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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Behind the Scenes

Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson 

Shown in a new White House Flickr photo, First Lady Mrs. O waits to be introduced during an event held at the Claremont Hotel Club & Spa in Berkeley, California on June 14. It's a quiet, contemplative moment, truly behind the scenes.

For the appearance, the First Lady paired a white eyelet skirt with a white top and cardigan, completing the look with a double strand of pearls and green patent pumps.

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Reader Comments (62)

This photo is magnificent... yes her clothes are lovely as usual.... but I love that most of the color in the photo is within the door frame, and she is cool and composed (maybe saying a silent prayer) in the serene blue and white surroundings of the "backstage" area.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 1:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterMr. L

The outfit in general is cute, but the above the knee skirt length does not work for middle-aged women. I have to include myself in that category, and I'm talking about all of us, not just Mrs. O.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 3:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterChristen

Stunning legs and cute summer outfit.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 4:13 AM | Registered CommenterJestina ( London, England)

she looks great! love the outfit!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 7:52 AM | Unregistered Commentertmoore

This is a cute little outfit!!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 8:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterThe Cincinnati Kid

Love the outfit! Wish we could get a closer look at it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 8:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterBunny W.

Love the outfit ... especially the green patent leather pumps. Initially, I was thinking the skirt was too short but !@#$ look at her legs. Since we know and agree (generally) that Mrs. O is the Queen of Appropriate Dressing I'm going to side with her and say since this is at a Club & Spa in Berkeley CA she is OK. She is being young, hip and chic! It's California women and she's not going in looking dowdy! Rock on, FLOTUS!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 8:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterBSewingLady

Wow! She is such a role model of all-round wellness/awesomeness. She is looking so stunning in this cute summer number and killing it with her beautiful legs. Inspires me to be active so I can look even remotely as beautiful as this when I am her age. Loving it!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 9:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterLoveMObama

@Christen, may I respectfully disagree with the generalisation...I think it depends on the legs and not the age of the woman concerned. In this case I think Mrs. O's outfit is cute (as you say), fresh and summery, and I think her legs are just fine for the length!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 9:19 AM | Registered CommenterEnglish Observer

I'm loving this look! And those legs; umh, umh, umh :0)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 10:35 AM | Registered CommenterSoccerNana

I like everything about this outfit, except the skirt length. The first thing that struck me was that the skirt is too short on her.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 10:54 AM | Registered Commenterbabs

Great picture, the skirt length is ok, she's in California.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 11:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterLW

I can only echo what English Observer said. I think it depends on the legs, the confidence of the woman , the actual skirt length and the rest of the outfit. I class myself as middle aged and without blowing my own trumpet, I feel that my legs are my best asset and I refuse to let my age dictate what I wear. Most of my skirts sit on the knee or just above and many of my work suits look like this, together with pantyhose (I wear hold up's actually), nice shoes and a well made face and hair, the whole ensemble looks very nice and something that I am proud of. Let's face it, there are short skirts and there are short skirts that could pass for belts !!!! The first lady looks fine here.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 11:24 AM | Registered CommenterJestina ( London, England)

I don't have the legs for that dress but I wish I did. My "thunder thighs" start at my knee caps. However, Diahann Carroll has written a wonderful memoir titled, "The Legs Are the Last to Go: Aging, Acting, Marrying and Other Things I Learned the Hard Way."
It is a great book and she is a senior citizen who enjoys showing off her illustrious legs.

You can catch Diahann Carroll's discussion of the book and her legs with Michele Norris on NPR at this site:

I also noticed that Mrs. Obama's dress is the same length on her as a dress that a husband of a lady in my church bought for her. This may be a husband-loves-her-legs dress. If so, all we can do is wish we had husbands who loved our legs that much!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 11:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterDr. Cheryl

I have been lurking for a very long time. This piqued my interest about skirt lengths. I never knew that if one was a certain age, she could not wear skirts above the knee. I am definitely middle-aged. I like my skirts above/right at the knee (I have been told that I look dowdy when they are longer). I don’t feel the need to dress like I am 20; but, I don’t want to look like I am 100 either! I will toot my own horn, as I have also been told that I have great legs. My knees are not wrinkled, fat, i.e. Mrs. Obama has the figure to pull off this adorable skirt, so why not? The only difference is, like Jestina, I still wear pantyhose. On another note, does anyone know the designer of the skirt?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 12:12 PM | Registered Commenterjerseygirl

