Michelle Obama in Marchesa at the 2014 WHCA Dinner

Posted on May 05, 2014

You can add us to the list of people who think FLO needs to cover up her arms.


Michelle-Obama-Marchesa-2014-WHCA-Dinner-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (1)First Lady Michelle Obama at the 2014 White House Correspondent’s Association Gala at the Washington Hilton hotel in Washington, D.C. in Marchesa. 

Michelle-Obama-Marchesa-2014-WHCA-Dinner-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (2)

Michelle-Obama-Marchesa-2014-WHCA-Dinner-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (3)Marchesa Fall 2013 Collection

Michelle-Obama-Marchesa-2014-WHCA-Dinner-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (4)

Michelle-Obama-Marchesa-2014-WHCA-Dinner-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (5)

Michelle-Obama-Marchesa-2014-WHCA-Dinner-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (6)



But before you throw rocks, we just mean we like this dress much more with the diaphanous sleeves and we think it might have made a refreshing change for her to go that route. Her arms remain the enviable, show-off-worthy, and totally non-controversial limbs they always have been, but the dress looks better with those gorgeous sleeves.

Having said that, she still looks fabulous. That dove gray is perfect on her and her hair and makeup look amazing. Love the earrings.




[Photo Credit: Getty Images, IMAXTree]

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  • AndiMarie

    I agree. She has gorgeous arms, but that dress wants those sleeves. Still lovely, though.

    • Lizzyisi

      I wonder if she has issues with sleeves always being too damn short, so she just goes sleeveless?

      But I agree that those sleeves are gorgeous and I’m sorry she ditched them.

      • Kent Roby

        If the FLOTUS can tell Georgina to remove the sleeves, she could certainly have the sleeves shortened instead.

        • kimmeister

          I think she would need them lengthened, which is a bit harder of a proposition.

          • Kent Roby

            Oops, correct; I meant lengthened! But, again, who is going to say no to the FL?

      • zuzu

        I would guess that’s where her sleevelessness usually comes from — if you think about it, she’s very tall and grew up with very modest means. She probably realized it was easier to look professional on a limited budget with a sleeveless sheath and jacket she could pass off as bracelet-length than it was to try to find suits and blouses with sleeves the proper length.

      • Louise Bryan

        I get it completely. I hate not being able to buy shirts with long enough sleeves. I get tired of 3/4 length sleeves (from rolling up the cuff). Why can’t women’s shirts come in sleeve lengths like men’s do.

  • thecitysleeps

    Ehhhh, I prefer it without sleeves on the First Lady. Lovely neckline and dress.

    • jen_vasm

      I agree. The dress does look better with the sleeves, but I don’t think it would’ve looked that good on FLOTUS.

  • Sarah

    She looks great, and I see what you mean about the sleeves, but I sort of dislike the dress anyway. I like my FLOTUS in a cleaner look, and this is too fussy (Marchesa, of course). It is a bit matrimonial, too, which may be throwing me. Her headshot, though – I’m living for her flippy bangs and killer earrings.

    • KES4K

      Yeah, it reads “dingy wedding dress” to me in that bright light. I really don’t like the peach lipstick, either. Wonder if either looked better in natural light?

      • Sarah

        Probably but I have to say on my monitor it is looking pretty white and I had to double check to see the dove gray in it. I really hadn’t noticed the lipstick but now that I see it I agree – I don’t think it is very flattering either.

      • Carleenml

        I get a “girl, not your dress” vibe. Would never want her in Marchesa in general anyway. This is too frou-frou.

  • VioletFem

    The sleeves look pretty on the model, but I’m not so sure they would have looked as nice on Michelle (in my mind it seems like it would have read as too matronly). I like her edited version better.

    • kmk05

      Seconding this really hard. Those sleeves are really hard to pull off by mere mortals without looking costumey or frumpy.

    • Totally agree – I think those sleeves would go frumpy on anyone over the age of 25!

    • marlie

      Exactly. I typed my comment before I read down.

    • muzan-e

      Yup. Those are sleeves designed to lend romance to willowy little limbs, and frumpiness to commonplace humans.

      • melisaurus

        As a lady with an athletic frame I can confirm. It i important to exercise caution when thinking about romantic or very femme dresses.

    • barbarienne

      Yes. Those sleeves would have obscured the definition that makes her arms so great. They would have just made her look frumpy.

      • VioletFem

        Exactly. There might be another way to design the sleeves to better suit Michelle, but as is they would work against her physique.

