Michelle Obama convention speech dress dazzles, scores
September 5th, 2012
03:24 AM ET
6 years ago

Michelle Obama convention speech dress dazzles, scores

(CNN) - First lady Michelle Obama walked onto the stage of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night fully aware of the task at hand.

It was her job to paint her husband - the president - as a family man and as a leader with a vision for the country.

She passed with flying colors - pink and grey to be exact.

Watch Michelle Obama's full speech here.

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Twitter reported more than 28,000 tweets per minute during Obama’s prime time speech, nearly double that of Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s.

And many of them focused on what she had on.

Obama lit up the arena in a luminescent rosy pink dress with grey floral detailing. Perhaps the most physically fit of all the first ladies, she showed off her toned arms and shoulders in the sleeveless cut frock, with just a sliver of her back through a small key hole. The full knee-length skirt had an easy element of movement as she approached the podium.

The first lady turned to African-American designer Tracy Reese for the night’s dress.

"I am so honored that first lady Michelle Obama chose to wear Tracy Reese for her speech at the Democratic National Convention," the designer told CNN National Correspondent Alina Cho. "As always, she looked stunning and spoke so eloquently. I was incredibly moved!"

Obama has worn Tracy Reese on numerous occasions, including the Easter Egg Roll and her photo shoot with People Magazine.

Tweeters swooned.

“Michelle Obama is the epitome of grace & wisdom. Her speech was utterly inspiring...so was her dress, perfect skin and arms. #2012DNC,” tweeted Lauren Molina of New York.

“#Salute @MichelleObama just came out and smashed the game! Love the outfit, dress, pumps, hair, makeup! Classy and beautiful!” said WNBA player Swin Cash.

And Comedy Central’s indecision feed joked: “That sound you hear is all the reporters scrambling for adjectives to describe Michelle Obama's dress.”

Reese too took to Twitter to respond to the compliments.

“Thanks everyone for sharing this amazing moment! We are all so grateful and honored to have dressed Mrs. Obama for such a momentous speech!!!” she wrote.

Obama complemented Reese’s art with a pair of $245 rhubarb suede pumps from J. Crew, which she reportedly bought herself.

The outfit subtly reflected the Democratic Party’s support of the middle class. Most dresses on Tracy Reese’s website run between $250 and $450.

That’s a stark contrast to the Oscar de la Renta dress Ann Romney wore when addressing the Republican National convention, which reportedly cost $1,900.

Obama’s fashion sense has long made her somewhat of an icon.

A leaf print dress she wore from White House Black Market on The View, sold out from all its locations within 48 hours of her TV appearance.

In 2009, the Council of Fashion Designers of America honored Obama with the special style award, which she now shares with the late Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

"She (the first lady) always surprises with her fashion choices,” Kate Betts, author of “Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Style,” told CNN’s John King last year.

“She writes her own rules when it comes to fashion and I think that's what keeps us riveted by her fashion and keeps us paying attention to her."

CNN’s Alina Cho contributed to this report.

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soundoff (115 Responses)
  1. mooksie40

    Mrs. Obama did not come across as "real". She presented her story with aplomp, pretty dress and toned arms, but her only aim was to help her husband get re-elected.

    September 5, 2012 03:57 am at 3:57 am |
  2. mooksie40

    There was such a stark difference between Ann Romney's speech and Michelle Obama's. Mrs. Romney came across as real and Michelle Obama was play acting – saying, in her estimation, the very words that might help her husband get re-elected. A nice presentation, toned arms and a pretty dress will not do the trick. She is a phony and it came across loud and clear.

    September 5, 2012 04:01 am at 4:01 am |
  3. Marry

    The First Lady, Michelle Obama, looked fabulous! But she does not only look fabulous, she is FABULOUS AND BRILLIANT INSIDE TOO!!! What a smart, caring, bright, wonderful women! She is a wonderful match together with our BRILLIANT President.
    The country could do no better than to reelect President Obama! Strait blue ticket this time!!!

    September 5, 2012 04:04 am at 4:04 am |
  4. Bauer

    Alright, I will ignore all of President Obama's broken promises because Mrs. Obama looked nice and told me to give him more time. HE HAS UNTIL NOV 4th TO PASS A BALANCED BUDGET!!!

    September 5, 2012 04:24 am at 4:24 am |
  5. vincenza

    My what a speach, the best I have ever heard had tears rolling down my cheeks. I want to vote for Obama but I can't because I'm in Australia, so America Vote for him please, the world is holding it's breath....

    September 5, 2012 04:29 am at 4:29 am |
  6. I'm Just Saying Too .....

