Mrs-O.com is a blog dedicated to chronicling the fashion and style of First Lady Michelle Obama. Founded September 2008. 


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Trimmed in Lace for the Luau

Photo by Mandel Ngan 

We *love* Mrs. O's choice of dress for tonight's White House luau. Her lei seems to coordinate with the purple floral print of her dress. And what is that peek of orange fabric at the neck? Plus the lace trim... This is one of our favorites of recent weeks. What a delight of a dress!

We have a hunch that this may be another Tracy Feith creation, showcasing the designer's trademark mix of prints and texture. Click here to see a similar version of the Spirit dress by Tracy Feith.

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    And a lei, of course.
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    Trimmed in Lace for the Luau - Home - Mrs.O - Follow the Fashion and Style of First Lady Michelle Obama
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Reader Comments (93)

Festive and beautiful!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 8:26 PM | Registered Commenterboazwife

Here's a link to a whole bunch BIG of luau photos:

Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 8:37 PM | Registered CommenterLeah D

I love Mrs. O but I'm not so sure about this dress on her. From the angle above it almost looks like a housedress. Please forgive me, just being honest.

Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 8:38 PM | Registered CommenterStrong Foru

Love it!! Very cute pic.

Strong Foru,
I see what you are saying, but you know they where muumuu's in Hawaii, so maybe it is suppose to have that feel to it.

Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 8:45 PM | Registered CommenterNyon

Fantastic! Very old Hawaii! All of the Obama ladies look very festive and tropical.

Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 8:45 PM | Unregistered Commentertess

Oh course it is a muumuu - they are at a Hawaiian luau for goodness sakes ;)

Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 8:59 PM | Registered CommenterLeah D

Not one of my favorites sorry to say. While I understand wanting to wear a muumuu for the luau, I would've recommended something less boxy. There are some gorgeous ones by vintage hawaiian designer Tori Richard, for example, that skim the figure without sacrificing comfort. The colors are the only redeeming thing about this one, I'm afraid. Michelle looks gorgeous in the pinks, purples and blues, but I'm sorry Ms. Feith, the placement of the lace...? And plaid? Plaid has never been a hawaiian motif in any way shape or form and belongs more on a tablecloth than on a muumuu.

Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 9:06 PM | Registered Commenterms stylist

I like the color and she looks nice to me! It's Hawaiian, it's comfy and gives off the "aloha spirit," IMHO. It's a nice laid back look. I can only imagine how effortless and festive she must be tonight, bouncing around from table to table, person to person, chatting it up and spreading joy and fun. I was watching the video from the white house website and most ladies were wearing boring old skirts, capris, shorts...I saw some sundresses, but fuddy duddy ones. I feel like for most of her public appearances, she is so fashionable, even if she's not wowing us.

Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 9:07 PM | Registered CommenterIVA

Lovely and festive look for both the Obama ladies! Malia is growing into such a beautiful young lady. I can see both Michelle and Barack in her expressions.

Totally off topic. A sad day in Hollywood. I grew up watching Farrah Fawchet and Michael Jackson. They will be missed.

Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 9:07 PM | Registered Commenterann#1

Love the colors with the lace trim and the lei. I particularly like the gold hoop earrings and the bracelets she's wearing on her left wrist--getty has a photo of it, and when her arm is down, it really is so chic looking with the outfit.

Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 9:09 PM | Registered CommenterJanelle

I just read my comment, LMAO!! I meant "wear" not "where"!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 9:26 PM | Registered CommenterNyon

Sorry, I also agree this looks like a house dress or something I made in 6th grade "home ec". I generally think Mrs. Obama picks the perfect outfit, but even she can make mistakes...this is an oops!

Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 9:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterPamm

FLOWER FETISH - I'm surprised Mr.Bo 's collar doesn't have a flower stuck somewhere, since it coordinates so well with Michelle's dress!

For me, this get up that Mrs O has on is so close to home. Living in the Caribbean you forget how much colour in nature influences what you wear. I adore the free light fun loving aspect of Mrs. O's dress - fancy free and no fuss! I particularly like Sasha's ensemble - so cute!

