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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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« Mrs. O's Mystery Brooches | Main | An End to the Bare Arms Debate »
Friday
Feb272009

The Official Portrait

Photo credit: Joyce N. Boghosian / The White House

The White House has released an official portrait of First Lady Mrs. O taken in the Blue Room of the White House. Lovely!

Update: The New York Daily News reports that the dress Mrs. O wears is from Michael Kors's Spring 2009 collection. A royal blue version of the dress can be seen here. The Michael Kors racer back gown is made from a double-bonded crepe jersey. The dress has been in stores across the country since January.

Reader Comments (142)

Very classy and attractive.

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 12:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterChristina

classic look, love the black.

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 12:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

Swoon....

Now THAT'S a First Lady! Love the hair, love the flowy dress, love the pearls and LOVE her smile.

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 12:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterJenna

Lovely!!!

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 12:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterSuperstar

Just curious about the horizontal line across the hip. Is that part of the style of the dress?

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 12:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterMichelle Fan

Very lovely indeed! She is a fine representative of America, Americans, and American women.

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 12:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterAllegra

Lovely indeed!

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 12:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterMsC.

I think a first lady's offical portrait should be in something with long sleeves. Don't get me wrong. She looks lovely. The pearls, the black dress, the hair are all perfection, but when I think of a portrait I think of something a bit more formal than a sleeveless dress.

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 12:25 PM | Unregistered Commenterregan nelson

I think the "controversy" about her sleeveless dresses is hysterical. She looks totally amazing, and we are so fortunate to have a first lady who is beautiful inside and out, strong, fit, hard-working, and extremely intelligent and capable. Britney Spears flashes her privates and it's accepted as part of the culture, the entire country fetishizes women with fake breasts exposed to the legal limit, and you don't think her arms are appropriate? Give me a break.
Michelle, stay happy, healthy and beautiful, and wear WHATEVER YOU WANT - so far it's all been a very stylish and gorgeous home run in my book.

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 12:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterLainie

Regan.... There is just no way you are serious. So I will assume you are making that comment as a joke, to make fun of the whole sleeveless debate. Therefore--ha ha!

As for the dress, yes I was wondering about the line across the waist as well. It's definitely detailing on the dress. If we had a close-up, I think we would also see some piping detailing down the sides of the dress that you can just barely make out.

Can't wait till we find out the designer! It's a lovely dress.

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 12:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterJenna

Oh brother. This, AGAIN.

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 12:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterChristina

WOW!!!

You go, Mrs. O!

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 12:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterSailorsgirl

I can't see the line you all are referring to -- is it my monitor, maybe?

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 12:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterChristina

Christina.... I'm right with you... I really hope people will get this out of their system soon...

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 12:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterJenna

When I saw the pic, I thought ***GASP*** another sleeveless dress. But I think the portrait speaks to how SHE wants to be portrayed and not how someone wants her to be portrayed. It seems like she is going for the approachable, First Mom look. If she is happy and comfortable in sleeveless, then I guess that is how she wants to be portrayed.

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 12:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterSuperstar

Isn't she lovely?

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 12:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterNatalie

Christina, it's just below her waist, in kind of in a curved shape, reaching downwards. I think there is a similar line along the side of the dress but it's just harder to see.

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 12:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterJenna

Stunning. I am wondering if the dress is a dark navy. Lovely smile.

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 12:40 PM | Unregistered Commenteredwina

I think she looks wonderful. And--this portrait will be a lasting example of fashion 2009 style!

Could this be a two piece outfit---is that what the line is about?

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 12:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterSusan

I'm with Susan -- is it possible it's two pieces? (I'll have to see if I can spot this line at home)

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 12:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterChristina

Wow this is probably one of my favorite portraits of her so far...she looks so relaxed and radiant. Her smile is warming and confident (plus it looks like her eyebrow arch might have been reduced again, which is a good thing). I for one think she should rock the sleeveless look...its whats in fashion and it looks good on her! Most First Ladys have not been in shape so the longer sleeves cover their arms, but Mrs O has fabulous arms and should flaunt them. Plus I understand her desire to wear sleeveless because it is flattering on her...I have broad shoulders like she does and often for women like us, sleeved dresses make us look like line backers. The sleeveless dresses play to her body making her look more elegant and streamline. This is a very classy portrait for sure. So come on people, times are changing, bearing arms is not risque anymore, women do it all the time even in professional offices.

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 12:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterSeanaLyn

It's not a two-piece--the dress just has some piping detailing, which is actually really cool effect. To give you guys an idea of what it probably looks like up close, here is a dress with similar detailing:

http://www2.images.coolspotters.com/photos/40114/6d9879494D2F6f1A__profile.jpg

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 12:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterJenna

Sigh! Here we go with the appropriateness of showing bare arms bit again.

With all due respect, that is a beautiful official photograph. It reflects who Michelle Obama is as an individual and that is an inspiring message that she sends out to all women. I personally deeply appreciate that. I would be very disappointed if she started wearing clothes that didn't reflect who she is just to appease. She would be "hiding her light under a bushell" as my sister would say.

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 12:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterMrs. G.

This sleeveless thing has got to STOP! LOL

Look past the sleeves . .. look at the clench of her waist, the feminine swell of her hips, the dimples in the crook of her arms, the grace in her posture and the confidence in her face. No wonder BO always holds her hand when they're together. No wonder she is his "rock". No wonder he seems to constantly be trying to impress her. She is someone you'd WANT to impress! (And, yes, I'm a straight chick, if you're wondering!)

I just think she's marvellous. Just marvellous. And, while I'm sure her life isn't perfect (no one's is), she must be having the best time right now. The kind of woman you can look up to and want to have as your closest confidante. I am Canadian and we have no one nearly as exciting as her around. *sigh*

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 12:49 PM | Unregistered Commentermiz_glammie

Oh and on a side note my one critique (and this is against the photographer) I dont like how the one white rose is totally covering her hand. That shouldve been removed because it cuts the elegant line created by her hand. Rookie mistake! It dampers what otherwise wouldve been a perfect portrait. Sorry photographer here so Im anal retentive about these things ;)

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 12:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterSeanaLyn

SeanaLyn, I think you are exactly right.

I don't see the line you all are speaking of . . .

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 12:53 PM | Unregistered Commentermiz_glammie

Mrs O looks fabulous. I love it that she bares her arms because they look fantastic. She knows some don't like it and she does it anyway. Ha! This is what I love about this woman.

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 12:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterNoShock

She looks like a million bucks. And her arms inspire me to stick with my workout! I actually really like that the arm holes are cut so deep into the dress--the top silhouette is almost like a sports bra and feels really modern, not stuffy at all. Yay

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 1:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterLisaC

Gorgeous photo! Very classy indeed!

LOL....I just love that she's wearing a sleeveless dress! For those who have an issue with it....Get used to it! Mrs. O is clearly being herself and wearing what she loves and feels comfortable in. She is fabulous! She looks good in anything she wears (except for those gray pants yesterday...they were too big) and she is here to stay!
LOL...man I love it! If she is anything like me, the more people criticize the sleeveless dresses, the more I would wear them. LOL

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 1:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterZile

Wow!!!! She looks amazing. Love the dress, the pearls, the hair, everything.

The sleeveless doesn't bother me -- it's flattering on her and I think she looks classy and elegant.

My only complaints are about the composition of the photograph -- the drapes right behind her are distracting -- I think the photographer should have positioned her differently or in a different location in the room. Also, the flower over her hand is odd and I would have expected it to be photoshopped out.

Finally, I would have preferred a little more of a close up.

No complaints about how she looks though!

