Michelle Obama in (more) Thom Browne

Posted on January 21, 2013

Since it’s apparently an all-Shelley day here (and why not?), let’s see what she wore under that fabulous Thom Browne coat:

First Lady Michelle Obama at the presidential inaugural parade in Washington, DC. Michelle Obama wears a Reed Krakoff cardigan and a Thom Browne dress.

First Lady Michelle Obama at the Inaugural Luncheon in Statuary Hall on Inauguration day at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington D.C. Michelle Obama wears a Reed Krakoff cardigan and a Thom Browne dress.

First lady Michelle Obama pauses to pay her respects at the Martin Luther King, Jr. statue in the Capitol rotunda as she leaves the 2013 Inaugural Luncheon following President Obama’s inauguration. Michelle Obama wears a Thom Browne dress paired with a Reed Krakoff cardigan and boots.

Okay, well. We love the dress, but we really don’t think the cardigan does much for it, even if it is a nice cardigan. Miss Lady can do whatever the hell she wants, but we would have suggested something a little dressier, like a jacket, if she felt the dress wasn’t going to provide enough coverage. Still, it’s her signature look, and we know we’re never going to win this imaginary argument with her. Let’s not fight today, Shelley. So far, your style choices have been in the range of A-bordering-on-A+.

Can’t wait to see the gown(s) for tonight! Stay tuned.



[Photo Credit: Getty]

Please review our Community Guidelines before posting a comment. Thank you!

  • RL McGruder

    Loving Michelle, as always!

    I also wanna give a big shout out to Dr. Jill Biden; that woman always knows how to put herself together.

    • patticake1601

       YES!!  Did you see Dr. Jill Biden’s silver/grey coat? Gosh it was beautiful. Her hair was amazing and she was gorgeous.

    •  Love FLOTUS’s dress and Dr Biden looks AMAZING. I want both of the dresses and coats!

      • BayTampaBay

        I agree!  I think Dr. Jill won the fashion sweepstakes by a landslide this time around.

    • SpillinTea

       Dr. Biden gets a WERQ here from me. She looks fabulous and perfect for the occasion.

      • Sobaika

        Agreed! I love Mrs. O, but that’s an outfit a school teacher might wear. Not that they’re wearing Thom Browne, but it’s very easily replicated. Dr. Biden looks lovely and is definitely werqing it!

        • Fordzo

          I have to agree with you.  Michelle’s dress is beautiful, but not memorable.  Jill’s dress looks “special”, KWIM?

      • kimmeister

        Not to mention, her body looks slammin’!

    • tinyredlocks

      Dr.Jill looks great! Love the dress and shoes!

    • Le_Sigh

      And those gams!  And fierce shoes!

      • TheDivineMissAnn

         Yes!  The shoes are fab.

    • DesertDweller79

       Yes.  Dr. Biden looks beautiful.  Her dress looks great on her.

    • Verascity

      Came to the comments just to see if anyone was talking about Dr. Biden. Look at that dress! Look at those shoes! She looks incredible.

    •  Yes – Dr Biden’s dress is lovely!

  • marilyn

    This looks a little too informal in general.  A housewife look.  She really should be more dressed up.

    • BayTampaBay

      My take:

      FLOTUS is much too informal.  

      On the other hand, Dr. Jill hit the perfect note!!!  It is a WERQ in my book.

    • tmchale

      A lot could come from a different color.

  • mhleta

    The cardi’s a teensy bit short, and a jacket might have been dressier, but it’s a great color, and her hair looks really pretty here. Now, Ms. Biden…Can we talk about that Farrah hair, gurl? 

  • VicksieDo

    Sigh, I just love the way he looks at her…(pic 4)

    •  Totally agree. I want a man to look at me that way…..


    • zenobar

      Ooooh Lord, I instantly teared up when I saw that photo. 

      (Actually it was a lot like PMS.  Except without the melancholia and rage.)