At 67 I wear skirts above me knees - and always receive comments about how good my legs look. But it is the proportion I think is off with Mrs. O's look. Generally I find her look very refreshing - but this look is too "cute."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 12:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterMazie

I am 31 and the first thing I noticed was the skirt length. It's not the age, but rather the situation, I think. Similar to the shorts she wore at the Grand Canyon a few years back. It just was a little off. Actually I recant- this isn't nearly as scandolous (wink). It's borderline. The rest of the outfit is classy while still infusing a light-hearted summeriness (is that a word?). I am going to hold my judgement. I need to see her face-on in it...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 12:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterKahalia

She looks great, Summer White HOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 12:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterNicole

In typical fashion, she looks just fine. Mrs. O knows what looks good on her. I can honestly say that in all of her looks, the greater majority have been fashionably very much on point. She has very good taste and a very distinct sense of style. She has a great body and it is obvious that she takes care of it and pride in her physical appearance. She can wear almost anything, any length and her age has very little bearing on her apperarance since you can bearly discern what her chronological age is based on her looks. I say kudos to this outfit. Amongst First Ladies, she's a 10!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 1:02 PM | Unregistered Commenterbrooksie

If it's not belts, it's skirt length....in my opinion, this skirt is about 2 inches too short...just above the knee is stylish and lets women over 20 show off their legs and would have been better/more appropriate for a FLOTUS....and I actually think the same of Jill Biden, who also has a habit of going just a little too short for her age and station in life...now go ahead and start taking pot shots at me :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 1:36 PM | Unregistered Commenterann50

Okay. I really tried to respond to the lenght of the skirt. But I, myself, have great legs and my husband,(R.I.P) absolutely adored them. He urged me to wear skirts above the knees whenever we would go out and his eyes were always totally on me whenever I would visit the ladies room. Which in turn would turn others' heads(women included). It was his proud look that drew all the attention.

I say that to say this: Jill Biden is much older than Our First Lady and she wears short dresses, skirts all the time. She has nice legs, also. I see much younger women whose legs are not attractive at all and I have to stop myself from saying something to them in a nice way.

Yes, she is in the public's eye, but they way Our President looks at her is enough for me. I miss that so much. Ladies, if you are fortunate to have someone look at you that way (nice legs or not) , consider yourself blessed. It makes a world of difference.

I don't know what middle-age is supposed to look like. ( I am 59 with still great legs) I swim, pilates, yoga and if want to wear shorts, I do. Because I know that my husband is smiling in heaven approving it all. That is what mattered to me and you know, if Our First Lady is middle-aged and looks that great...then I have some serious competition at 70. My husband would have adored her! She looks absolutely great

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 1:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterLDS

i think its more about the cut of the skirt than the length of the skirt. because its full and short, it may not look appealing to everyone. i think she looks fine and has beautiful legs. if you have beautiful legs regardless of your age, flaunt them! Can we say Tina Turner (not that MO's legs are like Tina Turner's), but to me there's no age limit to highlighting your positive features.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 1:59 PM | Unregistered Commenternylse

jerseygirl!!!! Hello and Happy Summer!

It is a generalization that above-the-knee skirt lengths do not work for middle aged women, but what else is new??!!

Mrs. O has terrific legs, as do many women who are in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and beyond. If a woman has it, she can "werq" it. Enough said.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 2:08 PM | Registered CommenterBevi

I'm not even going to start with what length skirt a certain aged woman should wear. I think my problem with this particular skirt is that it just doesn't fit well. The cut is wrong for her. This is an example of what I think Dr. B does wrong also. It almost looks like the bottom panel was added just to make it look not so much like a mini skirt. And would someone please put a book on top of Mrs O and Malia's head so that they can stand up straight. I know they are tall and athletic but enough with the rounded and stooped shoulders please.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 3:30 PM | Registered CommenterAnagrom

If she spoke from a raised platform, this skirt would be very short from the audience level. It might be better for one of the White House picnics if worn with cute flat sandals, but this is simply too much leg to bare when standing before (and possibly slightly above) a group. I generally like what Mrs. O wears, but I feel she sometimes doesn't successfully match the outfit to the event.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 3:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterMrs. S

Ms. Anagrom, Please have the decency to NOT comment on the Obama children. They are children and are not up for criticism, end of story. They are beautiful young women by the way, so can it.

