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


Entries in Michelle Obama (11)


Stylish Support for Conservation

Photo credit: Tami Heilemann, DOI-NBC / Department of the Interior

After a short getaway to Camp David this weekend, the First Lady resumed her tour of federal departments today, visiting the Department of the Interior. As part of a ceremony rooted in the department's responsibilities to Native Americans, officials presented Mrs. O with a traditional Native American shawl, an honor that recognizes a woman of high achievements and distinction. Mrs. O spoke to a packed auditorium, thanking department employees for their commitment to public service, and later outlining the role she believes conservation will play in creating new jobs to stimulate the economy.

“At a time when so many Americans are out of work, sound energy and environmental policies are going to create thousands of jobs through the economic recovery and investment plan. You are at the center of one of this Administration’s highest priorities: securing America’s energy future, protecting our natural environment and using the natural resources as responsibly as we can,” Mrs. O said.

“It is not only vital for the survival of our planet as we work to combat climate change but also incredibly important to strengthen our economy and the well being of our families.”

Perhaps a sartorial nod to the gravitas of her subject matter, we saw Mrs. O return to more traditional business attire today. But that wasn't the only message echoed through the First Lady's wardrobe. As she promoted conservation efforts, so too did her clothes. If our eyes don't deceive, Mrs. O has worn both the jacket and pins seen today at least once before. Mrs. O previously paired the graphic black and white pins with a Zero + Maria Cornejo jacket on the campaign trail this fall, see here. And as Mrs. C has kindly noted in the comments, the black wool jacket was seen in October, when Mrs. O spoke at the Women’s Leadership Forum in Chicago, Illinois. Photo credit: The White House

Finally, we're curious if Mrs. O knew she would receive a shawl as part of today's ceremony. We can't imagine a better backdrop than what she wore - as the black and white accents added by her pins so perfectly complemented the horse applique pattern of the shawl. A video of the First Lady's remarks follows after the jump.


Mrs. O Wows at Kennedy Center

Photo credit: Yuri Gripas /AFP/Getty Images

The First Lady looks stunning tonight, wearing a two tone black dress in matte and metallic. At first glance, it may appear as though Mrs. O is wearing a cardigan over her dress. But with a second look, we realize it's an illusion, created by clever construction of contrasting fabrics. A knockout oversize pearl brooch at the shoulder makes this an ensemble for the fashion history books. We love! The First Couple is enjoying their Friday date night at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., where the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is performing. Additional images can be found at This Week with Barack Obama.


The World's First Lady of Style

President Barack Obama & First Lady Michelle Obama Image via Flickr user cliff1066 / Creative Commons Last week we saw a subtle, yet palpable change in the tone of how the world's press reported Mrs. O's style. Aside from the sheer, unstoppable volume of coverage garnered by the inauguration and her place within it, the consistent theme was one of decisive admiration: if ever there had been any debate about who was going to be the First Lady of Style on a global stage, that debate was now over. Perhaps particularly interesting to see AFP, the largest news agency in France, home to Carla Bruni, headlining their piece in this way. Inevitably there were the articles that examined Mrs. O's appearance in 'get the look' micro detail and a multitude that limited themselves to describing her outfits and the delighted reactions of the designers responsible, both of whom had become worldwide household names overnight. Yet what we found particularly extraordinary to see were the less transient themes that emerged from the European coverage last week. In short, a whole-hearted, emotional adoption of Mrs. O which transcends that even of an international style icon and role model. In her article Why Michelle is our belle, Hannah Betts at London's The Daily Telegraph talks of a 'communal crush that spans the Atlantic... Michelle is unique in being sufficiently imposing to be inspirational, whilst not being so far removed from the great mass of womankind as to prove alienating. It's a fine line, this heroine business, and she treads it most deftly." Another theme that took root across Europe's press over the weekend was of how her inauguration attire aimed to "silently signal the kind of First Lady she intends to be". As Lisa Armstrong wrote in The Times (London): "On this evidence, Mrs. O is going to be one forward-going First Lady....with one dress Michelle Obama had to reveal her personality and strike a blow for American style. No problem." There was little criticism of the one-shouldered, winter white Jason Wu dress, rather a celebration of its chic, feminine modernity. Other writers referred to her "high-powered personality" and "soft power" as they spoke of the renaissance she represents in every respect, from her championing of American design to her intelligent grasp of the live issues facing modern women and the communities they live in. As Tim Shipman, another writer at the Daily Telegraph, states: Mrs. O's outfits at the inauguration "cemented her status as the greater fashion icon in the White House since Jackie Kennedy...but there is more to Michelle Obama than that - much, much more....not merely an informal adviser but the power behind the President and on some issues even a leader." We will leave the last word here again to Hannah Betts at The Telegraph, who put it perfectly: "Can one woman bear this weight of expectation? I think we know the answer."

