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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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Wednesday
Feb042009

Mrs. O Suits Up 

Mrs. O certainly has been busy this week. Our First Lady paid the Department of Housing and Urban Development a visit this afternoon, wearing a two piece grey skirt suit with a purple silk wrap blouse underneath. As RJT and Kay have observed in the comments, the juxtaposition of fabrics - a matte wool jacket against a shiny silk blouse - add depth and interest to the look. If the theme of the week has been dressing for the occasion, Mrs. O today seemed to embrace more formal business attire (accessorized with pearls) when speaking to a group that knows the troubles of U.S. housing all too well. According to the Washington Post, Mrs. O shared these thoughts with her audience:

“The Department of Housing and Urban Development is going to play a critical role in implementing elements of the Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Plan that will help our communities,” she said.

“Barack and I always believed that investing in the community that you live in first and foremost is critical. And for the people here at this agency, we are now your neighbors,” she said to cheers.

The last comment, in particular, could not ring more true. Post-inauguration, we've been simply amazed (and delighted) by what have now become daily appearances by Mrs. O out and about in Washington D.C. And as far as we're concerned, the more, the merrier. Additional photos here, here and here. Update: We've confirmed that Mrs. O's ensemble yesterday, a pale charoal wool skirt suit with purple silk charmeuse top, was again the work of Narciso Rodriguez.

Reader Comments (31)

I really like the unexpected color combination of this ensemble, as well as the play of textures w/ the mat of the suit juxtaposed w/ the gloss/sheen of the blouse.
But what is that appendage hanging out below her suit jacket ? I find it distracting...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 at 3:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterRJT

Hi RJT, I think the appendage is the tail end of a wrap blouse. More clear in the NYT photo, here:

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/02/04/michelle-obama-visits-hud/

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 at 3:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterMrs. T

RJT, you can see the blouse better in this picture: http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/02/04/us/politics/04michellehud.jpg

If you look closely, it has some sort of wrapping/draping/layering effect, especially across the waist and it all ends with a piece of fabric that hangs at her side.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 at 3:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterJenna

Jinx!

Also, I found a picture of a similar style of top: http://dyn-images.hsni.com/is/image/HomeShoppingNetwork/261200_507?$pd300$

It's a great color! Livens up the gray suit really well.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 at 3:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterJenna

Love the juxtaposition--serious suit with sexy blouse; unclear about shirt detail w/ jacket.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 at 4:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterKay

OH MY GOD! HERE GOES THE QUEEN!!! PLEASE BOW TO HER! MICHELLE IS SO BEAUTIFUL AND SO WONDERFUL...I JUST ABSOLUTELY LOVE HER. I'VE NEVER SEEN A BETTER DRESSED AND MORE BEAUTIFUL BLACK WOMAN BEFORE.

LONG LIVE THE QUEEN!

JESS

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 at 6:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterJESS

She's gorgeous but I'm still having problems with her new hair style, swept off her face. I just liked it a bit more over her forehead, as she wore it during the campaign and the inauguration. Is it just me?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 at 6:17 PM | Unregistered Commenternonya

Jess, I sense a little sarcasm on your post. If I am wrong, then you need to tame your enthusiasm a bit. Michelle is great, but chillax a little with the excessive praises.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 at 6:24 PM | Unregistered Commentercwb

I think she is breaking in a new hair stylist, but I agree I like her hair swept over her forehead. Still, she's radiant however she wears it

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 at 6:57 PM | Unregistered Commenteredwina

I love the shirt but I think one should choose between jacket and wrap top to avoid the kind of confusion we're having here! Then again, it seems like Mrs. O often makes choices that look good in person but aren't made for TV--like the b/w Jason Wu dress on Barbara Walters (which I loved but it was so hard to see the detail, and the pattern was hard to read on TV). It's nice that she is truly dressing for her and not for the media.

I think it's really interesting that after the campaign, when it seemed Mrs. O made a dramatic shift to non-business clothes in order to be perceived as more of a Mom and supporting player and less of a "co-president" a la Hillary. So now it's interesting to see her back in that direction. I wonder if this is the kind of thing she used to wear to work at the University of Chicago hospital? I would looooove to know more about what she word to work there and get some tips I can use in my office!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 at 7:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterLisaC

I agree with Nonya-- I'm not loving the new hairstyle-- too much forehead. It also seems like she's not doing the false eyelashes anymore-- her eyes look a bit bare.

My favorite post-inauguration outfit remains that fab combo she wore to Georgia Brown's. This one's a little too clashy for me (heavy jacket, shiny flimsy top).

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 at 8:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterMishri

Mrs O helped me take the fake eyelashes plunge. This is not easy if you are used to a more laid back, I don't try to hard look. I am now all about 'em. Being dressed up means going for the lashes.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 at 8:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterKay

She seems to be looking tired -- am I wrong that the hairstyle contributes to that? The jacket is a little too baggy and dowdy looking next to the purple (that is a smashing blouse). Altogether, not her best look.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 at 10:23 PM | Unregistered Commenterjulie

Thanks Mrs T and Jenna for clearing up the 'appendage mystery ' although if the blouse had a piece that hangs below the jacket line, I'm not sure it should be worn w/ a suit ?
Kay - I so missed the 'serious suit sexy blouse' angle of this ensemble - thanks for pointing this out - it is an interesting theme and I hope Mrs O continues this w/ other 'serious' occasion outfits as I think it works and certainly keeps a suit from looking like some dated 80s 'power suit' cliche.
As I looked at the photos and videos I kept imagining how Mrs O would look w/ a brighter lip color ? I think this might enhance her facial palette. I like the frosty gleam of whatever she is wearing in the photos, but what if it was a frosty gleam over a distinct but not distracting hue ? Like a red ?
Too much ?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 at 10:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterRJT

What is with everyone? The president has to address crises on so many fronts--unprecedented stress--and everyone's surprised she looks tired and that her lip gloss may not be bright enough? She obviously enjoys fashion, but her priorities are so much more crucial right now.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 at 11:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterGilda

CarolineG - I read and ignore most of your posts but this time I am stunned by your insensitivity - "her little gay hairdresser"? Wow! How sad and little you must be - stunning!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 at 11:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterYola

Yola, if you read enough of her posts, you'll realize she's completely dysfunctional. She can't even get her facts straight. Just ignore her.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 at 11:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterGruzin

I think Mrs T should now allow a comment like "her little gay hairdresser" to be posted. Not that I advocate censorship, but there are limits. Caroline G sounds like a neanderthal.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 at 11:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterGilda

She's just 'stirring the pot,' pushing buttons, however you want to put it, for the sake of getting a reaction. I have in laws like this- v. irritating

Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 12:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterH

I actually agree somewhat about the color of the suit although, in this picture with a close-up you can see the color is not flat as it appears at first: http://www.daylife.com/photo/07cW7kvgqqade/michelle_obama

It's also a bit of an odd fabric. But the color of her top is so vibrant. I still really like the outfit. And you simply can't beat her smile.

CarolineG-- Yawn... Seriously.

Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 12:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterJenna

CarolineG: Go away.
RJT: I agree... I know she's busy settling in and tending to the girls and all, but I miss the softer hair around her face, more pronounced eyes, eyebrows and lips.
Julie: I agree... I think she does look tired, and no wonder - the girls, the new digs, and a website dissecting her every look!!! Maybe it's just her general lack of makeup that is making her look tired...

Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 12:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterBreeze

I just watched the video above and along with basking in the awesomeness that is her speech (she's a very, very natural speaker. I always forget that about her) I kept wanting to yell out, "Take off the jacket!". I think the blouse does its job of enlivening the outfit a little TOO well, and that's why the suit looks dowdy, as others said. The purple is so beautiful, and the detailing is very interesting, so you can't help wanting to see more than the sliver that is shown. But I don't think it's necessarily a bad suit or a bad color. With a flower brooch on the lapel and a less contrasting top, maybe something like the striped shirt from yesterday, it would be a smashing suit. I do hope she wears that blouse again without a covering so we can see it. It looks lovely.

Also, to Caroline...your story makes perfect sense. I don't doubt it for even one second. Surely there must be millions of blogs out there that won't violate your privacy like this. Maybe you should find one and leave this one alone? I don't think anyone would mind.

Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 2:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterOna

Good one Ona...I hope CarolineG takes your advice and disappears permanently-

Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 4:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterC.

I too loved this top. I think a different cut of jacket would have shown off the top more, but that may be because I'm not a fan of boxy jacket - I like nipped in waists and they do look fab on Mrs O... anyway, the purple is fantastic. Not to detract from the great speech and superb attitude. I love the Obama's sense of things - integrity, community, humanity. Looong overdue and so exciting to see in a world leader and his wife. I really loved seeing how the people behind Michelle on the platform really GET what she's saying. (I think she looks tired too. Really tired.)

Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 8:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterPosh Tater

Don't feed the troll. There are a few ways of making trolls go away. Step one: IGNORE.

Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 8:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterKay

I know we're ignoring the troll here, but I just want to point out, Caroline, that your last name isn't a secret to me, either. I don't know who posted it or whether they're involved with BBH, but I noticed it from a link you provided last week to the NYT blog. On that, you'd posted the exact same comment that you did here, but you identified yourself as "Caroline Gruzin." Not difficult to put 2+2 together and realize that CarolineG here is the same person.

So, before you accuse BBH of breach of privacy or handing out financial data on anyone, realize that YOU put your name out there and then pointed people on this site right to it. Just saying.

Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 9:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterChicagoan

I kind of like this suit. Not the fabric, though, which seems to be fleece, but I like the 3/4 length sleeves, and I happen to love the blouse underneath. I think this look is much better in person, like so many we see. I know when I've seen women wear a wrap blouse under a loose-fitting jacket, it really does look nice. Like another poster, I don't think this is a good color for Mrs. O, but you can't have everything, right? :)

Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 9:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterChicagoan

LOL......talk about karma!

Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 10:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterKim

I like the suit and the blouse together, it works for her.

I am concerned about her hair this week. Maybe she's doing it herself and shouldn't. Or maybe, she just wants it off your forehead and should rethink that decision. I still love her.

We've had 8 years of bad hair from Condelezza Rice and Laura Bush (not 1 good hair day during there time in office), so I really want MO to represent.

I keep searching for CarolineG's original comment - did it get erased? Thanks ladies for keeping the website focused on fashion and not snide comments.

Regards,

Another Little Gay Hairdresser

Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 12:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterRIVER RUSH

I absolutely love her top. The color and texture are just gorgeous!

Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 11:11 PM | Unregistered Commenterabrowender

Love her! She looks like any of us do on any 9-to-5 professional day (the gray jacket-how many of us-in ANY professional capacity-from social work, education to finance-don't have one!!! ;)

It reminded me of her hitting the campaign trail...

Saturday, February 7, 2009 at 3:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterSilvia

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