Michelle Obama Looks Fucking Great

Michelle Obama Looks Fucking Great

The former first lady and her longtime stylist Meredith Koop are ushering in an absolutely excellent new fashion era.

We may earn a commission from links on this page.
Image for article titled Michelle Obama Looks Fucking Great
Photo: Tasos Katopodis/ NBC/ Derek White (Getty Images)

Have you seen Michelle Obama lately? She’s on her book tour for The Light We Carry, and every single outfit she’s worn has been a gift. It’s like a fashion Advent Calendar. Her tailored looks have felt sharper, louder, and brimming with more personality than I ever remember of her. She’s always had an admirable sense of style, but this latest iteration on the book tour has felt like a notable departure from more subdued and classic sartorial choices of the past. (I don’t hold that against her—I can’t imagine the high wire act that was getting dressed every day as America’s first Black FLOTUS.)

This aesthetic shift, in large part, can be credited to Obama’s longtime stylist Meredith Koop, whom she’s been working with since 2010. In an interview with Vogue, Koop discussed dressing the former First Lady and said the main reason behind Obama’s style evolution is “wanting to be more and more comfortable. That is huge. That’s like most of it. What’s going to be physically comfortable for her body, for her.” Koop also said that she was inspired by the book’s title mention of “light” and that a lot of these looks use bold colors and sparkles as a nod to that.

Admittedly, I was hesitant to write an entire piece just on loving what the former first lady has been wearing this go around, at the risk of sounding like more traditional women’s media. I also didn’t want this to come across as, like, “wow a woman nearing 60 looks GOOD!? Slay semi-retired queen!! They usually look like DEATH!!”

But this new era in Obama’s outfits feels worth noting. I scrolled across a popular TikTok by Jesica Wagstaff that jokingly (but not too jokingly) suggested the sleepy, quiet luxury trend is on its way out, thanks to Obama and Koop’s collaborations. I reached out to Wagstaff (who disclosed that while she worked for the Obama Administration in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs, she didn’t work for the First Lady) to have her elaborate on her observation. “While everyone else discusses ‘quiet luxury,’ Mrs. Obama and Ms. Koop have prioritized relevance, culture, color and vision to communicate a sense of freedom rarely seen in 50+ year old style and certainly not that of former First Ladies,” she wrote to me in an email. “In a word it’s groundbreaking.”

I couldn’t agree more. Let’s take a little tour of her looks.

Advertisement

2 / 15

Washington D.C.

Washington D.C.

Image for article titled Michelle Obama Looks Fucking Great
Screenshot: Meredith Koop Instagram (Fair Use)

The prodigal daughter returns. Obama kicked off her book tour in D.C. with a nod to our neighbors up north aka wearing a Canadian Tuxedo. The two-piece denim Ganni suit with oversized pockets on the sides of the pants set the tone for what was going to be a fashion tour de force.

Advertisement

3 / 15

New York City

New York City

Image for article titled Michelle Obama Looks Fucking Great
Screenshot: Meredith Koop Instagram (Fair Use)

Obama immediately followed the Ganni suit with another monochromatic highlighter yellow Proenza Schouler suit with flared pant legs and decorative gold buttons. It’s a little funky and retro but falls into the J.Crew color scheme of Obama’s past. Really fucking fun.

Advertisement

4 / 15

Washington D.C. Again

Washington D.C. Again

Image for article titled Michelle Obama Looks Fucking Great
Screenshot: Meredith Koop Instagram (Fair Use)

Where do I start? A fountain pony so elegant that I’ve completely reversed my stance on the flirty ‘do after writing it off watching Tanya McQuoid rock it all this season on The White Lotus. The sheer Versace tunic is dramatic, but not so much that it alienates Obama’s fanbase.

Advertisement

5 / 15

Alright, last night in the district

Alright, last night in the district

Image for article titled Michelle Obama Looks Fucking Great
Screenshot: Meredith Koop Instagram (Fair Use)

The simplicity and sharpness of this oversized Givenchy suit with that metal pocket detail mixed with the feminine long microbraids tucked behind her ears is really doing it for me. The hair is giving me go-go 70's girl, while the suit feels like an 80's power look. Yet she’s managed to make this look feel incredibly current!

