Musings on the culture of keeping up appearances

All the Rage

« Previous Post | All The Rage Home | Next Post »

Michelle Obama's National Prayer Service dress

On his first day in office, President Barack Obama along with First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Dr. Jill Biden attend the National Prayer Service at the Washington National Cathedral.

You want to resist the urge to fixate on each and every thing Michelle Obama wears, but it's difficult when she keeps coming out in stunners like the 1950s style dress she wore to the National Prayer Service this morning at the National Cathedral. It's by Tracy Feith, an under-the-radar, New York-based designer who is known for his haute hippie surf style and his prints. He has a collection launching at Target on May 17. The dress is cheery, and reasserts her youthful, feminine approach to fashion.

-- Booth Moore

Michelle Obama's style: Change you can wear

Photos: First ladies' inauguration gowns

Should Michelle Obama borrow clothes and jewels like a celeb? Nancy Reagan couldn't.

Michelle Obama chose Jimmy Choo’s green 'Glacier' pump for Inauguration Day ensemble

Michelle Obama Chooses Jason Wu for Inaugural Balls

Aretha Franklin's inaugural hat trick

Photo: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times

 
Comments () | Archives (29)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Gorgeous. Every once in a while Michelle will wear something that I just really adore, and this is one of those items. I was a little bit disappointed in her ball gown from last night, but even that one has grown on me a great deal after seeing it in pictures. It is a beautiful dress, just maybe not one that translates to television.

This looks like a tablecloth. Last night was awful enough, but this is not any better. She may be daring, but daring is not good if not flattering to her figure or appropriate for the occasion.

When is someone going to tell Michelle Obama that she needs to be wearing solid colors since she is being watched worldwidee?

These prints just don't photograph well. The prints she wears take away from seeing her face and smile.

It is very distracting.

I agree, last night's gown was not flattering to her figure AT ALL.

A good designer should be able to camouflage those parts of the body you want hidden and accentuate those parts you want seen.

She seems to have a pear shape. They needed to do something to cover the hip and stomach area and it could have been done easily.

Good grief, what is this woman thinking. So far I have not seen her in one outfit that is flattering or attractive.

What a pity that such a beautiful woman chooses such unflattering outfits. Every once in a while she hits one out of the ballpark - she looks great in elegant, classical styles. But most of the time, she just misses the mark and looks big and unflattering. She is such a stunning woman but needs to pick her outfits more carefully.

Shockingly inappropriate and tasteless. It's a church and a National Prayer Service not a barbeque. Her attire was an embarassment to an entire Nation.

It looks like she grabbed something from the 80's out of the back of the closet at the last minute. But then the innaguration get-up looked almost as bad. She needs serious help if she is to pull off the title of "First Lady".

Say what you will about George Bush but Laura looked absolutely appropriate and graceful at every event for eight years and so far Michelle has looked nothing but tacky.

I think it's a fabulous dress. Playful but conservative - a great balance for the "only suits" folks of DC.

And hey, I'd wear it in a second here too!

I love it and I'm sure that secretly all of u that r complaining out there do 2. She is an exceptional first lady that wears what she pleases and keeps us all guessing, and eventually entertained by her selctions. If she went into a sudden pants suite phase then we would all have nothing 2 talk about.

I love it and I'm sure that secretly all of u that r complaining out there do 2. She is an exceptional first lady that wears what she pleases and keeps us all guessing, and eventually entertained by her selctions. If she went into a sudden pants suite phase then we would all have nothing 2 talk about.

I am very tired of seeing the past first ladies wearing bland PANT SUITS! Finally, we have a first lady who is smart and dresses like a lady . Laura has the biggest hips, thighs and legs and always looked so stiff and uncomfortable. Michelle is a real lady!

