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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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« Tea with the Queen | Main | Landing in London »
Wednesday
Apr012009

Mrs. O Sparkles at Downing Street

Photo by Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

While yesterday we saw not one, but two grown-up dress and coat combinations, Mrs. O has brought out her youthful charm today, dressed in a J.Crew ensemble that has the promise of Spring. Here she arrives at the Prime Minister's residence, 10 Downing Street, dressed in J.Crew's Crystal constellation cardigan embellished with beads, rhinestones and sequins, paired with J.Crew's Dazzling-dots pencil skirt in mint green jacquard.

Reader Comments (285)

Regarding Maria Pinto, I miss her clothes as well on Michelle. She seemed to design just right for the FL without looking too conservative or too young. Pinto also used color wonderfully. I do like Jason Wu, but haven't been too impressed with the fit on Michelle. Pinto seemed to have pieces that were made with Michelle in mind--her height, legs, great arms and hips. Maria Pinto was designing for Michelle since the President was state senator, so I think she has an edge that other designers don't have. Pinto knows Michelle personally and has had frequent conversations with her--where Wu and Toledo have never even met the First Lady.

Pinto could make a 40+ year old look vibrant, fresh and sexy all in one without having that "I want to be 20 years old" look. Michelle always looked so feminine and fresh in her clothes.

I like Wu and Toledo, but I say please bring back Maria Pinto for a least a few pieces soon. I know Michelle has so much to do and plan, but I think Maria Pinto is still my general favorite for designing Michelle's clothes.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 1:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterJanelle

"Ok I have pictures that are awaiting moderation but while we wait can someone explain to me why the Queen would have a handbag on her arm while greeting the President and First Lady. Honestly I mean no disrespect to her and I have seen this before. Is this a British tradition?"

I have always wondered that myself, but she always carries her purse.
Always.
Maybe it has something to do with being in the war and never wanting to be caught short without your ID and house keys?
;-)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 1:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterJulie/Damn Good Vintage
Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 1:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterPosh Tater

Did she curtsy?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 1:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterJavier
Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 1:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterMr. S
Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 1:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterOnyx

She did not curtsey. American citizens do not have to curtsey to The Queen.
I love, love, love what she's wearing for Buckingham Palace. I want that skirt!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 1:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrenda

OMG Javier, I just watched the CNN video and wondered the same. What's with that, is that "ok" to not curtsey (or however you spell that)? I would assume so as they were briefed specifically on this but I do wonder.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 1:59 PM | Unregistered Commenterallison

janelle,

I agree with you. Michelle doesn't seem to be a fan of the "suit", but Maria Pinto seemed to know that and had designed several suits that Michelle wore that were anything but boring and stiff. I think Maria could have created a beautiful fashion forward, yet modest, suit for Michelle to meet the queen in. The outfit she wore is fine, but it gives off too much of a 1950's teeny bopper feel to it. I think this is the one thing she's worn that is just too you. Coupled with the half up, half down hairdo, it was very youthful. If it weren't black, it would actually be something Malia could wear to meet the queen. The outfit is nice, but I think for her age and for the gravity of the event, it could have been much better.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 2:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterTess

Very disappointing outfit.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 2:03 PM | Unregistered Commentermarrig

I think this dress needs to be seen in person to really appreciate. It's clearly gorgeous -- just the right amount of detail, super-elegant fabrics, a very good fit. It's really the perfect "go-to-tea, meet-the-Queen and go-to-dinner" dress. She added stockings and satin pumps to really bring out the elegance.
http://d.yimg.com/a/p/ap/20090401/capt.e359ca7d788242f4b69475f594bccbcb.obama_gbrm115.jpg

The cardigan is another matter. If only she could leave those behind when wearing a nice dress... but, then we love her for her own personal style, and cardigans certainly are that!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 2:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterChicagoan

She did not curtsey. She was not "presented at court in formal ceremeony" so I am not certain it was "expected" anyway at informal meeting. Back to the fashion contest between America and Great Britain, Sarah Brown is exactly Michelle Obama's age, has a son with cystic fibrosis and a baby daughter that died. Mrs. Brown strikes me as a person who is reluctantly a public figure. Mrs. Brown is a pretty woman and I am sure if she were inclined to ask for some fashion assistance she would get it. However, admittedly Mrs. Brown's blue dress was boring and the blue tights very British and very hideous to me, the hair needed some kind of mojo, but for a woman who had put no effort in looking good I thought she had a very natural, luminous, fragile sort of prettiness about her. Mr. Brown is 12 years her senior.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 2:03 PM | Unregistered Commentercandace

Allison,

I heard on CNN that foreign heads of state are not expected to curtsy even at formal events. However, some feel comfortable doing a slight bow of the head, which the President did. The main protocol is to wait for the Queen to extend her hand.