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 1:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterJen

Oh - and to clarify, I mean the *discussion* about the merits of sleeveless dresses has got to stop. LOL I love the entire look although, to be honest, that might be because I have a dress almost exactly like that. The perfect "little black dress".

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 1:08 PM | Unregistered Commentermiz_glammie

Lovely photo!

It's a drop-waisted dress, not two pieces. You can tell from the seaming at the hips, if you enlarge the photo. It also looks like there's some kind of detail (embroidery?) at the neckline.

For the life of me, though, I don't know how people can look at this lady and only see her arms. Yes, they're nice, but come on already... talking about them ad nauseum when you can talk about her other remarkable features (like that smile!) just does NOT do this woman justice!

Besides, it all plays into that current-day manner of thinking a woman is about her physical attributes rather than her intellect. We have a smart, wonderful woman here -- someone who's a LOT more than a pair of sculpted arms!

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 1:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterChicagoan

I love this classic look. She is radiant! And the basic black dress is very simple. The pearls are a great finishing touch. I would imagine we can look forward to a family portrait soon.

Her makeup has been spot on - fresh, no frills, nice arch in the brow.

Hooray for the US and us for having such a great FLOTUS. I can't wait to see her with other international first ladies - what a fashion party that will be. Carla Bruni, for example?

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 1:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterBevi

Seanalyn, I agree with you about the tulip obscuring her hand. But I was afraid that talking about Mrs. O's hand would prompt people to look at her arms, and then "Arm"ageddon would break out again.

But it is a little oddly placed. NOT Mrs. O's fault though!

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 1:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterChristina

FABULOUS.

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 1:21 PM | Unregistered Commenterdlev

Mrs.O; I truly believe you are a superwoman. You have certainly shown the universe that you are the diamond in rough and enduring your much deserved splendid life as first lady! This picture means a whole lot! Keep it coming delightful and candid!

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 1:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterDanielle

Classic and Classic Mrs O. It really captures the woman we (as the US public) have come to know over the past couple of years. Thumbs up! ;)

As for crinkles or other silly stuff...I'm sure they can be discretely "photoshopped".

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 1:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterSildi

She is stunning here! So breathtaking. This should have been featured in Vogue.

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 1:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterLeigh

Gorgeous!!! Classic!!! I think this is a beautiful portrait of the first lady. A few years ago, I started covering up my arms. Why? Because they don't look like Mrs. O's.

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 1:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterMrs. P

She looks lovely, very classic, the pearls and sleeveless sheath has become a classic Mrs. O look

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 1:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterDee

TEN!
That's all I have to say!

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 1:56 PM | Unregistered Commenterhiatus

LOL @ "ARMageddon" :)

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 2:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterJen

She is radiant. And the whole "to sleeve or not to sleeve" debate is so tired. It is 2009, the "she should wear sleeves thing" is so 1950's and old fashioned.

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 2:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterMissPB

USA Today did a poll about the sleeve issue (I know, get a life USA Today). 40% of the people approved of her look, 11% did not and a whopping 49% said "who cares, it's her decision."

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 2:13 PM | Unregistered Commenteredwina

Wow! Can we go higher than a 10? This woman is stunning! Look at those arms!

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 2:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterYola

The dress is a black Michael Kors.

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 2:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterBeeGee

You know...let people hate on the fact that Michelle like to show her arms. Get used to it; for the Obama administration thinks outside the box and is taking governance to a higher level aristocracy. They are Ivy League, hipster and all humility all the time.

Gone are the days of stuffy pretension, and Daddy Power. The Obamas worked hard for what they have and they plan on leaving a legacy all their own.

Geesh.

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 2:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterMojo

Wow, She looks great!!

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 2:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterKathy

Edwina, thank you for sharing that poll. I am relieved most people are so sensible!

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 2:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterJenna

Mrs T can we ban posts that contain the word "arm" or "arms" just for one day?!? I'd love to see people try to talk about the FLOTUS without using that word. Thanks.

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 2:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterJen

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