Michelle Obama in Prabal Gurung at African Leaders Summit

Posted on August 08, 2014

Oof. This looked so pretty in thumbnails. Perhaps it was meant to be viewed only from very far away.


Michelle-Obama-Prabal-Gurung-USALSDWH-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (1)President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, in the Blue Room during a U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit dinner at the White House. Michelle Obama is wearing a modified Prabal Gurung yellow silk-chiffon dress from the Resort 2013 collection.

Michelle-Obama-Prabal-Gurung-USALSDWH-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (2)Prabal Gurung Resort 2013 Collection

Michelle-Obama-Prabal-Gurung-USALSDWH-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (3)

Michelle-Obama-Prabal-Gurung-USALSDWH-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (4)

Yeah, we no like. From the really unflattering hairstyle down to the metallic shoes, none of this works for us. The color’s bad and those floaty straps aren’t friendly to her. She’s got at least twice as many bracelets as she should, and the earrings look too formal for the dress. It’s been a long time since we’ve disagreed with every single style choice FLO makes. This feels like something she would’ve worn several years ago, when she was still figuring things out on the style front and making way more mistakes than she makes now.





[Photo Credit: Amanda Lucidon/White House, Prabal Gurung]

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

  • ivfive

    There is not one single person on earth who would look good in that color.

    • Musicologie

      Not even Lupita Nyong’o? Sorry to be contrarian, but I believe she looks good in every color.

      • ivfive

        Are we sure she’s even human? I guess I should have said no mortal person.

      • conlakappa

        It might be one of those colors that looks better live than it photographs. As a brown-skinned mortal person, I know that color works well for me.

        • J. Preposterice

          yeah, I feel like there’s something weird and harsh in the lighting that is making everything look worse. parts of her & the dress look overexposed, and the shadows are really stark throughout.

    • marlie

      The color isn’t bad on her, but every single other thing about the dress is.

    • My husband is half-Choctaw, and when his sister tans up in summer she can work a neon like it owes her rent.

    • Drunken Housewife

      I don’t mind the color on her. It’s just such an astonishingly hideous dress that she’d look bad in it, no matter what color the dress was.

    • The colour is the only thing that does look good on her!

  • sienna elm

    I like the colour, but the chiffony fabric is terrible.

  • Chuck Barthelme

    The cut of the bottom half isn’t doing her any favors either. I think it might have been better if it was still a floor length dress.

  • fursa_saida

    This lighting is fucking criminal. She looks like some sort of evil mirrorverse version of herself.

    • Yabba_Dabba

      Or an accurate picture of her inner and outer ugliness… That’s the simpler explanation.

      • Nikko Viquiera

        wut? You, my friend, are in the wrong comments section.

        • Yabba_Dabba

          Oh sorry. Is this one of those sites that tries to convince itself that this nasty anti-American cow is “fashionable” and “pretty”??? My bad.

          • Nikko Viquiera

            Nope, this is one of those websites where we don’t comment negatively on people’s physical attributes – that is off limits. As for the fashion, you can opine all you want. 🙂

          • Yabba_Dabba

            Ok. Apologies.

  • Thomas

    It would have been funny if the First Lady wore the model’s version with the bra top.

    • anneshirley

      It’s obviously not appropriate, and it’s not perfect, but it’s such a better dress than the version MO is wearing.

      • Thomas

        Idk. Both look pretty fug to me.

    • kimmeister

      One of the lower seams on her bust does look like it’s coming undone . . .

  • Town

    I think she looks good in the color. I don’t like those strappy ruffly things, though.

  • Missy

    I feel like this all would have worked better if the waist had been a few inches lower to sit at her natural waist. The babydoll proportions don’t do any favors to her awesome bod. (Was that disrespectful? Sorry First Lady, you have an awesome bod.)

    • This looks like a bridesmaid dress picked out by a really mean bride.

      • Missy

        I feel like “Don’t be your own really mean bride to your bridesmaid self” should be a self-help mantra for dressing/styling.

        • Sam Smith

          Yeah, I’m a fan of the pick a color but let your friends pick a dress that flatters them. Or even just let your friends pick a dress that flatters them in a range of colors.

      • Sarah

        Yup. My sister had a friend who was kind enough to let her bridesmaids make their own dresses from a pattern she selected (which was fine for my sister who could sew but not the other four girls) and provided the fabric. It was a canary yellow silk jacquard, and the pattern was knee-length with a peter pan collar and a peplum. SO. BAD. AND homemade.

