Beautiful and Well Played Mrs. O

I love, love, LOVE this dress on Michelle Obama. It is beautifully designed, flattering, elegant and effortless-looking.

Michelle Obama wearing Naeem Khan, AP Photo Susan Walsh

And Mrs. Obama’s posture, which sometimes seems a bit slouchy, is perfect. She makes an altogether superb picture as First Lady. Downright regal.

I know the gaga press considers everything she wears to be perfect, but Michelle Obama has been hit-and-miss, to me.

This is a hit; a very palpable hit!

And I know, I know…the economy is in dire straits, and yes when unemployment is high, a First Lady can certainly run the risk of seeming insensitive if she is perceived to be spending too much on clothes; even the most applauded fashion sense can suddenly seem out-of-touch when one wears $540 dollar sneakers to a food bank, or are rumored to be buying thigh-high-boots. No one wants to be tagged as an Eva Peron, wearing excessive baubles and haute couture, while the people are underwater.

But, you know, this was a State Dinner welcoming India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife, Gursharan Kaur, and on such an occasion, we want our First Lady to look drop-dead gorgeous; it honors our guests, and it does right by America, too. Sometimes, you have to spend the money, and this is well-spent, indeed.

It’s nice that Mrs. Obama chose a dress by India-born, U.S. based Naeem Khan. But it’s even nicer that Naeem Khan looks so great on the First Lady.

More of that flattering silhouette, please, Mrs. O, and that wonderful color. The big rubber belts are really played out.

Oh, and the President looks good too; the tux fits well. I do wish he’d learn how to stand with his hands to his side, though. The body language is sort of, goofy adolescent-at-the-prom.

More Dinner Details here

Fausta has more details on the dress.

I always said MO would look best in gold.

The Condescending French Fashionista on African-American style.

Another great Michelle Obama moment.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • amba

    Yes, she can!

  • hotairpundit

    I just wonder how many times President Obama bowed to P.M. Singh tonight?

  • J.

    I love the dress also. It gave 40 people employment for three weeks–unfortunately for Americans all the employees were in India.

    I am not sad about this just feel that there is some irony here. (no cost was quoted for the dress as well).

  • Andrea Shea King

    Love the dress…. NOT the wearer. Just sayin…

  • dry valleys

    Well, such is free trade, which I certainly support. I choose to buy locally produced products if I can find them, but I want imports to be available & see nothing wrong with someone going for them.

    Personally I never had particularly good body language (or table manners) so I don’t notice, or care, about the mannerisms of men (& women) of state.

    But anything that can be done to cultivate links to the Indian subcontinent is welcome. Britain has got a headstart because there are now 4 generations of people of Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi descent here & the human links are constantly replenished.

    You might also like to start palling around with the likes of Brazil, up & coming countries like that.

    Now, it might be seen as insesnsitive for the First Lady to wear expensive clothes but it shouldn’t. Her clothes don’t make people poor, do they? If you think government spending is too high, they are a tear in the ocean of government spending.

    We had a big to-do about MPs’ expenses. Indeed we can criticise them for being out of touch with ordinary working-class people, especially as so many have known nothing but privilige, but berating them for having expensive houses won’t help anyone. It is tokenism that draws attention away from real problems.

    Plus, if you want politicians to be in touch with your concerns the best way of doing that is by constantly reminding them of your concerns, joining campaigning organisations, & threatening to withdraw support from them unless they answer to their voters. Rather than expecting them to ignore professional lobbyists & pay attention to you when you’ve not given them any reason to.

  • Ellen

    Now that is a nice dress! Well played Mrs. Obama.

  • Bob Devine

    If her sneakers cost $540 I do not even want to ask how much that dress cost. Would I be out of line to suggest a family or 2 could live for a year on what it cost? (not what it is worth but what it cost)

    The president looks exactly like what he is. An insecure self centered me me me person. What else can I say?

  • Maureen

    It’s proper that the First Lady _look_ like the First Lady. This dress achieves that, and so well that it’s obviously convinced even Mrs. Obama that she is, in fact, the First Lady and has nothing to prove. In that photo, she is behaving as the First Lady, not fighting her role or trying desperately to grab it as it slips away. I’m okay with paying for that. It’s a diplomatic expense. :)

    Now, maybe she can convince her husband to live up to his job, too.

