Shelley O Tannenbaum

Posted on November 27, 2012

Yay! The election season is finally behind us, people have all calmed down just a tad, and that means we can go back to criticizing Shelley’s outfits! Win-win!


First lady Michelle Obama and her daughters are presented with the official White House Christmas Tree in Washington, DC.

The girls look adorable. Let’s get that out of the way first.

As for FLO … oh, dear. This is like every single thing we’ve criticized her for in the last 4 years, all rolled into one outfit. The belted cardigan? Check. The poorly chosen belt at that? Check. The above-the-knees boots worn with a below-the-knees hemline? Check and check.

It’s a cute enough skirt. Very holiday-appropriate without looking too theme-y. A black cardigan makes a fine choice to pair with it, especially for a brief outdoor appearance like this. But the belt is AWFUL and the way she’s got the cardi all shoved over in an attempt to make it look fitted looks terrible; especially with the bottom buttons undone like that. Just, y’know, wear a fitted cardigan if that’s the look you’re going for. And she loves those boots, but we’ve rarely ever seen her deploy them well. A boot that stopped just below the knee would’ve been perfect.


[Photo Credit: Getty]

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    • Sobaika

      All would be fine without that terrible belt. Who told her thick belts at her middle would help her? Can we sue them?

      • Le_Sigh

        Class action suit for sure – for all us masses who hurt for our POTUS.

        • Derek_anny

           Maybe we could get them for treason.  Degrading the image of the position of the FLOTUS.  Or something.

      • Gayer Than Thou

        If only they would secede!

      • BayTampaBay

        I agree with you.  The over-the-knee boots do not bother me at all, however that belt MUST DIE!

        I really do not care for the cardigan sweater.  I would prefer a simple classic cashmere turtle or cow neck sweater

      • MissMariRose

         Something needs to be done about that. it makes her torso looks small and her back look hunched.

        Maybe we could start a petition on the White House’s website. If we can get 30,000 people to sign, she has to change it.

      • Cassie

        Seriously, and it looks like it HURTS. Like really really hurts.

    • zenobar

      That belt is Ed-Grimley-high.  I say!

      • Jennifer Peters-Ahnberg

        That cardigan is as doomed as doomed can be.

        • zenobar


          • filmcricket

            You are both fabulous.

      • schadenfreudelicious

        it’s so high it could almost serve as support wear….push-up belt?

      • mshesterp

        God, it’s horrifying.  It makes her look all hunchy and frumpy and paunchy.  Shelly O, NO!  Stop doing that.  There will come a time when the girls will be confident enough to say “Mom, just…no.  No with the high underboob belts.”  

        Loving both the girls’ shoes, especially Malia’s old fashioned lace-up boots.  

        • Introspective

          Ive been looking for a good pair of lace up boots like that all season! Im jealous that Malia probably didnt have to leave her (white) house to score that fab pair…

          • J. Preposterice

            Frye’s Carson lace-ups are STELLAR.  I love mine.  They’re not cheap, though. 

      • homespunner

        Don’t make me laugh at work. Cubicles. My co-workers want to know why I just snorted.

    • YAELS

      OMG, BOTH Sasha and Malia’s outfits are to die. They are both my style icons. So classy.

      • jmw1122

        Totally. I’m digging Malia’s the most, I just love the ankle boots-tights-skirt combo she’s rocking. If only I could pull that off.

      • clatie

        I LOVE those girls.  As a mother of daughters myself, with one of them about be a tweener, I file away Malia’s style all the time.  She always looks great – like a girl of her age with confidence, not trying to be more grown up.    

        • Introspective

          agree that this is such a hard balance to strike with tween fashion. there are so many hollywood starlets in training that just jump the gun to either age 26 or 56. 

          but to look confident and comfortable in all of your 13 or 14 years is an elusive stroke of genius.

        • kmw8462

          I may have missed something, but I’ve never seen either of them with even a hint of a heel.  It’s always flats.  I kind of love that!  

      • NC_Meg

        They look adorable, especially Sasha. The tights with the patterned dress and flats is just perfect.

      • Judih1

        I agree, they are stylish but age appropriate! 

      • rainwood1

        And Bo’s not looking so bad himself.  What a gorgeous family!

    • Gabriella M

      I wish she’d just wear a cute little nipped in tailored jacket instead of the cardigans and belts. I’m ok with everything else. 
      I covet both the girls’ outfits. 

    • hmariec19

      BO! Sorry, I love the first puppy. Also, I covet Malia’s boots.  I could deal with FLO’s boots if she hadn’t deployed the cardigan + belt look.

    • RzYoung

      I think if your boobs are in danger of being caught IN the belt…you’re wearing your belt too high.

