Michelle Obama in Naeem Khan in China

Posted on March 24, 2014

We love FLO’s dress but we suspect it doesn’t photograph as well as it should. From far away, it just looks like a basic red lace dress.

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama, her daughters Malia and Sasha and her mother Marian Robinson with Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan after a photograph session at the Diaoyutai State guest house in Beijing, China. Michelle Obama is wearing a custom Naeem Khan deco rose threadwork embroidered 3/4 sleeve dress paired with red satin slingback kitten heels and drop earrings.

But that’s a lovely pattern and a rich, elegant shade of red. It really looks great on her. Not in love with the matching shoes, but you probably knew we were going to say that, weren’t you? Love the earrings too. And her hair looks gorgeous. Actually, every lady in these pictures looks stylish and interesting in her own right. Every woman has a distinct look. It almost looks like the whole photo op hired a costume designer. It’s a really great range of looks across cultures and generations, all in one shot. How often does that ever happen?

Can’t believe how tall the girls are now.




[Photo Credit: Andy Wong-Pool/Getty Images]

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  • Sophie

    The dress definitely looks more interesting in close-ups, but it really suits her. My favourite is Peng Liyuan’s outfit, it looks incredibly elegant IMO.

  • Nancer

    What a beautiful red dress! Love this on her.

  • rkdgal

    I love all of them, and am particularly entranced by China’s first lady. What beautiful women across the board!

    • Danielle

      Who run the world? Girls!

  • ChristopherM

    FLOTUS shuts it down yet again!

  • moppet

    I agree with you about the lovely range of looks on display here. Grandma has got it goin’ on!

    I also appreciated how Mrs. O thoughtfully spotlighted Chinese American designers in the clothing she wore in this trip (Not this dress, but I know she wore Philip Lim and Derek Lam on other occasions.)

    • sojourneryouth

      She always seems to do that, picking designers to highlight the occasion or location. She is so awesome. I love this dress on her, and everyone looks great. I just wish I could add maybe an inch or two on to Malia’s dress because she is so tall, but she still looks adorable.

    • Zaftiguana

      On the whole, I think she nails that better than any First Lady ever. Whether it’s picking a designer with ties to a country or a garment that invokes something from a traditional silhouette or color palette from a culture, she manages to create an homage without either pandering or looking costumey (she has MAYBE tip-toed up to the costume line once or twice in all these years, but never beyond that). It’s pretty fabulous.

  • butterflysunita

    I knew Michelle Obama in Naeem Khan would be a treat for the eyes and it is–she looks gorgeous.
    Sasha and Malia look beautiful too.

    • gabbilevy

      Funny though, I’d bet money that Sasha didn’t pick out her dress herself. She’s clearly shown herself to have a taste for some pretty funky styles (Unicorn sweater, shiny Doc Martins, etc) that I’m certain she wasn’t allowed to bring on this trip.

  • alyce1213

    Our best ambassador! She’s simply beautiful and the dress is gorgeous, especially closeup. Only the waist — too high again, Mrs. O. I like the shoes, a sensible height.
    The girls are so poised and lovely. I imagine there will be a lot of public attention to our three (four) ladies. I hope the people of China fall in love,

  • Sobaika

    Something about the fabric is very stiff, but I agree that it must have looked beautiful and striking in person.

  • your face

    The girls look very cute, but I think the fingertip test should be applied to dresses worn to diplomatic functions.

    • BLauD

      Agreed. I especially love Malia’s look, but both are just too short for this type of event/meeting.
      Also, I love seeing the girls in flats. It is nearly impossible to find flat shoes for my six year old. SIX year old. I think heels on the young are generally inappropriate, and so it does my mama heart good to see the girls sporting cute flats. (I know I’ll probably catch flack for that, but… oh well!)

      • Latin Buddy

        I agree. I consider it inappropriate for a girl under 14 to wear heels (MAYBE kitten heels on special occasions). I too worry that this might be a bit antiquated and possibly misogynistic.

        • Anna Bergman

          I agree and I don’t care if it sounds antiquated. Definately not misogynistic though!

        • marlie

          Not antiquated or mysogynistic. I probably started wearing kitten heels for special occasions when I was ~13 but definitely no earlier than that.

        • FrigidDiva

          I don’t think misogynistic at all or antiquated. I would think that wearing heels too early could possibly have developmental issues physically (not a doctor, just a guess).

          • Sophie

            Someone in my family had to walk on her toes all the time because she wore heels too often. I really don’t think children should wear high/kitten heels at all.

        • Josefina Madariaga Suárez

          100% with you, and I don’t think there’s anything misogynistic about it. In fact, any doctor can tell you about the madness of letting a girl who’s still in her growth phase go around in heels. One would even say it’s plain common sense, but it’s funny how common sense is not that common anymore.

        • Truthiness2U

          As someone with horrible back problems, one of which is a curve and inward tilt in my lower spine/hips bones…I can assure you, there is zero to do with misogyny in thinking that girls growing up, shouldn’t wear heels. Doctors and chiropractors and physical therapists will all tell you, as they told me (not that I needed to be told…wearing them tells me enough) ..heels are not good for humans physically. And especially not growing up. Best to keep growing bodies off of them, as much as possible.

      • marlie

        I’m shocked that you can’t find flats for your 6-yo! Particularly since flats are so “in” right now. It’s never been as easy to find cute, stylish flats as it has been in the last 5-6 years.

        • BLauD

          I live in a rural area, so selection and taste are fairly limited in store for dressier shoes. For example, when she was a flower girl last year, every white spring dress shoe had a heel. It’s not as hard for more casual shoes, but “Sunday” shoes can be problematic. I agree that this Spring already seems more flat friendly.

    • Janet B

      Since the girls are so tall it’s probably difficult to find dresses that they’ll wear/like and are the appropriate length.

      • Kitten Mittons

        That’s a good point. Also, while I wish the dresses were a bit longer, at least they are both wearing tights. I think that helps mitigate the length a little.

        • Boulderista

          Dad: “You aren’t wearing a dress that short.” daughter, “But Daaaaaddddd it’s what everyone is wearing. What if I wear tights?” Dad (giving in): “Okay you can wear the dress but you HAVE to wear tights with it.” (muttering under his breath: “and a chastity belt too!.”

          • Kitten Mittons

            Daughter mutters to herself, “I’m ditching those tights in my purse as soon as I get out the door.”

      • Beardslee

        Yes, my daughter is 5’9″, clearly shorter than Malia, and it is hard to find a short dress that isn’t too short.

        • Janet B

          I too have a tall daughter. Dresses that aren’t too short or usually too dowdy for a teen.

          • Leah Elzinga

            I have this problem even with my tall-ish 8 year old. In order for the dress to actually FIT her, it’s almost indecently short. It’s almost worse on a younger girl in that they just seem to forget they’re wearing a SKIRT. My teenage neices at least seem to be aware they’re wearing minis!