A Beacon of Style and Optimism

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Mrs. O, our First Lady. You are truly remarkable in every sense. Through that sea of black wool, you shined bright - in a yellow lemongrass suit that made you a beacon of both style and optimism. With more time to take this in, we are loving the subtleties of Mrs. O's ensemble. Her grass green J. Crew leather gloves and coordinating Jimmy Choo "Glacier" pumps offer something unexpected, her signature "twist"; while Mrs. O's diamond pin (or is it a necklace?) brings light to her face. 

For those wondering about Sasha and Malia's coats, the AP reports: "Their daughters were style icons in their own right, with 10-year-old Malia in a double-breasted periwinkle-blue coat with a blue-ribbon bow at the waist, and Sasha, 7, in a pink coat with orange scarf and satin belt, a coral-colored dress peeking out at the hem. Their coats were from Crewcuts by J. Crew." In a new report from WWD, Ruben Toledo (Isabel's husband and an accomplished illustrator) elaborates on the design team's excitement this morning:

"We're levitating - we really are," Ruben Toledo said minutes after watching Michelle Obama on CNN in an ensemble by his wife Isabel. The husband-wife team tuned in surrounded by their staff in their Broadway showroom. The soon-to-be First Lady did not tip her hand in any way. "We had no idea. We hoped she would wear something because she has bought Isabel's clothes before. We never know what's going to happen," he said.

Post from earlier this morning follows: Inauguration Day begins

Image via bobster1985 / Creative Commons

The AP reports that Mrs. O is wearing Isabel Toledo, the Cuban-American designer who famously dressed Mrs. O for the Vogue / Calvin Klein fundraiser in June 2008. In an October interview with the New York Daily News, Toledo revealed that she had designed several more ensembles for Mrs. O. We find it interesting that both last night and this morning Mrs. O has chosen yellow, a color which until now we haven't frequently seen in Mrs. O's wardrobe (save for her appearance in head to toe J.Crew on The Tonight Show).

In December 2008 Pantone named Mimosa the color of 2009, a color that "embodies hopefulness and reassurance in a climate of change". Is Mrs. O's favor for the color, perhaps, her way of projecting optimism? Cathy Horyn to the rescue. In a New York Times blog post, the journalist reports that not until this morning did designer Isabel Toledo know Mrs. O would wear the lemongrass-yellow coat and matching dress. "We're all up here watching the T.V.," the designer said in a photo interview from her New York studio. "It's great. We're so happy." Horyn writes that the coat and dress are made of Swiss wool lace, backed with netting for warmth and lined in French silk. "I wanted to pick a very optimistic color, that had sunshine," Toledo said. "I wanted her to feel charmed, and in that way would charm everybody."


In Uplifting (J. Crew) Fashion

Photo by Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

For tonight's "Kids' Inaugural: We Are the Future" concert, Mrs. O again dazzled in true First Lady style. The colors of the night were blue and yellow, a palette that exuded much needed optimism.  Mrs. O's message? In keeping with the theme of National Service Day she told her youthful audience: "You kids are the future of this great nation. We need every American to serve their community, including our young people."

Wearing a silver blue metallic lace shell paired with a sky blue pencil skirt, Mrs. O kept her look young and fresh by adding a canary yellow cardigan into the mix. An elastic belt cinched her waist, closed by a distinctive (and familiar) enamel buckle. Again recycling accessories, Mrs. O wore a set of diamond bangle bracelets we recognized from election night; and might her drop earrings have been the work of Loree Rodkin for a second night running? For a full view of Mrs. O's outfit, click here and here. T

onight's ensemble was feminine, while full of unexpected pairings - and for both of these things, thoroughly modern. By our account, this is already an inauguration for the ages, style and otherwise. Needless to say, we look forward to tomorrow immensely.

Update: For Monday night's "Kids Inaugural" concert, Mrs. O turned to chic and affordable retailer J. Crew for her wardrobe. Mrs. O wore a classic olive cashmere cardigan over a French metallic lace shell with a deep blue wool serve pencil skirt (the shirt and shell were lined in silk charmeuse). The ensemble was specially designed for Mrs. O, but highlights will appear in the Fall 2009 J. Crew collection.

A sketch of the J. Crew design: