it looks great, but from the side she needs to boost the girls….they just seem to be a bit low.

  • VioletFem

    LOVE this! Especially the crisp jacket, which I want for myself. The whole outfit is very elegant. On a separate note, it would be really cool if TLo would do a retrospective on the best of Michelle outfits (and maybe a few bad ones) during Barrack’s 1st (hopefully) term as president. That way it would really highlight Michelle’s evolution in her personal style.

    • butterflysunita

      Yes, please!  I love all Michelle Obama posts and a retrospective would be great.  

  • mjude

    as always LOVE HER.  is she getting flack for the cost of the jacket?

    • TheDivineMissAnn

       most likely

    • gabbilevy

      Poor thing can’t win. The last time she got flack for not dressing up ENOUGH for the Queen. Whatever. I hope she just decides there’s no pleasing the haters and wears whatever she wants.

      • Spicytomato1

        I gotta believe that’s all she can do, make her choices and hold her head up high. I imagine if she (or her husband for that matter) gave too much thought to the haters they’d be overcome by paralysis. What fortitude their positions require.

      • But the same people defending Mrs. O for this are the same ones that ragged on Sarah Palin for her clothing spending.  So, they can’t have it both ways.  I’m a die-hard liberal Republican who is most definitely not voting Romney, but I get sick of the bashing.

        She looks great, however.  It’s one of Mrs. O’s best looks.

  • She look radiant and perfect for the occasion. I give her huge props for pulling off that tough jacket and making it WERQ.

  • Sobaika

    Fabulous, as always, and that’s a very tricky top to pull off. And look at those snazzy heels! I’m deeply in love with Mrs. O.

    • SassieCassy

      Ughhh I knooooow. If you showed me the top before hand Mrs. O would be the last person on my mind but shes making it happen SO HARD. Ugh i love her too. Dare I say werq??

  • Kayceed

    Oooh, I hate to be such a contrarion on a Monday morning, but to my eye that top doesn’t flatter at all – constricting the shoulders, shortening the neck, thickening the waist.  

    • MsOlympia

       Agreed…she looks slouchy and wide across the midsection.

    • TheDivineMissAnn

       That was my first thought too.  I would need to see a full frontal picture before deciding, but from these shots,  I think her hips look big.  Great dress, wrong body. 

      Prolly would have looked better with pants.

    • AudreysMom

       Agreed. As the pictures continued, I recovered from my initial thought about the anti-flatter element with the jacket and appreciated just how gorge it is. My larger problem is with the pleated skirt. Shelley tends toward being a bit hippy (if one must identify a flaw) and this skirt didn’t help. OK, maybe no on the pants for this event, but would a straight white tailored skirt work here?

      • I, too, think a pencil skirt might work better here. Partially because these kind of pleats always remind me of Lawrence Welk (which isn’t necessarily bad, I have fond memories of LW especially Bobby and Cissy’s dancing, but these pleats always seem dated to me), but also because I think a pencil skirt is more flattering to Mrs. O’s figure.

      • Call me Bee

        Oh I dunno.   A straight skirt or trousers would have looked way too Joan Collins, I think.  The soft pleats balance and counter the shoulders and structure. 

  • VicksieDo

    That is the most amazingly gorgeous look I’ve ever seen on her, and that’s saying a lot!! WOW  WERQQQQQ

  • EEKstl

    She just gets better and better, doesn’t she?  Flawless.

  • HATE the capped sleaves….

  • siriuslover

    Oh, Mrs. O, so Loverly!!! I don’t like pleats in general, but this really looks good here.

  • Violina23

    I don’t like what it’s doing to her hips, but I like the silver/white tones on her

    • TheDivineMissAnn


  • She looks lovely!  I do hope she had help with fastening all those hooks & eyes for the front closure.  Just doing two in the back is a big pain for me.

  • SewingSiren


  • Larkin21

    Hair and make-up, yes. I’m not sure I like the outfit, especially the skirt. Just doesn’t flatter her.

  • queeniethebold

    I just, you know, love her. She looks sensational.

  • jilly_d

    TLo, are you playing with my emotions? I think this is one of the least flattering things I’ve ever seen her in. Great color for her, but it’s not doing her shoulders, waist, or hips ANY favors.