        • Stefanie Argudo Mackenzie

          Agreed…the girls really should wear things which are appropriate in length. Should be looked at as diplomatic. Don’t tell me the Chinese aren’t talking about it and wondering why the girls weren’t dressed more appropriately. I have a now adult daughter who is 5’10”. She was lucky I am more than just an ok seamstress. I made most of her dressy clothing and all of her bathing suits or the child would never have had anything to wear. What was supposed to be a dress was a long blouse. She owned a zillion pairs of bike shorts and tights. You can’t tell me the First Family can’t afford to get someone to make a few good, versatile pieces to be used at times like these. Shoes…DD topped out at size 13. I remember having to look for size 6 shoes in the children’s department. And then the size 9’s that weren’t appropriate for a pre teen. These days she gets many from sites for drag queens.

      • Sartorial_She

        You’d sway me with that argument if we weren’t talking about the first family. They have means and resources to outfit the girls in dresses of appropriate length.

      • xmixiex

        I think that’s it… They’re sooo tall

    • Anna Bergman

      I agree, Malia’s outfit gets a pass because I think it may have shorts but the girls are wearing super short skirts in some other photos. Still works because they are wearing flats and look youthful.

      • jenuwefa

        Yeah but just because she’s a kid doesn’t mean she shouldn’t dress appropriately/respectfully. IMO, I don’t think her outfit is very appropriate for an official function in China…..

        • Anna Bergman

          You are right, I stand corrected. I hate being critical of kids but their Mother should have known better.

          • Zaftiguana

            Do you think if a 15-year-old girl were to see a bunch of people on the internet talking about how gauche the extra two visible inches of her fabric-covered thighs are, especially in China(?), her take-away message would be that it’s all good because it’s really that her mother should have known better? Or that another teen girl reading this would see it that way?

            I don’t know, I don’t think this has crossed the Uncles’ line about critiquing bodies rather than clothes, though the fact that the girls are tall, which they can’t help, contributes. But between the blurry body line and the girls’ age, I have to admit to being a little squicked out by the direction this thread has taken. And a little surprised.

          • Anna Bergman

            could you post this to the entire thread?

          • Zaftiguana

            Do you mean c&ping it in a response comment to, like, to all 47-or-whatever comments in it? I guess I could, but I think it would confuse a lot people and be more than a little weird.

          • Anna Bergman

            I see what you mean, there are just a lot of comments on here about skirt length.

          • Zaftiguana

            Right, but I’m responding to one specifically saying that a mind was changed about giving the girls a pass because it’s mom’s* fault. I just don’t think that’s a great barometer that really addresses what’s wrong with this criticism. I don’t mean to pick on you, though, so I really am sorry if it felt that way.

            *Mom who is, as I just said to someone elsewhere, a grown, intelligent woman with far more experience as a foreign dignitary than any of us, and who apparently signed off on these dresses as perfectly appropriate.

          • Anna Bergman

            Thanks for the thoughtful response, Zaftiguana, and your consideration for the young women. I felt defensive because I never post about the girls and got swept up in the tide for which I take full responsibility. Best wishes to you and I am out of this thread!

          • Zaftiguana


          • Alloy Jane

            Yeah, I’m amazed at all the pearl-clutching over skirt length and especially the comparison to Lea Michelle. I mean, wtf? WTF??? Our collective dismay at that girl has to do with the fact that she’s pandering sexy-time like it’s her only valuable quality. Lea’s preferred skirt length isn’t the primary problem, it’s the sexualization of her public costume that is nerve-grating.

            These are young girls dressed like young girls. Short hems and tights. How is that worse than fitted pants? Pants are way more revealing and call attention to a bountiful ass. Also, Granny’s dress is just above knee length! Most people consider that to be too short for mature women. As for the “tights not being pants” thing, well they aren’t wearing them as pants. They’re wearing them as tights. I don’t see visible ass.

            Plus, why not stick to ready-to-wear for the girls? It’d be a stupid waste of money to pay for custom clothing because that’s what they would have to do in order to wear any dress or skirt of an “appropriate” length. You can’t add hem.

            Also, the church-length comment is hilarious because a some Catholic services are filled with ladies who embody the Heidi Klum trifecta. SHORT TIGHT SHINY. Big girls, skinny girls, lactating girls, unless they’re conservative they’re dressed for the club at my sister’s church.

          • Zaftiguana

            I think I would have been more prepared for it on a Good Morning America blog thread or something. I looked at the girls and thought, “Cute!” and was expecting a BK chorus of generally loving everything (ESPECIALLY the Chinese First Lady’s coat) but having quibbles about Nana Robinson’s shift being too shapeless or wondering if Michelle should have gone for more color in the lip or maybe even “Wow, the Chinese President is super tall for a Chinese guy.”

            Pero no. A bunch of sturm und drang about two inches of (covered!) teenage girl thigh. I am disappoint.

          • your face

            Is it possible that if many commenters on a friendly, Obama-style-loving blog like this one think the dresses are short enough to raise an eyebrow about formality, it’s possible that they are actually not appropriately formal for the occasion?

            I don’t think people are scandalized by the dress lengths themselves, we just question whether a shorty romper is the way to go when meeting foreign dignitaries.

          • Zaftiguana

            Not really, especially considering that I don’t think there’s a commenter here who is a better authority on what passes for appropriate teen clothing for a non-formal meeting of dignitaries in the 21st century than Michelle Obama and the rest of the team of people who approved these outfits.

            Do you think it’s possible that even “commenters on a friendly, Obama-style-loving blog like this one” can, somewhat understandably given the greater culture in which we all still live regardless of our interests and politics, still have some regressively prudish ideas about teenage girls’ bodies and clothing?

          • your face

            Right, but we’re saying the hem length is questionably short at any age for meeting the President of China.

            There are two questions here:

            1) Is this dress too short for a teenager? In my opinion, no.

            2) Is this dress appropriately dressy for meeting the president of China? In my opinion, also no.

            So I think what we really disagree about is either (a) does skirt length relate to dressiness (I say yes, you say no), or (b) should kids dress to a similar level of formality when meeting important people on behalf of the United Sates (i say yes, I am not sure if you say yes and this dress is equivalently dressy, or no and that’s okay b/c kids should not have to be as dressy as adults).

            I am not sure why we are arguing about this. I am feeling a little defensive because you said I am a backwards-thinking person, which I don’t appreciate.

          • Zaftiguana

            See, on #1 pretty much anyone here can claim equal (and equally subjective) authority. On #2, pretty much none of us can (unless Laura Bush or Hilary Clinton are secret commenters here, and now I am LOVING imagining that they are). I haven’t met the President of China. I haven’t ever been responsible for dressing teenagers to meet foreign dignitaries, in the 21st century or any other. I haven’t even been a foreign dignitary. You know who has been or done all of those things and isn’t at her first rodeo with any of them? These two particular teenagers’ mother. Who’s right next to them in all of these photos.

            And while it certainly hasn’t been my intention to make anyone feel defensive, and while saying that even people who are in many ways progressive or worldly can, understandably, have some ingrained ideas that don’t perfectly fit that bill (god knows I’ve been there) is not the same as saying that someone is “a backwards-thinking person,” you in particular would have to admit that you’ve employed some pretty traditionally-oriented language and sentiments in this thread, and that’s your choice to own. We can’t all have our cake and eat it, too.

