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« A Tribute to Joan Weinstein of Ultimo | Main | Lovely Ruffles »
Wednesday
Nov182009

Lovely Lilac

Image  by Kevin Lamarque / Getty Images

What a busy - and thoroughly lovely - day for Mrs. O! Following her school duties, the first lady hosted an afternoon tea in the East Room of the White House to celebrate women in the military. For the event, Mrs. O debuted a lilac dress adorned with a purple satin bow at the collar. We love the pleated detail at the neck and delicate layers of fabric that form the cap sleeves. Also note the symmetric seam detailing on the front and back of the skirt.

Images by Samantha Appleton / White House

More coverage on Wednesday's White House event available here.

Update: NYMag reports that Mrs. O wears an Anne Klein New York dress.

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Reader Comments (77)

Love it! My only tiny quibble is that I'd prefer the skirt be in the dark purple color of the bow, but really that's so minor. Mrs. O looks better and better lately.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 5:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterErin

Great look, great color, great fit, great length. Love it.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 5:50 PM | Registered CommenterWillow

did she coordinate with jill biden, they have same lilac going on. Beautiful

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 5:55 PM | Registered Commenterbriana

This Head to toe photo shows the whole beautifully-tailored look.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 5:58 PM | Registered CommenterWillow

This is indeed a lovely outfit, made even more beautiful by the fact there is NO belt. Now we can truly see what a great figure Mrs. O. possesses.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 6:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterChristen

Classy and elegant. I love the look. The close up's on Getty are stunning. I would give my right arm to find out what skincare range she uses.

I like the little playful bow on her shoulder, reminds me of the brown bow on the Thakoon dress that she wore on Jay Leno recently.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 6:24 PM | Unregistered Commenterjestina

Very nice. Love it!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 6:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterLady Cha Cha

Great colour. Mrs. O's skirt is great length. Love the skirt and top look on her.

Fabulous pastel shade, cover book look, glowing, lady-like. I would love to get

an oufit in those colours.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 6:30 PM | Registered Commenterprettiribbons

Pink heels...Unexpected and Exquisite!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 6:33 PM | Registered CommenterMcKinley

christen why do feel the need to mention the belt when she isn't wearing it? the bickering over her belt got to stop.and by the way ur comments remind me of a poster who got banned from the HP style section.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 6:38 PM | Registered Commenterchrystelle

Two new outfits in one day--MAKES MY DAY times 2!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 6:47 PM | Registered Commenterbabs

There actually is a very narrow pink belt/band at the waist of this skirt that works with the pink shoes.
It's visible in the head-to-toe image above and here and here as well.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 6:50 PM | Registered CommenterWillow

I love this woman! Furthermore, I love the blouse, and the color, the bow adds FLOTUS' personal touch. I know FLOTUS is happy her hubby has been gone for a week, and he comes home today.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 6:52 PM | Registered CommenterM.M.

N ICE OURFIT LOVE THE PINK SHOES HER HAIR IS THE SAME NOW SHE HAVE A BOW AGIAN AND NO BELT THIS TIME AROUND. SHE LOOKED VERY HEATHLY SHE RECOVERED VERY FAST FROM A COLD.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 7:06 PM | Unregistered Commentermichelle

Like the capped sleeves.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 7:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeorgia

Chrystelle: I have never been on the Huffington Post, so don't worry about it, and please don't tell me what I can and cannot say. You're the one who got one of your rants deleted because you insisted on using profanity. You must have a very small vocabulary.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 7:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterChristen

Thank you, Willow, for the full-length views. I think it's a waistband, but it's hard to tell. I have never had any objection to her slim belts, as evidenced by her Sophie Theallet dresses. They give a nice finishing touch. Mia, you truly need to stop with the profanity (STFU). It really adds absolutely nothing to the conversation.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 8:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterChristen

Any guesses why her hair has been up so much lately? I like it, but usually she has more variety. Maybe she is getting ready to cut it? Sorry not a fashion comment directly, although I liked both of her outfits today.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 8:45 PM | Registered Commenterevangeline

She looks tired--pretty dark circles under her eyes. Could be from keeping up with her husband who continues to be in a 13 to 14 hours time gap with her. I expect she stayed up late to watch his town hall in Shanghai. He'll be back by dinner time on Thursday.

