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Thursday
Apr022009

A Proclamation of Personal Style

Photo by Joel Ryan/WPA Pool/Getty Images

As part of a day of events scheduled around London, First Lady Mrs. O joined the spouses of world leaders attending the G-20 conference at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden this morning. Per Politico, Mrs. O wears a Jason Wu dress and an asymmetrical Junya Watanabe cardigan. We recognize the green Jimmy Choo "Glacier" pumps from the Inauguration.

To our knowledge, this is one of the first times the First Lady has publicly worn Junya Watanabe (unless he's also responsible for that tiered black ruched number? Hmm...). Watanabe is a Japanese fashion designer who began his career at Comme des Garcons. We're excited to have a new name in the First Lady's wardrobe, and more importantly - to see Mrs. O making one of her boldest fashion statements yet! Mrs. O's remarks at Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School in Islington, north London are a must see (thanks to those who linked to the video):

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Reader Comments (330)

Who's the dowdy chick with her? She needs to borrow some style advice from Mrs. O.

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 9:27 AM | Unregistered Commenterkristin

Luvs it.

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 9:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterPinkflame1983

Is the sweater mis-buttoned? Is she wearing half of one and half of another? Looks like a 2nd grader who dressed herself, and added green shoes that don't appear to match anything. Michelle has style but needs to lose the sweaters.

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 9:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterAnn

LOVE the colors...I think it's the just picture, but the cardigan seems ill-fitting BUT she still looks beautiful as always!

Now as a gentle reminder to Mrs. Brown,there is no shame in wearing a slenderizer (believe me I know!)

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 9:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterKemba

The sweater is supposed to look kind of asymmetric. I think it would be cuter without the sweater.

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 9:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterJen

The "dowdy chick" is Sarah Brown, wife of the British PM. And this is AFTER her makeover. You should have seen her when he took office.

I love, love, love the dress. I want it. The Japanese design such cool things.

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 9:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrenda

Ann--That's how the sweater is supposed to be. It's made to look like (or is) two combined sweaters. It's not mis-buttoned.

I wish Mrs. Brown would wear something a bit more flattering. She's a lovely woman, but her outfit isn't doing her any favors today.

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 9:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterBalt-O-Matt

Busting on Sarah Brown doesn't seem fair. She's got a great smile, what seems like flawless skin, and a nice curvaceous figure. I think she just needs some Spanx.

For Michelle, this is not going to go down as one of my favorite outfits, for sure (though I really NEED that cardigan!) It's funny because the individual pieces are pretty cool. Anyway, it's all very "her."

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 9:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterChristina

This outfit is very intriguing. I like it, but... I hope someone can provide a link to other photos. I would love to see more of the dress and cardigan.

I think Mrs. O will definitely be a trendsetter.

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 9:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterTrade

I agree that Sarah Brown is lovely.

I hope Michelle takes off the sweater so we can get a really good look at the dress. Jason Wu must be in ecstasy!

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 9:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterBevi

I absolutely Miss Obama's outfit here. It's a bit playful, a bit more relaxed, and seems to be a nice stylistic choice to her attitude.

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 9:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterAshe Mischief

Luv it luv it luv it!!!
All the criticism about the last cardigan she wore was all for naught-the J.Crew sparkle beauty she wore in th am w/the Browns? Well it sold out!
so there!
Mrs. O is gonna surprise and push buttons-i like that about her. Never a dull moment.

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 9:47 AM | Unregistered Commenterdavesoko1

I'm loving the dress--wish she would open the cardigan. The cardigan is interesting; I love the bottom of the sleeves and how it is cut with a v-opening at elbows. It has a lot of details.

But I'm not fashion-forward enough to wear a misbuttoned or unconstructed look. I think that's why someone on the previous thread said it had a sloppy look and I also felt the cardigan wasn't fitted probably. I had no idea it was made that way.

The dress looks wonderful underneath and I'm sure sleeveless. I think for most people it's a bit much, but Mrs. O is her own woman---she can take compliments as well as the hits and criticisms today. I'm sure her aides and staff told her so when she picked this outfit out.

But in the daylife photos, it looks beautiful from the side--really beautiful with the flow of the Jason Wu dress.

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 9:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterJanelle

Mrs. Brown, please get yourself some Spanx. Greatest invention ever!!

Mrs. Obama, love, love, love the dress but I'm not feeling the cardigan; although it is too cute! Maybe save it for another outfit.

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 9:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterTenley

see this is why i love her style. i love love love this cardi. again a win for me. asymmetrical swagga, love it.

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 9:49 AM | Unregistered Commentertoi22

Back to the misbuttoned thing, is it honestly supposed to look like that? There is a gap showing at the top and then the bottom looks longer on one side.

I do like the colors.

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 9:50 AM | Unregistered Commenterallison

Hello Obama lovers!!! I have been viewing this site for months. I absolutely love this site!! I must admit this is my first posting. I just felt compelled to request that a new picture be replaced for this. Mrs. T, you lose the whole look because one of her arms are hidden. You would be able to understand the concept of the cardigan when you see that the other arm is plaid to mirror the left side of the cardigan.

She's meeting with school girls I believe today and this really speaks to her audience plus the unspoken political agenda for Japan.

Go Michelle!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 9:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterLyza

the chutzpah of this look makes me loves it even more

Bravo Mrs O!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 9:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterPalGirl2008
Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 9:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterCrispini

Wats with d green shoes!!!! this is d first combination i don't like... every piece is fantastic on its own. the cardigan with the dress is fantastic..but green shoes???? maybe cream/ivory would have popped better not green!

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 9:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterOnyx

Asymmetrical swagga......this is one of the reasons i love my first lady's style so much, she has fun with her clothes. she look so cute. i literally smiled when the picture loaded up. love the cardi. wants....

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 9:56 AM | Unregistered Commentertoi22

Here's a link to pics of their backs. I must admit, Mrs. Brown's dress looks awful from the back, in my opinion.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1166336/First-Ladys-fashion-sense-falters-Michelle-Obama-Sarah-Brown-meet-day-G20-summit.html

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 9:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterTenley

Another perfect hit! She just gets it right time and again. The color, the tone of the outfit, the edginess of the asymmetrical cardigan -- just PERFECT. Interesting, youthful, a new take on tradition; all the things Mrs. O stands for. Home run!

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 9:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterChicagoan

lol.... we are breaking MRS.o.org whenever a new pic comes up. i keep getting data base messages.

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 9:59 AM | Unregistered Commentertoi22

Check out the video on BBC News online. There is a video with Michelle in today's outfit. Click on "Leading Ladies Meet at the Opera". The sweater is interesting and will result in lots of buzz, I am sure!

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 9:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterSharon

I am going to buy more cardigans.

Someone please take all the dark hose Mrs. Brown owns away from her. Help that woman, who has a really striking face and complexion.

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 10:00 AM | Unregistered Commentertrudy

Can you imagine the fashion fireworks to come out of Mrs. Obama's meeting with Carla Bruni on Friday?!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 10:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterTenley

I love that she thinks outside of the box. She is a fashionesta indeed! Go FLOTUS, shante all the way!

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 10:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterYola

Mrs. Brown is really attractive. She's got beautiful skin and curves. Just some Spanx and she'll be good to go.

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 10:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterDee

The Watanabe cardigan is the most fashion-forward thing MO has worn either on the campaign trail or in the White House. I love the playful reference to the British Isles in the argyll pattern, and the blue/teal of the Jason Wu dress is gorgeous.

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 10:02 AM | Unregistered Commentergbs

In the BBC video, the dress looks dark green. Hence the green shoes, I think.

Mrs. T, can we have a remember option, to avoid having to retype our names and emails? Thanks...

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 10:04 AM | Unregistered Commentertrudy

I absolutely love our First Lady's panache and the confidence with which she carries herself at all times. I love this dress. I think teal is a very hard color to pull off fashionably and this one is a home run. I also think she has a real flair for defining a beautiful silhouette. Go Michelle!!!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 10:05 AM | Unregistered Commentermeta
Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 10:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterChicagoan

It does look like the cardigan's mis-buttoned, if not, it's an interesting design. When I first saw the look I was like "OMG, could someone not tell her". Regardless, Mrs O still rocks the look. I like Sarah Brown, the British PM's wife. It's not her dress style that's the problem, but rather the size.... the next size up will make all the difference.

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 10:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterAmber

Sorry; cardigan. I was a little excited!

:)

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 10:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterChicagoan

Mrs. O is truly gutsy and confident--kudos to her. She's the type of person I need as a friend to get me out of my clothing comfort zone, which is Ann Taylor and Talbots.

When I first saw this outfit I said uh oh--then I said YES! We all need to push ourselves with clothes and have fun. I remember in her Oprah mag interview that she wants to live life with some gusto. This must be the gusto outfit! Go 'head girl.

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 10:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterJanelle

1) The cardigan is miss-buttoned
2) The skirt makes her look really hippy
3) I hope she doesn't wear that when she meets Carl Burni-Sarkozi cause she will surely loose
4) What happened to my girl Maria Pinto? I miss her outfits they looked so much better on her

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 10:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterJosh P

Mrs. O will either go sleeveless or cover up with a sweater.

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 10:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterJay

it's a gutsy outfit; have to say that i love the dress, but i hate the cardigan with it.

