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Honor and Elegance

Image by Charles Dharapak / AP Photos

The president and first lady honored Army Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta (pictured above) with the Medal of Honor during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House today. Giunta is the first living soldier since the Vietnam War to receive the honor. To read more about Staff Sergeant Giunta's bravery and brotherhood in Afghanistan, click here for a Vanity Fair profile.

For the ceremony, Mrs. O dressed in a red brocade dress, paired with a cropped black cardigan and purple Alexis Bittar gem flower pin. The first lady's dress looks familiar, and yet I can't quite place it. Does anyone recognize it from last holiday season? Update: Thanks to the always fabulous Ari who reminded me of this Time magazine photograph taken by Callie Shell during 2009. Now we just need to sort out who made the dress!

Update: The first lady wears a magenta multi-silk pintucked dress by Michael Kors.

Reader Comments (54)

A lovely sedate dress, very rich looking up close and most apopropriate for the occasion. I like that she didn't wear heels. We often see this shot of the president and Mrs O walking very seriously to honour someone already deceased. It's good to see them smiling.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 7:46 PM | Unregistered Commenteralmablanca@msn.com

I don't know how many folks might have seen Sal Giunta on 60 Minutes last weekend, but the story of his bravery is amazing -- and so is his humility. He calls himself a "mediocre" soldier, and says he is accepting this honor on behalf of other soldiers whom he considers far more worthy.

But I don't care what he says: to me, he is absolutely worthy, and we should be honored that people like him are in our armed forces.

Now, having said the important stuff -- this dress doesn't look very familiar to me. I used to be so good at remembering Mrs. O's various outfits, but they're starting to run together a bit for me.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 7:56 PM | Registered CommenterChristina

Hey Mrs.T,
I believe this is the Anne Klein dress I directed you to last December from this Time Magazine Photo:

This was the comment you gave me in response to the photo:

@ Ari and others - Just a bit of background on the red dress photo. It was taken by Callie Shell for Time and is not available for purchase/use elsewhere. Unfortunately it seems unlikely that I'll be able to feature it on the blog. Agree that the dress appears to be Anne Klein. I've reached out to them to confirm.

The link I posted to the dress on the Anne Klein website is old and doesn't work anymore, but I'm pretty sure this is it.

Wow, I can't believe I was able to remember and find all that info from last year on this site. I should be a detective. LOL.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 7:56 PM | Registered CommenterAri

Is that the dress she wore with pants last week?? To India, I think it was...?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 7:57 PM | Unregistered Commenterglammie


I agree with you about the dress, I must say your eye amazes me!

It looks like Alexis Bittar is a new favorite of Mrs O!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 8:01 PM | Registered CommenterTammy Gerardi

Ari wins!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 8:03 PM | Registered CommenterChristina

Yet another 10 for Mrs. O. Love the color and the fit that shows off her waist. Gorgeous dress.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 8:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterKels

Love, love, love ithe outfit! God bless this soldier.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 8:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterSusan

Ari, you have an incredible memory! That is exactly what I was thinking of ... I had forgotten is was a photograph by Callie Shell for Time, and thus couldn't be featured on the blog. I remember reaching out to Anne Klein, but they weren't able to confirm if the dress was their design or not. Perhaps we'll find out this time around?

Tammy, I had the same thought! This must be a new favorite of Mrs. O's.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 8:32 PM | Registered CommenterMrs. T

The President and First Lady....When writing gives them there respect....Please salute them.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 8:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterPamela

Pamela, the proper grammar is as I've used above. Please know this has been researched and considered.

From AP Style Guide:
Capitalize formal titles when they are used immediately before one or more names: President Washington.
Lowercase and spell out titles when they are not used with an individual's name: "The president issues a statement."

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 8:52 PM | Registered CommenterMrs. T

Thank you for all your hard work Mrs. T

I know you respect the office of FLOTUS AND POTUS.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 9:00 PM | Registered CommenterTammy Gerardi

Mrs. O looks fabulous. There was an amazing story on this soldier on last Sunday's '60 Minutes'. He is amazingly humble. God bless him and God bless America!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 9:03 PM | Registered CommenterStrong Foru

Impeccable. They have treated our soldiers with so much honor and respect and policy wise, he gives them the support they need when they get home.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 9:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterADiez

I like how this dress is cinched at the waist, very flattering, in my opinion and I truly enjoy seeing how Mrs O styles her outfits the second time around.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 9:16 PM | Registered Commenterboazwife

Pamela it is 'their' respect.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 9:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterGreta

Now I will wear my grey brocade 3 piece suit, minus the jacket plus a grey cardigan.
A nice update. Thanks Michele.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 10:10 PM | Unregistered Commenterdale@jamaica

I'm just so tired of seeing her wear the little cardigans that look like something she has outgrown. All the good style of her dresses is lost with those little shrugs.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 10:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterBtown Mom

The dress she wore in Jakarta had long sleeves. This one is really beautiful with a bit of shine/sparkle. I absolutely love that cardigan. What would you call it exactly, a shrug? I must get me one.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 10:38 PM | Unregistered Commenterdasie

Beautiful and perfect for the occasion.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 11:38 PM | Unregistered Commenterlisa

Thank you so much for all you do, Mrs. T! And Ari, you must be young to have such a good memory.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 12:36 AM | Registered CommenterGroovy

Totally cosign w/ Boazwife that this dress is perfect b/c of the cinched waist that emphasis the First Lady's figure. This is classic Mrs. Obama with a lovely richly colored sheath, cardigan, broach and kitten heels. I love that they actually honored a living veteran.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 12:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterWillet784

