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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A Staple Suit

Image used with kind permission from Small Dog Electronics

I thought we could use a new post to tide us over until Mrs. O is back on the official first lady circuit in Washington. Though a bit after the fact, I recently received permission from a photographer to feature a photo of Mrs. O taken at a White House holiday reception on December 7. It's notable because it gives us another look at Mrs. O's Michael Kors gold lurex suit jacket and pencil skirt.

For those keeping count, Mrs. O has worn at least three of these Michael Kors suits, including the red silk shantung and yellow lacquered boucle versions shown below. It's interesting to see how different fabrics can take the same suit through various seasons.

Image by Rick Gershon / Getty Images

Photo by Mary Riley / Reuters

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Reader Comments (78)

I think it's great that Mrs O is choosing a basic design that suits her well and having it re-interpreted in different fabrics and necklines etc. The red shantung is my favorite.

I remember as a seamtress-teenager taking one dress pattern and making it 10X in different fabrics, lengths, sleeves, necklines.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 2:21 PM | Unregistered Commenterkbarch

Well, it was immediately recognisable as Michael Kors. Personally, I preferred the yellow version, but hey - I'm all for keeping a bit of Christmas sparkle into the New Year! (A belated Happy New Year to you all.)

Thanks, Mrs. T., for the post to keep us tided over - you know what keeps us going....!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 2:56 PM | Registered CommenterEnglish Observer

Who is the lady with Mrs. O in picture 2, the one where she is wearing the red Kors?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 3:12 PM | Unregistered Commenterpoiret

I think the gold one looks incredibly frumpy! Not a good style for her at all.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 3:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterNancy

The red and yellow are awesome. the gold looks like the mother of the bride.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 3:26 PM | Unregistered Commenterjenh


Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 3:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterCMB

I think I liked the yellow one the most. So cheerful!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 4:18 PM | Registered CommenterChristina

Mrs. T--Thank you for your admirable efforts in keeping this website fresh and full of integrity (not an easy job, to be sure). Regarding these 3 pics--the first just makes me ache. How could this possibly have been thought to be a good outfit for the lovely Michelle? I can't think of anyone who would look right in it! Numbers 2 and 3 are spectacular, each in a very different way. Love the red, and love the yellow, too. And, yes, who is that woman in the Number 2 photo??

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 4:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterJMH

Happy New Year friends!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 4:49 PM | Registered CommenterMrs. T

Woman in picture 2-I think she is a staffer but I don't know her name.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 4:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterJC

Yep, the gold is my least favorite. The other two look adorable.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 5:02 PM | Registered CommenterNyon

I love the red - I don't like the gold - but I'm thinking I need to see another picture. The lighting on that photo looks awful.

I do however, like the style of the suit.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 5:26 PM | Registered CommenterPatient

Photo #1: It's not the design or style of the ensemble, nor totally the tones in the fabric (which I might add is beautiful) that makes her skin look sallow. I'm noticing how the lighting and/or the camera lens looks off. Even Mr. President's skin tone isn't looking as colorful as it normally does in this photo. I say it's the camera lens which needs adjusting; compared to the other photos #2 and #3, which brings out the richness of her skin tone. The styles are great whether slightly form fitted or not fitted in the waist-line at all.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 5:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterMs. M

Yes, please keep in mind that the first photo is taken by an amateur photographer, while the second two hail from professional photo agencies.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 5:43 PM | Registered CommenterMrs. T

Mrs O looks fabulous in each of these suits and the yellow is stunning. Happy New Year to you Mrs O and all at mrs-o.org. I can't wait until Michelle is back on the First Lady circuit in earnest! I bet I am not the only devotee who has been suffering withdrawal symptoms over the holidays :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 5:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterHannah

Wow. I never realized how gold the gold one was. Yikers! It definitely does look a little M.O.B. - maybe it's the extra length on the sleeves. The sleeves don't actually fit her very well - her arms are well-developed (arms to die for), and that makes the fit on close-fitting sleeves challenging. The shorter sleeves on the other two fabrications fit much better.

I prefer the red one by a mile. And I like the bow!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 6:19 PM | Registered Commenteroperafanatic

LOVE the red and the gold. The red suit has been one of my favorites for some time. Don't care for the yellow, but then yellow is one of my least favorite colors. Hope that Mrs. O. wears the red one again sometime soon.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 7:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterChristen

My personal favorite is the red suit. The color is perfect and the bow adds a great touch. I am not a fan of the gold, and immediately noticed the difference in sleeve. I prefer the cap sleeve.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 7:17 PM | Registered CommenterBevi

What a fun post, Mrs. T!

I think I'm partial to the yellow partly because it was worn at that fabulous design award luncheon. The red with its festive shine & collar is a pretty close second.