    •  That’s what I thought, too. The colors are lovely on her, and I like the skirt but the top makes her look very thick.

  • sagecreek

    She looks lovely! I have to disagree about the jacket, though — the cap sleeves leading into that stripe detail on the bodice make the whole thing look sadly binding.

    • Tatiana Luján

      The jacket is too tight around the shoulders and neck, it doesn’t look comfortable at all, it looks like the jacket is choking her. That said, those colors look beautiful on her.

  • SapphoPoet

    She looks elegant and understated. This is a wonderful outfit because it has a lot of visual interest to it without being overwhelming or overdone. Cathy, take notes. 

  • Baditude

    If dressing beautifully were an Olympic event, Shelley would be bringing home the gold for us. Go Shelley! 

  • Pupioso

    Meh I don’t care for this one. I usually like her outfits but this one makes her look lumpy around the middle. The skirt is too old lady’ish for me. I like the colors on her and the shoes are okay. 

  • Warrior89

    I like it, but I do prefer her in jewel tones.  That being said, she is the epitome of brains, personality, and charm.  So she can wear whatever she damn well pleases and I won’t judge.  Love love love her.

  • Ali

    I think this is hiddy, unflattering, and not in step with what other heads of state were wearing to the event. Sorry, Shelly O, it’s an out for me on this one.

  • emily mcginnis

    i think it makes her look 20 pounds heavier than she actually is. 

  • kat89

    I think the white pleated skirt makes her bottom half look enormous, so I disagree with calling it perfection. However, it is summery and appropriate for the event and the hair & makeup look great, but perfection? No way. I’ve seen her look much better.

  • dress_up_doll

    Not everyone could pull off this type of jacket, but she’s doing a fine job. It’s not perfection, but still looks gorgeous on her. Love the pairing with the pleated skirt and metallic pumps. I love the texture of that jacket. Freak that I am, if I had been there I would’ve been fondling FLOTUS’ jacket every chance I could get.

  • Le_Sigh

    GORGE!  That closeup of her face is utterly radiant!  YAY FLOTUS!

    Also – How much did you love that the entire USA basketball team lined up one by one to get congratulatory hugs from her after their victory??

    • kmiller1k

      I like the color on her and the ensemble in general but can you say her make up is flawless?? Those eyebrows are just awful. In fact it looks like she shaved the real ones off and penciled in these scary ones.

      • LesYeuxHiboux

         I thought the exact same thing about the brows! Drawn-on cartoon arcs.

        • Le_Sigh

           Fair point on the FLOTUS-brows – for me it was more about her expression.  I’m also really used to seeing drawn brows (my mom didn’t have any, so she had to pencil hers in extensively) so I can be a bit blind to it. 

  • Catiline

    HERE FOR THIS.  She looks amazing!

  • bluefish

    Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous.  As a big fan of silver heels, happy to see them here. 

  • teensmom99

    To the naysayers:  FLOTUS is not a model.  She has an incredible body and ability to wear clothes for a woman of her age but part of what’s so wonderful about her style is that she is a real woman.  So she has hips.  So what?  She dresses to flatter her body but nothing will  turn her into a size 0.  

    •  I don’t think anyone was saying she should look like a runway model, but the cut of that jacket doesn’t flatter her. It’s very pretty, but it makes her look heavier than she is. She has a very good figure but this outfit doesn’t do much to show it to its best advantages.

  • BazoDee

    WOW! perfection.  Hair, make-up, jewelry -all just perfectly done! 

  • I think the pairing is nice in terms of matching and the makeup and hair are great, but I don’t think it’s that flattering. I think it adds weight to her hips. She’s looked better, IMO.

  • afabulous50

    She represents the United States perfectly and with grand style.  She is a wonderful ambassador for our country.

  • I love it! The jacket is just stunning, and that’s a perfect silhouette for her!

  • DaveUWSNYC

    Such a lovely woman, inside and out. 

  • quiltrx

    Wow, she looks so beautiful and elegant!  Everything is perfect.  She always does us proud. 🙂

  • Christy Cricow

    What a gorgeous, radiant, accomplished, real woman we have representing us! I love that she celebrates her non-model figure with such style and confidence. And I think she looks absolutely fantastic!!

  • Judy_S

    I don’t think the jacket flatters her, but she does look lovely and put-together, and relatively comfortable too, which is nice if this is going to be what she wears to the stadium for the opening ceremony (lots of standing, sitting, being rained on, etc.).

  • Pants_are_a_must

    I’m…not loving the silhouette, to be frank.

    She wears the hell out of white/grey/silver combination, though, as always.

  • I think she may well be the most striking First Lady that we’re ever had.

  • Judy_J

    Perfect, perfect, perfect.

  • belfebe

    She looks fantastic!

  • petalfrog

    I love the little grey streak in her hair!

  • mmc2315

    I just LOVE her.  

  • PinkLemon

    This reminds me that if you haven’t seen Veep yet, YOU SHOULD WATCH IT. They’re constantly spouting ‘Flotus’ and ‘Potus’….which gets annoying, but, it’s an excellent show.

  • MinkaL

    I just adore her. She’s beautiful and smart and classy and charming and funny and kind, and just an authentic human being. 

  • Rebecca Jay

    She looks like a Christmas ornament, one that needs to get herself to the orthodontist tootsweet.
    Chunky hips.

  • CPK1

    Gorgeous! She looks perfect. That jacket is to die for.

  • Anathema_Device

    Love that top. So beautiful and perfect on her. Not totally on board with pairing it with that full of a skirt. 

  • kimmeister

    I like the idea of a strong shoulder for her, to balance out her heavier bottom half.  However I’m not sure if the fit of the shoulders here is ideal.

    I love the skirt though, I want it!

  • MilaXX

    Love her hair here. makeup is great, but I’m not crazy about the brow shape. Still overall I love this look on Shelly.

  • butterflysunita

    This isn’t one of my favorite Flotus outfits, but I agree that she looks beautiful.  Just love her.  

  • lrhoff

    Wow….that just doesn’t work for me.  I like the top but it is too tight on her, and the skirt makes her look huge.  This is a woman who should NOT wear puffy pleats.

  • janetjb

    She looks beautiful

  • From the waist up she looks perfect, from the waist down, it makes her look very wide and I find it unflattering. But overall, she does look fabulous.

  • Stunning.

  • Rand Ortega

    Gorgeous. So breezy & elegant. She always knows exactly how to set the perfect tone at these functions. I’m so proud that she’s our FLOTUS. Really looking forward to her representing us now & in the President’s 2nd term.

  • formerlyAnon

    I think that’s a very difficult top and she’s knocking it out of the park – but there are more flattering silhouettes. On the other hand, they’re generally far less interesting, so I’ll allow she made the right choices.

    I love the skirt, hope to see her wear it again in different ensembles.

  • PeaceBang

    She looks lovely but I’m starting to get the giggles over the consistent use of the phrases “has never looked better” or “this is one of her best looks” in FLOTUS entries. 

  • I also love this softer makeup on her. Sometimes she does a heavy-ish lipliner with a frosted lipstick, and it always seems a bit JLo circa 2002. 

  • Nancy Karpen

    It’s a spectacular jacket. Love the whole look.  

  • Snailstsichr

    I love it. It is so elegant.

  • She looks gorgeous from the waist up, but I don’t think those type of pleats serve her well at all. They make her look about twice as hippy as she really is. She looks great in wide pleats, but these are not flattering her at all. Love the shoes though.

  • PaulaBerman

    I love her, but I think that top makes her look thick in the waist, hate to say it.

  • LesYeuxHiboux

    The hell? Is this a formal fencing outfit? I like the shoes and skirt, and that’s about it. The structure of that top adds bulk to an already prominent part of her physique, with the added bonus of appearing to strangle the First Lady. The wide bottom of the top tapering up to the enclosed and narrow shoulder-line is incredibly unflattering, even on the model (with arms extended to balance the line). The pleated skirt is fresh and pretty, but looks like underpinnings hanging out with that structured top. Her earrings and hair are nice, whoever did her lips created the dread pastrami effect. Her eyebrows look drawn-on (cartoonishly) and it looks like my seventeen-year-old niece applied her eye makeup.