I wonder if Mrs. O has a grass skirt hidden somewhere to continue some of that hula dancing she started earlier today... HUMMMMMM... :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 9:34 PM | Registered CommenterRocky

Janelle, I noticed the bracelets and earrings too. Nice touch. Have you seen the pics of the President dancing and being silly while walking out with Sasha...he had her laughing. It was sweet. I bet he had a good day with the family volunteering in the morning and a nice luau in the evening.

Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 9:36 PM | Registered CommenterIVA

I think Mrs. O looks truly Hawaiian festive for the occasion. It puts me in the mood for a luau.

If I were going to critique the dress from a strictly fashion point of view, I would question the plaid, and the position of the lace that falls at her thighs. But I'm sure she doesn't have time to try to find a muumuu that is absolutely perfect in every way. Overall, I think it's a big hit for the occasion. Great colors on her. The lei and Bo's leash match her dress. :->

IVA - you mentioned watching the video from the White House web site, and I don't know how to find it. When I click on "video" I get tape of the gathering earlier today, but nothing from the luau. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks.

Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 9:43 PM | Registered CommenterWillow

When you go to the white house website, under the "Briefing room" tab there is a link called "media center." One of the options is "Livestream." That is where I caught the video, live.

I don't know if the taped video of it is available, but I'm sure one will turn up.

Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 9:54 PM | Registered CommenterIVA

I usually like what Mrs O wears... but just not feeling this one! I guess it goes for the theme:-(

Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 10:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterShana

Oh my God she brought Hawaii to Washington!!! Awesome she wore a Mumum, Oh my God Baracks grandmother would proud.


I can't believe it.

Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 10:18 PM | Registered Commenterbriana


Any idea on Malia's flower tunic thing? THAT one I'd love for myself.

Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 10:25 PM | Unregistered Commenterdesertwind

Just to digress a little - there is a picture from earlier in the day, with Mr.& Mrs.O with Malia, talking to Desiree Roberts. I suspect they must have been just getting the news on Michael Jackson here. (It's a wonderful family shot by the way, especially the way in which Mrs.O is holding her daughter)


You can also see from this full front on shot that Mrs.O really has put on some weight...

Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 10:25 PM | Registered CommenterRocky

What a cute shift. That lei is such an adorable touch! :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 10:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterCafe Fashionista

Here are loads of pics and more from both of today's events:


Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 11:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterRH

I almost always think Michelle Obama nails it, fashion-wise....but I agree with a couple of the previous posts....this one looks like a housedress....

Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 11:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterSusan

@ Rocky: That picture was posted before the time Michael Jackson was even transported to the hospital accoring to news report; so the picture is about something else.

I'm not sure I like the dress but love the Tropical-infused jewelry. A Coordinating matching outfit like Malia is wearing would have been nice like she did in the day time with sasha. Black tights and nice loose tunic/top. I have seen her rock that look before. Also, I just can't resist, I still don;t like when posters put down others to compliment Mrs. O. There was no need to say the female invitees looked "boring" and "fuddy duddy." Unlike the hostess they do not have the luxury of setting trends. They probably wore what they felt comy in and thought were appropriate attire for them.

Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 11:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterLilly O

Unfair to dogs! Shouldn't Bo have a lei, too?

Friday, June 26, 2009 at 12:01 AM | Registered CommenterHyde Parker

You and I will be flogged in abstentia for our comments! I don't necessarily see that Mrs. O. has gained weight. What I DO see is a long-standing problem with the fit of her pants...ALL of her pants are much too tight and are very unflattering to her. I wish someone would introduce her to a nice, quality dark-wash jean. Pants should fall in an unbroken line from the waist to the ankle. Mrs. O. seems to like cropped pants a great deal, but again...they're unflattering.

Friday, June 26, 2009 at 5:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterChristen

Video of the luau on politico.com. At the beginning it shows the President and Sasha walking. He is dancing and she grabs his other arm like stop dancing you're embarrassing me. It's too cute!!