Wow, too much ridicule people! Michelle has her own style and obviously isn't afraid to show it. She doesn't, nor should she live to please the masses. Imagine the mess she'd be in if that were a requirement. She looks beautiful and confident in her skin and the garments of choice and we should all be thankful that the Obama's are now in the White House and leading the way to some positive action. Let's focus on more concrete issues. Shall we?

Can I get some barbeque ribs and some hot wings? I agree, she needs to be dressed more appropriately. The florals and prints are for average Americans, not for the lady who holds one of the most prestigious titles in the nation.

Michelle Obama's clothing selections are completely inappropriate and fall under "trying too hard". This dress is unacceptable for a prayer service at the National Cathedral. Plus, I find her choice to try to outshine her husband and draw attention to herself even more unflattering than her outfits.

And please, people, let's stop praising her as a First Lady until she spends more than one day on the job. And face facts, if she wasn't First Lady the words "beautiful" and "stunning" would never be used.

I think many of her choices are wrong not because of the design of this dress (which i think looks absolutely gorgeous) or of the ball dress in particular but because her body shape just doesn't suit these kind of designs, it makes her look heavy and unelegant in the case of the ball dress even embarassed. Her posture could be improved, also her not so flat tummy and the huge mass behind her. However, the proportion of her body in general cannot and yes she is not perfectly proportionated (like many toher women) so she should take that into consideration when choosing an outift.
If you can't pull out or carry a long dress with train simply DON'T DO IT!

I read these comments and I think that the big problem is all of you want Michelle to look like a middle-aged WASP dowager. If she wore the colors that Laura Bush wore she would look awful. And, I suspect the objections to her style is that secret thought of every woman - I could never wear that color. Expect to see this beautiful brown woman to wear a host of colors that would make us pasty WASP types look sad.

As to her gown, it was a delight to see what was called Post-Title IX arms on display. Muscular and toned, she was a tribute to women who were athletes everywhere.

Go for it and remember, if everyone talks about what you are wearing, it is because your choices are interesting - more CHANGE!

Maybe this Target haute couture would look appropriate at Rev. Wright's church...but.....THIS IS THE NATIONAL CATHEDRAL IN WASHINGTON, D.C.!


· I LOVE THAT THE FIRST LADY IS GIVING LESSER KNOWN DESIGNERS A WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITY , MY FIRST QUESTION IS HOW DO I GET SOMETHING TO HER ? I AM A TALENTED DESIGNER ALSO ,CAN ANYONE OUT THERE HELP ME ? i WANT TO PUT IT IN HER HAND NOT TO BE PLACED ON A DESK SOMEWHERE ?
WHO ARE HER STYLIST ?, I THOUGHT SHE DIDNT HAVE ONE? HELP PLEASE !
· LASTLY, I DO THINK SHE IS MAKING A STATEMENT NOT TO BOX HER IN AS SHE HAS HER OWN MIND & TASTE, WHICH I FIND VERY REFRESHING !

I think Michelle is bringing class back to the country. Laura Bush always wore a pantsuit which was in a solid color. She had no fashion sense. I get the feeling (and I can say this as I am 66 yrs old), these complaints are being written by a "certain" age group. We are currently in the 21st century and a new generation is setting trends and styles -- I for one think it is great.

This is not a couture dress, designed especially for Obama, so the designer didn't get a chance to make it over for her. I thought it a bit inappropriate for a cold January day but hardly "shocking" and "tasteless." She's still experimenting with fashion after years of dressing rather boringly -- before her husband started running for president -- and I'm enjoying her forays into unusual style. This dress, by the way, could have been carried off only by a tall woman with long kegs. On anyone short, it would have been a problem.

She is in her 40s. Experimenting with fashion is usually reserved for people in their 20s an 30s.

She has been on the campaign trail for 2 years.

If she cannot figure out what looks good on her, HIRE a stylist!

My God...the dress was hideous at the prayer service. Absolutely hideous.

Call Carla Bruni in France. SHE has style and knows how to dress.