The bowing and curtsy for us Americans is not expected.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 2:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterJanelle

I think we need to rescue Sarah Brown. On first looking at the photos, I assumed she was much older and much heavier than Michelle, but she isn't, she's really quite attractive - just terrible clothes.

Let's see if I can get a link in here to a pic with the Queen, without it being held up for moderation. It's citylife dott com then dailylfile then 5149. Interesting hairdo, classic elegant look, the lower neckline saves it from boring.

The Queen takes a handbag everywhere. It's shame that she didn't work on her clothes and hair a long time ago. She really had a lot of potential.

What's with the British hats, which seem like lifeforms of their own? How long has that been going on?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 2:09 PM | Unregistered Commentertrudy

The colors are cute and I would totally wear this. But for once, I think the First Lady was a bit off on this. Too casual, ill-fitting, and inappropriate for frumpy British politics. We gotta dress for the city we're in, right?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 2:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterN

I typoed dailyfile, it's that, not dailylfile.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 2:12 PM | Unregistered Commentertrudy

The Queen ALWAYS has a pocketbook. There must be the key to the royal jewels or something in it. I love Michelle's outfit - it looks like the skirt at least is satin. Of course, she would be understated. See what the Queen is wearing? I simple dress, not a suit. I think she looks lovely, too. If Michelle put a lot of flava in her ensemble, she would've upstaged the Queen, pure & simple. And why wear a brooch or something with a little bling when it would be invariably be compared with whatever crown jewels the Queen chose to wear? Which, by the way is a brooch, bracelet & maybe a neckace?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 2:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterJen

Also, to the anti-brooch-and-pearls-on-FLOTUS crowd, have you noticed that the Queen of England had on pearls and a brooch at the same time? Hhhmmm. are both pieces of jewelry at the same time now somehow appropriate for FLOTUS now that Queen of England is seen wearing both?

FLOTUS Michelle Obama is so comfortable with what she wears, so comfortable in her own skin, so intelligent even in slacks and a button-down shirt. I enjoy watching her fashion choices, but they don't change my opinion of her one iota. She was, is and always will be, in my opinion, fine, just fine, exactly the way she is.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 2:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterIsonprize

Life101, there was another red Maria Pinto dress that Michelle wore a few weeks after the Inauguration. I think she wore it to an event at Howard University. It was a very pretty sleeveless dress, with some bubble detailing.

And yes, Maria Pinto was my favorite of Michelle's regular designers. I too would like to see more of her.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 2:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterJenna

Hey guy's, heres a great video of them arriving and meeting the Queen at Politico.com
http://www.politico.com/largevideobox.html?bcpid=1243705446&bclid=1201016315&bctid=18263979001

Also the huffington post has some great photos here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/01/obama-meets-queen-elizabe_n_181841.html

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 2:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterAri

Michelle looks wonderful! I've seen her several times in person during the campaign. She's very tall and really beautiful (gorgeous legs) and carries herself very regally. She can be elegant and yet sometimes very funny and down-to-earth. Very easy to be around, and her fashion choices reflect that.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 2:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterKarla

Next up the G-20 reception and then dinner. Can't wait to see her gown.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 2:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterAri

Jen,

I totally understand why Michelle wore what she wore now instead of a colorful outfit for tea. Don't upstage the Queen, especially with all this press on how the FL will look to meet the Queen. I guess I wasn't expecting black though.

But judging how the press on TV (CNN) hasn't made any comments on this outfit, I guess that's the look Michelle wanted. No controversies with this outfit, even if she has to dress a little plainer. She definitely didn't want any "WOW" factor, and I so get that now. I don't blame her.

