Welcome to your Inaugural Shopping Pr0n (OIC what you did there.) As the saying goes, opinions are like belly buttons: everyone’s got one. Some of us have more than one. (Opinion, not belly button. That would just be weird.) As long as everyone else is talking about Obama fashion, my opinion is at least as good as anyone else’s.
Starting with the highest high note: Malia and Sasha Obama in J. Crew. I can’t say enough about these outfits. So bright and colorful, coordinated without looking cloy and totally age appropriate. Malia gets royal blue, accented with black tights, gloves and scarf, while Sasha gets a cotton candy pink coat, accented with red tights and shoes, a coraly pink dress and orange scarf and gloves. LOVE orange and pink together. SO current. While the outfits were custom made, thumbs up to the Obamas for going with a mass-market designer; they looked comfortable and happy (and warm, hello?). I want to snuggle them. 10 out of 10.
Let’s start with the First Lady (whee!) getting it right, because when she gets it right she is just such an elegant woman. With her height and her figure, who wouldn’t want to dress her? At the Sunday Inaugural Concert, that honor went to Narcisso Rodriguez. Narcisso shares something with Mrs. Obama: when he gets it right, he gets it so so right (see Charlize Theron, Kate Moss, Salma Hayek). But when he get is wrong, as in that awful belted red thing Michelle wore after the election? *sigh*
Anyway, let’s examine this outfit: The coat is camel colored with a black lining, then there’s a matching camel colored pencil-skirt, black belt, black crew-neck sweater with a few sparkles, a black scarf, and black kitten heels from what I can see. The color combination is divine. If you want classic you just can’t do any better than camel and black, and both colors look really nice with Michelle’s skin. Loving the pencil skirt, I think it’s a fantastic sillouette for her, and don’t even get me started on that coat. *droooool*
I’m not crazy about the sweater. First, I don’t like crew necks on her – like me, I don’t think they’re flattering and she needs a slightly more open neckline. The beading…is kind of meh to me. It feels borderline like that crazy Quacker Factory lady. Also, I have to deduct points for the shoes. I’m really not sure what the deal is with Michelle and shoes, but she needs an intervention. I think I had those shoes in 7th grade (don’t throw things at me!). If you’re going to wear flats (and you really shouldn’t with a pencil skirt), wear flats. If you’re going to wear heels, wear heels. Okay, keeping everything in mind I’ll give the outfit a final grade of 7.5 out of 10. Change the shoes and the sweater and you’ve got a 9 or a 10 on your hands.
The President looks effortlessly chic in a black suit, overcoat and gloves, with a cornflower blue tie. 10 out of 10. You can’t expect anything more out of that kind of an outfit…except bullet resistant clothing. So I have to say this one goes to 11.
Here’s where it starts to get dicey.
I’ll start with the facts. The facts are that Michelle’s Inauguration Day outfit was made by Cuban born designer Isabel Toledo (To-LEY-do), who knew about when we all did that one of her creastions had been chosen by the new First Lady. Ms. Toldeo’s designs are characterized by the intricate designwork you can see on the coat and skirt if you look closely.
The color has been best described (IMO) as “lemongrass”. The coat is lined in silk and pashmina for warmth, and also has “arm sweaters” for extra warmth. It appears to be a just at or below the knee jewel-neck sheath, with a slightly darker toned empire waist cardigan that ties with a ribbon. The gloves are by J. Crew and the shoes are by Jimmy Choo. Those are the facts.
These are my opinions: I don’t like the color. Anyone who says it’s “sunny and optimistic” will be summarily smacked through the internet. It’s not. A sunny yellow would have been lovely. This is neither sunny nor optimistic. It’s bordering on the color of puke. The embellishment looks heavy and comes across as brocade, which is far too old for Mrs. Obama. It’s too long. She has a habit of wearing her dresses and skirts this length and it must stop.
Because she’s so tall, this length only makes her look disproportionately longer. Her skirts need to stop at the knee, please. The coat is even longer! Jumping Jesus on a pogo stick are we trying to make the woman into Barbara Bush? Even Nancy Reagan had a better sense of proportion. I’m sorry, I’m getting upset. *inhales*
The collar isn’t fantastic; it’s slightly better than a crew neck, but not by much. The shape of the dress is okay – we know Mrs. Obama likes sheaths, but she could have done better. It needs more definition at her true waist or just slightly higher.
The gloves and shoes do not go. Stacy and Clinton say, “You don’t have to match, you just have to go.” The problem is that the greens she’s wearing aren’t in the same tone family. A similar shoe in a much better color is these “Amaya” pumps by Lauren – Ralph Lauren.
If I was dressing Michelle (I’d be a very content woman), I’d put her in something like this coral RM by Roland Mouret Romy Dress, give it a higher neckline, jewel length sleeves and make it in wool. Then I’d coordinate it with a mushroomy colored coat. Or, I’d put her in something like this Lela Rose Yellow Sapphire Wrap Dress. Make it in a nice nubby wool crepe or gabardine, with jewel or 3/4 length sleeves and a slightly darker toned coat. Oh, and lower the hem just to the knee. Did. Done. *nods* Oh – final grade…6 out of 10.
Okay. Moving on to happier times, the BALL *dun dun dun*. Not only does the First Lady have the pressure of choosing The Gown, but The Gown gets donated to the Smithsonian. That’s pressure. So how did she do?
A white one shoulder chiffon dress by designer Jason Wu, who again did not know his dress had been chosen until he saw it on TV. What’s good about this dress? The color. White is visually stunning against her skin, and I love the cleanness of it (and how the President matches her). The bodice. I love where the waistline hits her, I love how the bodice emphasises her top half and then just flowers up and over her bust. I like the skirt an awful lot. I think it’s what it should be for the dress, I think the detail on it (hand sewn) is beautiful, and I think overall it suits her personality, which is something I particularly appreciate. It’s very her. It’s modern and chic and young without being overdone. Her makeup was subduded and she looked radiant. I’m giving this a 8 out of 10.
I could quibble slightly with the President’s tux. I wouldn’t have minded seeing him in a more modern or European cut, which would have been slimmer, maybe a 3 button jacket. But his tuxedo was traditional and classic, and there’s nothing wrong with that. 8 out of 10.
There’s your pr0n for today. It was good for me; was it good for you?