    • Zaftiguana

      Agreed, the sleeves are beautiful and have a romantic feel, but they also have high potential to read as matronly or as an attempt to conceal aging upper arms on someone 40+. Michelle has the arms of a 16-year-old track star, so she doesn’t need that noise.

  • BlairBear

    For me this dress lost most of its charm from the runway. It seems they changed it so the waistline sits much higher and they removed all the draping in the bodice. It went from interesting looking to totally standard. I wouldn’t mind losing the sleeves if she kept the body of the dress. that is a great color for her

    • Rhonda Shore

      The waistline does look off somehow and is more bothersome than the sleeves or lack thereof. I don’t love this.

    • Amykl

      As a 5-11woman (like Flotus), I can tell you that the dress isn’t changed, it just doesn’t fit her. Its made for a shorter person, or someone with a shorter torso. Every dress I have ever tried on fits me like that, except for custom-made items like my weddibg dress.

      Proportion, people!

      • BlairBear

        I assume it was custom made for her given that she is the first lady. I don’t think Marchessa mass produces and any samples would probably be tailored to six foot runway models so I am skeptical that a sample would be too short for the first lady. Furthrmore, I think there has been substantial changes to the way the dress is draped and the embellishments are much less extensive further pointing to a custom garment. Also she loves a high waist like the dress has and the one on the runway didn’t so I am guessing the first lady asked for the changes and I think they don’t better the dress.

      • Lilithcat

        No, it’s definitely changed. If you look at the dress Michelle is wearing, there’s a clearly defined waist line, above which the fabric has horizontal folds, and from which the fabric drops vertically. On the model, the material is pleated, and drapes diagonally, with no clear waistband.

  • gabbilevy

    This dress improved for me when I saw it was gray, not white, but it still read a little too “wedding.” Shelly rarely looks bad, but this won’t go down as onto remember.

    • VicD

      Yes, it is kind of bridal. I can’t tell that it’s gray in pictures, but maybe in person…? I will second the vote for the fabulous earrings though – love those!

  • KinoEye

    The hair and earrings are winning it for me. The dress looks a little bridal to me, but I do like the color. I could take or leave the sleeves. All in all, pretty damn good for a gown made by Marchesa. She looks gorgeous as usual.

  • Latin Buddy

    Have to disagree, gentleman. The sleeves would have taken this into Mother-of-the-Bride, too matronly territory. She would be walking Gray. Her bronze skin really balances out the dull gray.

  • I hate that we only ever see these correspondants dinner dresses from mid thigh up if we are lucky. I remember one year I couldn’t find a standing up shot at all. :/ Looks like they changed the skirt from the model version as well.

    I love her and I think she could wear potato sacks and make them rock. How glorious it would be to see a shot of Mrs O and Lupita together.

    I believe I saw Lupita in at least 3 different new outfits. can’t wait to see them posted here.. 🙂

    • Sarah

      I saw all the arrival shots on the MSN home page – full body pics.

      • None of Mrs Obama though. If you did see one of her, pretty please let me know and I’ll search. But my experience with this in the past is we only ever see her behind the table.

        • Sarah

          Gah you’re right! I Googled it and nary a whole-body shot to be found! So weird. You may only view her from the thighs up.

    • Rhonda Shore

      Me too! I really loved the frock Lupita wore at her WH visit!

  • And can I also just say, how awesome were the two Veeps. 🙂 I loved when Selina went all Frank Underwood. 🙂 And I loved Mrs O catching them in the kitchen..

    • VictoriaDiNardo

      “Yes Kevin, we can ALL talk o the camera; we’re just not supposed to!”. Love her!

  • I’m sorry the diagonal orientation of the draping across the front was changed to what appears to be a straight horizontal line. I find the change really renders the gown less flattering, probably on anyone, not just Shellie. Yes, sleeves would have been a change for her, but I’m not sure about THOSE sleeves. The gray color is indeed very flattering.

  • Judy_J

    Those sleeves elevate the dress from just fine to gorgeous. I too wish she’d kept the sleeves.

  • Hermione

    Disagree about the sleeves. I think with the sleeves the dress looks too much like a peignoir.

  • KendraMR

    I have to disagree, Uncles. The dress looks better without those sleeves. I love her hair color, but my only quibble would be the length of her bangs/swoop–it’s way too low and she was constantly moving it out of her face. Other than that, her makeup is perfection, and those earrings are to die for.