As for Madame Obama, my first thought was 'the skirt is a tad short'. My second was 'but she looks fab in it..!' so as normal... Go Michelle!

I love this lady and her family.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 4:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterIsland Girl

I think she gets it right, she features one part not the whole. If she wore a short dress with cleavage showing that would be over the top but she is not and the ensemble looks great middle age, under age, over age or whatever....I think the only people that are unhappy are those who fret over every move being appropriate....just LIVE!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 6:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterThatOtherMimi

LDS you are my hero, when I hit 59 I dern sure will not be proper but I will definitely look fly!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 6:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterThatOtherMimi

HuffPo has a photo of Mrs. O at an event on access to healthy, affordable food


Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 7:11 PM | Unregistered Commenterlisam

@Anagrom: No, you did not go there. A book on a 13-year-old's head? Seriously?

I agree with Island Girl, let's leave the negative comments far away from the Obama children.

Did you ever think maybe she is camera shy or not yet comfortable with her height.? And I am sure Our First Lady can speak for herself, but I do recall Princess Di and other notable tall people who also slouches and just maybe that is a comfortable posture at times.

If you are tall and you WALK TALK and SIT TALL all day. God bless you. I am 5'7" and I slouch. I workout often, so I do not understand your point.

I forgot another possibility. Maybe they were just simply looking down at something on the ground. Regardless, they are natural loving people doing natural things. The photographer captures them well doing what real natural people do and that is just loving the moment and each other.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 7:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterLDS

I just don't love the dress. It's too cutesy. The bow, the little jacket with short sleeves. I don't like.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 7:27 PM | Unregistered Commenterjzzy55

I couldn't put my finger on it, but I agree with nylse - the cut of the skirt makes it just a bit too short.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 7:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterKathie

The dress length is inappropriate. She is not a young lady, nor does she have shapely legs. She also has a very lumbering gait which would be even more obvious in this outfit.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 10:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterKBS

On length, this dress does not quite clear her knees. Now, that is not short, especially when you consider that her upper legs are also very, very long. Very striking though.

I'd like to comment on posture. It seems to be when she is wearing flats and especially when she is with short people that she appears more stooped. When she is in heels and walking with her husband, she stands tall and straight and moves smoothly.

Years ago I came across an article giving pointers to women about self confidence. It quoted a well-regarded black celebrity that I cannot pinpoint at the moment. She told women to mentally picture yourself as a queen and always walk accordingly: tall and regal.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 10:12 PM | Registered CommenterSharon Nelson

The First Lady looks great and she has beautiful legs!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 10:16 PM | Registered CommenterStrong Foru

Best. Legs. Ever.

About the length of the skirt ... I think her posture ...the way she's leaning against the wall ... and somewhat leaning forward ... might have hiked the skirt up a bit ... or perhaps the angle of the photo might have made the skirt look shorter than it is. I'd need a picture of her standing upright or walking to know for certain how long (or short) it is. I love the look and the outfit tho ...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 10:17 PM | Unregistered Commenterglammie

I also think it's the shape of the skirt that makes it look too short. Now the dress in the post right above this one has the same length but doesn't look short because the skirt is narrower.

Sharon Nelson: I like your observation about first lady's posture at different times. I think you are right.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 12:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterAnar

Welcome back Jersey Girl! I'm all for knee-length skirts. On me at least, longer looks frumpy. And I still swear by pantyhose, too. Far too many legs are exposed in work situations these days that shouldn't be.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 12:59 AM | Registered CommenterGroovy

HEY JERSEYGIRL!!! When I first saw this pic a week ago, I knew there would be a knee controversy and you guys did not disappoint.LOL! At least one good thing came out of it and that's Jerseygirl gracing us with her presence. Good to hear from you and do you honey! If you got the legs, show them if you want.

I'm not sure why posture was even brought up regarding this picture because it's obvious she is intentionally bowing her head. Looks like she is in deep thought, readying herself to speak.

I love this outfit, love this blog, and love this lady!

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 1:30 AM | Registered CommenterNyon

Face this fact: Mrs. O has sex appeal. You can't help but notice in this outfit. A pair of long, lean cocoa brown legs peeping beneath an airy skirt. She is a middle aged woman, but she is a damn good looking middle aged woman.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 3:29 AM | Registered CommenterMcKinley

@ LDS - I really enjoyed you post. Your husband sounds like a great guy.

