This is the dress that Michelle Obama chose for the dinner in honor of President Felipe Caldaron of Mexico recently.
Mrs. Obama has a good sensing of clothes for daytime events. She has an athletic build with an outdoor girl appearance so her simple sheaths with sweaters or tailored suits work very well. I also admire her for selecting young up-coming designers. Certainly, having the first lady wear your designs has helped catapult several of them out of obscurity into fame.
However, in my opinion, Mrs. Obama does not have a good sensing of which formal styles best complement her athletic appearance and she is often a fashion victim. This dress ranks right up there at the top in fashion disasters.
One can’t really compare Mrs. Obama with other recent first ladies. Laura Bush was always impeccably dressed; appropriate for every occasion. She knows her own style and follows it well but the conservative, classic look never caused people to think, “Wow, she looks great!” Hillary Clinton does not have an easy figure to dress and has absolutely no interest her clothing. Both of these ladies fall into a more matronly category as well so it is a bit unfair to compare Michelle Obama with them. Jackie Kennedy Onassis was considerably younger than Michelle Obama when she became first lady, yet she had such an incredible sense of what styles worked best for her coupled with wisdom of what appropriately carried the dignity of the position of First Lady.
I would love to see Michelle Obama work with a good image consultant who could guide her in choosing evening gowns that both work for her personal style and appropriately represent her position instead of looking like she is going to a costume party.
I’m sure some of you will agree and others disagree. Let me know your comments at Beryl@StyleWithAplomb.com