          • your face

            You’re entitled to your opinion, I’m entitled to mine, and the First Lady is entitled to hers. Each is just an opinion, and mine isn’t necessarily wrong because it is different from hers. Are you familiar with the Argumentum ab auctoritate logical fallacy? While I certainly accept that Michelle Obama has plenty of experience dressing her children for meetings with heads of state, I have no way of knowing whether the Chinese President and First Lady said “Man, they sure let those kids wear whatever they want” in the limo on the way home.

            I could argue that since a lot more people in this thread have agreed with me, that MY opinion is right. However, I would not do so because that is also a logical fallacy- argumentum ad populum.

            Fashion is a matter of opinion and there is no right or wrong, particularly when we’re arguing about 2 or three inches of dress.

            Do you find that people are typically receptive to your arguments when you stake your counterpoint on the argument that “forward-thinking people” agree with you?

          • Zaftiguana

            I’m not arguing that Michelle Obama is necessarily right. In fact, of the other examples I listed who have similar levels of authority, one or more might disagree with her choice. My point is that logical fallacy that you actually did kind of argue (“if many commenters on a friendly, Obama-style-loving blog like this one think the dresses are short enough to raise an eyebrow about formality, it’s possible that they are actually not appropriately formal for the occasion”) is off not only because it’s a fallacy but because those people don’t have any real authority on that vs., among many others, the person involved in dressing these kids. With which you seem to agree (” I certainly accept that Michelle Obama has plenty of experience dressing her children for meetings with heads of state”). So yeah.

            I didn’t say that forward-thinking people agree with me. But no, I don’t find that people who advocate things like continuing to employ gender-based school dress codes of their childhood or “Should a young lady wear this to church?” as meaningful standards of modern appropriate dressing take well to having it pointed out that that’s by definition not forward-thinking, but that’s probably sort of the nature of that particular beast, isn’t it?

          • your face

            You made the point several times that unless people commenting here are secretly former First Ladies, our opinions on protocol are irrelevant. So you’re arguing that Michelle Obama is not necessarily right, but only fellow First Ladies may contradict her?

            Also, Christ, I’m 23. My high school days were not that long ago. Things that I couldn’t wear to trigonometry class don’t seem like appropriate attire for greeting the leader of a world superpower.

          • Zaftiguana

            I really haven’t said they’re irrelevant, and to the degree to which they’re less relevant than someone with actual experience and expertise, I’ve freely lumped myself into that category. And anyone can contradict her. The thought police aren’t coming for anyone. And regardless of when your high school days were and whether or not their policies were apparently more regressive than mine even though I’m older (and they were), your time in high school trig is still not in the future so acting like they are or should be relevant off of that campus is still, by definition, not forward-thinking. I don’t know what to tell you.

          • your face

            Right, but acting like something that is still the norm many places in America is retrograde is not forward thinking either. It is out of touch with the reality of modern young people.

          • Zaftiguana

            No, I’m sorry, what is “the norm in many places in America” is not infrequently entirely “retrograde,” and those places may not like having a spade called a spade, but that’s not really anyone else’s problem but theirs. Since some entire states in America have very popular constitutional amendments against same sex marriage, are we all supposed to act like that’s really progressive, too? And if we point out that it’s not, then we’re the ones who aren’t forward-thinking? Please.

            Restricting young women at a public school from wearing exactly what Malia Obama is wearing in this picture is silly at best and misogynistic at worst, and any school still doing it now is 20-30 years behind many of their counterparts. What it certainly isn’t, especially when harking back to the high school days of a now grown adult, is some great, modern, empirical barometer of appropriate attire. You can wax rhapsodic about the good ol’ days when you were in trig and young ladies dressed properly for church and opine that others should still be following those rules, but you don’t then get to be bent out of shape when people don’t pretend that’s really contemporarily or progressively relevant.

          • your face

            I seriously cannot believe I’ve spent this amount of time discussing the sartorial choices of a 15 year old.

            No, I wouldn’t equate denying people full equality under the law with thinking that a miniskirt is appropriate for meeting the President of China. The two issues seem pretty obviously different.

            Perhaps I am on the conservative side when it comes to hem-length. I understand that you may not share my opinions on the propriety demonstrated here by the Obama kids, but I don’t understand why you are so hell-bent on insisting that this opinion is wrong, dangerous, and misogynistic. Also, I thought I made it clear already that my comment about church was facetious. Tone doesn’t translate well to the internet, so that one’s on me.

            This appears to be an issue you care very deeply about. I hope you continue to fight the good fight of defending the Obama girls’ hems. I very seriously doubt they care about your opinion or my opinion. Best wishes.

          • Zaftiguana

            Yes, because pointing out the fallacy in the reasoning of “If people somewhere think it right now, it must be progressive thinking” is just like equating my own civil rights to a miniskirt. It was an excellent try (she said with a totally straight face), but no dice.

            And I think if you can’t see the potential for a range of silliness to misogyny in a gender-based public school dress codes, I don’t know what to tell you. Except that it’s been decades and decades since many American schools determined that an extra inch of girl thigh doesn’t create scholastic anarchy (or that if it did that’s not the girl’s fault), let alone acting in 2014 like it’s a relevant litmus test of appropriate attire outside of that context. And I don’t believe for a second that any of the people in that photo or 99% of the photos here on this site know or care what any of us have to say (except most of the reality TV personalities). I’m not even sure why that idea would ever come up or what it has to do with my thinking your opinion of a hem is kind of old-fashioned and puritanical nonsense. So I guess that makes two of us who can’t believe you’ve spent time not only discussing it but trying to embrace conservatism while not being accused of not being progressive. Again, have the cake or eat it. It’s up to you.

          • filmcricket

            Jumping in again because you DID effectively say that all of us who don’t agree with you are “backwards thinking people”, by stating that “forwards thinking people” would be okay with a shorty romper for a formal occasion. And, by the way, while I have not met any heads of state, I have met cabinet ministers, and dined with university presidents and multi-millionaire donors since I was these kids’ age. And neither I nor my parents would countenance wearing something like that in a formal situation.

          • Zaftiguana

            I really didn’t (“And I’d like to think that forward-thinking people appreciate that gendered dress codes enforced at schools back in 19{vaguecoughingnoise} when many of us were in attendance might be evolving rather than a still-used barometer of what’s universally acceptable.”), and I think it’s entirely possible that forward-thinking people could disagree with me about these dresses for reasons other than gendered school dress codes of their youth somehow still having empirical merit in the world, just as I also said it’s possible for people with, unlike yours, actually equitable experience to Michelle Obama’s to disagree with her, but I guess it’s good to know you still care.

          • Alloy Jane

            Mid-thigh length hems on two female children who were in all likelihood dressed by their granny (who is practically wearing a space dress) who are otherwise COVERED? I just don’t get the fuss. They are covered. They do not look sexual in the least. I think the face of American puritanism has surfaced all over this topic. This isn’t a formal event. No one is in tails or a ball gown. According to the description this is just a photo session, hence cocktail length for the ladies and shorter for the girls. There is no sex being peddled here, therefore I do not have a problem with the girls outfits.