I'm liking this thread as well. It really goes to show how we women see ourselves. I have noticed that in Western countries a woman over 40 is invisible, to be seen and not heard. We praise and worship little pubescent girls, teenagers and spring chickens who have no experience of life and when it comes to middle aged women the best we can say is, 'Wow !! YOU LOOK GOOD FOR YOUR AGE' As if to suggest that they shouldn't look good AT ALL once they hit 40. We chastise them if they choose to show off a fantastic toned pair of legs or a slight smidgeon of cleavage.

Mrs Obama is an inspiration to all us women who feel that we should hang up our glad rags and get the anti ageing cream out because society and our own sisterhood say we should. Bring out the short skirts, Mrs Obama because I'm bringing mine out too. I may not have a man to admire my legs but hey I'm somebody and there's no harm in admiring myself.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 4:24 AM | Registered CommenterJestina ( London, England)

Bravo Jestina! And bravo Mrs. O!

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 5:14 AM | Registered CommenterEnglish Observer

Perhaps a different size for the skirt would have made it lay different and the length longer (worked for me in the past). Alterations may have been required, but could have made a difference. With this one picture, it's truly difficult to pinpoint for sure. Like the fabric though!

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 7:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterAuntie Mom

Jestina it seems that women are the first to stuff another woman back into the age box, I don't see anyone else complaining but women love to keep other women in check.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 7:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterThatOtherMimi

Thanks Bevi, Groovy and little sis Nyon for the great "welcome back". I have been lurking. I will just say that I have been very busy. Husband has been sick and we have a new puppy! Should I say "overload". I read the posts everyday, just haven't posted in awhile. I plan to become active again! Until then, enjoy your summer everyone!

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 9:23 AM | Registered Commenterjerseygirl

Remember when there was the big brooha about the Alexander McQueen dress? Our Michelle said simply, "wear what you love". That's advice that would/could free a lot of women of their hang-ups and issue with their bodies. We don't have to be so hard on ourselves.
I remember being told that over the knee boots were inappropiate for me because I am 50 and now my knees cannot show either! What is a girl to do? OH, THE HUMANITY!

As for that snide comment about Malia, you should be ashamed of yourself! Children are off limits, regardless what you may think. We don't allow that here. That's a NO NO!

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 9:29 AM | Registered CommenterCharlene in Detroit

Hey all, I am a serial lurker and finally decided to post. Great thread!!
I absolutely love the outfit. The look is NOT for everyone, but it works for her. Remember, she is at the Club & Spa, so it may have been a very casual event. (see picture of lady in chair by the door - I'm thinking she has on shorts.
Ladies love yourself and your body. Adore your legs, your thighs, your 'hiney', your boobs because they are yours. They are a part of your complete package.
If FLOTUS wants to wear a mini - Let her.

As for @Anagrom - pop yourself on the hand.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 9:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterKadence

All this brouhaha over a pair of knees! Next it will be too much elbow.
Haha. Mrs. O is living her life and wearing what she feels good in.
She looks so beautiful, as a result of genes and the hard work she puts in exercising.
Maybe other ladies should take a hint from her and realize your body and life are not over once you are no longer 20! Some of us get finer with time, and why hide that because of social generalizations?!
She looks absolutely stunning!! I love it.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 11:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterObserver

@ThatOtherMiMi: and Jestina(London, England):

My Sisters, you are so kind. But please do not let anyone at any age dictate what you should or should not wear. Especially, what is appropriate and what is not approriate.

Often I will walk up to a woman and compliment her on an outfit, shoes, bag, etc., Even if I would not wear it, but I let her know that I admire her style, her boldness to be different. That is why I admire Our First Lady. She is such an inspiration because she is so real. Confidence is sexy! Whether you are wearing a long skirt or short.

When you come to the realization and appreciate that we are all different then you will refuse to be boxed in. Being original, yet stylish is a gift.

Sadly, but true we women are quick to find fault with other women over trivial things.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 11:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterLDS

Love the confidence of our FLOTUS...say what you want, she looks great in everything she wears, whether I like the look/style/outfit or not. She knows herself and doesn't let others define who she is. She is beautiful, tall, graceful, athletic, approachable, regal, etc.....all in one package. No "book balancing" or posture lessons needed...you go Mrs. O! God bless Mrs. Obama, God bless our First family and God bless the United States of America....

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 12:04 PM | Unregistered Commenternellinraleigh

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