When Michelle walked into the room, I wasn't Wowed at all, so my eyes immediately went to the facial expressions of everyone, the Queen, and the President's interaction with the Queen. That's the reaction the FL wanted probably.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 2:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterJanelle

Mrs. Obama looks fresh, pretty, american. i love it. why do people want her to look stuffy and pretentious ala Laura Bush? i cannot stand the pantsuits and the gold button looks of the past first ladies. michelle obama represents ME. She is stylish but not overly styled, or un styled, she is AUTHENTIC. GO MICHELLE

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 2:23 PM | Unregistered Commenteramy chicago

waaaaa...why haven't they updated this blog?

I know people have lives, but at a time like this we rely on blogs like this.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 2:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterOlivia

@jenna......thanks for the update. i can't believe the cardigan is sold out already.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 2:33 PM | Unregistered Commentertoi22

Ok, they just showed them arriving at the dinner. She's wearing the same outfit she wore to meet the queen minus the cardigan. I have to say, it was not flattering. It looked like a wife beater tank top and a black skirt. Oh, why oh why do they fall down on these huge events. And also, she could have used some better support under the top of that dress if you know what I mean.

Of all the glorious dresses she's been wearing lately, she wears this outfit to the dinner.

It may be time to get a stylist. Seriously. I had such high hopes yesterday.

I have to say, people. Without the cardigan and beautiful jacket, this dress is the worst thing I have seen Mrs. O wear.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 2:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterTess

I think she may be going from the palace to the dinner? will she change in The Beast?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 2:36 PM | Unregistered Commentervaldivia

After looking at the pics, I think this was perfect for the occasion especially when the Queen is wearing pink. Michelle's new hairdo is featured on huffpost. I think she looked great.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 2:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterMimi

The Queen is the Queen, and I have no issue with her style. How can you argue with the style of a woman who also for years rode side saddle for the Trooping the Colours ceremony, and one year was even shot at while she was in the tack?

For a look at some fantastic royal equestrian style. see: http://www.jamd.com/image/g/3246590

How many people can carry that off?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 2:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterOxfarm

While I LOVE Michelle, I think that she has batted 0 for 2 today. I LOVED the AF1 outfit and the yellow and black "Arrival in London" outfit. Oh, well.....

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 2:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterSailorsgirl

I loved the morning 'springy' 'cheery' outfit and love the outfit Michelle wore to meet the Queen - love that she had the tull/crinoline under the skirt, and her hair pulled back at the sides was a nice surprise. So, today Michelle worn 'heels' twice so far - I know that that has made many people here on the blog happy.

We have seen FOUR outfits in basically the past 24 hours - it must be mind boggling as to the amount of clothes that Michelle has brought with her on AirForceOne for this trip!

p.s. I have not been happy with The President's choice of ties so far, he normally does much better.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 2:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterLeah D

I just saw the Russian PM wife she is wearing a hideous gold dress. The other women are wearing some very ugly stuff.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 2:44 PM | Unregistered Commentervaldivia

Mrs O is stellar...this is a GORGEOUS ensemble. She is setting a new path for diplomatic/"formal" wear...no more booooring, blaaah, matchy-matchy nonsense!!!

Love the way she emphasizes US brands/designers.

My only concern is: J Crew has some pretty gray areas as far as labor fairness/outsourcing. Don't know if it's possible to come up with a completely "clean" fashion label in this regard...but I'd like to think Mrs. O takes these things into consideration and makes decisions accordingly.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 2:46 PM | Unregistered Commentersildi

Valdivia, agreed!! I was going to make the same comment. Not even on her WORST day would Michelle look as bad some of these other women.

She really does the US proud. I cannot wait to see what she wears for tonight's dinner.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 2:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterJenna

props to Mrs Brown who has a very nice jacket on. I have not seen Obama go in yet although someone upthread said they did go in on tv they said they had not.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 2:49 PM | Unregistered Commentervaldivia

I just saw Tess's comment.... BUMMER! I will have to see for myself how the dress looks without the cardigan. It is designed by Isabel Toledo and seems to have a cool tulle overlay. I think it can be a very cool outfit.