            And quite frankly, I find it hypocritical to say that the girls’ hems are too short for a so-called formal occasion when the FLOTUS isn’t even wearing hose! Bare legs are scandalous, remember?

          • your face

            You’re right, the first ladies and the Chinese President are dressed informally. I often wear my custom embroidered designer dress while my gentleman friend dons a suit and tie to hang out and do informal things.

            Also, I’ve made the point several times that I think they are tastefully dressed, and I am not scandalized by the existence of Teenage Thigh. I am not sure how much clearer I can be, so I assume you are willfully ignoring the point.

            If the Obamas had sons ages 12 and 15, and they were on this red carpet wearing khakis and button downs standing next to the Chinese president in a suit and tie, I would say “The boys look great, but would it kill them to put on a tie at a diplomatic function?”

          • Zaftiguana

            For the purposes of a state appearance, these outfits are all absolutely informal. A head of state would never wear this suit to a formal event. This is a photo call.

          • Alloy Jane

            I never said you were scandalized. I was making the point that although the children are covered up, their hem lengths are deemed inappropriate for the situation by quite a few people, yet no one brings up the impropriety of the FLOTUS’s bare legs at a diplomatic event. That smacks of hypocrisy.

            As for your sarcasm, it’s unnecessary and quite frankly, immature. Informal does not mean casual. The adults are working and are dressed for work. FLOTUS wears designer clothing to signify her status. Even her mother’s clothes are not on the level as FLOTUS’s because clothing is a demarcation of status. The diplomats are in semi-formal dress and the guests are dressed appropriately.

            And maybe you don’t treat the world like it’s your own personal fashion show, but some of us do. And that includes wearing designer dresses to go sit on the sand at the beach, or wearing designer jeans to do gardening. Half of my girlfriends dress up just to hang out or have dinner or visit family, with full makeup and ketchup covered children.

          • your face

            Look, this is silly. You like their dresses. I like their dresses too, and would like them more if they were three inches longer. There’s no need to get riled up.

        • MoreShoes

          I agree. Bothe dresses are too short, it was bothering me. Just a couple of inches longer and they’d still be youthful.

    • marlie

      I don’t disagree that Malia’s dress could have been a little longer but even the fingertip test would have only added a couple of inches. It doesn’t bother me quite so much because she’s wearing dark tights. If she wasn’t wearing tights, or even if they were closer to skin-tone, I think I might have more of a problem with the length.

      Also, when I was her age, I was 5’9″, and it was darn near impossible to find dresses that were appropriately long. Maybe that’s also why I’m more willing to give her a pass.

      • SuzBald

        Definitely my daughter’s problem at almost 5’9″. Though, it should be said the current style for teens is super short.

        • Sophie

          But the trend is super-short for people with a height of 5’6″. That makes it near-impossible for taller people to get anything longer than a large belt. (I’m 5’9″ and I’ve been looking for a winter skirt for about 6 months now.)
          I think Malia’s tights should be a shade or two darker still.

          • Josefina Madariaga Suárez

            My 5’2” little self is reading these posts with poisonous envy.

          • decormaven

            Right there with you, sister.

      • tallgirl1204

        Hah! when I was her age, I was 6’0″, and my mom made my clothes because NOTHING fit me except boys’ jeans. It was 1974 and super-short dresses (with NO tights) and “hot pants” were the rage– boy, did we have the heated discussions about appropriate hem length…. I think Malia looks great, but yeah, maybe I’m my own mom now– I would probably have argued for another couple of inches. Now I’m going to have to pull out some old pics and check what I was really wearing…

    • Zaftiguana

      Why? Especially when paired with tights?

      • your face

        I think that if a dress is too short for church, it is too short for meeting the President of China. And in my opinion, these dresses are too short for church.

        As the Fug Girls say, tights are not pants. They do not negate the shortness.

        I think they look cute and tasteful, and they’re just kids so it’s not like they’re sexualized, but I personally would like the dresses better at this event if they were a few inches longer. Just my opinion.

        • Zaftiguana

          What does this: “if a dress is too short for church” even mean? And why would what some people wish to wear to their personal religious institution be applied to the general public? And still…why? What is wrong with mid-to-lower thighs?

          • Grumpy Girl

            I read dresses that short as being too casual when they are worn by youngsters to official events (including school field trips to a courthouse or museum). I think if I would expect a boy to wear a jacket and perhaps even a tie, a skirt past the fingertips would be a reasonable expectation for a girl, no matter her height. But I also chase kids off my lawn, so clearly I am a grumpy old woman.

          • Zaftiguana

            I can’t imagine looking at the fabrics and cuts of those dresses and thinking they’re casual based on the age of the person wearing them and the relative length of their femurs. Which is not to say that all dresses read the same way on all ages of people (TLo often make great points about how some dresses belong on Helen Mirren vs. Kiernan Shipka), but that tends to be about how the garment ages, not how formal it is.

          • filmcricket

            I can’t imagine looking at the fabric and cut of Malia’s dress and NOT thinking it’s casual. It’s got a short skirt, short sleeves, and a crop top, all of which are signifiers of “casual” regardless of the age of the person wearing them. As far as length goes, if you can’t sit down properly in it, it’s too short for a formal occasion. When Lea Michele wears skirts that hit her in the same place for talk shows, she’s criticized for not wearing longer skirts. Same thing applies.

          • Zaftiguana

            All of those signifiers appear in garments on non-casual red carpets pretty regularly. Certainly they’re not formal gowns, but they’re not just-grocery-shopping-on-another-day-ending-in-y dresses.

          • filmcricket

            This isn’t a red carpet. It’s a formal state occasion. Just because this is a fashion blog doesn’t mean there’s not a huge difference.

          • Zaftiguana

            It is absolutely not a formal state occasion. At all. It is, in fact, a MUCH less formal event than many of those at which you’ll find a red carpet. Everyone here, girls included, is dressed for a nice afternoon wedding. Or, in the case of some of the adults, a high end job interview.

          • filmcricket

            Your tautology of “people aren’t dressed formally so it’s not a formal occasion” notwithstanding, my point is: it’s a more important occasion than any movie premiere, Oscar broadcast, telethon, or anything of that nature. So what is and is not seen on a red carpet means exactly zilch.

          • Zaftiguana

            I don’t even understand that first comment. Do you think that there’s an event hosted by the Chinese president and his wife for a foreign dignitary and her family at which none of them are dressed formally, but it’s a formal event? Is there a cadre of people in gowns and tuxes just outside of camera range and these six just blew it? And if my initial comment is not that there are dresses with short hems/short sleeves/cropped or illusion cropped bodices just on a red carpet, but specifically at one for a “non-casual” event. So I think you’re missing the point.