    Our first lady was FANTASTIC!!! tonight. The dress was gorgeous but the substance of her speech was even better. She really did Americans, women, and our President proud! I saw the President watching her speech and I KNOW he was really proud of the great job she did!! Michelle, you rocked the house!

    September 5, 2012 04:43 am at 4:43 am |
  7. Doug

    She looked stunning.. Loved the speech and the dress.. She's real !

    September 5, 2012 04:44 am at 4:44 am |
  8. wkndthg

    Very well done. WOW!!!

    September 5, 2012 05:13 am at 5:13 am |
  9. n

    What a bunch of racist you news people are, yes she looked great but her speech was on point, full of passion, respect and love for her country and her husband. Totally dwarfed the speech of Mrs. Romney's gave last week, in my opinion. Did I hear any mention of the way Mrs. Romney was dressed? Yes you bunch of yahoos, her outfit could not stand next to the great and perfect words that danced from her mouth. What a bunch of losers.

    September 5, 2012 05:43 am at 5:43 am |
  10. Rose

    Who CARES what kind of dress she is wearing? Get them OUT of office, and stop funding money for her BEAUTY treatments. This Country needs a REAL leader that isn't a Socialist.

    September 5, 2012 05:53 am at 5:53 am |
  11. bluebird

    so...the whole world is coming apart .....the United States is broke..... but the Presidents wife scored high points for her clothes....what is this country coming to....

    September 5, 2012 06:01 am at 6:01 am |
  12. Eva Camara

    Michelle Obama, you are most admired by all my family. Your conventional speech was most inspiring and to the point, we wish you and your husband all the luck and pray that the seat comes back to Barack Obama. Viva Obama, Viva the People of America, Viva The Gambia. Thanks.

    September 5, 2012 06:10 am at 6:10 am |
  13. Afellowamerican

    She did indeed look gorgeous. My knee jerk reaction is to say her fashion doesn't matter. But the fact of the matter is her choices clearly demonstrate how her values are more aligned with, and reflect, middle class America. Unlike Ann Romney's über-expensive designer gown her choices of dress and shoes we're moderate while still being fashionable.

    September 5, 2012 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
  14. wow

    For an article about a dress it would have been nice if they actually had a picture of the dress instead of all that blue background.

    September 5, 2012 06:15 am at 6:15 am |
  15. FedUp

    So....the Dems are interested in what Michelle wore! Great. Then Mitt Romney should be the winner. He dresses better. Doesn't matter what anybody says or does, just what they wear. That's the Hollywood party line. Other countries should take lessons from our citizens.

    September 5, 2012 06:16 am at 6:16 am |
  16. jimmy

    Why are you focusing on her dress? Her speech was magnificent.

    September 5, 2012 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  17. starman5

    No question about it, this lady has it all. Brains, beauty and a sun tan to die for. Go get em girl!!!

    September 5, 2012 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  18. eileenflanagan

    Glad the dress was nice, but I looked up this story to find out what she SAID. Too bad that's not news.

    September 5, 2012 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  19. Marie MD

    That ugly matronly red dress cost $1,900??? Wow, I continue to say that this non working wife might have money but class? NOPE!
    The flip flopper's wife, no matter how hard she tries, will never be able to spit shine Mrs. Obama's shoes becuase she is a up your nose rich person who is pretending to be middle class to get votes.
    Mrs. Obama is a wonderful woman and girls around the country, heck the world, shoul take notice that you can do good without growing up with money. It's what's inside you and the values you are taught as a child.

    September 5, 2012 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  20. doubledees

    The clothes dont make the person..........

    September 5, 2012 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  21. Shanno

    Cnn fail! Yahoo's article was about the content of her speech and not her dress. Come on!

    September 5, 2012 06:40 am at 6:40 am |

    Since when can the middle class afford to spend $250 – $450 on a dress or $245 on a pair of shoes?

    September 5, 2012 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
  23. keith

    Great in-depth reporting on the DNC convention. Amazing.....

    September 5, 2012 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  24. Fred

    Beautiful dress, awful looking woman.

    September 5, 2012 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  25. Hank

    This article is exactly why CNN has gone down hill in recent years. Nobody with any sense gives a damn about how Mrs. Obama was dressed. I do think she is a beautiful woman and she was dressed very nicely for her speech, but this country has major issues and lots of people are having a rough go of it and as the First Lady, while not an official position in politics, is a bully pulpit position, so her words carry a lot of weight. It's too bad that a network like CNN would waste publication space on such a topic as how she was dressed. I'm not a Democrat, and I certainly didn't vote for her husband to be our president, but I almost feel an article like this doesn't give Mrs. Obama the respect that a woman in her position deserves.

    September 5, 2012 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
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