    • formerlyAnon

       I’m really, really skeptical of drawing conclusions – good or bad – about people’s relationships based on their public moments. (Life lessons learned.) But photo number 4 really makes me think “yeah, even if it’s fleeting or partial or hard to understand – there really MUST be something solid between these two.”

      And then I think, well, wishful thinking never made it so, but it’d be nice if it is.

  • gabbilevy

    Same cardigan as yesterday at the private ceremony, maybe?

    Perhaps she pulled all of her blue stuff out of the closet and said, ok, time to tell the republicans to shove it!

    • mommyca

       it looks like the same cardigan, right?
      and of course! let’s go all blue all the time!!!

    • Polka_Dotty

      Yes, like Cathy Cambridge, she has no fear of recycling clothes.

      • gabbilevy

        TLo fave Joe Zee just sat down with Piers Morgan and Erin Burnett on CNN in pre-Inaugural ball info, comparing the two of them, both favorably, to Princess Di and Jackie O.

    • GSMSF

      The look she’s giving Boehner in pic #6 makes it look like that may be on her mind.

      • gabbilevy

        Have you seen her epic eyeroll at the luncheon, just before this? It was amazing.

  • DeebaCee

    I usually can give her cardigans a pass, but I was disappointed in the cardigan for this event. It really brought down the look of the dress.

  • I really hate her new hair.

  • I want to talk about Jill Biden’s seasonally inappropriate dress. Because Michelle looks impeccable as always.

    • sekushinonyanko

       She’s wearing a dress? She shoes pull so much focus I couldn’t tell.

    •  Yeah, Dr. Jill is really disappointing, especially because she was bangin’ at the last inauguration.

  • Child, I want a husband who will look at me like that (and is also that handsome)!!!!!!

    • tinyredlocks


  • If you haven’t already, go over to Gawker and watch the side-eye/head-shake/eye-roll she gives John Boehner at the luncheon. It’s priceless. 

    •  Best thing I’ve seen all day. That’s hilarious. And fabulous.

    • MissMariRose

       I could watch her give him the side-eye all day. It’s awesome.

    • tinyredlocks

      Oh, thank you. That was hilarious!

    • TRSTL

      OMG!  Fantastic! That awful point where he smacks her arm to make sure she is listening to whatever lame ass jke he is making is so rude, I hate it when people do that.  And don’t miss when Mrs. Boehner snatches the silverware off the table and stashes in her purse…..

    • kathryn_dc

       LOL Photo #6 looks like a precursor to that!

  • mommyca

    The dress is gorgeous and I would have chosen a black or gray cardigan… The boots are wonderful…. I can’t wait to see what she wears later!!! 

  • Billie_Dawn

    I know we talked about the hair this morning, but I just figured out who it reminds me of: Mary Badham as Scout in “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Of course, Mary Badham was ten when she was in that movie, so maybe that’s why I don’t care for Flo’s new ‘do. 

  • I’m starting to dig the hair.  And for the epic side-eye of doom she gave Boehner, she gets a lifetime pass for all the little cardigans her heart desires.

    LUV. HUH.

    • MilaXX

      I missed the Boehner side eye. Now I’ll have to search tumblr for.gifs of it

      •  Just go to Gawker. It’s on there. It’s awesome.

      • alyce1213

        Check Gawker for video of the best eyeroll ever.

        (ETA: I didn’t see same previous comments on the next page.)

        • MilaXX

          I saw & laughed.

  • I did not like the cardigan either and thought a jacket would be more appropriate…..and then, I thought of my own clothes and what I wear on a daily basis. Short sleeve shells/dresses and CARDIGANS! (or at least sweaters of all different types. Fly-aways, crops, shrugs, whatever you want to call them….CARDIGANS). Blazers/jackets seem too restricting anymore (and way too hot for work or busy events) and Ms. Michelle and I are around the same age….


    She looks great! Rock that sweater Ms. Michelle!

  • crash1212

    As the owner of a collection of cardigans that could rival the First Lady’s, I say…hail to the C. I love a cardigan – I think a jacket with that dress would’ve totally ruined it – this dress wants something soft not the structure of a jacket. It also would’ve made her life a bit more complicated as all she had to do was take that rather fitted coat off and go…if she’d had a jacket on, no way it would’ve fit under that beautiful coat. So…beautiful, stylish and practical. Just what I want in a FLOTUS…oh yeah and brains and compassion. Those are good, too.

    •  I am also a lover of the cardigan. A friend once challenged me to count them but I got shy after 15.

      I love the way the jacquard pattern in her dress calls out to POTUS’s tie, and I liked the boots when you could see the coat, but with the dress I think they are a bit heavy.

      I also think it is a bit uncool for the photographers to have taken a pic during grace.

  • Trisha26

    Don’t care for the cardigan…I get wanting some color, but maybe if it was black it wouldn’t look so much like “I’m wearing a cardigan” or a short jacket as TLo suggested. This looks a little grade-school-teachery (nothing against teachers – it’s just that she’s FLOTUS!)


    I loved this dress when the coat came off and I, for one, am a fan of her cardis.  It’s a signature look that she wears well and suits her to my eye.  And as stated, it’s her day (sort of!) and she can do know wrong!!  Feel the love!!!

  • jilly_d

    Dr. Biden FTW!

  • Michelle has been having a WERQ worthy day.

  • Louise Bryan

    I can’t really get behind the bolero cardigan, even if it is a nice color.  However, those boots are killa!  And the dress!

  • Qitkat

    My very first thought, UGH, the cardigan.

  • Polka_Dotty

    I was invited to a luncheon for Michelle Obama in October 2012 but didn’t have anything appropriate to wear. I finally found a cute sweater set: coral sleeveless shirt and matching cardigan. I’ve never worn a sweater set in my life. What would possess me to wear one for this occasion? Later I realized why I thought a sweater set would be appropriate for a luncheon with Michelle Obama. (For the record, she wore a deep purple pantsuit.)

    •  Have you worn it since? Did you get to speak to her?

      • Polka_Dotty

        Nope, I never wore it again. I’m just not a sweater-set gal!

  • MaryanneGirl

    Oooo yes, a jacket would’ve taken it over the edge, I completely agree! I think she looks great, but there’s a little something missing – a little more glam that a cardigan just can’t give.  And Dr. Biden looks beautiful as well!

  • tallgirl1204

    Dr. Jill’s dress is fabulous.

  • MilaXX

    I like the dress, but I would rather exchange the cardigan for a broach. I also gotta give props. To Dr. Biden, she manages to hold her own alongside the FLOTUS. Well done ladies.

  • Call me Bee

    While I usually love Miss M in a cardigan, this seems an odd choice. Too casual for the event.

  • frannyprof

    Dr. Jill wins this round.

  • CPK1

    I love Michelle and she looks chic and polished and the dress and boots suit her perfectly. I could really have done without the cardigan, tho’. It looks way too casual.

  • miagain

    It was cold here in DC… I’m sure she needed a little extra warmth….
    What a glorious outfit.  
    On PBS, Gwen Ifill said “Thom Browne is not a designer that you would find at the mall.”  Isn’t that great??!!

    • Cautiously Pessimistic

      Gwen Ifill is generally made of win, even when she and Judy Woodruff completely lost control of their studio on election night as things kept dragging later and later.  (It was hilarious.  David Brooks and Mark Shields were just getting more and more punchy while Richard Norton Smith and Michael Beschloss kept egging them on from their comfy chairs.)

      Best moment of PBS’ coverage today, though, was Mark Shields and his fist pump when Gwen said they’d be playing the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir again as they signed off.  I kind of love him.

  • Imasewsure

    Don’t really love this one but I bet the boots were worth a closer look. I prefer Ms VP’s look more although her hair is straight out of Nashville

  • nancymae

    I love the photo with Speaker Boehner. She is chopping him to bits with her eyes as she raises her glass for the toast.

  • e jerry powell

    This dress shall be forever known as The Side-Eye Wonder.

  • MissAmynae

    Dr. Biden is an exceptionally lovely woman.

  • MsALVA

    The coat was fabulous, yes, and yet the dress version (which is almost identical) is a little too matchy-meh for me.

    Also, re: the coat… I kept wondering how it opened and closed. Was it a zipper very well hidden in those seams? 

  • Judy_S

    She looks good but I don’t like boots with that dress. Too heavy. Jill Biden looks lovely but seems to be dressed for a different month.

  • siriuslover

    Love that dress! Love Jill Biden’s dress too! I want to look that hot when I’m her age!

  • unbornfawn

    Keeping my fashion nitpicks to myself. I can’t help but like the Obamas. Mrs. Biden is looking pretty darn good too.

  • SugarSnap108

    I love that dress, but combining it with the heavy boots and casual cardigan just adds up to a bit of an odd look.  I love all three, but not together.

  • quiltrx

    LOVE the dress.  I especially like the piping, and the fact that the dress echoes the coat.  I’m not wild about the cardigan either (I like the color but not the cut)…but it’s our FLOTUS’s thing, so I’ll roll with it.

  • VeryClaire

    I love cardigans, love them. So happy they came back in style because good ones were hard to find there for a while. But for god’s sake, they aren’t for all occassions!  Michelle, look into jackets. Or dresses with long sleeves!  Cardi’s make any outfit more casual and it’s inauguration day! 

  • teensmom99

    Loved the coat; dislike the dress.  Dress looks like it was meant to be worn under the coat.  It was too much of an “of course” on a day that deserved better. But the coat was off the charts fab.

  • l_c_ann

    The dress might be sleeveless and if one needs heavy stockings for warmth, one needs covered arms.
    Now about Dr. Jill Biden, who may have antifreeze in stead of blood.  Sleeveless in a Spring appropriate dress in the Capitol- never the warmest room in the marble building? 

  • I really want to raid her closet and just COUNT HOW MANY CARDIGANS SHE HAS. She probably has a whole closet for cardigans. 

  • Nancy Dunn

    Why did she wear her duaghter’s cardigan? If she has to wear one, at least wear one that doesn’t look like it shrunk in the dryer!!! And I hate the black hose with this!

    Now I love Jill Biden’s outfit!

  • Lisa M. (ReVoir) Kramp

    TLo, I know it’s all about Shelley today, but what about Dr. Biden, the SLOTUS?

  • What the hell with that cardigan?  There had to be a shawl somewhere that looked better than that, even if she didn’t want a jacket.  I wish she had changed shoes for the inside because while the boots were slammin with the coat, the dress is TOO LONG for boots so tall.  Arg.  Oh, did anyone else notice Dr. B has soot demons on her dress?

    • BrooklynBomber

      Totally agree. With the coat, the boots were great. Not so with the dress. 

    • umeboshi

      love the Totoro reference! 🙂

  • Pennymac

    Can I just say the the pic of the POTUS with his hand on her arm….that look in his eyes??? AWESOME!

    • Barbara Woodruff

      I love how he looks at her. He knows what a lucky man he is.

  • jw_ny

    I’m generally ok with her cardigans…it’s her thing, but this one looks like she borrowed it from Milia.  Charcoal or silvery grey would look nice.  This TB dress is great ..has the same style and vertical lines as her coat…just a different pattern.  I’m surprised she didn’t belt this (roll eyes…glad she didn’t…lol!)  

  • snarkykitten

    I think the slouchy knee-high boots fight more with the dress than the cardigan. but I guess it’s hard to do boots + coat + dress? (I’m not tall enough or sophisticated enough to know)

  • formerlyAnon

    I think the dress is too tailored/structured for a jacket, unless one were provided with the dress and matched. I’d have suggested a “dressier” cardigan.

    But that’s such a tiny quibble given the events of the day.