Way back in the running -- and I thought this when seen in other pix -- all I can hear is Michael Kors' voice on Project Runway ringin' in my ears, "It's a little MOB. Mother of the bride." (It ups your enjoyment of this remark when you're familiar with MK's voice!)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 7:44 PM | Unregistered Commenterdesertwind

The red is just beautiful and glows on her--I love it on her--very good against the cold of Dec and Jan--I can't wear red myself, but she looks awesome like she's wearing a ruby !!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 7:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterFran

All are beautiful, but I think the red silk shantung is my favorite of the three!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 7:54 PM | Registered CommenterStrong Foru

It IS the sleeve on the gold suit that's the problem, isn't it? The length of the sleeve sort of dowdy-izes & makes the suit look like just any another generic suit (even if it is sparkly gold). I think either cap sleeves or 3/4 is more fresh and better suits our youthful FLOTUS.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 8:05 PM | Unregistered Commenterdesertwind

Pretty red suit, stunning, professional, ladylike, Unique. I love the neckline.
Perfect set if Mrs. O has to pick an outfit quickly,
for an event in the White House or otherwise.

SUNSHINE LADY, my spirit comes to light on this gloomy winter night.
When I scrolled down to this bright suit, I felt alive. It's like I woke up to
summer. Ofcourse I am prejudice when it comes to yellow, that's my favourite
colour. Beautiful smile, great colour for her complexion. Cap sleeves
flattering. #3 my favourite. #1 From what I can see, the glitter was great for
festive season.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 8:11 PM | Registered Commenterprettiribbons

Agree, the red shantung is fabulous. And my new winter jacket is Michael Kors, so Mrs. O and I have a connection!

I miss seeing her hair down. Hope she can go back to that style sometime.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 8:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterTajmaTurner

I like Michael Kors' suits for our Michelle, she wears his designs well. Of the three that's posted, my favorite would be the red one. It looks like she was just glowing and the fit was spot on. We saw the gold one in another thread last year and even though it was only one or two pictures of it, it looks good on FLOTUS. I think she was wearing this one when POTUS was dancing with Edith Childs, stunning. The yellow one was quite an eye-opener, lovely and lively. These are home runs as far as I'm concerned. Well done!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 8:24 PM | Registered CommenterCharlene in Detroit

I'll take all three, please...it WOULD be nice to buy them by the pack! :)

Wonderful suits.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 8:24 PM | Unregistered Commentersd

Agree. LOVE the red and yellow and the gold is just...frumpy.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 9:08 PM | Unregistered Commenterhmm


"The length of the sleeve sort of dowdy-izes ..."

Hee! "dowdy-ize." My new favorite word! But you're right -- I wouldn't have picked up on it myself, but the sleeve of the gold suit is longer now that you mention it. Also, I think the updo, with this suit, adds to a slight aging effect. I don't know why she's wearing her hair up more now, (don't care too much) but it IS a more mature hairstyle, so I can see why the combination together might not work for some.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 10:23 PM | Registered CommenterChristina

Love the shantung and boucle versions of the suit, but the gold just doesn't look good at all!! Too much glitter, sequins, etc., is never a good look. If she'd opted for either the jacket OR the skirt (with a far less flashy substitute for a jacket or pants/skirt), the look would have translated much better. Wearing both together was too much and a def. fashion DON'T! But . . . even the most stylish fashionista can have an off day every now and then ;)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 11:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterStylin' & Profilin'

The gold dress looks lovely here?

I don't think POTUS was dancing, I think he was going to embrace her,LOL

Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 2:15 AM | Registered Commenterdenisegirl

I think my favorite color on the FLOTUS is this bright yellow, followed closely by bright orange. No one I know can pull off these super intense "hot" colors the way she does.

Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 2:43 AM | Unregistered Commentercanyongal

Mrs. T, I don't think the gold is the same suit as the red and yellow. The sleeves are different and the gold jacket has flap pockets. That may be his "signature collar" for his suit sets, though.

Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 2:47 AM | Unregistered Commentercanyongal

denisegirl, thanks for that link because now we can see it really is a lovely suit. The lighting on this photo makes it look terrible but in your link it (and the FLOTUS) looks lovely! And GIVE ME THOSE SHOES she's wearing with it!!! WOW! It's a good idea to go online and find a variety of photos when an outfit is posted here to get a better idea of what something really looks like.

Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 3:22 AM | Unregistered Commentercanyongal

I love Mrs. O, and think she normally looks elegant and streamlined, yet youthful.

However, I absolutely HATE this suit/look on her. It makes her look matronly, older and heavier. it's something that Laura Bush would wear (and I liked LB too, but she was older and has a different style--this suits her, not MO).

When I think of MO's style I think of her in that fabulous multi-colored off the shoulder shirt with the white capris as she and President O headed to some event, or her in that pink Kennedy's center dress or her gold Naeem Khan dress from the state dinner. Those looks are the opposite of these suits. These suits visually diminish MO's radiating inner style, IMO. But of course, she can wear whatever she wants, whenever, and I will always be interested!

Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 4:46 AM | Unregistered Commenternc

What about this dress: http://www.flickr.com/photos/whitehouse/4206525568/ ?

Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 5:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterC. Terra

I think part of the problem with the gold suit is that she has her hair up and tucked in, while her hair is down for the other two pics. I am sure she would have looked less dowdy if her hair were down and would have actually made her overall look more fresh. I think that's more of a problem than the length of the sleeve. She looks like a librarian with that hair and suit combo. I would love to hear the reason behind so many updos lately. Maybe she will mention it in an interview soon. I also dont like how she is standing in the pic. That being said, I am a big fan of the red suit and love the bow on it. One of my alltime favorite looks on her. She looked so pretty. Good hair and makeup can even make the worst looks more forgiving on anyone.

Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 7:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterMrs. A

I feel so proud to have a First Lady as fantastic as Mrs O representing our country. I think she is flawless in every way.

Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 9:06 AM | Unregistered Commenterlakegrl


Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 10:30 AM | Unregistered Commentermichelle

Happy New Year everyone,

Mrs T, I'm a silent visitor to your blog and huge admirer of Mrs. O. Your blog is amazing and it has easily become one of my favorite use of down times. I was wondering if you had any pictures of Mrs. O during her vacation. I learnt she went on a couple of dinner dates and I badly wanted to see what she was wearing. Does anyone have pictures?

Cheers and Fab Job!

Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 11:44 AM | Unregistered Commenternjagrl

Ha, it probably is because of her hairstyle that I don't like the gold look as much.

@njagrl, you can always go to yahoo and getty images to find more pics, just type her name in the search. Also, Huffington Post actually has an entry that has pics of all her vacay outfits. (well they did yesterday. make sure you go to the style section and if you don't see it, there should be a link at the top that says Michelle Obama style and it should bring up all entires related to her style)

Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 2:12 PM | Registered CommenterNyon

She looks so glamorous in the Red Suit and I agree with some of the others that she looks best and youger with her hair down.

I'm not opposed to the up-do's but the loose, flowing hair is extremely appealing.

The gold suit is probably stunning in person but it looks ill fitting and does look very "MOB" (thanks desertwind for the phrase)

Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 2:17 PM | Unregistered Commenterriver rush

It is my 1st post but I check this blog at least twice a day. I developed an interest in Mrs O, when a frien's hubby told me and othe friends when she was camapaigning for Mr O on how much she looks like me, he body shape, including slitly bowed legs, a tummy, esp pre menstrual, her style, in fact most of my friends are the only ones who can attest I have been a shift dress girl since my working life - 1997 because of no waistline, shift dresses look good, I have alswys used belt to create a waist on top of suits and all. I do capris coz it used to be difficult to find right left pants for tall women, the hairstyle. What is shocking is that I am a lawyer, turned corporate group executive with two kids. I run and so i am a size 34/10 at 38 year of age and I have no cellullite and so can wear shorts in all lengths... so the short shotrs story was interesting for me to read. She has validated me and changed the traditional chauvisnist norms on dress held by our societies and sadly enforced by other women on others. Why are women scared to express themselves. I now wear more dresses to work thatn suits as I am not scared I will be perceived less of a prof. I just came back from the US, I am based in SA, got the book Mrs T. Oh, she has influenced me on bangles and cardigans but I am still trying brooches without associating with grannies!

Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 8:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterSarina

It's too much!!! Michelle needs to be out and about again!
This is my second post but i have been looking at this website every day since early last yr.... this holiday season has been hard on me LoL Michelle has been MIA :(
I love to see my first lady,It always makes me happy hope tomorrow will be a better day.

Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 10:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterSMK

The yellow is OK and the red is absolutely stunning and my favorite.

The gold is problematic. I think the fit is off. I don't know if it's the fit, the cut or the neckline/collar but it doesn't look right. The shoulders look slightly too narrow, or the neckline/collar is slightly too wide or something. But it's off and not flattering at all.

But that red is a stunner. More of that red one.

Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 11:18 PM | Unregistered Commentermlaiuppa

Out of the three looks, the gold is just not working. But the maroon is hot, and the yellow is very cute for spring.

Friday, January 8, 2010 at 8:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterCincinnati Kid

Geez, I almost hate to say it, but I love how people are just expressing their opinions about the suits, either positive or negative, without any fighting, defensiveness, or stuff like that. It's awesome!

Also, personally I love the color of the red suit, but I'm ambivalent about the bow.

Friday, January 8, 2010 at 12:29 PM | Registered CommenterChristina

@Christina, I think people are fine with disagreements but not fine with disagreements that are value judgments against Michelle.

Friday, January 8, 2010 at 1:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterThat other Mimi

Love the red the best. The first one...not so much, although it is a lovely suit. The color isn't flattering to her skin tone and the sleeve length covers too much of her fabulous arms. The capped sleeves work better on this, give it a little more perk for her.

Friday, January 8, 2010 at 3:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterEllen S

LOL! @Christina. Please don't speak it up. Let's just admire the civility quietly and hope it continues ;-)

Friday, January 8, 2010 at 3:32 PM | Registered CommenterNyon

The suits are the same basic design. Kors's staff has tweaked the pattern a bit on the third (metallic) one, which is the least flattering.

Friday, January 8, 2010 at 3:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterBeeGee

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