What you see at left is not a mirage. It’s Michelle Obama visiting Westminster Abbey in London yesterday in a rather interesting getup. The tunic — with rows of appliqué ranging from flowers to what look like plastic leis to we don’t even know what, paired with a checkered belt with a bright-purple buckle, worn over pants and under two cardigans in lavender and bright yellow — has caused the Daily Mail to dub her the “First Lady of flamboyance.” It’s unclear why Michelle decided to layer herself to the point of near suffocation. Maybe she was cold? But she wore less than that on Inauguration Day, when it was colder, so that seems unlikely.
So maybe she was just taking a risk and having fun with spring colors. Maybe it’s an art project by one of the children she’s visited and she’s wearing it to be nice. Whatever her thought process, even the nearly perfect people of this world will wear eyebrow-raising outfits from time to time. We all make sartorial mistakes. Just think of your youth! Maybe you wore scrunchies every day. Or floral biker shorts with black-lace trim. Or those neon reflective sunglasses Jay tried (and failed) to bring back in an early episode of The City. So Michelle wore an unflattering tunic. She wore a charming Hussein Chalayan number the other day, also. And has worn innumerable lovely outfits in the past. Also, Michelle pays attention to what people say about her clothes. She quickly broke out the long sleeves after nearly everyone in Washington made a fuss over her bare arms. By tomorrow she’ll probably have digested the headlines and chosen something splendid to wear, as usual. We do hope, however, that she eases up on the chunky waist belts. She looks divine without them. And the power of simplicity, as this outfit proves, must not be underestimated.
See more of Michelle’s looks from her European vacation in the Michelle Obama Look Book.