        • I hope your sister isn’t her friend anymore. That’s AWFUL.

          • Sarah

            I think she is, but it was a long time ago. My sister is pale unto blueness with auburn hair, so it was incredibly bad. Like, no pictures survive bad.

          • demidaemon

            I see she had a ritual cleansing of this incident. I approve.

    • I used to be fashionble

      If you watch closely, Mrs. Obama nearly always wears dresses with near babydoll proportions. I think she does it to hide her stomach; and I think she wears those skinny belts to give the illusion of waist. Often her fashion strategy works (from the front, if not from the side) but can only miss with chiffon.

  • Julie Chase

    That hair is SO bad. Just severe and bad and the lighting is gaaaaaah and I have no idea what happened here.

  • spirit52

    It hurts to say this, but you guys are 1000% correct on this look. No Bueno

  • I hate those ruffly straps, but my real issue is her husband’s suit! You are the President of the United States of America! Don’t pose for pictures in a wrinkled suit!

    • SugarSnap108

      I was so taken aback by the FLOTUS misstep, I didn’t notice his suit. This is a terrible day in Obama fashion history.

    • YIKES, wtf. How is every suit in his closet NOT tailored to his measurements? Was there a sudden and extremely contained fire inside his wardrobe this morning?

      • conlakappa

        I hear that all clothing must make an allowance for a bullet-proof vest. Perhaps he’s trying out a more streamlined vest? That’s his fat suit? He usually only wears it with the vest but wasn’t thinking he’d be having dinner at home so didn’t don it today?

        • Ohhh, I hadn’t thought of allowances for bulletproof vests. But those are all great excuses!

  • Shelly, you’re better than this. Please replace Prabal’s number in your iPhone with Tracy Reese’s.

  • Noooo…… the lighting is not good. Not good at all.

  • anneshirley

    I like the color. The neckline isn’t working though, those ruffles are a big no (they are ok with the runway version, as a contrast to the bodice, but they look odd with the bodice on MO’s version), and it should have been kept floor length. And yes, the bracelets and hair are a no.

  • Diesel von Trapp

    Some colors don’t belong on people.

  • Boulderista

    I think it needed to be either the ruffly straps or the color, not both. For this setting and with those shoes and accessories I believe navy would’ve been a better choice for that dress in which case the ruffles could stay. Otherwise keep the odd neon yellow but ditch the ruffles and change the accessories.

  • Leah Elzinga

    Ugh, and she’s making the classic “tall girl” mistake of leaning forward and down towards the person next to her. HORRIBLY unflattering. Shelley, you’re tall and gorgeous. Shoulders back, woman! Don’t you teach classes on this shit?!

  • sagecreek

    Oh, dear. I love FLOTUS but that’s just awful. And no one over 24 can carry off those ruffly straps.

  • Karen Belgrad

    This color is not helping my migraine.

  • Sophie

    Love the earrings, she just has to change all the rest.

  • decormaven

    Rare misstep by FLOTUS. Looking forward to a few candid snaps from her upcoming vacay. Those outfits will be better.

  • greymain

    just no.

  • hillmad

    It’s a very rare and strange misfire for both the FLOTUS and the POTUS – I’ve never seen him in a suit so over-sized and wrinkled, either.

    • Deedles

      I know! That suit looks so cheap. He’s at an event at his HOME, for the love of goddess. There is no travel excuse here!

  • tallgirl1204

    It’s just too frou-frou and juvenile looking for me. Shelly O is a beautiful and statuesque grown woman, and this reads junior. I would like to see her older daughter in something like this. Also, the neckline is severly unflattering– reminds me of the racer tank top TLo was critiquing earlier this week.

    • Tanagra

      I agree. It reads kind of junior prom to me.

  • sugarkane105

    It BURNS. Nothing about this is good. Honestly, who took a look at the original design and said “Hey, let’s try this on the First Lady?”

  • sugarkane105

    Also, Mr. President needs to hem his pants.

  • Frank_821

    They made some bad decision with the FLO version of that gown. The original version is tricky but it can work on someone with the right height and proportions

  • EEKstl

    So many things would have to have been different about this look to make it work (long version, less floaty straps, different accessories and hair, yada yada yada…) that it’s time to just throw in the towel and move on.