    • golden_valley

      The dog looks good.

    • Nancer

      I love Michelle Obama, but why does she persist with these awful, poorly placed belts? It’s a shame, this look would have been fine without that.

    • Judy_J

      The girls look perfect. Mom needs to seek their counsel when choosing her own outfits.

    • mhleta

      Edit ‘where’ to ‘wear’ in last paragraph. Quick, before anyone sees!: “Just, y’know, where a fitted cardigan if that’s the look you’re going for.”

    • foodycatAlicia

      Awful belt. And the way the unbuttoned bottom buttons are gaping makes it look like she ate way too much turkey last week. She can keep the boots, but everything from knee to shoulder needs to change.

    • Janet B

      She should stick to jackets and dresses and skip the skirt and cardigans.

    • MrsMaxPower

      I really appreciate her accessorizing with that hot secret service agent in the gray suite and blue stripped tie…he’s beautiful Christmas eye candy. 

      • k_dev

        with his hands in his pockets?  I guessing not secret service…

      • Deb


      • alyce1213

        Oh, he’s adorable –just my type!  But I don’t get an SS vibe, too smiley and expressive.

    • Sabrina

      You’ve been waiting all year for that title, haven’t you?

    • artgirl9

      The belt is very Santa-esque. Without it, I’d like the look a lot.  She is always great to look at, in or out.

    • Patrick Cleary

      The girls are so grown up! 

    • Adriana Blair

      Malia’s outfit is so cute! I want it!

    • geans

      It doesn’t even really look like a belt. It’s like she’s robot in the middle. 

    • Jessi03

      I can barely even seen Shelly’s outfit trainwreck.  I was too distracted by how awesome the girls look and by Bo the wonderpup!

    • quiltrx

      The underboob belt ruins the whole thing.  Would have been cute otherwise…I could even have overlooked the too-tall boots.

    • Christin Pardy-Nosenchuk

      why is it bad to wear a longer skirt with high boots? 

      • Kayceed

        It is one of my favorite fall/winter looks, actually.

        • Judy_J

          I’m wearing a long skirt with knee boots right now.  I’ve got no problem with it.

      • Tom and Lorenzo

        It’s not necessarily bad; we just don’t think it looks good on her.

    • crash1212

      Don’t agree with you about the boots – at all – but you’re right on about the belt. This would’ve been a perfectly suitable outfit without the belt. I love Sasha’s mix of patterns, and want Malia’s boots…NOW.

      • BazoDee

        I *think* it has to do with how thick it makes her legs look as they dissapear under the skirt -somehoe it makes her look extra hippy.  Malia could pull it off better than her mom could because her legs are so thin. I personally don’t care for the tiny heel with such a tall boot. The proportions seem off to me.

    • mmc2315

      And the dog?  Adorbs.  

    • Anathema_Device

      That belt looks like a big hairband. I love her skirt, though, and don’t mind the high boots with the skirt. The girls looks amazing.

    • Democracy Diva

      I had to look up what Tannenbaum meant in this context. #jewishgirlproblems

    • Dot

      I don’t hate the skirt, but that belt looks ridiculous — particularly when coupled with the way the sweater bunches up underneath it. I  just want to yank the cardigan down and smooth it out.

    • Laura Schultz

      I love me some Shelly O but I HATE that belt. Agree on the boots. She and Malia need to go boot shopping….

    • Tanya Wade

      Laws, I just can’t with that awful belt. Are you Catwowman, Shelley-O, and is that your utility belt? That is your ONLY excuse for a belt like that.
      I want Mini-Me Malia’s  ringer-like shirt. 

    • Maria Smith

      But somehow she is still fabulous.

    • MinAgain

      I don’t mind the boots, but that belt is a bridge too far.  The girls look adorable, and I covet Sasha’s polka dot tights.

    • Beardslee

      Wow, the girls are looking so grown up.  That belt is a mistake. She should have followed Diana Vreeland’s dictum and chosen it as the one thing to take off before she left the house.
      …now I’m not sure, was it Vreeland who said that, or Chanel???

    • MajorBedhead

      Does she have a massive bruise on her forehead or is that just the lighting? Because she looks like she met up with the business end of a baseball bat. 

      Agreed on all the problems with this outfit. The girls look adorable and that dog. So. Stinkin’. Cute.

    • Carrieanno

      Outfit, schmoutfit.  I’m totally enjoying watching these two lovely first daughters growing up so beautifully.

    • Miss_Led

      Belt = terrible. How can she not see that?

    • Introspective

      a quick fashion prayer worth saying a few times before getting dressed for your photo op: 

      (insert god of choice here) deliver us from ugly, misplaced belts and keep us safe from horribly wrong shoe choices. 