I am waiting patiently for pictures.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 2:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterJenna
Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 2:52 PM | Unregistered Commenter2L

*hee hee* i just saw a clip of pm brown's wife in a black jacket thing with little flower petals on it like mrs. o's inaugural ball dress. they are waiting for the president and first lady to show for the dinner thingy.

its nice to see some homage to our first lady's
fashion/style going on.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 2:55 PM | Unregistered Commentertoi22

Picture of Obama's arriving at 10 Downing with the Browns for dinner: daylife(dot)com/photo/04sU86IcCleTi

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 2:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterVirginia

just saw it its satin and looks very nice. I disagree with Tess that it looked bad. But that is just my opinion.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 3:01 PM | Unregistered Commentervaldivia

Ack!!! The white tank top is ill fitting and is too informal fo the G-20 dinner. It would have been better if the top were a different fabric perhaps stiffer, lined, and tailored - it still could have been sleeveless, but it needed to made better.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 3:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterLeah D

I completely disagree with Tess, I think Michelle's outfit without the jacket looks really nice and the fit is wonderful. And for the high heel police - folks should be happy that she's wearing higher heels than normal today.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 3:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterIVA

Thank you for that link Virginia!

Ok, a sigh of relief!! I really disagree with Tess's description. Without the cardigan, the dress is much fresher, and you can see the pleating in the front and the tulle peaking out of the skirt.

Though it's sleeveless, I find the fullness of the skirt to be really matronly. In a sleeker silhouette, the dress would be much sexier and less fussy. It lacks the sense of playfulness that Michelle is known for. The whole feel is very conservative.

Still, she looks very fresh, certainly fits the occasion. And she has that amazing glowing skin and beautiful smile that always make her stand out.

So Brava Michelle! This must be quite nerve-racking for her. I think she has navigated the 4/5 outfits really well. I look forward to tomorrows looks.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 3:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterJenna

I prefer the outfit with the cardigan for the dinner. However, compared to others there, Mrs. O still looks nice. She's sleeveless and looks great still. It isn't the worst she's looked IMO. She looks beautiful--she still stands out a lot among the attendees. So keep that in mind when criticizing her look. Go to daylife.com and see all the pictures of the evening, and you'll see what I mean.

It isn't her best look and I prefer the outfit with the cardigan, but she looks pretty and happy.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 3:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterJanelle

Looking at the link that Virginia posted:
daylife(dot)com/photo/04sU86IcCleTi
Mrs. Brown's skirt needs to be longer and her sleeves are too long.

Michelle has learned how to position her feet for photos! Love the way that Michelle is posed in that photo!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 3:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterLeah D

I really wish people would note the way other women there are dressed. Mrs. O knocks them out of the park. Not a frumpiness, stuffiness, or drabness to her at all.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 3:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterIVA

Here is the link to what Mrs. Obama wore when she met with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip today. Conservative out of respect for Queen Elizabeth and protocol
Arrival photo
http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/Obamas-meet-Queen-Elizabeth-II/ss/events/wl/040109obamasqueen#photoViewer=/090401/ids_photos_wl/r875058380.jpg

Personal appearance photo
http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/Obamas-meet-Queen-Elizabeth-II/ss/events/wl/040109obamasqueen#photoViewer=/090401/ids_photos_wl/r3772240538.jpg

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 3:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterBea

Yes, can we PLEASE compare Michelle to the other women? She is undoubtedly the best dressed there. She looks fresh and lovely, even if it's not her usual bold style. There can be no doubt she has toned it down for the occasion, but surely any of us would do the same.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 3:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterJenna

@ Jenna - I don't even mean we should compare Mrs. O to others, but I think we can use other women's outfits as a point of reference for what is "normal" in this circumstance. Let's be real, none of us would know the first thing about dressing for a G-20 summit, where the leaders are discussing how to save the global economy.

So, I think it helps us to keep perspective if we look at the whole picture and of the women involved. To me, I'm very happy to see that not ONE of Mrs. O's outfits can be deemed inappropriate or regrettable. Each look photographs well and carries the hope and freshness that our new President and his wife symbolize.

And most importantly, they are staying true to who we are, as Americans, and to who they are as Barack and Michelle Obama.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 3:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterIVA

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