          • filmcricket

            Nope, you’re missing mine, which is that there is more than one meaning for the word “formal.” It’s a state visit organized by the White House and whatever other parts of the diplomatic corps are involved. This is not FLOTUS dropping by for lunch. There are traditions and protocols, all of which are FORMALized long beforehand. FLOTUS is dressed appropriately. Her mom and Malia do pretty much look exactly like the people I see grocery shopping every day (minus the tights and kitten heels perhaps).

            Oh and by the way, no one goes to job interviews in couture cocktail dresses, so please don’t be ridiculous.

          • Zaftiguana

            Aside from the stretching getting a little ridiculous (it being a formal event where no one is dressed formally since it was “FORMALized long beforehand” is pretty hilarious, though, so I do appreciate that), it might help to tamp down the ire if you read what I said (“in the case of SOME of the adults,” with which you seem to agree since you think Nana Robinson is not only informal but grocery store ready).

          • moppet

            There’s nothing wrong with mid-to-lower thighs. It’s just that some people might think that a dress to the knee or right above the knee would be more modest and thus more appropriate. We’re okay with some modesty norms — I don’t think there would be a “what’s the problem?” reaction if all the women were topless, and there’s nothing wrong with breasts, either. Skirt length is just another modesty norm.

            (For some people. I think the girls look fine, but I understand where other posters are coming from.)

          • Zaftiguana

            Sure, but there are also modesty norms that say women shouldn’t wear pants. I think my point is if we’re going to critique the style choices of adolescent girls who have not chosen to be in the public eye, and then cross over into a bit of body policing, having something empirical behind it (like, “Don’t flash your tits to the leader of China,” to borrow your example, breasts having nothing wrong with them but not really being analogous to the inches of covered flesh above the kneecaps) would seem to make more sense than, say, “I don’t think female people should wear that to church.”

          • your face

            I rule a dress “too short for church” if your hem is closer to the bottom of your butt cheeks than the top of your knees.

            I used the phrase as shorthand, not to imply that religious standards should apply to secular events. People generally agree that miniskirts aren’t church attire, and I think miniskirts aren’t meeting-international-leaders attire either. Perhaps I am wrong- I haven’t been to church for 10 years, other than for weddings (and I’ve seen some damn short dresses on wedding guests).

            Why do I think the dresses are too short for this event? I suppose it’s because the Obama children are often the only kids in a sea of professionally dressed adults. They stand out, because you rarely see other women at events they attend wearing dresses several inches above the knee. You’re right, it’s not fair to expect them to dress like senators or ambassadors, they’re just kids. At the same time, I don’t think my high school would’ve allowed me to wear a dress that length to class.

            I don’t really understand how critiquing skirt length on a tall person is body shaming. Clothes can be too tight or too loose on a thin person or a heavy person. Clothes can be too long or too short on a tall person or a short person. If your point is “all criticism of the Obama kids’ appearances should be banned,” then I can agree with that.

          • Zaftiguana

            It’s implying that a couple more inches of leg north of the kneecap being visible, even when covered, are inappropriate that, as I put it, begins to cross that line. Especially when it’s done to girls too young to drive. And I’d like to think that forward-thinking people appreciate that gendered dress codes enforced at schools back in 19{vaguecoughingnoise} when many of us were in attendance might be evolving rather than a still-used barometer of what’s universally acceptable. And why wouldn’t the only kids at an event be dressed differently than the grown people, especially since those grown people are the ones who all chose to accept professional roles in the public eye? I’m sorry, you’re certainly entitled to your opinion, this just isn’t holding up well for me.

          • filmcricket

            “And why wouldn’t the only kids at an event be dressed differently than the grown people, especially since those grown people are the ones who all chose to accept professional roles in the public eye?”

            This doesn’t wash for me. I got dragged to all kinds of professional events by my parents as a child. I dressed appropriately to the occasion. The fact that the Obama girls didn’t choose this for themselves is irrelevant. As you say, they are too young to drive, so they are also young enough to do as they’re told by their parents. If, as @disqus_4BsSnxU0ZH:disqus says, your argument is that we shouldn’t comment on them at all, then I agree that’s fair.

          • moppet

            But — and sorry to be taking the Libra role here, but I really do see both sides — their mother did think they were dressed appropriately for the occasion. I am positive she looked at them before they left, and felt that all was well. And if Mrs. Robinson is anything like my own grandmother, I’m sure they got a very close look before heading out for the occasion.

            I guess I would say that my personal thought is not to comment on them at all (though I do comment on the children when I think they look particularly cute, I dunno, I guess that’s a positivity exception)

          • filmcricket

            That is also a fair point. I just don’t think that “the kids didn’t run for President” works as an excuse is all.

          • Zaftiguana

            My point is that children aren’t expected to dress like adults at events of any level of formality, so her claim that it seemed inappropriate to her because they “stand out” from the adults there, which she herself then later sort of admitted is totally fair, doesn’t really speak to the point.

            And you know what? Their mother, who is a very intelligent and savvy grown woman with far more experience on the modern foreign diplomatic circuit than you and I? Apparently thought they were dressed perfectly appropriately for this occasion. So that’s another sort of moot point.

          • filmcricket

            I already said I agreed that her mother thought they were dressed fine. As for this: “children aren’t expected to dress like adults at events of any level of formality” – well again, I disagree. I guess we had different childhood experiences. I’m done discussing this now.

          • Zaftiguana

            Right, the good ol’ days when 10-year-olds showed up to black-tie weddings in silk shantung mermaid gowns with asymmetrical halter necklines, stilettos and spotless up-do’s. I guess I forgot about those.

          • Alloy Jane

            Ugh, puts me in the mind of beauty pageants for children, which I think are WRONG WRONG WRONG. But I think it is wrong to dress children like mini adults, and that includes the stupid haircuts people give little boys. Children should look like children and be allowed to behave like children. They should be styled minimally. It’s why I have such a problem with the hair thing. I think 14 is the age for allowing processing, be it pressing, dying, or shaving. Hair processing should be a rite of passage, one that involves an active choice rather than pressure to conform.

          • Zaftiguana

            I think that’s where it really strikes me what a lame excuse that is, because you just know that the same people who are miffed about this would lose it if the girls WERE actually dressed and styled like adult women at a formal event. Because, you know, it would look bizarre.

          • filmcricket

            You know what? Shut up. You know nothing about my childhood, and you can keep your comments about it to yourself. You obviously don’t see that there’s a big middle ground between “ballgown” and “shorty romper” and it’s obviously ridiculous trying to have a conversation with you.

          • Zaftiguana

            I mean this sincerely and in the kindest way, but for real, take a xanax or something. If this is feeling personal for you to the point that you feel the need to start telling commenters on a fashion blog shutupyoudon’tknowmylife! it might be time to step back away.

          • filmcricket

            I’m not the one who started casting aspersions at my fellow commenters, so I’m fine, but thanks for your concern.

          • Zaftiguana

            No, because telling people shut up, keep your comments to yourself, it’s obviously ridiculous trying to have a conversation with you because they pointed out that children really haven’t been dressed and styled like mini adults in the modern era is not at all disparaging or condemnatory. You’re clearly terribly pulled together.

