During her first 6 years as the First Lady, Michelle Obama has used her looks to promote young designers and bring more color along with cooler trends to the White House. A true fashion icon, Obama has impressed with daring choices ever since her first events at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and has managed to get high praise from both stylists and fashion critics.
See Michelle Obama’s best fashion moments, from her first White House appearance to her new China visit, and discover the designers behind them.
First White House Appearance – Maria Pinto
Michelle Obama’s winning fashion streak began during Barack Obama’s first campaign, but she really made a splash with her first White House appearance. The coral red dress designed by Maria Pinto is definitely one of Michelle Obama’s best fashion moments and showed the First Lady wasn’t going to settle for the boxy feel of previous 1600 Penn fashion.
Michelle Obama’s Inaugural Gown – Jason Wu
The inaugural ball allowed the First Lady to show off a more daring fashion choice and she went for a stunning Jason Wu asymmetric column dress. At the time, Michelle Obama’s pick was surprising, but it set a precedent for the First Lady’s preferences for young designer and basically launched Wu’s career.
First Black Tie Dinner – Peter Soronen
Another important event coincided with one of Michelle Obama’s best fashion moments, as the First Lady went strapless for the first black tie dinner she hosted at the White House. Pairing a Peter Soronen strapless gown with a layered necklace was already daring, but the First Lady also rocked full sequins.
2011 Chinese State Dinner – Alexander McQueen
While Michelle Obama’s support for young designers defines a lot of her style choice, the First Lady also wore creations by some of the biggest fashion brands in the world. One of her more controversial choices was a stunning Alexander McQueen red gown, since it allowed her detractors to criticize her choice of a British label in favor of an American one for an important event.
2011 Phoenix Awards Dinner – Michael Kors
While attending the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Phoenix Awards dinner in 2011, the First Lady opted for a Michael Kors dress with plenty of sequins. It’s one of Michelle Obama’s best fashion moments thanks to the perfect mix of glam and elegance, and the cinching band is definitely the detail that pulled the look together.
2011 South Korean State Dinner – Doo-Ri Chung
After the Chinese State Dinner faux pas, the First Lady paid a lot more attention to her style choices and bounced back with a creation from a young Korean American designer. The asymmetrical violet gown is both sophisticated and a bit daring at the same time, perfect for cementing Obama’s reputation when it comes to fashion flair.
2012 Democratic National Convention Speech – Tracy Reese
Before Barack Obama’s reelection for a second term, Michelle Obama stepped up to support her husband at the 2012 DNC and looked stunning while doing it. While her speech received plenty of praise, the occasion was also one of Michelle Obama’s best fashion moments thanks to a custom Tracy Reese dress.
Second Inaugural Gown – Jason Wu
Reprising her choice from the first inaugural ceremony, Michelle Obama accompanied the president in a dress from the same designer, Jason Wu, who had turned his work into a multi-million dollar brand thanks to her early support. Wearing a red gown, the First Lady proved her versatility when it comes to elegant outfits.
Kennedy Center Honors – Marchesa
After making strapless gowns an important part of her style, the First Lady’s choice of Marchesa for the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors ceremony was truly inspired. The flowing green gown is certainly one of Michelle Obama’s best fashion moments.
2014 Beijing Visit – Carolina Herrera
While the First Lady takes fashion risks at the White House as well, few could have predicted her daring print choices on her Beijing visit. The most modern look during the visit was a Carolina Herrera sheath dress with a bold graphic print in red, tan, gray and black.