The First Lady's Fashion Evolution

Michelle Obama's fierce style transformation through the years.

Celia L. Smith Nov, 05, 2012

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Mrs. O has never been one to shy away from color, and she gave us a taste in Maria Pinto's classic knee-length dress and a matching Erickson Beamon brooch at the Democratic National Convention.

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Even back in 2008, Michelle Obama stunned us with her style — especially on the night her husband accepted his Presidential nomination, when she stepped out sporting designer Thakoon's swirl print dress.

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Mrs. O stuck to her classic shift-style silhouettes throughout the Democratic National Convention and looked stunning every time.

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At the election night victory rally, the First Lady opted for a special selection — a vibrant red and black Narciso Rodriguez dress with cross-over satin panels.

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The First Lady knows what works: clean, classic silhouettes in splashes of color.

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In 2009, we saw more of Michelle Obama's chic style unfold in the White House. Here, she sits pretty in lavender in the East Wing of her home.

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Even a casual day finds Mrs. Obama in a fab ensemble. Here, the First Lady is clad in grey, complete with matching suede knee-high boots on her way to receive the White House tree with the family.

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The First Lady channels her predecessor Jackie O in classic black and white.

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Again, the FIrst Lady plays up her classic pieces, this time a collarless Chanel-style tweed coat.

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The First Lady makes even a simple little white dress in a body-skimming style look marvelous.

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Gradually Mrs. O began to polish her already sophisticated style. At the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Awards ceremony, the First Lady donned an origami pleated Moschino dress fabulously with flats and a matching brooch.

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First Lady Michelle Obama is all smiles in another origami pleated ensemble at a White House event.

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Soon Mrs. O began to slide out of her signature shift dresses and into chic separates, like this layered blouse and cardigan with a fun printed skirt.

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The First Lady experiments with new styles at the International Olympic Congress in Copenhagen, wearing a gold pleated Rodarte cocktail dress with a trio of brooches trailing her neckline.

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The FLOTUS accessorizes with ease, topping her already chic shift dresses and ensembles with fab belts. This wide style matches exactly with her look for a flawless monochromatic moment.

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2010 was a year of classic elegance for Mrs. O, as illustrated by this luxurious silk ensemble.

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Mrs. O looked ravishing in this red Michael Kors gown, worn at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Phoenix Awards dinner.

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At the second White House State Dinner, Michelle Obama wore yet another breathtaking gown: a one-shoulder, metallic blue belted style by Peter Soronen.

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The First Couple arrive at a reception for the recipients of the 2010 Kennedy Center Honors in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Mrs. O in a dazzling Naeem Kahn gown.

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Accessories are key to any ensemble, and we start to see Mrs. O add fab statement necklaces to take her look to the next level.

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Mrs. O takes a break from her stunning solid shades and mixes it up in a printed dress and pop-colored cardigan at the festival of lights in Mumbai, India.

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This fit-and-flare dress style quickly became another First Lady fave. She pairs this sweet printed Tracy Feith style with another staple: metallic flats.

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Michelle Obama takes her elegant style with her while jet-setting with the President.

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Another note-worthy style moment for the First Lady was her pleated Dries Van Noten skirt, long-sleeve top and Alexis Bittar brooch worn in New Delhi, India.

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What's Mrs. O's solution to sprucing up a basic look? Belt it! And she does so fabulously at a Howard University game.

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Michelle Obama got slightly sexier and bolder for 2011, as shown by this off-the-shoulder multi-toned dress at the APEC Summit in Hawaii.

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At the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s gala, the First Lady bared arms in a strapless brocade Chris Benz dress.

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Obama’s floral print dress at the APEC Summit in Hawaii was her best-dressed moment of 2011. Our First Lady looks so radiant!

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Mrs. Obama loves her many shades of purple, and this flowy dress by Roksanda Ilcinic suits her perfectly.

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At the National Design Awards in Washington, Michelle Obama taps into her wild side, but in a softer way by sporting this Derek Lam leopard print dress.

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For a woman this powerful, incorporating bold power suits into her wardrobe is a given. In South Africa she wore a silk melon-colored suit and blue patent flats.

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The First Lady is on the move in metallic pleats after an appearance on The Gayle King Show.

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Over the course of the years, it was rare that we spotted the First Lady without a cardigan to complete her look. This time she stylishly cinched her wine-colored style with a crystal Alexis Bittar brooch.

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She transforms a basic LBD by Byron Lars into a sleek style with a wide leather belt and pointed flats.

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Holiday dressing knows no limits with First Lady Michelle Obama. At the Hanukkah reception at the White House, she sports an eye-catching metallic cobalt blue style by Rodarte.

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The First Lady kicked off 2012 in a bold blue Jason Wu gown at a dinner for members of the U.S. armed forces. This color set the tone of her style for the year.

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She followed up with a Marchesa teal stunner at a state dinner in Washington with jaw-dropping Tom Binns pearls to match.

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This year Mrs. O's dresses were just as fab and bold as her gowns. In a JCPenney frock she looked like a million bucks!

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At a White House reception, Michelle Obama stuns in a lively yellow draped-front Rachel Roy dress cheerful enough to brighten up the East Room.

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This rainbow-hued pixelated Preen shift dress shows just how fashion-forward Mrs. O has become while still maintaining her classic sensibility.

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We adored this First Family moment, with Mrs. O and her girls sporting the season's hottest trend, color-blocking, for Easter.

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This casual coffee shop chat in Virginia with the locals shows Mrs. O in yet another cool colorblocked ensemble.

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The First Lady is a true blue fan. In the past four years she's worn this shade on numerous occasions, here opting for a patterned Barbara Tfank style with matching patent heels at the University of Florida.

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We blushed just as much as Mrs. O in this beautiful silk Tracy Reese dress and matching pink heels at the DNC in Charlotte.


Just when you thought it couldn't get any better, bolder or brighter, the First Lady steps out marvelously in a fluorescent pink Michael Kors dress suit at the recent presidential debate.


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