    • Alloy Jane

      They’re wearing semi-opaque tights so I don’t have a problem. Plus, Miss Supermodel clearly prefers Granny’s style decade and that stuff was thightastic. Plus they’re tall, can’t do much about hem lengths when you’re an amazon.

    • Alloy Jane

      If this fingertip test you speak of has to do with a hem being at least as long as your fingertips, then both girls are in accordance because upon closer inspection, neither hem is longer than their fingers.

  • marlie

    I really like Shelley O’s dress. I think it was a great choice for the occasion (color, texture/detail). The matchy shoes are too much, but that’s her “thing.” OMG the girls are so tall! And they both look lovely as well. Mrs. R is a knockout – she always look perfect. And the Chinese First Lady’s coat is gorgeous, too.

    • Zaftiguana

      Agreed, FLOTUS et al look fabulous, but Ms. Peng is really killing it, too.

  • SewingSiren

    High marks for everyone. Those Obama girls are beautiful.

  • Rand Ortega

    1st Mama is KILLIN’ IT! That shift, hose & shoes just made my day.
    Both 1st Ladies are the epitome of style, grace & overall chic.
    Our 1st Daughters are so beautiful. I wonder what happened to Sasha’s thumb?

    • marlie

      Grandma looks SO much like my mom here that it’s a little uncanny. That’s my mom’s hair and makeup, her hose (she’d NEVER go bare-legged) and shoes, and her dress, except maybe a little more tailored.

      • Whereas my grandmother would have sold her soul for Mrs Peng’s coat.

        • alyce1213

          My grandmother (mother’s mother) was a Russian émigré who loved Chinoiserie, she would also kill for this outfit.
          I used to love going to her apartment as a kid — it was so exotic. She also made great kreplach.

          • Lucky! Mine couldn’t cook at all. She did have exquisite taste in furnishings though.

      • shirab

        I think my mom would have advised FLOTUS’s mom to wear something a little more structured. (“Wear a belt!” “Tuck it in!” were oft-heard phrases around our house.) But the hose, she’d be happy with.

    • osu86

      That shift is on sale now at J.Crew!!!

      • zuzu

        Probably not for long!

    • NBG

      She plays basketball so I would bet it got jammed that way. Poor kid. That hurts like hell.

      • Rand Ortega

        Just remembering my old Bball jams makes me tear up.

  • Kate Andrews

    I love Malia’s outfit!

  • SugarSnap108

    I’m with you on the shoes, but that’s minor. I love the dress on her. FLOC is also bringing it.

  • Adrianna Grężak

    Her daughters look great! I like that they’re still dressed like teenagers. (as opposed to dressed in sweater sets or suits) I’d love to own both those dresses

  • Clash D

    Man I wish she wore this dress in a different color. Red for a China visit is so predictable.

    • luludexter

      maybe, but red has a very positive cultural resonance in China and wearing it supports the diplomatic nature of the visit, so I’m all in favor.

    • jennypenny

      I agree. Green is an understated win with positive connotations, too.

      • alyce1213

        Mrs. Robinson’s got green covered.

  • Nikko Viquiera

    If Michelle runs for President i would vote for her on the sole basis of her fashion sense alone!

  • Sarah

    OMG Malia is a giant! I am a little bit wishing her skirt was a tad longer, but she has tights and she’s still a kid regardless of her immense height, so I guess it’s okay. Mom looks amazing – love the red on her. Loving grandma’s shoes, too. What a nice place for photos!

    • Anna Bergman

      Malia’s dress looks like it may be shorts.

    • TRSTL

      I think those are shorts, I really like them with the tights. I would probably NOT use the word “giant” though….. she is a beautiful, tall, willowy young lady. “Giant” seems so…… unflattering…….. 🙁

      • Sarah

        I didn’t mean it that way, I meant that she is impressively tall. And of course she is beautiful.

    • tallgirl1204

      I know you don’t mean it “mean” at all– but “giant” made me cringe. It’s really hard to be that age, no matter one’s height/weight/skin issues etc., and that word took me right back to the year I grew 8 inches. I am still almost always the tallest woman in any given room, and the occasional person who feels the need to comment on my height in that manner is not someone with whom I wish to continue a conversation. Again, I know you didn’t mean it “that way,” because who on TLo would? But ouch.
      Malia is a lovely “long-stemmed rose,” like her mother, and while I too wish her skirt/shorts were a little longer, her outfit is totally on point for girls her age.

      • Sarah

        Thanks for giving me the benefit of the doubt. I didn’t mean to imply she was anything less than lovely. I am just amazed by how tall she’s grown. Poor choice of word, it seems.

        • YourLibrarian

          This whole interaction is indicative of why I love this community. I never have to cringe when I read the comments on TLo because everyone respects each other.

      • SierraDelta

        Sticks and stones and all.

        I’m reminded once again that words aren’t precise, and that sometimes the wrong meaning is conveyed when you can’t see the body language that goes along with the words being spoken. I probably would have said the same thing Sarah did because it’s something I’ve heard all my life — but if there’s no one to tell you gently why it’s hurtful, then you’ll continue to say it out of ignorance rather than any ill will.

        Thank you, tallgirl, for your perspective and, Sarah, for your heartfelt acknowledgement of another point of view. As YourLibrarian noted, respect is key to civilized conversation. It’s hard to learn if you’re busy yelling.

  • Lower L

    I find myself wishing that Mrs. Robinson were wearing a belt, for more visual interest, but maybe the cut of her dress wouldn’t work well with it.

    • tallgirl1204

      I’m thinking that she is thinking that the dress is comfortable and is hiding her mature body– I bet she is not a fan of spanx and the other corsetry women of a certain age (even those with personal trainers) often resort to in order to wear more shapely frocks. That said, I would like the dress better if it was more schuzzed around the neckline– if it had something to more clearly draw our attention up to her beautiful face.

    • Her dress reads a little bit “house dress” for me.

  • stubbornthoughts

    This isn’t clothing based, but I simply LOVE that Michelle and the girls always wear their hair naturally. I’m sure they might have their share of styling help, but their hair always looks great!

    • KendraMR

      The First Lady is definitely wearing extensions for fullness. I’m not sure, but Mrs. Robinson may have some pieces in her hair as well.

      • MilaXX

        Michelle has always had thick full hair. Ms Robinson certainly does not have extra help. In fact my mom’s hair looks just like hers..It just looks like thick hair to my eye.

        • KendraMR

          While Michelle does have thick hair, it’s never been that thick. You can tell difference from the first term to now.

    • Alloy Jane

      FYI, that is not natural hair, that is pressed hair. On all four.

  • LaSylphide

    Red is not my favorite color, mainly because it can overwhelm the wearer. But it flatters Michelle’s skin tones, and she’s tall enough to look majestic. And the kids look great. It’s been fun watching them grow up into mini-fashionistas.

  • suzq

    OK…I am now obsessed with Peng Liyuan’s jacket. How magnificent is that?

    Naeem Khan scores again and again. He is such a genius designer.

  • Kitten Mittons

    I saw the Miley Cyrus post and then this. My brain is now leaking out my ears.
    FLOTUS looks spectacular. Really, they all do. Just stunning, dignified, stylish women and young ladies.

    • LJCdoc

      I needed this after that Miley crap.

      • Kitten Mittons

        It’s amazing how you can look at Miley and go, “Well, she’s at a club, her important bits are covered, she’s not falling down, and her tongue is put away, so a win, I suppose.” And then you see this and say, “Was I drunk?!”

        Totally different circumstances, venues, etc. I get all that. But the gap between these pics and Miley’s makes the Grand Canyon look like a pothole.
        I’m losing too much grey matter. I can’t ponder it anymore.

        • LJCdoc

          To be fair (or bitchy, whatever), the only reason she’s not falling down is because 2 handlers were holding her up.

        • demidaemon

          You could be suffering from picture drunkness via subject matter.

  • Danielle

    The first mama is ah-mazing. You go, Mrs. Robinson!

  • Akemi

    Those girls are so gorgeous. Love all of the dresses!

  • Judy_S

    Well, 4 of the 5 women presumably did have a chance to co-ordinate–and red is an auspicious color! Agreed that the dress looks better close up. It’s so splashy and intricate without distracting from her face.

  • luludexter

    That is a beautiful dress. I don’t mind the matchy shoes in this case, it seems to simplify the look given how elaborate the decoration on the dress is. and Ms. O has a good track record on not always matching her shoes, so I give her a pass. A nice idea to wear red in China too.

  • Guest

    maybe, but it has a cultural relevance that helps the diplomatic nature of the visit.

  • Alfred Cox

    Flawless. Gorgeous. Legendary. What else is there to say?

  • e jerry powell


  • Missy

    My first thought was: Holy crap, Malia is *tall*. The first pic had her shoes blocked and I was sort of shocked to see that she’s that tall IN FLATS.

    GORGEOUS family, man. They represent well.

    • alyce1213

      I know! She only 15, probably still growing, and she’s taller than the lot of them — in flats.

    • J. Preposterice

      Michelle’s 5’11”, so based on this & a few other recent pics, I think Malia has to be 6′ or maybe a skosh taller. I wouldn’t be surprised if she ends up taller than her dad (who is 6’1″).

      • KinoEye

        Agh! I said the exact same thing before I saw this. I agree — I think she’ll be taller than Barry before it’s all over with.

  • B_C_J

    The First Lady looks ravishing in this dress. The color is divine & the detailed fabric is art. The earrings are the perfect touch. I don’t mind the shoes. It keeps the attention on her dress.

  • nannypoo

    She looks beautiful. I’m not a fan of the shoes, but the dress is spectacular. The girls are both gorgeous. Such a fabulous first family.

  • tallgirl1204

    Just had dinner with a (much younger) cousin, and she was dressed exactly like the older Obama girl. I wonder if they borrow clothes from each other (not likely).

  • Bernadette

    I really enjoy Mama Robinson’s little number! Great pattern!

  • Paula Pertile

    She looks really pretty.

  • jenuwefa

    Do people not find it vaguely odd that the Obamas take their kids and HER MOTHER on state visits?? (Michelle’s dress is stunning!)

    • tallgirl1204

      Nope. If you were raising kids in the White House, and your mom was available to take on some extra parenting duties while you did your diplomatic stuff, wouldn’t you take the opportunity to show your kids the world? I don’t expect the girls attend formal negotiations. Now, back to talking about their cool clothes!

    • alyce1213

      No. It’s an official visit, but it’s not a trip to discuss politics. She’ll be speaking with children at various schools about the importance of education and youth empowerment, cultural exchange, study abroad — so how wonderful to bring her children on the trip to China with her.
      I read this bit, as well:
      “The first lady will be accompanied by her mother, Marian Robinson, and her daughters, Malia and Sasha, something that White House officials believe will resonate with the Chinese people.” Not odd at all.

      • gabbilevy

        Especially because POTUS is in Amsterdam right now… with President Xi (this photo was clearly taken a few days ago).

    • Fordzo a.k.a. Fancy Mukluks

      Would you feel better if FLOTUS took her daughters and a nanny, instead of her mother, on the trip? POTUS isn’t along for this visit (which isn’t a state visit), so I’m sure she’s there to help out with the girls.

    • Jessica Freeman

      Not sense her mother has been with them at the White House since day one. I’m sure Shelly O. has duties that her daughters do not attend and what better person to leave them with while she is away.

    • somebody blonde

      No. Do you know any Chinese people? Because I’m betting they mostly see nothing odd about taking grandma with you wherever you go.

      • jenuwefa

        Ordinarily I wouldn’t bat an eye – I take my mother in law along when we travel as well. But this is a state visit…you don’t see other heads of state bringing along their parents or in laws when they visit the US….just sayin’….

        • somebody blonde

          That’s not necessarily true, though. When the Queen’s Mum was still alive, she certainly traveled with the Queen on state visits. It’s true you don’t see too many heads of government doing it, but it’s pretty clear that Michelle wouldn’t be able to represent the president if he were going as head of government rather than head of state.

    • Qitkat

      I just think how very fortunate they are to have these remarkable opportunities. Being brought up to be informed, well-traveled citizens adds to their education and knowledge of the world, and gives them a better understanding of different cultures. As for mom, what a wonderful bonus for being the equivalent of the queen mother. There are some perks being in this position that most people would give their eye teeth to take advantage of; I certainly would.

    • in a pickle

      Smart move. Multi-generational families are a huge part of Chinese culture. Showing that grandma is still a central and respected member of the family would come off aces in China.

  • jennypenny

    Am I the only one who thinks Malia’s ensemble is a little short? (Don’t bend over!)

  • Mary Elizabeth Poytinger Baume


  • MilaXX

    Love Michelle’s dress! The girls have literally grown up before our eye. I think Malia will be 16 this year. WOW!

  • rmstanek

    I love that Malia, who as a young teenager is almost as tall as her mother, has great posture and is standing up straight. Way to own her height!

  • Miranda

    I feel so sorry for the young man that asks Malia out on a date and has to go and sit in the Oval Office and wait for President Obama to come in and”meet him first. (and by “meet him”, I mean scare the living daylights out of him)

    • Rand Ortega

      Here’s a funny quote from the President on that very subject: Malia, 15, is a high school sophomore and tennis player whom her father
      describes as lawyerly. She has shed her braces and is allowed to date,
      although the president joked to comedian Steve Harvey that he’s “got men with guns following them around all the time” to scare off any sketchy boyfriends.

  • Amel

    Malia’s dress is a skosh too short for this function, but I do love the Chanel-inspired silhouette for her.

  • Kent Roby

    The design element is pretty, even though it takes me right to hurricane/tsunami models.

  • H3ff

    Are we sure that the Chinese president was actually there? He looks like a cardboard cut-out.

  • Fordzo a.k.a. Fancy Mukluks

    At least Malia has good posture.

  • Jessica Freeman

    They all look gorgeous. What a beautiful family. I tend to think Malia’s dress is just a touch too short, tall girl problems.

