There are many benefits to being the first lady of the United States. However, one of the downsides to this is that the FLOTUS must dress conservatively as she represents her country all across the world.
During Barack Obama’s presidency, Michelle Obama’s looks were beautiful, but she couldn’t take too many style risks. But all of that changed as soon as she left the White House.
In fact, Michelle Obama’s fashion transformation since leaving has been nothing short of breathtaking. Here are some of her most stylish looks.
New day, new coat
Michelle Obama’s fashion transformation technically started before she was fully out of the White House. For Inauguration Day in 2017, she rocked this awesome crimson coat. And beneath it was a matching red dress from Jason Wu.
In addition to giving more prominence to Wu (one of her favorite fashion designers), this look showed that Michelle would be experimenting with bold, bright colors from now on.
Color-block maxi dress
Michelle Obama is famous for her awesome public speaking events. And her first public speaking event after leaving the White House was at the American Institute of Architects conference in Orlando, Florida in April 2017.
For her Sunshine State visit, she wore a color-blocked dress that utilized black, white, and taupe colors in a color-block pattern designed by Lafayette 148. The result is an elegant blend of colors that made a powerful statement to her audience.
In other words, her look was quite the inspiration to the gathered architects!
Casual and collegiate
You might think it’s easy for the very rich to look good in their designer clothing. However, Michelle Obama manages to dazzle even when she’s rocking a “casual college student” look.
When she appeared at MTV’s National College Signing Day in May 2017, Michelle honored her own alma mater with a gray Princeton shirt, gray jeans, gray sweater, and grey sneakers.
This is the kind of simplified style favored by college students all around the country. In classic Michelle fashion, though, she made the simple ensemble look stunning.
The event, which took place in New York City, celebrated the success of college-bound students. “I might not live in the White House anymore,” Michelle said, “but Barack and I are going to keep on celebrating you all and supporting you and lifting you up no matter what house we live in.”
A well-known fact about Michelle Obama is that she’s a real exercise fiend. She loves to work out (both on her own and with friends), and that means she needs a good workout ensemble.
This photo from June 2017 was posted to Michelle’s Instagram page, sharing the bootcamp weekends she hosts for her girlfriends. “Whether it’s a bootcamp or a walk around the neighborhood, I hope you and your crew can find some time this summer to be healthy together,” Michelle wrote.
While many people just throw on ratty old clothes to work out, Michelle combines form and fashion. Her cropped gay, black, and white color-blocked leggings, coral and white color-blocked tank top, and striking blue sneakers are perfect for both indoor and outdoor workouts.
But the simple fact that she coordinates the entire outfit shows her commitment to looking good when she’s on the go. And she proves color-blocking isn’t just for maxi dresses!
Dazzling at the ESPYs
In July 2017, Michelle Obama appeared at the Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award ceremony. She was there to posthumously award Eunice Kennedy Shriver (the founder of the Special Olympics) with the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage.
And in many ways, this appearance was Michelle’s boldest fashion moment. Her Cushnie et Ochs dress was tailor-made to her body and makes it look like she’ll be walking down a fashion runway any minute now. The asymmetrical neckline makes a bold statement.
Let’s just cross our fingers that these awesome neck cutouts become a fashion trend because they are nothing less than captivating!
When Michelle Obama spoke at a fundraiser for the Women’s Foundation of Colorado in July 2017, she wore a Tanya Taylor dress that channeled her inner “flower power.”
This wrap dress is pink and covered in white flowers. It manages to project both softness and strength, and Michelle matched the dress Simone Rocha earrings and the perfect pair of white Jimmy Choo heels. It’s a look stylish enough for any formal event and comfortable enough for a light brunch with friends.
All treat, no trick
Some of Michelle Obama’s most iconic fashion moments are very subtle. For example, when she and Prince Harry visited Hyde Park Academy on Halloween 2017, she skipped a wacky costume and instead donned her best business-casual attire.
With a blue cowl neck blouse and gray plaid slacks, Michelle proves that women don’t have to wear dresses to look and feel great. And this honestly looks like a really comfortable outfit for reaching out to the youth of America. The best part is her turquoise heels that give a pop of color and make this ensemble really stand out!
Excellence on ‘Ellen’
In recent days, Ellen Degeneres has been under fire regarding allegations of abusive behavior from her producers behind-the-scenes. Back in February 2018, though, Ellen was drama-free when she had Michelle Obama as a guest for her first post-White House TV interview.
Michelle kept it simple and classy, wearing a white Tom Ford blouse and black pants. It’s kind of amazing in retrospect: Michelle squeezed more iconic style out of two pieces of clothing than most people can squeeze out of an entire closet.
Fringed white wrap dress
A white wrap dress may sound simple. However, rocking a lighter look often makes a big impression (just ask Barack Obama about his infamous tan suit).
In May 2018, Michelle Obama and Tracee Ellis Ross attended the United State of Women summit in Los Angeles. They discussed how to empower young women, and Michelle’s Rachel Comey Sunder Dress and ivory shoes created an effectively empowering look.
We love all the little details, like the belt drawing attention to the fringe. Instead of being simple, this eye-catching dress is full of awesome details!
Making chartreuse happen
You don’t often see many chartreuse dresses on celebrities. Why? Because even the most famous and beautiful people in the world have a difficult time making this color look good.
At the June 2018 American Library Association Annual Conference in New Orleans, Michelle dished about her book Becoming. And she did it while wearing a chartreuse patterned dress by Tanya Taylor.
This simple appearance was enough to redefine summer fashion. And for better or for worse, Michelle has inspired more people to try their hands at chartreuse fashion. Somehow, we’re pretty sure no one will ever rock the look quite like this.
Michelle Obama’s Beyoncé concert look
Ever think about what Michelle Obama does for fun? The answer may surprise you!
Michelle was spotted attending Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s “On the Run II” concert in Paris back in July 2018. And who was she sitting with in the front row? None other than Beyoncé’s mother Tina Knowles Lawson!
When they weren’t busy dancing to the music, Michelle was dazzling with another hot look. Dressed all in white, Michelle sported a silk blouse and high-waisted shorts, topping it off with a collared summer kimono. When paired with her nude wedge shoes, Michelle did the impossible: she created a look that can stand side-by-side with the iconic Beyoncé.