I think it's ashame that anyone would degrade and disrespect the First Lady. She's amazing, she's the woman that stands by our President. She honors him in a way that's an example to all women. The wardrobe she selects will never please everyone, God made all of us different and she has a right to wear exactly what she likes, First Lady or not she's still an individual. I love all of her choices, especially the gown; she was stunning.And for those that commented on her body, you only wish. I think you are all haters and McCain voters.

Michelle is a lovely looking highly accomplished and intelligent woman and worthy of much respect and admiration. She is representing the country in the eyes of the world.

Unfortunately, she is not concerned or aware enough to wear flattering shapes and more important appropriate outfits to places like the National Cathedral.

Change is great if one gets rid of the bad and keeps the good. I hate to see what this country will become if all tradition is lost. A large boned woman like Michelle should not wear frilly dresses, white tends to make one look larger, dark solid colors are for church and especially in mid-winter.

If she wants to help unknown designers, she could have fashion shows to get them publicity, but she doesn't have to wear their clothes at her own expense and consequently that of our country. Her husband is elegant, conservative and appropriately dressed and she should be as well.

You go Mrs O!
What a confident, successful woman in her own right with astute individual taste. I'm glad she champions up and coming American designers who are usually the choices amongst fashion insiders.
The naysayers want to box her in that dowdy matronly WASPy "First Lady" mode. Remember, she's a youthful athletic American woman of color, not pasty ex-supermodel like Carla Bruni who is of European descent. Even some of the elegant Dior outfits make Mrs Sarkosy look frumpy.
Can't wait to see her in other new vanguards of American fashion like Rodarte, Philip Lim, Derek Lam, Doo Ri, Peter Som etc.

Now she selects the right dress! This style she should have been wearing Tuesday. Prints and brights look best on her. The mother of the bride look with sparklies in the lace to a wedding dress that made it impossible to dance ... Hillary and Laura's first term choices weren't great either. Expect change!

Mrs. Obama is perfection.....maybe not all of her choices are perfect but she's having fun and so am I, as I wait to see her next ensemble. She is real and inspirational.

AS THE FIRST LADY SHE NEEDS TO CHOOSE SOMEONE ELSE TO DESIGN FOR HER. HER COLOR FOR TUESDAY WAS GOOD, NOT THE FLAPPING COAT OR PROM DRESS. IT WAS TOO BARE FOR HER AGE. COULDN'T BELIEVE MY EYES AT THE SUMMER DRESS AND FLAT SHOES AT NATIONAL CATHEDRAL. SHE IS THE FIRST LADY OF THE LAND!!!

I don't think she looks bad here, and I haven't liked much of what she's worn this far. This particular dress I think she should be commended for wearing -its kind of in the spirit of NOT conforming to what the previous first ladies of the past have worn, she's setting the trend that she basically is different than the expected "norm" fashionably, which I think is wonderful and spectacularly in keeping with the Obama platform thus far.

I am an African-American who is a staunch supporter of the Obamas. I am old school, and when it comes to fashion, my preference is for dignified elegance. I loved Michelle's Inauguration Day dress as well as the ensemble she wore to the concert on Sunday. I wasn't sure about the Jimmy Choo shoes...from the pictures I've seen, they did not match her gloves. (As said, I'm old school). The shoes appeared to be a deep, dark green while the gloves were olive green.

The ball gown did not, in my opinion, fit her body type. She appeared almost awkward in it. My style for an evening gown is more along the lines of Jill Biden's red dress. That was elegant!!

As for her selection for the worship service, I would not have chosen that dress. the prints was too too, busy!! Rather, another elegant ensemble would have been my preference.

Now having said all of this, she is the First Lady, and I guess she can wear whatever she wants. But Americans like to see their First Lady look elegant and classy, not necessarily, avant-garde as some of Michelle's outfits reflect.



Connect

Recommended on Facebook


Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

Video



Tweets and retweets from L.A. Times staff writers.





Archives
 

Categories