Advertisement

6 / 15

Philly Night 2

Philly Night 2

Image for article titled Michelle Obama Looks Fucking Great
Screenshot: Meredith Koop (Fair Use)

Ring the Liberty Bell, because this look is freeing! The A.W.A.K.E. Mode jumpsuit dips a toe into a bit of a sporty look, but the crispness and those Stuart Weitzman heels keep it professional and fun.

Advertisement

7 / 15

Philly Night 1

Philly Night 1

Image for article titled Michelle Obama Looks Fucking Great
Screenshot: Meredith Koop Instagram (Fair Use)

This is the outfit that initially grabbed my attention. All black sets really run the risk of looking stuffy and boring—but this Bottega Veneta two-piece and earrings are making the former first lady look like she’s both dining at and running a Michelin star restaurant. I’m eating it up!!

Advertisement

8 / 15

Atlanta Night 2

Atlanta Night 2

Image for article titled Michelle Obama Looks Fucking Great
Screenshot: Meredith Koop Instagram (Fair Use)

Honestly, this look feels the least true to how I perceive Obama, but I appreciate her and Koop taking the risk. I don’t think a political spouse has rocked a nylon parka since the Reagan administration, and certainly none have looked this effortlessly cool. The whole look feels incredibly youthful to me in a way that does not reek of desperation in any way.

Advertisement

9 / 15

Atlanta Night 1

Atlanta Night 1

Image for article titled Michelle Obama Looks Fucking Great
Screenshot: Meredith Koop Instagram (Fair Use)

Obama has found a friend in flared pants. This set is by UK brand Palmer and Harding and the booties are, again, Stuart Weitzman. The loosely curled tendrils and pink lipstick soften what could have been a harsh double-leather look.

Advertisement

10 / 15

Chicago Night 2

Chicago Night 2

Image for article titled Michelle Obama Looks Fucking Great
Screenshot: Meredith Koop Instagram (Fair Use)

A maroon Stella McCartney jumpsuit and a deep side part have never paired so well before. Add in the hoops and this street style outfit feels completely elevated.

Advertisement

11 / 15

Chicago Night 1

Chicago Night 1

Image for article titled Michelle Obama Looks Fucking Great
Screenshot: Meredith Koop Instagram (Fair Use)

Does this look feel Posh to you? Well what if I told you it’s Victoria Beckham’s line? Does that spice up your life? OK sorry. The striped jeans, draped blouse, and Weitzman pumps combine a lot of textures and materials, which strays from the monochromatic sets we are seeing elsewhere on the tour.

Advertisement

12 / 15

San Fransisco Night 1

San Fransisco Night 1

Image for article titled Michelle Obama Looks Fucking Great
Screenshot: Meredith Koop Instagram (Fair Use)

I’m surprised this chic après-ski look wasn’t worn in Denver or Aspen. The bustier and pants are Brandon Maxwell and feel like a more elegant version of the sporty look we saw her in in Atlanta. I love how boldly disparate this is from the billowy sweaters and long layers of silk or linen we’re used to seeing on women nearing 60.

Advertisement

13 / 15

San Francisco Night 2

San Francisco Night 2

Image for article titled Michelle Obama Looks Fucking Great
Screenshot: Meredith Koop Instagram (Fair Use)

Oh hello Tracee Ellis Ross! You look fabulous, but we’re still on the Michelle Obama fashion world tour, so hold on just a sec. First of all, I’m grateful to see Obama in some sneakers finally. My feet were starting to get sympathy pains. The dark cyan velvet Balmain suit over the Christy Rilling top featuring Diana Ross is a pop of holiday fun. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is refreshing.

Advertisement

14 / 15

San Francisco Night 3

San Francisco Night 3

Image for article titled Michelle Obama Looks Fucking Great
Screenshot: Meredith Koop Instagram (Fair Use)

The Marine Serre top is the best version of kooky Grey Gardens aunt, but what I really want to emphasize are the acid washed Balmain jeans. Look at that hem! It’s bigger than most apartments in NYC!

This whole tour Obama has played with proportions in a way feels like she’s at a real ease with her body. Obviously I have no idea how she feels about her body, but she has spoken about her changing relationship to it as she goes through menopause. I, for one, am appreciative of this fun and bold pivot that showcases a funky elegance option for 50+ women, especially in a fashion landscape bogged down by gaudy Housewives looks. No notes!

Advertisement

15 / 15