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 10:19 AM | Unregistered Commentermoja31

I'm surprised the people are not catching up to the brilliance of Michelle's designer selection. With Jason Wu, whose parents still live in China and has been getting lots of Chinese press for designing the first lady's Inauguration gown that will now be displaced in the Smithsonian. its been a really source of national pride and i think its things like that that make the people of china like the president which translates the mutual respect from the presidents of both countries. I don't know if anyone read the statement the Chinese president released yesterday about President Obama. He went above and beyond even expressed his desire to the "friends" with the president. These things are subtle but they go a long way. By endorsing immigrant designers, she is reaching out to their respective countries.

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 10:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterDani

The sweater is made that way. Look at the picture in the link below. The dress is also darker than appears in the photo so the shoes do match.
http://www.farfetch.com/shopping/women/clothing/item10013720.aspx

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 10:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterVera

Can someone explain how in the world green shoes would go w/ a deep blue dress!
To me it appears that Michelle Obama is just havin a blast from being the first lady and she does whatever the hell she wants. No protocol, no standards. For a lady of her education and status is disappointing really!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 10:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterSara

Daylife has two photos that give a complete view of the sweater. Mrs.O's left sleeve has the same argyle pattern.

I'm not crazy about it, but that's just me; I've never been a fan of asymmetrical stuff. I just looks buttoned up wrong. I do like the colors and the dress, though.

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 10:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterIsonprize

""To me it appears that Michelle Obama is just havin a blast from being the first lady and she does whatever the hell she wants. No protocol, no standards. For a lady of her education and status is disappointing really!! ""

if that is not a troll comment...I don't know what is

shame

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 10:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterPalGirl2008

Good point Dani!

I knew there had to be a back story to this gutsy outfit. Mrs. O has done her homework. She knows the criticisms far outweigh her behind-the-scenes foreign influences through fashion.

She is smart. If the press wants to only focus on what she's wearing and we're trying to improve relations with China, then the First Lady is gonna work it politically and fashion-wise at the same time whether we like it or not.

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 10:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterJanelle

This one has to grow on me. In general, I prefer our First Lady in sheaths. There's something about full skirts on her that doesn't quite thrill.

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 10:27 AM | Unregistered Commenterdlev

Josh P. I agree. And don't be surprised if you get flamed or called a troll. Apparently, if Michelle Obama shows up in a garbage bag and another cardigan in Paris, it's the most beautiful outfit ever and we're all supposed to say so. My sister just sent me a text calling Michelle's outfit a "hot mess". She likes everything Mrs. Obama wears. I she doesn't like it, it's bad.

If the cardigan is supposed to be button weird like that, then this is the kind of thing you wear to lunch with your girlfriends, where it can be explained. You don't wear it to accompany your husband to the G20, because it makes you look like a slop. I'm sorry, but I'm actually ticked off with whoever let the First Lady of the United States leave the house wrinkled and sloppy. Um, no. It's not cute. Unlike Michelle, Hillary and Laura couldn't dress to save their lives, but I never saw them look sloppy. This outfit is embarrassing and all it does is give fuel to haters to diss her clothes, even though she gets it right about 90 percent of the time. It just seems that she gets it right in her day to day life, and then when it's something like the G20, Ikrahm Goldman sends her the fugliest clothes she can find.If she shows up in France tomorrow in sloppy cardigan and wrinkled 1950's poodle skirt, the press is gonna be ferocious.

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 10:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterKels

One more thing: I actually think that Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Brown should swap outfits.

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 10:28 AM | Unregistered Commenterdlev

Now THATS a fashion forward cardigan ! WOW
Love the juxtaposition of edgy high fashion and more subdued yet still forward dress - notice the pin tucked pleating at the waistline of the dress.
I do think for this particular look, Mrs O could have lost the pearls- they seem a bit much mixed w/ the pattern of the sweater.
But other than this, the outfit is pure Mrs O : playful, confident original and risk taking fashion.
Poor Mrs B by comparison - she might as well be invisible !

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 10:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterRJT

Janelle, you hit the nail on the head - clothes should be fun. The range of designs that appeal to Michelle clearly demonstrates that she is very playful in addition to being stylish and I applaud her for that. She is definitely influencing women to take more fashion risks. I live in SF where individuality is the norm, so I don't have any resistance to anything she chooses to wear, but I can see that it doesn't play in all regions or across generations. Nevertheless, it's great fun to watch this magnetic woman. I've had the great opportunity to see her up close in person and she has the most unusual quality of being both demure and utterly striking, soft yet fierce, ultra feminine but very strong. Truly a stunning person in a way that the camera just cannot capture. She pulls off her clothing because she is who she is.

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 10:29 AM | Unregistered Commentermeta

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