  • Call me Bee

    Yeah–you’d think with her guns that shoulder line would make her look like a linebacker, but it’s perfectly balanced by that brilliant choice of a skirt.  The silver pumps were a good choice too–much better than white (shudders at te thought of white shoes….) Fresh and summery and well done!

  • kittenwithaquip

    Here’s the thing– if you have wide hips, no one is ever happy with what you wear. If you wear a flowy skirt people say it adds bulk and you should wear something fitted. If you wear something fitted, people say you should wear something flowy, go up a size, whatever. I write this from experience. I have wide hips, a smaller waist, and broad shoulders that sort of give me an hour-glass shape. I emphasize my waist, though it is “thick” compared to a smaller woman. I’ve noticed an interesting contrast to the posts about FLOTUS and Cathy– people pick apart FLOTUS and her outfit by body part, and  critique Cathy on color, the appropriateness of her outfit at the event, and basically anything that doesn’t have to do with her body. Why? Because she’s size 2 with no hips, no bust, and her body hasn’t gone through changes associated with age or childbirth. Really, just an observation.

    What I like about Shelly and her outfit choices is she’s always mixing the edgy with the accessible, and has an innate sense of style. Whether you agree with her choices or not, she’s pretty much always striking.

  • guest2visits

    I love this skirt and top; and she looked wonderful in this.

  • VanessaDK

    Silvery gray must mean  summer in Britain.

  • meowing

    I like the whole look on her, but I see that she’s getting grief on-line for the $7K cost of the top.  Crazy price, but doesn’t she pay for her own clothes?

  • Beth G

    I appreciate that she’s allowing the gray to come in naturally in her hair.

  • Corsetmaker

    I don’t know, I want to like it much more than I actually do. The detail on the jacket is fabulous but I’m not sure about the skirt or the shape of the jacket on her. She looks radiant otherwise though.

  • Warmheartedgirl Seattle

    Gorgeous.  Love her.

  • yetanotherLaura

    Compared to the entire assortment of pretty princesses from around Europe who were at that get-together at the Palace, I’d say FLOTUS did us proud.  The only one who looked even *half* as good, IMO, was Princess Mathilde of Belgium, who wore a stunning red dress — she looked chic as hell.  Most of the other royals there looked like someone’s secretary on an ordinary day, or in the case of Mette-Marit Norway wore the country’s Olympic uniform jacket one size too small (although in MM’s defense, she did have her best accessory, her husband Haakon, on her arm). 

    FLOTUS has been looking fantastic everywhere she’s gone at the Olympics — sticking to a basic palette of red, white, and blue, of course, but not just strictly flag shades of those colors.  And who cares if she spent 7K on a stylish top?  She was at Buckingham Palace, for heaven’s sake!  And she can well afford 70K tops if she wants, so what’s the big deal?  It’s not like we taxpayers funded it.


    I’m of a different mind, here. I don’t think this outfit, primarily the top, is at all flattering to her figure. She is a solid woman, strong both physically and mentally, and this outfit makes her look like a brick shit house. A very fertile brick shit house.

  • momjamin

    Love the missing high waist and wide belt 😉

  • kikisayshi

    Love it. Love her. Love the outfit.

  • This looks fabulous, but I don’t want to hear one more word about the expense Sarah Palin, or any future Republican woman spending money on clothes, because $6,800 for that top alone!

  • AMartel

    That dress is hideous and absurd and too small for her.  Delicate toilet papery pleats under sofa upholstery?  Which someone tried to drape?  If this was on Project Runway it result in an auf.   Kors would say something about explosions at Shabby Apple.

  • bellafigura1

    All kinds of WOW, big ups, snaps and whatever other happy noises I can make.  This is stunning … especially that almost restrictive shoulder line others don’t like. That’s precisely what makes it haute-couture for me.

  • Romneys, watch and learn, you pikers. 
    Mrs. O is in the house and rockin’ the Olympics!

  • i agree; i think this looks really good on her. 

  • how about an olympics uniform round-up?

  • alyce1213

    She is gorgeous and glowing and I like this for her theoretically, but not in actuality. It makes her look thicker than she is, which she’s not.

  • Bethany Fairbrother

    Hope you guys watch her tonight and compare her outfit to the “June Cleaver Goes to Hell” ensemble worn by Ann Romney.