Michelle Obama convention speech dress dazzles, scores
September 5th, 2012
03:24 AM ET
2 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. Muffy 7

    Our first Lady is the first to equal Jackie Kennedy's fashion sense. She was gorgeous inside and out, she hit it out of the
    park!!!!! Her speech kept me spellbound for every minute she spoke. We are so blessed to have her!

    September 5, 2012 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  2. Kim

    Love my first lady!

    September 5, 2012 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  3. Jennifer

    Michelle may buy some of her clothing from upper middle priced retailers, but many of the pieces she wears are not very First Lady suitable for public appearances, like leggings and low cut blouses and dresses.

    September 5, 2012 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  4. Rick Warner

    Um, I thought the dress was nice but is CNN the only network that is not going to actually cover the CONTENT of that amazing speech? It's the top stories on all others including FOX. Disappointed.

    September 5, 2012 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  5. John

    Obama himself once remarked she had the "right to bare arms" so apparently he's not such a gun control proponent.

    September 5, 2012 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  6. Laureth

    Does anyone ever pay as much attention to what the men wear? It always seems that when a woman in politics gets up to make a speech all anyone can focus on is how she looked and what she wore.

    September 5, 2012 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  7. Sunnye

    A+ on Michelle's outfit.

    September 5, 2012 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  8. Peter

    Silly as it is to concentrate on both dresses, it does speak volumes when Ms. Romney's was almost $2000 and Ms. Obama's was under $500.

    September 5, 2012 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Beautiful job by Michelle last night. She truly connected.
    I thought that she eloquently addressed her apprehensions during Barack's run for the presidency. Apprehensions that were promptly misinterpreted as a character flaw. She did an outstanding job, without once mentioning Ann-Antoinette nor Romney, of telling their love story, their real midldle-class American upbringing.
    I said it the presence of my two grwon sons last night as we watched our First Lady speak, I will say it again this morning: I am so proud of being an American and being a part of this history that is being made.
    God bless you Michelle Obama. And may God continue to bless our country with your husband as our President.

    September 5, 2012 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  10. Jessica

    The fact that we are focusing on her dress is ridiculous. Let's focus on what she has to say as the most influential woman in the country.

    September 5, 2012 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  11. PeterD

    America is more interested in Jobs Security, Better Jobs and their Family Fanances rather than First Lady's Dress.

    September 5, 2012 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  12. DIna

    CNN: DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT do NOT have your first headline about Michelle Obama's speech be about her dress.

    September 5, 2012 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  13. xie, xiuyan

    As a first lady of a country, I would like to see her wear more formal dress, instead of a dress as if she is going to a Hollywood party. Yes it is nice. However, I often wonder when did not see her in suite etc?

    September 5, 2012 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  14. Normal

    Well its a good thing she wore something everyone liked. That is DEFINITELY a sign I should vote for the Democrats. Such an important critique!

    September 5, 2012 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  15. Sam

    The First lady spoke well and wisely.... She was able to connect with both working and stay at home Moms.. America protect this valuable gift. A strong lady with exceptional values from the grassroot. She has lived it and off cause have a first hand experience of what she preached yesterday...... so is his husband.

    September 5, 2012 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  16. Lydia Mae

    Whoa! You know you're hurting if all people can comment on is the dress of the night! Her pink dress is a Red Herring.

    September 5, 2012 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  17. Marvin

    AWESOME is the only word I could discribe. She hit a home run with her MONEY over people speech. Nothing negative and to the point.

    September 5, 2012 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  18. Lisa

    I thought it was an embarrassment... Sleeveless to a political convention? Really? Classless.

    September 5, 2012 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  19. Katz

    She forgot to tell us why we don't have a balanced budget from her husband. She forgot to mention the disappearing middle class. She forgot to tell us why he put billions of taxpayer money into places like Solyndra, Ener1 etc, that went bankrupt, but him and his friends got their money back! This president is a waste!

    September 5, 2012 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  20. DP SMH

    Michelle Obama looks very stunning and beautiful last night at the convention! She gave a very heart warming and inspiring speech ever and believe she outstanding and graceful individual inside and out. Pure beauty at the best!!!

    September 5, 2012 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  21. CJH

    Really? She gives one heck of an amazing speech and you're focusing on her DRESS?

    September 5, 2012 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  22. Marty, FL

    Powerful speech from First Lady Michelle–a class act

    President Obama 2012

    September 5, 2012 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  23. cleat

    Wow....really... did you just compare a custom made dress with the "ones on the website costing 250..."
    sad to see the lefty media can still drag st upid cr ap lik this onto a mainstream site.
    The obamas are most certainly NOT in touch with the average joe, and that dress, moce certainly cost (or would have) much much more that the website avereg dress would.
    god the lefty bias is sick ening.

    September 5, 2012 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  24. iceweasel

    These lines are the ones that get me:
    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.

    MIchelle Obama has a BA from Princeton, and a JD from Harvard. Ann Romney is a stay at home mom with a degree in French from BYU. Her choice does not speak fiscal responsibility.

    September 5, 2012 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  25. Eric

    The best thing the POLITICAL portion of CNN.com can post about her speech was the dress she was wearing? Either this is just terrible journalism, or if CNN is giving the masses what they want......there is no hope for us. WAKE UP AMERICA!!! POLITICS IS NOT ABOUT WHO WEARS THE BEST DRESS!

    September 5, 2012 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
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