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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
Jun222011

Global Garden Chic

Photo by Charles Dharapak / AP Images

Mrs. O also visited Vhuthilo Community Center in Soweto township, Johannesburg, South Africa today, where she did a bit of volunteer gardening and greeted children. For the visit, the First Lady wore a black cardigan and slim black pants, belted at the waist.

Reader Comments (20)

Her wardrobe so far has been slightly different, awesome in colour and design matching her role in every way.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011 at 8:59 PM | Unregistered Commenteralmablanca@msn.com

I was waiting for you to post this Mrs. T. Mrs. Obama looks amazing here! It's a bit much for gardening but she looks amazing--sleek and streamlined--and never seems to get a smudge on her outfit even if she's on her knees digging while gardening. I don't know how she does it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011 at 9:53 PM | Unregistered Commenterwillet784

Pants look a wee bit too tight. Love the top, though.

Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 3:57 AM | Unregistered Commentercanyongal

This woman has amazing international appeal. I often wonder if this --the gardening, the obesity campaign, the speaking engagements and travel -- are entirely her own initiatives or if there are 'advisors' who orchestrate her public persona in support of the President. She seems genuine ... she appears to wholeheartedly embrace her public role. I just don't know.

Nice outfit. Black pants and a top. Not much to say about it. She looks fit and lovely.

Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 7:48 AM | Unregistered Commenterglammie

As a South African living in the United States, I love seeing these images of Mrs O meeting the women of my homeland, and building bridges. I love how both are such great visions of change, and how women are really the center of making the change we want to see in the world.

Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 11:50 AM | Unregistered Commenterkbd

@glammie can you please expand on why you would question her initiative choices? I am perplexed by your comments?

On the fashion front - good choice for gardening and being aware that you will still be photgraphed.

Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 11:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterAdear

The first picture is saying so much! Love it!

Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 12:39 PM | Registered CommenterSoccerNana

@ Jackie and others
I have been to SOWETO and Alexandria and other townships and I have dined with the elite in the "beautiful" parts of Johannesburg. It is interesting that there is concern that Mrs. Obama is not seeing the beautiful South Africa (read rich and white). SOWETO and the other townships are not "informal" settlements. They were areas where black people were required to live when they had permission to work in "white areas." There was nothing "informal" about them; they were legislated and violently enforced! The unfortunate legacy of apartheid is the consequence of poverty for much of South Africa's black majority. One of the victories of the struggle against apartheid is that the black majority and many of the problems can no longer be hidden from view. Yes, South Africa is very beautiful but a substantial portion of its people still cannot live in those areas that are deemed "beautiful." Real progress will be made when all South Africans understand that they share both the burdens and the benefits of their history and cease wanting to render the legacy of suffering invisible.

Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 12:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterDr. Cheryl

@ Jackie - I believe the first lady will spend a day on safari before returning home over the weekend. She will have a full day to enjoy the countryside of your beautiful country. I for one am glad that the First Lady goes out of her way to visit communities that otherwise would not get a look in when foreign dignatories are visiting. I was tickled when they visited favelas on a recent trip to Brazil. Both she and her husband have a gift for reaching out to those less fortunate members of society and I love them for it.

Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 1:19 PM | Registered CommenterJestina ( London, England)

IMO all of South Africa is beautiful, so I don't understand why many think only a certain portion is only beautiful.

Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 2:08 PM | Registered CommenterM.M.

Dr. Cheryl / Jestina, I decided to delete Jackie's comment as I didn't feel the undertones were appropriate. Your comments in response are well reasoned and calm, so I've left them up. Just wanted to explain. Thanks!

Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 2:09 PM | Registered CommenterMrs. T

@Adear: actually, I wasn't questioning her choices. I was wondering aloud if these were her sincerely held beliefs and interests or if they were initiatives chosen for her, by the campaign team, in support of her husband. Did she decide over the course of the campaign that *if* she became First Lady, she'd champion X, Y and Z or were these initiatives chosen for her, after BO won the Presidency??

Is that any clearer? I'm not saying the initatives are good, bad or otherwise ... I'm just wondering how they came to be ... what inspired them ... what motivated her to choose these particular causes .. which ideas she discarded ... how much input she had ... how she feels about the platform she holds, etc.

If you're still perplexed, feel free to contact me offline at missus_gogo@yahoo.com and we can discuss further ... :o)

Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 7:24 PM | Unregistered Commenterglammie

@Glammie,

From your comments it appears that you don't know anything about the First Lady because if you'd done your research, you would have found that she has been involved in this type of outreach, mentoring and giving back for years, long before the White House spotlight. She has always said that this was one of the reasons she left her high flying, high paying legal career at that top-notched law firm in Chicago As she puts it, it was not fulfulling enough. In addition, you would have also found that Michelle Obama doesn't need anyone "to orchestrate her activities and interests". So I suggest that in the future before you take to the air to make such poorly-thoughtout comments, that you would do yourself (and the rest of us) the favor of checking your facts! It's one thing to comment on her activities, projects, etc, but it's a whole different issue when not knowing what on earth you're talking about you come here to expound and cast doubt on this woman's ability to determine for herself where and how she's going to use her enormous intellect and talent in helping others learn how to achieve specific goals.

As for her wardrobe on this trip so far, she has struck the right balance in all her appearances.

Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 7:45 PM | Unregistered Commentermszonian524

This cardigan is chocked full of details, just the way FLOTUS likes. I appreciate how she just goes about her business, doing whatever she's going to do and not worry about ruining or soiling her "good clothes". She wears light color clothes even when she knows that it will probably end up with other women's make-up stains on them from hugging, or children's hand prints, or baby spit up, whatever. That never seems to stop or phase her, you never see her pushing people away or being standoffish. She's the genuine artiicle. That's one reason why I admire her so.
Regarding this outfit, SUPER CHIC!

Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 8:49 PM | Registered CommenterCharlene in Detroit

@Charlene in Detroit - Well said...:)

Friday, June 24, 2011 at 9:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterAdear

It’s unfortunate that you chose to see offense where none was intended or implied. I only asked a question. Asking a question is the first step of any research.

I am fully aware of her background, thanks. I didn’t say she’s out there faking it. In fact, I was careful to note how genuinely happy she looks meeting people and carrying out her a public appearances. I’m only asking – wondering, really -- how much of her initiative is under her control and of her own design and how much of it is moderated by the team that now seeks to have the President re-elected. I don’t believe for a moment that Mrs. Obama does anything in the public eye that hasn’t been vetted and approved by Mr. Obama’s campaign team. We all saw during his campaign how would-be detractors pounced upon everything she said and often skewed her words (hmm ... much like what’s happening here, to me!). No doubt there’s a coordinated effort between the First Lady’s office and the President’s staff to avoid that kind of thing from happening again but still make use of her incredible appeal to help him win a second term. I’m not saying that’s right, wrong, disingenuous, brilliant or otherwise. I’m simply wondering how the system works.

Not sure what you found so offensive about that. Did you think I was trying to imply she was without talent in her own right or some kind of stepford wife? I wasn’t. But, lest we confuse each other again, I think it would be best if you didn’t read any more posts with my name attached. I know I won’t read any of yours. And, I'll leave it to Mrs. T to rule on what's appropriate or not.

Friday, June 24, 2011 at 12:46 PM | Unregistered Commenterglammie

Well said Dr. Cheryl! And as usual, Mrs. O looks appropriately beautiful.

Friday, June 24, 2011 at 1:39 PM | Registered Commentermspoint1106

@Glammie, I can understand where you are coming from with your question, with them being in the politics arena and all. However, I would like to say that I think all of Mrs. O causes are genuinely close to heart and were not suggested to her for the sake of re-electing her husband. Recently, I have been watching some of Mrs. Obama's old interviews on youtube. Back on the campaign trail, the issue of military families was brought to her attention because of the numerous stories she heard from the spouses and families. She said that she was interested in childhood obesity because in one of her daughter's (I'm not sure which one) check ups her pediatricitian informed her that she might want to be more aware of her child's diet. In these interviews, Mrs. O stated that she had to be paasionate about the issues she chose to advocate. She said that as long as she was truly passionate about it, then the people would see that she was genuine, real, and that she really cared. And I must say that I have seen the passion in her eyes as she inspired young women to be all that they can be, or comforforted a Gold Star mother, or hula hooped with little kids. I'm not sure if I satisified your curiousity about whether or not Mrs. O chose these causes on her own, but I can tell you that whether she did or didn't, they are causes that are near and dear to heart. You can see it in her eyes, her body language, and you can hear it in her words.
I'm not sure if you heard her sppech to the young women in Soweto, but it was Brilliant! It was so moving and inspirational. I don't think that kind of conviction and emotion can be forced for political gain. If it can, then I'm dumbfounded and I have no words.

Saturday, June 25, 2011 at 2:56 AM | Registered CommenterNyon

Glammie, following your lenghthy explanation of your previous comments and question on how the First Lady decides what project(s) she will champion and whether her decisions are directed by the West Wing, I have a suggestion for you. Why don't you direct your concerns and questions to the people that could possibly give you the answers you seek, namely the WH West Wing and/or the Office of the First Lady. That would seem the prudent thing to do, instead of coming here to voice your rhetorical concerns when you well know that no one here can give you the answers you seek, at least to your satisfaction. Also, it is ludicrous to think that this First Lady (or any First Lady) would travel the world representing the United States of America and her mission would not be in line with her husband's administration's foreign policy initiatives. If you would recall on every official foreign trip, whether traveling solo or with the President, there's always an outreach component to the young people and emerging young leaders in an attempt to engage and encourage them in their endeavors. As she stated in her speech in South Africa, 50% of the population is under the age of 30, so much of the change that needs to come to Africa will be brought on by this segment of the population. So it's in the best interest of the U.S. to engage these people now, find a way to partner with them socially, economically and politically to move their countries forward. Hopefully, this way we can ensure some degree of influence in how positive change is made in these countries. If we don't do this, we'll be left on the outside looking in while other powers like China (who already has a significant presence in Africa), Russia, India, and less savory types step in and fill the vaccuum. That is the overall purpose of the President, the First Lady, Sec. of State, and the entire government's diplomatic and political mission. Hopefully you will seek to engage the WH to understand how this very delicate and complex diplomatic engagement is executed.

Sunday, June 26, 2011 at 11:34 AM | Unregistered Commentermszonian524

I think we have seen Mrs. O's role in the administration evolve, but the roots of her interests and activities go way back, even before the campaign of 2008. She has a much better platform and resources for expressing these commitments in Washington than she had in Chicago, naturally. I believe she will continue to evolve in her role as the second term begins!

Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 10:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterPat

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