This outfit is very, very lovely and she looks great otherwise.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 9:33 PM | Registered CommenterSharon Nelson

Purple is my fave color, so I guess ya'll know what that means? That's right, I love it! I even love the pink shoes.

Evangeline,

Christina and IVA both had good ideas. Christina thinks she is growing it out and IVA thinks she may be giving it a rest until next week's State Dinner. So, it could be either one or maybe she just hasn't felt like wearing it down lately. Who knows?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 9:36 PM | Registered CommenterNyon

I still believe she needs a stylist.

Lavender is lovely for spring and summer; seems out of place in mid November.

I am a big fan of Mrs. Obama but feel that she could do so much better with her fabric, color and fit choices at times. And....no belts.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 9:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarbara

@Barbara Mrs.O is in her home, acting as hostess, so she can wear whatever color suits her.There is a lot of lavender out there, just check out a J. Crew Store. I don't think people
are buying it now and saving it until Spring. I think the "old" rules about pastels are just that..old rules. Forget about it! Wear yellow, pink, lime green or white whenever you like, if it suits you.
No one wants to be lost in a sea of Autumn colors.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 10:25 PM | Unregistered Commenterchar

@Barbara for the millionth time, she is not getting a stylist, she will wear her belt and wear what ever color, fabric or material she wants to, and she will not be Jackie Kennedy. Thanks for the opinion though. Jeez..

You know what if every other first lady got to wear what they feel like, then she gets to wear what she feels like. Enough, she is an adult and not your child.

I didn't know YOU could not wear lavender in the winter, I guess I must go throw out all my lavender sweaters then. Last I heard it was her money.

Please let her wear a belt tomorrow, and the weekend and every day for eternity. Its her choice and not yours. Actually now that I think of it I will say a little prayer that she continues to wear belts and maybe write designers to send her more belts.

Here goes my prayer "Belt god, please let her wear a nice red belt and a white dress tomorrow or sometime next week and if not any kind of belt will do. Thank you belt god person"

In all honesty, stop trying to make people into what they are not. The thing I like about the first lady is she is who she is, she likes to dress up and dress down. Mrs T did not get to write a book about her because she was following some preconceived notion of who or what she ought to be to anybody. The reason there was a book is because the lady was free to be herself and experiments with what she wants. In Chicago, she wore her belts before she was on the spotlight, so its not changing. She is not Jackie and does not want to be or care to be. There is more to her and her clothes reflect real life, I see more ladies in jersey with their belts and its fun. Yes, its your opinion but its getting boring and predictable, you say the same thing over and over. Let it go, this is her and she will not be changing for you or me for that matter.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 10:32 PM | Registered Commenterbriana

Well said Briana!
Way to go Mrs Obama, you are a goddess in every sense of the word!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 11:13 PM | Registered CommenterEleroy

I am actually surprised it took so long for the "lavendar in November" issue to raise its head. Personally, I have always liked bright, pretty colors during the months when the weather is anything but bright and pretty. I think it puts a little spark in our lives. Regardless - in my book, it's her house, her event, her rules.

I would not be surprised to learn this is a dress. It reminds me of the piece (Rachel Ray, I think) she wore in San Francisco, which also had a print top and solid skirt. I think those bow pins are destined to become signature pieces thru the next season or two.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 11:47 PM | Registered Commenteroperafanatic

Dr. Biden wore a pretty lilac cardigan at the event. SLOTUS and FLOTUS looked great together in their lavender.

Thanks, Brianna. You stated your position very well, and creatively to boot.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 11:56 PM | Registered CommenterBevi

Really this website is becoming a cult site. Can't people critque the clothes without others making personal attacks on them and piling on. Some will like the belts, some won't. Take a chill pill people.

Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 8:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterNia

You'd think so wouldn't you Nia?

This is a really pretty dress. I don't love it by any stretch of the imagination, but Mrs O looks pretty IN it. The best bit for me is the purple bow, that grounds the whole outfit. Maybe I just don't like lilac much.

Briana you are FAB. I just love the way you make your point AND make me laugh at the same time. Belt god, hahahahahaha!!!!! Brilliant.

Christen, speaking of vocabulary, did you miss or not understand Mrs T's request for posters to be civil to one another? Or do you only respond to things when you have the opportunity to be nasty to someone?

Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 9:42 AM | Registered CommenterPosh Tater

@ Nia, see the name of the site again ... Mrs O: What and Who She's Wearing. That's all I have to say

Which reminds me I should order my ruffles today from J-crew, since I am apparently in a cult called Mrs O.

Enjoy life and live everyday to you best ladies and gents. Out until some future time again.

Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 11:43 AM | Registered Commenterbriana

The bow is overkill, and not quite sure about the pink shoes, but the lilac combo looks very pretty on her. The problem is she always end up "over-accessorizing" And you know that sayong about taking one thing off before you are ready to go out (or stay in and make an appearce in this case), she seems to do the exact reverse and itdoes not serve her well.

Also, while I agree that Mrs. O can wear whatever color she pleases, (sometimes to her style detriment), in the above picture, she is not merely "in her home, acting as hostess." She is the First Lady of the United States Hosting an officical event in the White House. That is a photograph of her at the event was publicized and good old free spich gives us the right to comment on it (whether we love or do not love the outfit)

Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 11:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterLilly

Mrs. T., please delete the posts where people argue with each other and take pot shots. This site is supposed to be fun. It's awful to read the snide remarks people are making. Please just delete those posts--they don't contribute anything positive. Please make this site a pleasant place to visit, not a place to see people with too much time on their hands slam each other in public.

Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 12:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterWhitebow

This is such a lovely color on FLOTUS and it being in November makes it more refreshing. I like the cap sleeve and have even heard this style referred as a tulip sleeve. It seems that our Michelle not only has fun with colors, she seems to like playing with textures as well. That subtle punch of pink on her Jimmy Choos (I'm guessing) just gives the ensemble additional interest. I like the placement of her bow, just off center. This is the way to wear a bow so as not to look juvenile or cartoonish. Very chic!

Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 12:40 PM | Registered CommenterCharlene in Detroit

I thought lavendar and purple were the hot colors for Fall 09.

I like her look today - the up hair style is flatterin to her face and I appreciate the variety of ways she wears her hair.

Dr. Biden repeats the same hairstyle daily - I'm not complaining just saying.

It does appear that IF she is wearing a belt it is a minor additon to the outfit.

@ Barbara - :I think she probably has a stylist who provides the choices, but MO makes the decisions.

Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 1:44 PM | Unregistered Commenterriver rush

Who says you have to wear purple and pink in the Spring or Summer only? I live in Florida and today I am wearing a white skirt with fushia shoes and a small-patterned top of black, fushia and white color.
I love wearing bold colors year round. I use different textures and patterns together for a polished look. I think I am fashion forward. I dress outside the box and outside "tradition" that you can only wear these colors in the warmer months. I like the colors on Mrs. O and her up-do. Great color. Loving it!

Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 2:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterBea

The FLOTUS looks absolutely wonderful. I adore her spirit. She is a breath of fresh air. I wish the best for her family. They are such a joy to look at as well as emulate.

Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 2:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterJackie

This is very flattering look for Mrs O, especially when you look at the photos taken from the side. I am glad to have chance to see her sans belts and cardigans. Wish I had such a nice derriere to set off pencil skirts.

I wish the shoes had been black patent or navy. I found the pink ones too matchy or too Florida. But I can see that others disagree with me.

Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 2:36 PM | Unregistered Commenterkbarch

Barbara,
The First Lady and Dr. Biden are wearing lavender/purple for a reason: it is the color designated by the military to honor those who have made significant sacrifices (hence the Purple Heart). Honoring our military heroes is NEVER out of season!

Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 2:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandy Beach

I think this is a "tulip" sleve because it is made out of two overlapping pieces. A cap sleeve is usually made from one piece or two pieces seamed evenly at the shoulder.

Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 3:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterDeb

I LOVE THIS OUT FIT LOVE THE COLOR FLOTUS . I KNOW SHE AND THE GIRLS ARE HAPPY TO
HAVE DADDY HOME.

Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 4:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterCMB

The White House blog has a video of the whole event--runs about 26 minutes . Also includes speeches by Jill Biden, Vice Chair of Joint Chiefs of Staff (a guy), and Janet Napolitano. Also additional pictures. Lots of interesting women at the event.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2009/11/18/so-many-firsts-and-onlys-first-lady-honors-military-women

Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 4:37 PM | Registered CommenterSharon Nelson

Ohh la la, LOVE this dress on her. Very tailored, Looking good Mrs. O!

Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 6:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

Lilly, I respectfully disagree with you that this outfit is over-accessorized. The only accessory she has other than the bow is small post earrings. No watch, no necklace, no bracelet. She has actually minimized her accessories to let this beautiful dress and colors shine on their own. She always manages to put her signature on her outfits in some small way, in this case the bow. I love that about her.
Also, I hate to admit this: My 1st impression of this outfit was love it, it's fabulous! My 2nd thought was Oh dear lavender is a spring color and it is late November!. But I quickly admonished myself because I believe Michelle is breakinig down all the old barriers as to what color, fabric, sleeve-length, etc. is appropriate for what season, rules that have been ingrained in women for decades.
(I still won't wear white cotton pants, white jeans or white shoes that are not sneakers after Labor Day tho, that's where I draw the line, I live in the upper midwest.

Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 7:11 PM | Registered Commenterbabs

Over accessorized?? well there is always something with Michelle ALWAYS.

I tend to not overthink things, she looks lovely to me. Love the color. On the East Coast the weather is still WARM!! and sunny. Pity for those cold and stuck wearing boring beige and orange.

Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 7:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterThatOtherMimi

Sharon Nelson is right about lots of interesting women at the event. Well, I can vouch for the diversity of shoes! Walking up 15th Street yesterday afternoon I noticed a woman in an Air Force uniform on her cell phone sporting some stylish dark pumps. After turning the corner to walk past the White House I spotted about 12 women (and 1 man) exiting the White House grounds each expressing their own sense of footwear style. Could it be that Mrs. O also shared some style tips with her honored guests?

Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 8:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterWSinWashDC

I picked up a copy of the December "Glamour" today. In it, Mrs. O. is wearing three different outfits, and each one looks absolutely gorgeous. A fashion home run for Mrs. O.!
Thanks, Tater, my vocabulary is just fine. What a hypocrite you are....you have been incredibly nasty and uncivil to other posters in the past. You have no room to talk about anyone else. Perhaps you have turned over a new leaf...congratulations! If so, now you can stop talking about me.

Friday, November 20, 2009 at 3:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterChristen

Tater, I forgot something: I wanted to ask you in all seriousness if posters using profanity on this site is okay with you? In my opinion, it's not okay, and people who express themselves through the use of profanity do tend to have limited vocabularies. That was my intention, which I think was clearly self-evident. I think you really need to read Joyce's comment which was directed towards you on Sunday, 11/15 at 2:59pm. She makes some very good points. Often, whether you mean them to or not, your posts sound as if you think you are very superior. Why rub elbows with us "yanks," if that is the case?
Thank you, Nia. You likened this blog to a "cult." I think of it as a private club wherein those of us who are honest and open about our opinions are not welcome, and if we dare to step in, WOW, do we have to pay some dues!

Friday, November 20, 2009 at 3:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterChristen

Posh,

Thanks for trying to remind us that Mrs. T asked us, with a pretty please, to show respect for Mrs. O, and civility towards each other. I am sure most of us on this blog will make a real effort to take heed of the tone she is trying to set as the moderator of this site.

Friday, November 20, 2009 at 12:23 PM | Registered CommenterBevi

I like it....drum roll....because it doesn't have a belt (or, at most, has a tiny band of fabric as an accent). I can't help it. I love sleek, long lines and she looks so good in sleek, long lines. The belts, especially the wide ones, sometimes interrupt the gorgeous flow of energy, color, and joie de vivre she so expertly exudes.

So, no belt this time = good, in my book. Thanks Mrs. O for making my day and I hope I am not banished from the Mrs. O tribe for, um, LIKING her outfit.... ;-)

Friday, November 20, 2009 at 12:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterRossley

The detailing on the yoke as well as sides and back of this skirt is structural and very beautiful. Do we have any idea who is the designer of this ensemble ?

Friday, November 20, 2009 at 1:19 PM | Registered CommenterCharlene in Detroit

Cut outfit but it is looks like it should be worn in the spring time.

Friday, November 20, 2009 at 4:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterKim

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