  • Wink

    I love how the younger daughter, Sasha, is leaning toward her grandmother… as if they’re taking a selfie and need to be close together to fit into the photo. Shows that she’s still a kid:)

  • megalomanic

    SCREAMING because I own the same dress as Malia (and am about to wear it to my birthday party tomorrow). It really shows how tall the girls are though, because that dress is well past mid-thigh on me. Sigh, 5″2 life. (The dress is Topshop, btw).

    • Anna Bergman

      Topshop! I would never have guessed.

    • Truthiness2U

      Not really surprised about the Topshop thing, because they have always tried to feature “real” clothes. Their first Inauguration featured clothes for the girls from JCrew, if I remember correctly. So while they of course, will have the FLOTUS in some designer stuff in appropriate situations, they will also have the girls in everyday favorable stuff that is appropriate for the venue. And yes, I do feel for Malia being what, 5’9″ plus now? that getting clothes to fit her from those places, or indeed in general. is going to be a challenge.

      Though I admit, I’m a bit blinded by the tights, the rest of the outfit, her general demeanor, and how well everyone looks. And given the past, I think they do look as appropriate as possible…and besides everyone looks so good here, I must to admit, I’m giving a pass just based on that.

  • decormaven

    Gorgeous, all of them. So thankful they are appropriately dressed for the venue.

  • kt

    Her dress is gorgeous and suits her. Her daughters should be wearing appropriate clothing for a state function. Forever 21 isn’t cute on the world leader’s family and neither girl could pick up a pen without flashing tickets to the lady garden.

    • Synnae

      So where exactly do you think either girl (5’9″ and at least 6’1″) should have been shopping then?

      I’m nearly 6’2″ and let me tell you, with today’s youth fashion it is f-in hard to to find something that is young, age appropriate and “state function appropriate” yet still casual. Literally everything casual for teens is either mid-thigh (so on tall girls mini/micro) or maxi (so awkward ugly mid-calf) or way too old/adult looking for their age. And as they are also slim (especially Malia) and therefore a smaller size, clothing will be even shorter.

      Btw as a cloggie whose neighbourhood got shut down this morning because POTUS came to visit, can I just complain it is not fair that China got FLOTUS & daughters and we just got POTUS 🙁

      • SweetJess MeanGreen

        I don’t understand the ruckus over their dress lengths. Back in the 50’s and 60’s girls wore babydoll dresses to every function without tights: parties, funerals, weddings, church, to the playground etc. Personally it’s no harm for a young girl to show some leg in a non-sexual manner (their wearings tights and flats). As long as the girls are comfortable in their clothing I’m good.

  • mdcoon127

    all look terrific

  • Coolekat

    Beautiful dress, beautiful girls. Tall and bone-thin, those two girls are going make this blog on their own pretty soon

  • Molly

    Confession: I can’t look at the Obama family without welling up. They’re such a beautiful family! Grandma looks great too. The Chinese first lady looks formidable.

  • susan6

    Our first daughter towers over world leaders!! That’s a little bit awesome. (Might be good to lower the hemline….it’s a bit too tap dance/figure skatey for the occasion.) Red is a great color on FLOTUS.

  • Qitkat

    It’s a great group photograph. But I can’t get on board with the dress Marian Robinson is wearing. It’s not that she looks bad at all; I just can’t get past feeling that her dress is barely more than an old fashioned house dress. It’s just so shapeless, and I don’t like the pattern, it’s too casual. She just looks out of place to me with the style of everyone else.

  • beebee10

    Gorgeous! And look at her mom!! and those girls! Thanks boys for showing us this.


    A tough job creates so easily by Naeem Khan sahib

  • SierraDelta

    I don’t think Michelle would ordinarily pair red satin shoes with this gorgeous dress, but they work in this context because it’s China. (That opinion is based solely on my personal observations of style during three trips to the country, which I’m sure makes you all want to sit up straighter at your computers for. . .)

    It always impresses me how much research and effort women put into assembling wardrobes when they know they’ll be perceived as representing their countries or cultures. Sure, subliminal messages are powerful and lasting, and wearing your clothes well plays into that because comfort affects body language. Hats off to Malia and Sasha for adding their girl power to Granny. Well played, Robinson Obama women.

  • KinoEye

    Love everything going on here. That’s definitely Michelle’s shade of red. And my gosh, Malia’s growing like a weed! She’s taller every time I see her. I’m almost willing to bet she’ll be taller than Dad by the time she’s done growing. Loving her dress, too.

    ETA: Marian Robinson is gorgeous, and I want that dress.

  • Forget Michelle, Malia looks beyond cute.

  • berkeleygirl

    I love Mom Robinson’s dress! Great print, comfortable cut yet the hemline makes it youthful and fun… She certainly has the legs to pull it off, and her grooming is simple yet immacuate.

  • Alloy Jane

    I want Grandma’s dress! Beautiful fabric up-close on FLOTUS but def not the best dress for pictures.

  • xmixiex

    Wow, Malia is stunning! So tall!

  • WESCOBear

    I think they all look great, but personally I prefer FLOTUS in cool colors. Still, she’s rocking the crap out of this look.

  • SweetJess MeanGreen

    Malia wins for me!

    Overall look = perfection. Height, poise, and hair. FLAWLESS!

  • vanderlucio

    anyone out there please! says Xiu Li Hawken to CONTACT ME URGENT. vanderlucio42@hotmail.com

  • lillyvonschtupp

    She looks dynamite, the girls are gorgeous. She nailed it, matching shoes and everything.

  • lillyvonschtupp

    First Granny would’ve looked better with a belt.

  • m3grrl

    In photo 2, love how proud of daughter the mama looks. Also love what mama’s wearing. She’s one cool grandma.

  • quiltrx

    I wish we had a closer picture of China’s first lady. She looks very elegant.
    And of course, I’m almost always going to love Naeem Khan, and it’s doing nice things for our FLOTUS. And agreed, everyone in the picture looks pretty fab.

  • MaggieMae

    This post made me so happy!

  • FridaStaire

    Three generations of beauty!

  • nycfan

    The picture in profile makes it look like Michelle brought her clone with her .. 🙂 Malia looks like she could become a model some day …

  • Fuchaforever


  • gsk241

    All the ladies look gorgeous, of course. I look at Malia and wonder if President Obama has put bars on the White House windows, yet.

  • Obsessed with Malia’s outfit. I admire how she lets her personal style shine though. FLOTUS looks lovely as usual.

  • jewellls45

    That’s not her real hair people. Get a grip.

    • OffToSeeHim

      Really? Dish, because I couldn’t tell AT ALL!

  • Sunraya

    I love the dress of Michelle – they all look great! I just wish her older daughter’s dress was a bit longer. I bet that when she bought it, it was fine, and she just keeps growing!! She seems to even tower over her mother!! She is a gorgeous young lady!!

  • Michelle Gennari

    They are a gorgeous family! And yes how tall the girls are! Beauties, all!

  • dmkava

    She is amazing in every way