Michelle Obama’s Best Style Moments

Michelle Obama wore a fiery red dress to the 2008 election.

The Obama family in 2008 on election night wearing coordinating red outfits.

The Obama family during 2008 election night.

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The Narciso Rodrigo dress was paired with a plain black cardigan.

“The dress was utterly flattering with its black criss-cross waist,” Verena von Pfetten at HuffPost published 2008, “and the elongating blend of red into black delightfully accentuated her statuesque stature. And mostly, it was interesting to look at. Which is something to be said with regards to the usual wallflower role to which First Ladies are usually relegated — a role to which I’d imagine Michelle Obama would not take kindly, dress or no dress.”

Obama looked radiant in a white dress at the 2009 inaugural ball.

Barack Obama spins Michelle Obama at the inaugural ball.

The Obamas at the inaugural ball.

Jim Young/Reuters

Jason Wu designed the dress with organza flowers.

“No details of the dress were released before the balls and Wu did not know that Mrs. Obama had selected his design, which he intended to symbolize hope, until he saw it on television,”According Go to the Smithsonian Website.

Obama also wore a champagne colored gown to a state meal that same year.

Barack and Michelle Obama at a state dinner. Michelle wears a gold sparkly dress.

2009: The Obamas

Jason Reed/Reuters

Obama paired the Indian-American designer Naem Kan’s gown with a shawl. 

2011 was a controversial year for her as she wore a bright red gown to a state meal.

Michelle Obama wears a red Alexander McQueen dress. Barack Obama stands next to her in a tuxedo.

The Obamas in 2011.

Jim Young/Reuters

Obama wore an Alexander McQueen gown to a Chinese state dinner. Many American designers felt that she should have worn a dress made in America.

“I like to patronize American designers, and the vast majority of the clothes that I wear are [designed by Americans,]” Obama Responding to the controversy “But there are a lot of other designers that have cute stuff, too. I don’t think that I’m any different from any other woman, other than the fact that people see what I wear and then they talk about it.”

Obama’s white gown from a London 2011 trip remains one of her finest looks.

Michelle Obama wears a white dress and stands next to Prince Phillip.

Obama in 2011.

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

To a banquet attended by the Queen, she wore the Tom Ford gown.

Obama wore a simple, blue gown in 2012 and dressed it up with a statement piece necklace.

Michelle and Barack Obama in 2012. Michelle wears a blue dress.

2012: The Obamas

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Obama was dressed in a Marchesa gown and greeted David Cameron (then British Prime Minister) at a dinner. 

“First lady Mrs. Obama always looks so chic and modern,”Roksanda Ilicic, who dressed Obama at the event, NBC News at that time. “I love the addition of texture with the Tom Binns necklace.”

Obama wore a knee length coat with a belt to her second Inauguration Parade parade in 2013.

The Obamas on Inauguration Day in 2013.

The Obamas at Inauguration Day

POOL NEW/Reuters

Thom Browne’s coat was made of men’s neckties.

“She’s such a strong woman,” Browne The New York Times at the time. “I wanted her to feel good in it and to feel comfortable, strong, feminine, and beautiful.”

She wore a blue, billowy gown to a 2014 state dinner.

The Obamas at a state dinner for France. Michelle Obama wears a dress with a black bodice and blue skirt.

2014: The Obamas

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Carolina Herrera designed this gown for Obama’s French State Dinner. 

“Obama has previously favored younger, up-and-coming designers, but for this state dinner chose a veteran of the American fashion industry,”Cara Kelly at The Washington Post I wrote that at the time. “Herrera, a Venezuelan native, has been producing evening wear since 1981.”

Obama wore a gown that many consider her best to date at a 2015 state dinner with China’s prime Minister.

The Obamas at a state dinner in 2015.

The Obamas 2015

Mike Theiler/ Reuters

Vera Wang designed this off-the-shoulder, mermaid style gown.

“The first lady’s look — hair gathered in that vintage sultry side sweep popular on red carpets and the form-fitting frock’s silhouette — hearkened back to old Hollywood glamour,”Helena Andrews Dyer at Washington Post wrote that time. “It was a very Veronica Lake moment. The custom dress was silk crepe with a V-neckline, delicate tulle sleeves, and an organza pleated skirt.”

Obama wore a red coat dress to Donald Trump’s 2017 inauguration.

The Obamas at the inauguration in 2017.

The Obamas in 2017.

Rob Carr/Getty Images

Obama wore Jason Wu as her last outfit as FLOTUS. This marked an important end.

“Michelle Obama officially left her position as first lady after the inauguration on Friday, but her fashion legacy will continue to cast a long shadow on her successors,” Erika Harwood at Vanity Fair published 2017

To a book tour event with Sarah Jessica Parker, she wore $3900 sparkly, high-heeled boots.

Michelle Obama and Sarah Jessica Parker at an event for Obama's book "Becoming."

Obama and Sarah Jessica Parker at 2018.

Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Balenciaga’s Spring 2019 Collection included the gold-sequin-covered boots. The look was paired with a long, yellow silk shirt dress by the same brand.

On the book tour stop, Obama told Parker that there was no larger meaning to her footwear choice — she just liked the boots.

“They were just really cute,”She spoke. “I was like, ‘Those some nice boots!'”

Obama made a statement with this purple pantsuit during her book tour.

Michelle Obama wears a purple pantsuit in 2019.

Obama in 2019.

Paras Griffin/Getty Images

“Just that sliver of a slinky, sexy, sparkly, curve-hugging piece set this suit apart from the kind we became accustomed to seeing Michelle wear in the White House,” Hannah Weil McKinley Popsugar published in 2019. “While her outfits when Barack was in office were deliberate, crafted with the acute awareness of her obvious visibility (and the criticism that often came with it), this look — and the many others on her book tour — seems to be a happy departure from that.”

Obama wore one the most daring of her dresses in 2019

Michelle Obama and Lin Manuel Miranda at the National Gallery in 2019.

Lin Manuel Miranda and Obama at the 2019 Winter Olympics

Paul Morigi/Invision/AP

Obama wore a Schiaparelli Haute Couture gown with a bust neckline at the Smithsonian American Portrait Gala 2019.

“The inspiration for the shape originally came from the crinoline, which is often found underneath couture gowns, but the real starting point for the overall look was the color,” Schiaparelli’s creative director, Daniel Roseberry said it in a statement for 2019. “The acidic tone echoes Elsa Schiaparelli’s signature shocking pink, and we also felt that it matched the strength and energy of Mrs. Obama. It was such an honor to make this special gown for her.”

Michelle Obama wore a monochromatic, symbolic look at President Joe Biden’s 2021 inauguration.

Barack and Michelle Obama at the inauguration in 2021.

Barack and Michelle Obama 2021

Rob Carr/Getty Images

Marie ClaireSergio Hudson created the magenta-colored look with loose pants, turtleneck and ankle-length jacket. Her outfit perfectly complemented Vice Presidential Kamala Harris’ purple look which is a symbol of bipartisanship. 

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