5 fab fashion moments to celebrate Michelle Obama's 55th birthday

17 January 2019 - 00:00 By Zola Zingithwa
The always chic Michelle Obama.
The always chic Michelle Obama.
Image: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Michelle Obama turns 55 on January 17. Not only is the former US first lady a lawyer, writer and mom to two cool daughters, she is also a bona fide fashionista.

While she was feted for many things during her stint as wife of the American president — such as her toned arms and her vegetable garden — she was also hailed as a fashion icon, who changed many a designer’s prospects after she was seen in one of their creations.

As she celebrates her birthday, we pick out five of our favourite Obama outfits - one for each decade.

Official portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama, dated 2009.
Official portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama, dated 2009.
Image: Joyce N. Boghosian, Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images

1. THE FIRST LADY OF THE US 

In 2009, when the White House released the first official photos of Michelle Obama as the American first lady, her elegant outfit caused a stir, according to ABC News.

The black, sleeveless dress, offset by a pearl necklace and a watch, shocked some because it left her arms bare. But the simple, yet stunning, outfit is still a winner a decade later.

2. THE INAUGURATION HEAD TURNER

Presidential inaugurations have provided the perfect opportunity for Mrs Obama to play her fashion A-game.

From 2009 to 2017, her coated looks have been on point, but our favourite has to be 2013’s grey checked coat-dress worn with burgundy gloves and what looked to be thigh-high boots.

A fringe-cut hairstyle topped off the look and we loved everything about it.

US president Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama at the 2013 presidential inaugural parade in Washington, DC.
US president Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama at the 2013 presidential inaugural parade in Washington, DC.
Image: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

3. THE FINAL STATEMENT

Obama chose an amazing rose-gold Versace gown to be her sartorial swansong as first lady of the United States. The dress, which she wore to the last state dinner she co-hosted at the White House, draped beautifully around her body and cemented her status as a fashion icon.

First lady Michelle Obama and president Barack Obama at a state dinner at the White House on October 18 2016 in Washington, DC.
First lady Michelle Obama and president Barack Obama at a state dinner at the White House on October 18 2016 in Washington, DC.
Image: Leigh Vogel/WireImage
Michelle Obama on the streets of New York City in 2017.
Michelle Obama on the streets of New York City in 2017.
Image: James Devaney/GC Images

4. STREET STYLE

A few months after leaving the White House behind, Obama was spotted on the streets of New York rocking a dress-shirt casually unbuttoned at the top, black pants, a grey winter coat and black heels.

Her 2018 tour for her autobiographical memoir Becoming would see her wearing more daring pants-looks, but this was her announcement that she's just as chic as a civilian as she was as the first lady of the United States.

Former first lady Michelle Obama discusses her book 'Becoming' with Sarah Jessica in 2018.
Former first lady Michelle Obama discusses her book 'Becoming' with Sarah Jessica in 2018.
Image: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

5. MOVE OVER CARRIE BRADSHAW!

Many of the outfits worn by Obama on her book tour have been dazzling, but none as much as the glittering gold, thigh-high Balenciaga boots she wore during her Brooklyn stop.

The yellow Balenciaga dress with a thigh slit would have been a showstopper on its own, but we only had eyes for the sparkles on her legs.

Unfortunately, the R40k price tag puts them out of our reach.


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