    • jilly_d

      Can I just be in this family? Plz? I’m sure my pasty, freckled complexion will fit in. They are so fabulous, disgusting wide belts notwithstanding.

      • julnyes

        Just claim to be a cousin from the Dunham line of the family :)

    • Violina23

      Wow, the girls got BIG. You forget that it’s been 4 years… like when Chelsea Clinton became an adult overnight, it seemed. 

    • Emma

      Malia is doing teenage chic all the way! Michelle is all good ideas poorly executed. Different cardigan, different belt, different placement and different boots and we’d be talking.

      That said.

      Can anyone of the BK offer any good knitwear advice? I just got two knitted dresses from a webshop overseas, adorable, but just a tad too small. I expect a larger size would be too big. Can anything be done to expand the material ever so slightly? The fabric is a cotton/rayon mix. I’d greatly appreciate your help!

    • Sara D'arcy

      Hey, I have boots exactly like Malia’s!

      I like Shelley’s skirt. And the dog is adorable.

    • Eva_baby

      Lose the belt and the outfit is fine.  That one item makes all the difference.

      Now onto other other things.  Malia looks so totally AWESOME!!  Tall, pretty and rocking such a  well put together outfit.

      Sasha looks adorable and I love he tights.

    • StellaZafella

      The girls said, just before they left the house: “Oh….mom! …oh well”

    • SapphoPoet

      Oh, dear. That belt is terrible. 

      So, this was strange: when I looked at the second picture, I didn’t realize the belt was patent leather and the reflection made it look like it was the same fabric as Sacha’s dress. It took me several minutes to realize that the belt was really shiny.

    • BrooklynBomber

      Oh, the belt, the belt, the belt. Why, Shelly, why????

      (But I LOVE the sweater Malia is wearing.)

    • Tatiana Luján

      Is it just me or that satin-like fabric doesn’t go well with boots?

    • alyce1213

      Oh well. Nobody’s perfect.
      The doggie is beyond adorable.

    • PeggyOC

      Bo looks cute too. Props for the groomer.  It’s a bit of a poodle cut for a Portie, but he looks cute.

    • jan lee

      Just here to say that Malia is crazy tall!

    • MishaFoomin

      ‘Fro your hair just once, FLO. Just once. Please.

      • alyce1213

        Can you imagine?  I think she would be gorgeous, to die for, but it would send SHOCK WAVES throughout the country. I hate to say it, but there are a lot of people who simply couldn’t handle it.

    • Lisa M. (ReVoir) Kramp

      Agreed, the belt ruins it. But is Sasha becoming a raving beauty or what??

    • Ass Kicking Adviser

      I could live with everything on Shelley except the belt. If the belt were gone I’d be fine with the whole ensemble.

      But let’s focus on the girls because they look fabulous! I want Malia’s sweater and Sasha’s dress and hose. Look at that Sasha! Chic little thing. And you just know that Michelle looked at Malia and said (passive agressively), ‘are those the shoes you’re going to wear?’ She had to have said that. She’s a mom. It’s required.

    • NurseEllen

      I saw these photos during the Thanksgiving break and just KNEW you’d zero in on them at some point.  Yes, it looks like the guys with the tree just showed up and rang the doorbell without an appointment, and she just threw on ANYTHING to go and take the delivery.  But it’s been a stressful few months, the lady deserves some consideration, so she gets a pass on this.

      The polka-dot hose are WONDERFUL!  As are the cute little ankle boots!  And the doggie!

    • PaperPusher2

      Bo Obama makes an appearance!!!

      I agree re the belt though.  I thought she had finally left that behind but her usual stylist must be away visiting the family or something.  

    • Rachel Sawyer

      She always seems to deploy the belt as a shelf for her boobs.

    • kimmeister

      So, is there a problem with belted cardigans in general, or just the way FLOTUS has deployed them?

      • Phyllis Craine

        She is very shortwaisted even though she’s quite tall with long legs. Belts like that really throw off her proportions.

    • Judih1

      A usual TLO, you are right on the money – and funny! Love you Shelly but this is a hot mess

    • Candigirl1968

      Whoever styles the kids needs to give some of the baby starlets a lesson on looking age appropriate but absolutely terrific. 

    • Jessica TallGirl Freeman

      I feel like its way too much black with the skirt. She needed a little pop of that peachy orange up top, because all I can see is the skirt…and that god awful belt.  Those girls know how to dress!  I want those polka dot tights! 

    • Hermione_Granger

      I want Sasha’s tights!

    • Aya Shirai

      Tee hee… I love the use of ‘deploy’ for our FLOTUS

    • Bree The Vole

      Love the look aside from the belt (the skirt is GORGEOUS), but I especially love Shelley’s haters-gonna-hate walk in the first picture.