  • Glam Dixie

    Wow, she looks like she smells a fart, the hairstyle is the absolute worst thing for her features and those straps, oof, I hate it all. Total misstep.

  • GorgeousThings

    Oh my – first off, the lighting in that picture is TERRIBLE. It does no favors to her. On top of that, that dress makes her look wide. She’s not a toothpick, but she’s not wide, either. The hair is a crime against humanity, and those shoes look like a pair my mother had in her closet back in the 60s. Bad, FLO, just bad.

  • nannypoo

    In a different color it could have been cute on Sasha.

  • Anna

    Eeek. I appreciate the alterations in the bust area (the original looks VERY Versace), but the overall dress still looks cheap and high school formal dance. I wouldn’t like it in any better, but this seems like it would be more suited to Malia.

  • AMartel

    The bangles are the only style choice I like about this look.

  • Denise Rambo

    That dress is a little young for her.

  • Sobaika

    I like the color on Mrs. O but the floaty chiffon-y thing is not in her wheelhouse. Hairdo is a terrible.

  • princessricky

    has the president lost even more weight?? those pants are so baggy!!!!

    • KendraMR

      Yeah, he’s probably super stressed.
      /No politics

  • marlie

    I have a picture of me wearing my hair exactly like that from when I was about 3. It was cute then. Otherwise, this dress is WAY too shortwaisted for Shelly, and it manages to make her look thick around the middle.

  • schadenfreudelicious

    ooh me no likey, acid yellow and a sock bun…no

  • IAmJ

    I love both of them but Shelley looks awful and Barack’s suit is just SAD. What the hell happened?

  • ccinnc

    I had a dress in a very similar style, in black chiffon, in 1992. It also looked horrible on my skinny 36-yr-old self.

  • asherlev1

    This feels so much like something Megan Draper would wear. Or am I the only one thinking like that? /ducks to dodge potential flying tomatoes/

  • Peeve

    This is a phrase I hesitate to use, because I hate it, but it’s a little too young for her. It’s the ruffles that make it seem juvenile to me, even though the skirt screams ‘old lady’.

  • KendraMR

    It pains me to say this, but both of them look turrible: neon yellow should be used only in sneakers and not a gown, and POTUS shouldn’t be shopping at Men’s Warehouse. 🙁

  • Janet B

    I like her earrings, but that’s it.
    I just read somewhere, that you can’t wear too many bangles.

    eta: good news, she didn’t wear the original version.

  • I don’t think there is a tactful way to say this, but she looks like she went shopping in her daughter’s closet (and let her daughter do her hair.) She can keep the earrings and shoes, but everything else needs a rethink. That neon dress is casting a very harsh reflected light on her face. Way too many bracelets, and high school hair. She has looked so much better than this.

  • Sarah V.

    Good thing it’s back-to-school time, because FLO just reminded me to stock up on highlighters.

  • Drunken Housewife

    Looks too informal for the occasion, and I just can’t with that bun. Normally I worship her style, but this was a clusterfuck.

  • RescueMe23

    She is too broad in the shoulders for this look, and that hair style does her no favors.

  • JudyP

    Is it just me, or does she totally have a split seam in that bodice??

  • somebody blonde

    Wow, this really is a terrible look for her. Let’s burn these pictures, FLOTUS.

  • KateShouldBeWorking

    Did she lose a bet to Boehner?

  • MilaXX

    I think the dress works better full length, cutting at the knee makes it go all weird. I don’t mind the hair or earrings, but the shoes and bracelets are wrong.

  • Gatto Nero

    I love the idea that she went for a bold color and bold accessories for this occasion. But that acid yellow is no one’s friend, and the too-high waist, the gathered skirt, and the shape of the bodice are not flattering on her.
    In other news, the president looks exhausted, and his clothes — which are normally impeccable — are wrinkled.

    • Kitten Mittons

      That was my thinking. Given recent events, they’re both probably exhausted. If it looks like he’s been in that suit for two days, he may well have. I’m giving them both a pass this week.

      • Gatto Nero

        Yes, agree. I meant it to sound more sympathetic than critical.

        • Kitten Mittons

          That’s how I read it 🙂

  • I covet her earrings. I will not speak of the rest out of courtesy to FLOTUS.