Friday, June 26, 2009 at 5:53 AM | Registered CommenterNyon

Nice and simple

Friday, June 26, 2009 at 6:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterEbony

I'm sorry to go all soppy but the Obama's are just a beautiful family... I so enjoy seeing them doing stuff together, and this particular evening looked like a lot of fun.

Thanks to Leah D for the link to all the other photo's - I enjoy all the details, like the bars and the table centre's - relaxed, eye catching. Perfect. I hope they all had a great time.

Friday, June 26, 2009 at 8:28 AM | Registered CommenterPosh Tater


This was a morning event. Michael Jackson died in the afternoon (in Eastern time for both). But Farah Fawcett died earlier and that coud be the message.
Or some glitch in the luau plans.

She has not put on a lot of weight. People have different figure types. She naturally has thicker thighs. A lot of people do, me included. Even at 102 pounds, my thighs are proportionately larger. Jeans can emphasize that, but I think humidity is coming into play here, too, making them cling more. There are a couple of other frontal pictures when she is leaving the stage at the event that show less of that.

At any rate, the President (her husband) was impressed with her little hula dance. He always acts like he is very proud of her no matter what she is wearing. .

And it is Desiree "Rogers" not "Roberts" who luckily has no thigh problem.

Friday, June 26, 2009 at 9:36 AM | Registered CommenterSharon Nelson

Love Mrs. O but I think I would like this dress better if it were shorter. I need to see different angles.

Friday, June 26, 2009 at 9:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterNaomi

A little honesty here. This is a terrible dress. I usually love most of her choices but when she blows it she does it in a big way.

Friday, June 26, 2009 at 10:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterSharon

I think she looks FAB!!!! Does this woman ever look bad?? I want my hair cut like hers, but would loose about 6 inches.

Friday, June 26, 2009 at 11:13 AM | Registered Commentersissyluvsbud

I don't think that this dress is particularly special looking -- it's a nice summery shift. What I have realized is that Mrs.O isn't dressing for me. (Me=the public.) She likes it and feels comfy and it fits the occasion so there you go. Not much more to say than that.

I'm troubled by the "she's gained weight/she hasn't gained weight" conversation. Of course, everything is up for grabs here in terms of discussion, but I just wonder why the obsession with weight. I'd like to see some of us photographed every day, at every angle, and see if sometimes we look a little "heavier" than at other times.

Friday, June 26, 2009 at 11:17 AM | Registered CommenterChristina

It looks like Bo also got a trim for the luau. And he also appears to be heeling nicely. He's growing up, practicing his manners and becoming a great first dog.

I do love that print. Retro, but not. And those are my favorite colors. I like all of the cool color wheel from ultraviolet over to teal, with maybe some magenta thrown in for spice. I am a sucker for anything with those color combinations.

I could do without the lace, though. Not a lace person.

Friday, June 26, 2009 at 11:59 AM | Unregistered Commentermlaiuppa

Leah D agreed, Its a Luau. Actually from Obama's speech they apparently told folks to wear the hawaiian shirt and muumuu, which freaking cool to me.

"I hope everybody's got their Hawaiian shirts and their muumuus for our luau tonight," Obama told lawmakers gathered at the White House Thursday for a meeting on immigration.

Mrs T. to me this is one of my favorite too. It exposes alot of folks to the culture of Hawaii. To me this was about exposing Hawaiian culture to the public and realize that there is a lot of culture within the US.

Friday, June 26, 2009 at 12:04 PM | Registered Commenterbriana

I don't mind the luau dress, but I wouldn't pay $1100 for it! I think you could find something comparable at Tar-get! No kidding.

And yes, it took me a long time to realize that looser pants actually are more flattering than skin tight ones, even for skinny thighs. But from the shoulders up, she's spot on.

And I have to smile when I see Malia.... a true 'tween'... and I suppose it won't be long before she'll be rebelling against all this family "stuff". And never smile, like my kids.