  • Jessica Freeman

    This looks like a wedding gown. I mean, glad it’s a reigned in Marchesa, but I don’t love this. This is a woman who kills it in color, so I’m sad to see this bland silvery white situation.

    • janet

      Agree.. I kept thinking wedding dress.

  • Bobbie_Loblaw

    I’m . . . not loving this. As others have pointed out, the shape, fabric, and color all read “bridal” to me. And there’s one piece of hair that seems to going directly through her line of sight. Like my mother always says, “But how can they see your pretty eyes?” How indeed, FLOTUS?

    • janet

      agree.. That was what I was thinking …. wedding dress.

  • Danielle

    I love the sleeves, but FLO looks amazing without them. I think the sleeves might have pushed it into bridal territory. Her hair is flawless.

  • Drunken Housewife

    Too bridal and makes her look very thick in the midsection. Not up to her usual level of style.

  • janet

    Love the dress …. hair is a total other issue.

  • BobStPaul

    Much preferred the dress as it was originally designed though she still looks great.

  • Yvette Florio Lane

    It doesn’t even look like the same dress–it’s lost all the dramatic draping at the waist.

  • dea

    I agree, the dress looks even better with those sleeves But it might be a bit too much for a First Lady no?

  • AzaleaP

    She looks great, but agree with the too wedding-y comments

  • marlie

    I think the dress is lovely on Shelly O. I see what you’re saying about the sleeves, and I think the dress is pretty as-is on the model, but I wonder if the sleeves would have skewed too matronly on FLOTUS.

    And Shelly’s hair looks FAB.

  • ktr33

    Those sleeves, tho lovely on the runway, are too ethereal for this FLO.

  • *eyes you*

    *puts down rocks*

  • susan6

    Everything from the neck up is gold. Not fond of the dress on her….it’s too busy and the waist seems too high. Sheath dresses, FLOTUS…they are your friend.

  • Hated it even before I knew it was Marchesa. Between the drooping shoulder and the drooping hair, she looked sloppy and unsophisticated to me.

  • SugarSnap108

    I’m so glad I held off throwing my rock and let you explain yourselves. Those arms should be on display.

    But I’m not feeling this dress, sleeves or not. Because Marchesa.

  • teensmom99

    I love my uncles.

  • RedRaven617

    I agree.. the sleeves give it an ethereal look her version is missing. Also, I like the cut of the skirt on the original.

  • bitchybitchybitchy

    that is one gown that is especially lovely with those diaphonous sleeves, so yes, I agree with my uncles.

  • melanie0866

    Too fussy and bridal for my taste.

  • MilaXX

    Dat hair! That my friends, is fried, dyed and laid to the side! I live. I love the dress even though I understand what you mean about keeping those pretty sleeves.

  • EEKstl

    Agreed. Without those lovely sleeves it looks like a prom dress. Hair, makeup and earrings are FABULOUS, tho…

  • andi56

    Hmmmm… I really hate the sleeves; it makes the dress look too prim and precious. But I have never liked that type of sleeve when it adds nothing to the dress.

  • Sofia

    i think her hair itself is beautiful, but i think the earrings and neckline would have been better served with a sexy updo. and a strong, matte lip.

  • AnnaleighBelle

    I think MO would have come off as too princessy/imperial with the sleeves. Removing them modernized the dress and Americanized (?) it.

  • Lattis

    It’s interesting to see her in this dress. I dislike Marchesa in general because I dislike princess dresses in general. But, Michelle Obama looks gorgeous here. The pale, winter morning grey is so perfect on her.

  • crash1212

    I hate those sleeves and cannot imagine Mrs. Obama ever wearing such things – with good reason.

  • MaggieMae

    If it’s stressful being FOTUS, you wouldn’t know it by looking at her. Girl looks fantastic.

  • Lilithcat

    The version on the model is much lovelier, more unusual. The sleeves kick it a notch up, and the pleating at the midsection is divine (and would, I think, be far more flattering to FLOTUS than the drapes dropping from a waistband).

  • HATE all of it! She looks like a mother of the bride/groom… whatever….but not a First Lady of the United States! The hair hanging over her eyes like that makes her look like she’s had too much champagne at the wedding reception!

    • sagecreek

      But she is a First Lady, and quite a fine one.

      • She’s great… but her stylists aren’t always hitting her looks out of the ball park.