    • Tracy_Flick

      Good lord, I thought there was an accident and she was wearing some sort of orthopedic device. How on earth did she leave the house in that? I’m not totally sure about the girls, either. Something is just a bit too much in both outfits. But they’re still doing about 400% better than I did as a teen. 

    • Rand Ortega

      Lose the belt & I promise to stop crying.

    • EEKstl

      Ditch the belt and it all works.  She needs to start reading TLo.

    • GorgeousThings

      I love the dog checking out the tree. “Sweet! Indoor plumbing!”

    • Kenisha Hill Phillips

      The black on black isn’t working for me. If she was going to go the cardigan route, she should’ve chosen a pop of color up top; though, I hesitate to say orange or red for fear of being too matchy.

    • Cathy S

      If she got rid of the belt, all would be well. The girls look adorable, as always, and Bo’s outfit is fabulous. You know, if black and white fur could be considered an outfit.

    • julnyes

      I think the Secret Service should confiscate all her wide belts for her own security and the well being of the nation.

      • e jerry powell

         We can repurpose them for “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

    • e jerry powell

      Our Malia is growing into heels!


      I couldn’t be a prouder Democrat right now.

    • LesYeuxHiboux

      What is with her and that dirndl silhouette? It does nothing for her. It makes her look like the frogs in Flushed Away: ten feet of leg and one of short, blocky torso. The girls look so cute (and aware of how to dress their figures), though Malia (Sasha? The mini-me) seems in danger of replicating her mother’s favored silhouette. Love the polka dots mixed with the tribal pattern.

    • elemspbee

      the girls look perfect! I want Malia’s sweater!
      anyone know the brand? 

    • TieDye64

      The girls look fantastic, but I just cannot with FLOTUS’ getup. The belt pushes this into ridiculous territory.

    • jw_ny

      Shelly needs an intervention…pronto!

    • Elizabeth

      The girls and the dog are Christmas card cute! They’ve become such lovely young ladies … seems like only yesterday they were little girls.

      • SRQkitten

        Yes, Bo is too cute! and can see why Daddy O is worried about his little ones, they’re not so little anymore and that’s hard for a dad to come to grips with.

        But seriously, Bo please develop a fondness for nice, yummy belts. Mama O has lots of tasty samples you could try until someone figures out how to do a belt intervention on someone who has secret service agents.

        srq (celebrating the end of political nasty ad season here in FLA with the same enthusiasm given to the end of hurricane season)

    • littlemissstrange

      The girls are beautiful. Shelley’s beautiful too but I have to agree with you guys on the cardigan and the boots; the skirt is gorgeous though and I like it paired with black. God DAMN she a classy bitch.

      So where’s your guys’ recap of American Horror Story? To completely change the subject. Don’t tell me you guys have given up on it now what with all the shit that went down last week. MADNESS. Utter madness. And the brilliance of Sister Mary Satan dancing with a crucifix.

    • kerryev

      No one likes the belt. Big effing deal. 

    • nannypoo

      It’s not my favorite outfit she ever wore, but if you take away that dreadful belt it’s not bad.

    • blumonky

      Oh no. The bunchy cardi, the underboob belt… I am high waisted, just like our FLOTUS and I learned early, never, never, never employ the underboob belt.

    • Molly Harrington ⚓

      I covet Sasha/Malia’s (I don’t know which is which) little brown boots. Very chic. 

    • bitterk

      Definitely not her best

    • gillian holroyd

      A boot that stops just short of the knee highlights the ugliest part of the leg. Plus you get that weird gap between hem and boot. High boots covered by hem are more streamlined.

    • DesertDweller79

      Well, Sasha and Malia look cute.  And the dog is adorable. 

      But, oh dear…. the belt….  oh, please, Michelle.  Stop.  

    • ccm800

      If that damn belt was any higher it would be a hat

    • Miranda Loeber

      If this outfit is exemplary of the rest of her wardrobe, Sasha is my fashion soulmate. Come be my BFF, we can share wardrobes and you can give me the dresses that are too short for you~

    • Nancy from NY

      I couldn’t figure out what that belt was! It was so weird! Why does she wear it just below her bust? Someone needs to introduce her to you guys.

    • ShayShay

      FLOTUS just loves to cinch in her waist line in an area well above her actual waist.  She creates an empire look in practically everthing she wears and I can’t figure out why she does it because it is completely unflattering. In the DC area the black society all seem to uniformly agree that she’s some sort of style maven.  I just don’t get it.  I don’t care for her style at all save for a few dresses she’s worn on formal occassions.