Just gorgeous! The fit and the length are perfect, and the color is so beautiful. Of course, I am also loving the fabulous brooch!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 5:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterChristen

Mrs. T.: Thank you for coaching Pamela on the proper usage of capitalization for the words president and first lady. I would like to coach her on the proper usage of the words "there" (over there) and "their," which is possessive and the proper usage of the word in her post.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 5:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterChristen

A rich and beautiful fabric, lovely dress. Terrible cardigan!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 6:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterThumper


Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 6:49 AM | Unregistered Commentercanyongal

I really like this dress on Michelle Obama. I think she's learning what shapes work for her.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 9:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterJane

Would the cardi be call a bolero jacket? Wonderful fabric...lovely colors and one BRAVE soldier!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 9:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterAdear

I am loving the red brocade dress. The flamboyant red color representing the holidays ahead.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 10:12 AM | Unregistered Commentermarcelle

She has worn that black cropped cardigan, which has a row of tiny buttons down the front, with many dresses. One was the black Alaia dress she wore to dinner in, I believe, Strasbourg. And other places as well. This little bolero is obviously a staple in her wardrobe - and it is interesting that many do not recognize it when it appears again.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 10:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterBeeGee

BeeGee, we know it is the same cardigan. Is it necessary to state the obvious? Should I announce to the world that the sky is blue on a daily basis?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 12:03 PM | Registered CommenterMcKinley

Oh, please, meeeeow!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 12:25 PM | Unregistered Commenterkywstgal

michael kors

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 2:05 PM | Unregistered Commenters

I believe that the pin is by Fabrice.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 2:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterLinda

This isn't an Anne Klein; it's Michael Kors.
See Michael Kors fb page.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 3:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterLTC

This dress is by Michael Kors.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 3:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterZ

The dress is Michael Kors, he just added it to his Facebook page.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 3:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterFashionMom

Thank you all for the tip!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 3:53 PM | Registered CommenterMrs. T

@ Btown Mom,

You may tire of seeing the first lady combine her cardigans with some of her sleeveless dresses, but most of us do not. What you fail to grasp in this circumstance (and in others, I might add) is that by adding this cute cropped cardigan, she's giving a dress previously worn a totally different and fresh look. Like many of us, I had to look closely at this dress to realize it was one she had worn on a previous occasion. As a professional woman who is constantly looking for new ways to recycle dressess, suits, etc, the first lady's efforts in showing the rest of us how we can mix and match, switch things around and in so doing extend the usefulness of our wardrobe without spending a fortune is very welcomed. This is truly instructive to those of us who, in these economic times, live on a budget yet want to look elegant even in our day and work wear.

So if you are truly "tired" of seeing what the first lady wears, then the most logical thing to do is cease from visiting a site that is dedicated to all things Michelle. This way you would avoid any further "upset", and the rest of us wouldn't have to read your nonsensical postings. Get my drift?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 6:14 PM | Unregistered Commentermszonian524

I like the dress and the fit but I think the length should have stopped right above the knee. I don't llke the Kitten heels ,they make her left foot look as if it's about to burst out. The brouch is ok but I'm not a fan of them on her.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 8:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterFredericka Cobb


Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 8:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeorgia

Wow, beautiful dress, beautiful look. The ceremony was a very, very moving tribute to this soldier's bravery.

Thank you, Mrs. T!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 11:08 PM | Registered Commentermeta

They all look wonderful. Re the capitalization of "President," the old AP book (70s) made it capitalized always. I guess cause it is such an important job.

Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 12:06 AM | Unregistered Commenterjenh

This is such a pretty dress on our Michelle. I remember earlier this year that Michael Kors said this will be the new hemline that designers, including himself, will be displaying. I like it sprinkled in my my already existing wardrobe as a variety. It's going to be popping up a lot in this season and while not for everyone, I think it looks good on FLOTUS!

I did not see the 60 minutes segment that you all were speaking of. I hope to find it on Youtube or somewhere because I'd sure like to see and hear more about this soldier. Thanks for the info, everyone!

Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 7:33 AM | Registered CommenterCharlene in Detroit

Very feminine and demure. Her dress reminds me of Christmas. Does anyone know when Michelle will be decorating the White House? I know it's probably too early but I can't wait to see the festivities and the tree being delivered.

Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 7:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterJestina (England)

LOL - Well said to @mszonian524 - I thought we all knew part of Mrs. O's appeal was recycling pieces.
Obviously, this little black balero/cardi goes the distance in her wardrobe!

Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 10:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterAdear

LOL - Well said to @mszonian524 - I thought we all knew part of Mrs. O's appeal was recycling pieces.
Obviously, this little black balero/cardi goes the distance in her wardrobe!

Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 10:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterAdear

I love this dress; it can be both festive and conservative depending on how you style it; plus it minimizes the waist. Also this length is PERFECT on Mrs. O; I love her in heels too, but a girl gotta give her tootsies a break. Now, if I could only find that dress to wear to my office Xmas party. Any advice on where to find it, fellow bloggers?


Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 10:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterNora

Nicely put, mszonian524.

This length is a nice length for fall/winter, and I love the sweater.

CID, you can find the segment on the 60 minutes site.

Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 10:54 AM | Registered CommenterGroovy

I like the complete outfit. Maybe not the decorative pin, but it doesn't distract !

Her waist looks so small and the sweater makes it look even smaller.

Very appropriate for the ceremony - which was fantastic and so important.

The 60 minutes interview was so detailed and enlightening..... this soldier deserves this honor and more!

Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 1:12 PM | Unregistered Commenterriver rush

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