  • Forget the clothes. I love this couple, they are so in Love.  The way they look at one another, their smiles for each other and thier intimate touches in the mist of the formality that surrounds them is the real beauty.

  • DesertDweller79

    Really like the dress. (Good day for Thom Browne.)  Really wish she wasn’t wearing that cardigan.

  • BrooklynBomber

    I wonder what John Boehner’s saying to her. “Nice dress, Ms. O, but that cardigan’s all kinds of wrong.” Possible?

    • formerlyAnon

       Thanks for the laugh!

  • I love the way the Obamas look at each other. And I LOVE the look she is giving John Boehner – it’s the perfect Emily Post combo of “b—-h, please” and “I almost pity you, you sad excuse for a man. Almost.”

    • Vera L-

      Boehner’s wife looks like him with a wig. They must frequent the same tanning salon. I would like to see what she’s wearing too. Wonder if it’s any good? 

  • thecitysleeps

     Dr.  Biden looks lovely.  I also love Michelle’s dress and I like the thought of the cardigan with it.  I have a problem with it’s length personally.

    • Melvis Velour

      Having spent part of my formative years in Delaware, that dress is typical of what you’d see on ladies of “suitable standing”.  I think it could have been better fitted though – looked like it came off the rack as is.

      That being said “You GO Dr. Biden!”

  • So stunning!

  • So stunning!

  • You guys are being mui generous. That cardy practically ruins the look. She is so chic in that dress and boots, a little blue shrug of a cardigan ruined it for me. But of course I say this with love. 

  • Judy_J

    I do wish she’d end the love affair with the cardigans.  This one really ruined the look of that dress, which I was dying to see more of.

  • I love a cardi, but that one is too short for the cut of the dress.

  • poggi

    I don’t love the dress as much as the coat. It;s okay, but something about the very high neckline of the dress combined with the shrunken cardigan looks odd.  

  • Dot

    I’m not loving the neckline on this dress — it seems to be choking her.

  • Cathy S

    I don’t like it. Jill looks fabulous though.

  • stubbornthoughts

    Cardigan ruined what looks like a great dress. I’m sure that cardy is worth a pretty penny, but it cheapens her look. Mrs. Biden stole the show on this one!

  • How about throwing a quick review Jill’s way?  Don’t you love how they look at each other?  Pretty evident they’re mad for each other.

  • AngelaGreen

    I love that in one photo, the President has his hand on FLOTUS’s arm as if to say, “Sweetie, please don’t punch Boehner.  I know he’s asking for it, but I don’t have time for that paperwork.”

  • libraangel

    Love Michelle’s dress, and like you say, while I would have worn a blazer, those cardigans are her style now. I also think the dress is very flattering to her figure, and I especially like that the print is kinda like the print of the coat, but not too similar.
    As for Dr. Jill’s dress, I cannot say the same. It looks as if she spilled a gray liquid on her dress! Do like her hair though. ( and I still like Michelle’s bangs: I think that they make her look younger, and very, very cute, if that’s o.k. describing the FLOTUS.

  • librarygrrl64

    They always seem like such a loving couple, true partners. Nice to see. 🙂

  • guest2visits

    Loved it. Speaking for myself; I love the cardigan look. These are not granny sweaters – they are nicely trim, finely knit, in a huge
    variety of shades and even shapes. I love this cropped, almost jacket style Michelle has paired with the dress, it’s a nice contrast of
    materials; which I find makes it feel current. Not liking her new bangs here, though. Too much of a girly effect for someone of
    stature, and double that for Dr. Biden. Mrs. B’s careful little up-flips and bangs are abit strained; it may be time for a new style
    of her own.

  • tmchale

    Again, I like it, but it flares out at the bottom too much. It doesn’t flatter her shape as well as it could.

  • LilyPad

    The way he looks at her….I’m melting!!

  • I really like that dress, great for a daytime luncheon. But those boots to me are throwing the whole look off. It looks like she has on leggings and that combined with the dang granny cardigan…I wish someone would have deterred her