  • SistaT

    I think FLOTUS has fallen prey to something that has harmed many a booty-ful woman: the floaty dress. As one of the number, I have found over the years that excessively floaty dresses tend to be unflattering – they make us look bigger than we are. We are almost always better served by fitted pieces.

  • msdamselfly

    Looks like she put on a 7 yr olds dress. Unflattering shape and color and the hairstyle is horrible. The Kenyan official looks great.

  • kat89

    That dress would look good on her daughters. She looks like she’s too old for it.

  • anonylind

    She looks slouchy. She is so tall and beautiful but you can’t tell it here. Shoulders back, Mrs. O! And ditch the false lashes too.

  • Qitkat

    Good grief, that is a LOT of bracelets. I have to say I really don’t care for this hairstyle on her. The dress isn’t the best, but clearly she couldn’t have worn it as designed. I can appreciate the color, perhaps in these days of relentless bad news, something cheerful is not such a bad thing.

  • Columbinia

    Not a flattering bodice. Given the heat of that evening in DC, an updo was a necessity.

    What about Jill Biden’s dress?

  • mrspotts66

    i could totally be good with the dress if someone hadn’t done THAT to her hair.

  • what not

    I’m guessing elements of this outfit were a nod to the event. The many natural-hued bangles, heavy earrings, and bright color of the dress seem appropriate for an African leaders’ summit, and relatively subtle. I don’t think the hairstyle or dress shape are flattering, but I can see why the FLOTUS’s team might have made certain choices here.

    • kategs

      exactly what I was thinking!

      • Constant Reader

        Me too. And I suspect the color looks much better on her in person than in this harshly-lit picture.

  • smayper

    I’ve never seen her look so utterly wrong.

  • kimmeister

    I just bought a small hair donut at H&M last week. This reminds me to never attempt using it on the top of my head.

  • FibonacciSequins

    I like the shoes. That is all.

  • Mr. J.


  • MC B

    This may be just the kid in me but I had to giggle when I saw that “His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta” is the President of Kenya! I’m sure that makes his name easy to remember.

  • Sherilyne Cox

    Tell me there’s not global warming. Somebody turn down the sun.

  • guest2visits

    The color, the style: looks too much like a terrycloth beach cover-up. The illusion is reinforced with the hair in a bun and large, swingy earrings. No to the shoes too. I know it’s summer but it feels too casual for the WH.

  • livesarah

    The only thing I like about it is that it’s a bit of an out-there choice by First Lady standards. It was a poor choice, but I am so glad she is no Laura Bush.

  • e jerry powell

    i figure she picked the vibrant color for the even, but I think one of those Nyong’o Nairobi blues might have worked better.

  • GemFemme

    Horrible color on her. Actually, really horrible color on anyone.
    Hate the hair. This is the hairdo you see on Sarah Jessica Parker a lot. I hate it on her too.

  • cocohall

    I like the metallic shoes. I can envision a time and place where they would look lovely. I cannot envision the same for the dress, earrings or hair. Jesus, she looks so awful, it’s almost like it isn’t her. Does the Secret Service have a FLOTUS body double? And they put her in atrocious clothes and hair to distract from the fact that it isn’t really Michelle? I want to cry. Where is the real FLOTUS?

    • demidaemon

      I like this plot. It sounds great for a political thriller/comedy.

  • RichStrathmann

    I think we should be talking less about Shelly O and more about Chantal Biya. OMG I LIVE FOR HER

  • Howardcruikshank

    The cover picture could be titled ‘three apes clothed.’ Because that’s what this picture is. Disgusting.

  • CPK1

    Whoever did this to Michelle needs to be reprimanded. From the horrid hairdo to the hideous color and the bangles.. Perhaps a personal worst


    I wish she would stay away from that waistline, I’ve seen it way too many times on her and it never works. The dress might be salvageable had it been floor length. She needs new stylists. Badly.

  • mharper42

    We’ve seen her big shoulders and bare arms way too much. Yellow “floaty” top does not conceal those unfeminine features. I must say, the bun on top of the head looks like it should have a bone sticking out of it.

  • largishbearishAtlish

    Awwww hate to see her make a (massive) misstep like this but…ouch. I think T’lo (of course ™) nailed it. That hairstyle is almost painful…and down hill from there…but we still love ya FLOTUS.

  • moxx

    She looks like a drunk mom.

  • boweryboy

    By far her worst FLOTUS look ever. It’s so ugly from head to toe that it doesn’t even look like her.