29 photos that show why Michelle Obama will be remembered as the most stylish first lady of all time

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Michelle Obama wears a dress designed by Jason Wu.
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John Gress/Reuters

Whether she likes it or not, a first lady’s style is put under the microscope from the Inauguration onward.

First lady Michelle Obama has exuded grace and elegance with her style choices no matter the event. While she’s been applauded for rocking affordable clothing from stores like J.Crew and H&M, she really shines at formal events.

As she leaves the White House this month, as a private citizen Mrs. Obama’s style could potentially morph. No longer restrained by being required to make politically charged wardrobe choices, she’ll also be able to accept gifts from designers.

From state dinners to State of the Union addresses, here are Michelle’s 29 best looks from the past eight years.


At the Southern Inaugural Ball on January 21, 2009, in Washington, DC, Michelle wore a dress designed by Jason Wu, who did not know that Michelle had chosen his design to wear. Wu designed the dress to symbolize hope; its organza flowers are adorned with Swarovski crystals.

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Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Source: Smithsonian


Michelle wore this silver patterned dress by Indian-born designer Naeem Khan during a state dinner at the White House in 2009. The dinner was hosted in honor of Dr. Manmohan Singh, who at that time was the prime minister of India.

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Pete Souza/Official White House Photo

Michelle wore a gorgeous red dress at the Annual Alfalfa Dinner at the Capital Hilton Hotel in 2009.

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Pete Souza/Official White House Photo

At her first State of the Union address as first lady in 2010, Michelle wore a plum-colored dress by designer Isaac Mizrahi.

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At the 2010 state dinner for Mexico, Michelle wore a royal blue dress designed by Peter Soronen.

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At the 2010 White House Correspondents’ Dinner Michelle gracefully entered in a red dress by Nepalese-American designer Prabal Gurung.

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Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

For the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Michelle wore a silky, sleeveless Halston dress.

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For their 2011 state dinner with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her husband, Michelle greeted guests in a beaded Naeem Khan gown.

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Mike Theiler/Reuters

Her stunning red silk Alexander McQueen dress stole the show at the January 2011 state dinner with then-President Hu Jintao of China.

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Chuck Kennedy/Official White House Photo

At the 2012 State of the Union address, Michelle wore a dazzling blue dress by designer Barbara Tfank, and added an Alexis Bittar brooch.

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Jason Reed/Reuters

For that year’s Correspondents’ Dinner, Michelle donned a bold print with another Naeem Khan-designed gown.

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Michelle wore layered necklaces along with this off-the-shoulder dress for the 2012 state dinner with then-British Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife, Samantha.

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She kept warm during the 2013 inaugural parade in a blue checked coat by Thom Browne.

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POOL New/Reuters

For the inaugural ball, Michelle once again wore a gown designed by Jason Wu.

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She wore a cheerful yellow dress during the second annual Kids’ State Dinner in 2013.

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For the 2013 Kennedy Center Honorees reception held at the White House, Michelle wore an emerald Marchesa dress.

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She wore a beautiful blue dress by designer Carolina Herrera while greeting French President François Hollande in 2014.

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Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

At the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Phoenix Awards, Michelle graced the stage in a bold Bibhu Mohapatra dress.

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For the 100th annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2014, Michelle wore another stunning Marchesa off-the-shoulder gown.

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While hosting a state dinner for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe and his wife, Akie, Michelle wore a gown by Japanese designer Tadashi Shoji.

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In a look that many have called her best, Michelle wore a black Vera Wang dress while meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping and Peng Liyuan for a state dinner.

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Mike Theiler/Reuters

Michelle met Pope Francis in Cuba in a baby blue dress.

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Michelle wore a marigold dress designed by Narciso Rodriguez during the 2016 State of the Union address. The dress sold out online before President Obama had even finished his speech.

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Source: CNN


Here she is in a Naeem Khan gown at the 2016 Nordic state dinner.

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Michelle’s rose-gold Versace gown glittered at the Obamas’ final state dinner as president and first lady October 18.

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She wore a custom Gucci dress to the 2016 Kennedy Center Honors.

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Yuri Gripas/Reuters

While in Hawaii for the holidays, President Obama and Michelle addressed the Marine Corps Base in Kailua. Michelle wore a Diane von Furstenberg dress.

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Hugh Gentry/Reuters

During her final formal speech as the first lady, Michelle wore a dress by designer Narciso Rodriguez.

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For President Obama’s farewell speech, Michelle wore a Jason Wu design yet again.

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John Gress/Reuters