  • Mary-Jo Marino

    Agree completely. Mrs. O hits the mark with this dress, its perfect for the formal dinner, politically savvy on choice of designer but most importantly, it looks fantastic on her. Her main job is to represent the US and she did us proud last night.

    Also, we should be bigger than the left and not back-hand the compliment with snarky comments.

    [Where was I snarky? -admin]

  • E

    The AP story is kind of funny – her gown is “flesh colored”? I agree she looks beautiful in this gown that is certainly not “flesh colored”. blech.

  • Joe

    It is a good choice of dress. She did real well on this pick. I agree.

  • Diana

    With all that is going on in this country, you comment on Michelle’s makeover. How shallow can you get!

    [With all the substantive posts in this blog on religion, politics, baseball, family, war and recipes, you criticize the one about Michelle Obama's dresss. Happy Thanksgiving, Mrs. Kettle! -admin]

  • Mark L

    The President’s stance is occasionally called the “fig-leaf” position. And books on giving presentations caution against using it because it makes a speaker look uncertain, hesitant, tentative, and dorky.

    Like the speaker would vote “present” on difficult issues, rather than act decisively.

  • Obi’s Sister

    Happy Thanksgiving, dearest.

  • Frank

    I’m curious how much this ensemble cost the taxpayer.

  • MargaretMN

    The secret to what looks good on MO is anything that accentuates her shoulders and bust. She’s got hips and of course, the famous arms. The strapless dress gives her an hourglass figure rather than making her look like a pear in a sack like a lot of her fashion choices.

  • jan

    The President’s stance is occasionally called the “fig-leaf” position. And books on giving presentations caution against using it because it makes a speaker look uncertain, hesitant, tentative, and dorky.

    So right. They look like they want to eat each other up, which is splendid and how all happy couples should look at each other, (well, maybe not in public) but he gives the impression that he is ‘protecting’ his parts. Maybe there is something more to be read into that. Maybe not.

  • J

    She did look lovely…good job. However, the 40 INDIAN workers it took to craft this dress, and the ensuing benefit to the INDIAN economy should not even be mentioned.

  • Kris, in New England

    Technically, this was not a State Dinner – it was an Official Dinner. It is only a State Dinner when the leader of a nation is in attendance. The Prime Minister of India is not the leader of that nation.

    Call me a pedant, but I find it very telling that the Obama White House continues to refer to it as a State Dinner…when it’s not.

    The cost of that dress would probably cover expenses for 2-3 families for a year or more. And you can bet the Obama’s aren’t paying for it; it’s probably been gifted to them by the designer.

    Remember what happened to Nancy Reagan when that happened…

    [And did you consider it "just", what happened to Nancy Reagan? I didn't, and I was a Democrat, back then. Why would you do to someone what you think is unjust, when it comes to someone else? -admin]

  • Ellen

    I wonder if the Prime Minister’s wife was put off by the display of all that flesh. Michelle was a show-off, very bad form, I think, for a hostess.

    [I think Mrs. Obama honored her guest by looking beautiful and elegant. And hardly "too much flesh." -admin]

  • Kris, in New England

    Anchoress – please don’t take my statement about Nancy Reagan the wrong way. I made the statement because we all know that Michelle Obama will never be taken to task in the same way.

    The fact that Michelle Obama wears exclusive – and uber-expensive – designer clothing that is likely given to her – and no one says anything about it … is just another reveal of the Republican/Democrat double-standard.

    [I agree with you there; sorry if my tone seemed touchy...I'm just rather distracted by Thanksgiving and didn't mean to be abrupt; please forgive. Admin]

  • Ruth H

    I think she looked great and I am happy for that. I am not an Obama “believer”, in fact I am an unbeliever in him but she looks great. As for too much shoulder – the Indian ladies often wear off shoulder saris, a standard item in their wardrobes.
    Come on, folks, admit it when Mrs, Obama looks beautiful.

  • Gina

    Agreed, a beautiful dress and a charming picture.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all.

  • Maria

    The dress was exquisite, flawless. Her carriage was that befitting a our First Lady. At last.

  • Pingback: Fausta’s Blog » Blog Archive » “Another 40 jobs created or saved right there”

  • Greta

    I like this from the dress designer..

    For a dress that was made for her, it’s priceless. My dresses retail anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000…so I don’t know. There is no cost to this dress. The amount of time and effort, the number of people involved in making this dress, and the time factor, there’s no price. It is a one-of-a-kind handmade gold strapless gown adorned with sterling silver-plated appliqués.

    With over 10% unemployed and another 8% underemployed just taking any job to get by, seems like a terrible message to send. If this had been a republican, that would have been the story of the night.

    [Well you might be right. If this was President Sarah Palin wearing the dress, we'd be seeing stories of her dolled up with pictures of homeless in the street. And it would be wrong. -admin]

  • J.

    My husband got a chance to see the dress and it’s wearer today. His reaction–”she doesn’t fit it correctly; too much sticking out in the wrong places”….

    this probably comes from both of being schooled (by the State Dept no less) not to wear anything that is strapless or emphasizes the breast area when at a state function. (i.e. don’t stand out as the host or hostess so as not to embarrass or out shine the guest couple).

    I pointed out to him that I didn’t think that State Dept meant that to apply to the President and First Lady. He felt then that it was hypocritical to have “also ran” instructions for employees with bosses doing as they pleased. A good point.

  • mrsbuttons

    who cares about her stupid dress?do you know what she is really all about? opportunism pure and simple -they are out for their own greed. She wants to be the next Oprah. Shes is probably a bigger narcissist that OB. Give me a break. All they do is party at the White House and she hired more ladies in waiting than Laura BUsh did… to NYC for dinner? carbon footprint anyone? Let them eat cake, eh Michelle?

  • SKay

    “Technically, this was not a State Dinner – it was an Official Dinner. It is only a State Dinner when the leader of a nation is in attendance. The Prime Minister of India is not the leader of that nation.

    Call me a pedant, but I find it very telling that the Obama White House continues to refer to it as a State Dinner…when it’s not.”

    Thanks for pointing that out Kris. It seems that the MSM is not aware of that fact either. If they are-they would never contradict this particular White House. Of course we know they would have jumped with glee on the mistake had it come from a Republican White House.

  • http://disqus freelancer

    I think that Michelle Obama looked the perfect first lady in her gown of gold. She, or her handlers, have finally managed to match up the proper apparal with the occasion. I do not see her display of oppulance as being insensitive to those who are less fortunate than she and her husband. Rather, the both of them are impervious to the hypocrisy of living large while overseeing the destruction of this Republic. If the country was in the dire straits they continually tell us about, they would pare down all expenses, personal and otherwise, to a war time level. At the very least. Set the example for the nation. From get go Obama has advocated such money and energy saving measures as lowering our thermostats in winter and raising them in summer while he sets his own to the level he requires for comfort. This attitude permeates his whole administration. Health care legislation being another ‘good for thee but not for me’ example of royal exemption. I see the genesis of the French revolution in this socialist takeover of our government. This imperial Presidency and the royal congress and senate persons with their court jesters, royal pooper scoopers, etc. are setting the stage for their own destruction.

  • JAL

    Agree on the beautiful, appropriate drass.


    Hope they helped reassure a valued ally.

  • Rosemary A.

    Maybe Obama looked dorky and ill-at-ease precisely BECAUSE his wife looked so gorgeous and regal. I’m not a fan, but credit is due here.
    Absolutely beautiful!

  • JaneLovesJesus

    It was a gorgeous dress, but better suited to a trip to the Oscars. I really thought it was over the top for a state dinner. And did you see how the wife of Indian premiere was dressed? Are you supposed to upstage the guests you are honoring by a factor of 10?

    Sorry if I’m over-thininking this — I know it’s just a dress — I think the glitz blinded me, and all I could see was another “Look at me! It’s all about ME!” play.

  • March Hare

    I thought the dress was quite becoming–a much better choice than her ballgown for the inauguration.

    But, once again, who is doing her hair? In other pictures and in one clip on the evening news, her hair looked messy–and not in a deliberate way.