Friday, June 26, 2009 at 12:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterBreeze

Don't like this, not one bit. Don't like the shape, don't like the lace, don't like the print. I would much rather have seen a traditional muumuu in these colors, rather than a designer's $1K attempt.

I agree that she appears to have gained weight. That said, @Christina, I think people are noticing/commenting on weight because it does change how we look in clothes. And since the purpose of this site is to view, appreciate, comment etc. on Mrs. O's clothes, many of which most of us with our lifestyles would never clap eyes on , I can see why people are commenting.

Friday, June 26, 2009 at 12:58 PM | Registered Commentermrso2

Michelle looks great in these colors! And I love the lei. From a fashion standpoint (and this is only my own unprofessional opinion), I would lose the lace--especially at the hip line. I would have gone with a traditional Hawaiian designer (maybe she did?) and worn something really classic in the muumuu genre.

About thighs. I have the same issue. And having pants fall straight from my waist is not an option--I'm too curvy--and I think Mrs. O has the same issue. I went pants shopping today--and usually have to have the waist taken in if the pants are to fit my thighs, etc. It was the same for me when I was in my 20 and only weighed 117 lbs!! So, it's not always a weight issue.

I love the spirit of our First Lady.

Friday, June 26, 2009 at 1:21 PM | Registered Commentersusan2

I'm not sure how much weight she could have gained between wearing this clearly loosely-cut dress and wearing the Rachel Roy dress that she had on just a few days ago, in San Francisco, that is just a few posts under this one. In that picture she looks about the same as she ever did. But, maybe I don't have a keen eye for weight fluctuations that others do.

Friday, June 26, 2009 at 1:21 PM | Registered CommenterChristina

Breeze said it perfectly for me. If this dress did not have a designer label, I can't imagine anyone paying $1100 for it.

And, yes, less tight slacks take the emphasis off an area that most of us (including myself) are probably better off not emphasizing. If your pants are "smiling," they are too tight.

Friday, June 26, 2009 at 1:22 PM | Registered Commenteroperafanatic

If one refuses to open their wallet to not purchase something at a certain price point, that is soley their decision. If someone does plunk down the cash to purchase what they want and love, it is clearly their decision. This is her money, her decision.

The dress: I've been to Hawaii and the dress represents the Aloha state at its best...free-flowing, colorful, and whimsical.

Friday, June 26, 2009 at 1:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterMcKinley

There some beautiful Hawaiian prints and dresses and this clearly is not one.

What is that underneath? It looks odd to me. Hair looks great and the girls are cute.

Friday, June 26, 2009 at 1:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterSophie

It's not the most flattering of dresses and it looks like something I might have made my first year in home ec.

Friday, June 26, 2009 at 1:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnn Baker

I was looking at the pics from the link that RH posted and it appears that the dress is a little see thru, so MO has another pink dress under it. You can see what I'm talking about in pics 11 and 12.

Friday, June 26, 2009 at 2:03 PM | Registered CommenterNyon

It's a traditional Hawaiian luau muumuu people. It's supposed to look like a housedress. Give it a rest.

Friday, June 26, 2009 at 2:34 PM | Registered Commentermarabout40

I agree with the majority about the dress--not my favorite, but possibly appropriate for the event. However, just a side note--I thought the dog was for the girls--shouldn't the girls be taking the responsibiliy for taking care of the dog? Inquiry minds are wondering if the secret service pick up the poop--no bag in her hand!

Friday, June 26, 2009 at 2:49 PM | Registered CommenterPhyllis W

That is not a traditional Hawaiian luau muumuu.

Are we not allowed to give honest opinions here?

Friday, June 26, 2009 at 2:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterSophie

That is not a traditional Hawaiian luau muumuu.

Are we not allowed to give honest opinions here?

Friday, June 26, 2009 at 2:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterSophie

Phyllis W, are you serious? You can't be serious - right? Oh, wait, I know what it is, you've never had kids nor pets. That must be it, otherwise your comment would sound so stupid.

Friday, June 26, 2009 at 2:57 PM | Registered Commentermarabout40

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