  • Kelly

    I can’t get behind the hair. I’ve internalized too many years of my mother saying, “and get that hair out of your eyes!” To me it looks sloppy and distracting.
    As for the sleeves, I find them a bit much. Michelle’s style is better suited without them, imo. I prefer the model’s skirt, though, because it lengthens the waist, and I believe that Ms. Obama, like me, is short-waisted. I’m always looking for a lengthening line such as the draping provides. Plus, a different color might have helped make the dress look less bridal.

    • Boobs Radley

      Thank you for that comment about the hair. I was thinking the exact same thing.

  • JES

    The hair is too youngish.

  • FibonacciSequins

    *slowly lowers arm, rock clutched tightly in hand*

  • aahlife

    The original design of the dress is much better for her. It would have elongated her short waisted figure. Now it emphasizes where her waist is, all the skirt fabric comes from there as opposed to the tampering of the skirt of the original design.

  • The runway dress is interesting. The watered this down to a Mother of the Bride / second wedding dress schemata…Shame.

  • enchanted216

    My thoughts, exactly. Love the sleeves, and if think it would have been an interesting and welcome change for her.

  • AndieJay

    I fear the sleeves would have aged her. On the model they look airy-sexy, but any woman older than 25 has a harder time pulling off airy-sexy.

  • Krysta

    The diagonal draping leading to the applique (or whatever that fancy thing is) on the runway version looks much better to my eye than the vertical pleating from the waistband on the FLOTUS.

  • ashtangajunkie

    I don’t think I would have liked the sleeves on her at all, but I’m not crazy about this dress regardless. Her head is gorgeous and I would do horrible things for those earrings.

  • e jerry powell

    Mrs. Thing is SERVING.

    But without the sleeves, she looks a little thicker through the middle. Maybe that’s just the camera angle, though.

  • Man Dala

    I think she looks fabulous, like American royalty (if that was possible in a democracy). Joel McHale looks great too but I can’t be objective, I’ve always had a soft spot for him.

  • demidaemon

    For once, Marchesa needs the extra embellishment. Wonders will never cease. But, despite the alterations, FLO still looks amazing.

  • I prefer Mrs. Obama’s version without the sleeves. It tones down some of the frippery.

  • LadyVimes

    That dress is completely different from what the model is wearing. The gathering on the skirt is definitely off on the version FLO has. I wish they had given her the same dress as what was on the runway, including the sleeves.

    • Gatto Nero

      Yes, it is a different dress — or at least the diagonal gathering and placement of the applique on the original are different enough to give it a better silhouette and feel. The version on the model, with or without the sleeves, is much more elegant and interesting (as Marchesa’s dresses go, that is). FLO’s version is a little matronly to my eye.

  • Deena

    I agree that the one with the sleeves is much nicer.

    But is that even the same dress? The draping of the one on the model radiates inward toward the center of her waistline at the center of the spray of embroidered flowers.

    The draping of the one on FLOTUS is just horizontal (bodice) and vertical (gown) and the composition of the flower spray seems reversed, removing the focal point from the diagonal.

    These things are probably making as much a difference in overall perception as the missing sleeves

    • pdquick

      Now that you mention it…

      • Deena

        Unless the white house seamstress has created a knock off, FLOTUS needs to get our money back 😉

  • HobbitGirl

    No way! I think the sleeves take it into pure ’70s Gunne Sax. She looks awesome.

  • LambeeBaby

    Although the sleeves look nice on the model, I think they would have appeared matronly on Michelle. BTW I can’t stand the lipstick.

  • katiessh

    I think it might have looked too fussy with the sleeves on her. This is a cleaner look.

  • Karen Clark

    Those sleeves really set off the dress. Wish she kept them but she still looks amazing.

  • Alexis Wenceslao

    Very good that she finally softened her DRAG BROWS. She looks more feminine. Dress looks fabulous in the original state, agreed.

  • Alfred Cox

    GlaMOUR. DIva. Legendary. What else needs to be said? Well one more thing lol. WERQ!

  • Alfred Cox

    I would have made her wear sleeves, because the dress is whining for it, but still, M.O knows what works for her.

  • mdcoon127


  • CanIbeFrank

    Looks like a high-end prom dress to me.

  • pdquick

    The great thing about the diaphenous sleeves on her would have been that you could still see Thunder and Lightning through them, but they would be just ever so slightly coquettish.

  • JynxTheCat

    mm. something about this moves out of the stately box for me. The droop shoulder AND the Facts of Life hair….I dunno.