December 9th, 2008
04:10 PM ET
14 years ago

Inauguration Day fashion

[cnn-photo-caption image="" caption="Obama will reportedly be wearing a tuxedo from suburban Illinois-designer Hart Schaffner Marx."]
(CNN) – The presidential inauguration party tops the list of formal affairs next January, and President-elect Barack Obama is rumored to be preparing for his big event: He’s believed to have ordered a simple and classic black tuxedo by the union-friendly suburban Illinois-designer Hart Schaffner Marx, a stylist to which the president-elect is said to be faithful, according to the Los Angeles Times.

But most likely all eyes will be on the future first lady’s outfit. So, what will Michelle Obama wear on her husband’s big day?

Women’s Wear Daily is featuring sketches by high-profile designers on its Web site of possible Inauguration Day outfits for Mrs. Obama and among the contenders are simple and classic designer Nicole Miller, the elegant and timeless Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, and the funky and youthful California-based fashionista Betsey Johnson.

And the Obama girls were not forgotten. The Web site features drawings of potential outfits for Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, from dressy skirted coats to children’s gowns.

Mrs. Obama, who is often compared to former first lady and style icon Jackie Kennedy, took some heat for her election night attire as she donned an attention-grabbing red and black Narciso Rodriguez shift dress.
The future first lady has said she often sports modestly priced labels like J.Crew and Donna Rico, and favors local Chicago designer Maria Pinto. But Inauguration Day could call for a pricier piece, and fashion’s elite are prepared. Whatever the future first lady decides for Inauguration Day, the fashion world will surely be watching.

soundoff (324 Responses)
  1. Tony

    And I don't imagine that the liberal media or CNN (whoops, that was redundant) will divulge just how much these designer outfits cost; but I'm sure well get up to the minute updates on how much Sarah Palin's stockings cost.

    December 9, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  2. Fair is unfair?

    We should expect an outpouring of criticism of the cost of Michelle Obama's wardrobe budget, right?

    December 9, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  3. Ann

    No matter what she chooses to wear, she and her daughters will be radiantly beautiful and elegently stylish !

    December 9, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  4. John

    And Palin was tarred and feathered for daring to wear a couple of designer suits. Oh well.

    December 9, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  5. Something to Think About

    Alice Brown thought her daughter Catherine Donnelly, was too good to be roommates with Michelle Robinson (Obama ) at Princeton, simple because Michelle is Black. Well, Michelle will be our new First Lady next month, Ms Brown!

    December 9, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  6. AJB

    Michelle ain't nearly as thin as that drawing portrays. Need to add about 50 pounds.

    December 9, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  7. obama-mama

    I know her and Obama girls will be gorgeous as usual.....I can't wait.

    December 9, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  8. Liberal in Los Angeles, CA

    Must have the best for the best!!! Oscar de la Renta is definitely worth it!! Whatever designs the First Family decide will be a good choice.

    December 9, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  9. 37-year-old First Time Voter

    Isn't it too cold for strap dresses? Especially for the girls.

    December 9, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  10. Nice Girl

    Michelle is a great role model for women!!

    December 9, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  11. Kathleen Anderson

    Love the de la Renta and the Michael Kors.

    The first lady will look lovely in whatever she wears.

    December 9, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  12. Terri

    I've never seen the girls dressed inappropiately. I don't expect that to change now. I like to see Michelle in bold colors. She wears them so well. Her tall stature is very commanding. She'll be beautiful!

    December 9, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  13. California Gold

    The Oscar de la Renta sketch with spaghetti straps seems a little inappropriate for January winter. Maybe for warmer weather but think it's out of season (unless there is a matching bolero style jacket). Just me.

    December 9, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  14. rachel

    I don't care if the outfit is tight and shows off curves, but please michelle don't wear anything like the outfit you wore on election night the fit was tight, but the coloring was no good, the girls always look good and you do to usually.

    December 9, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  15. Jackie in Dallas

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    And before people go off half-cocked on this story, like they did on AOL, the American people are not paying for whatever Michelle (and the girls) wear. Designers vie for the honor of dressing the First Lady, and either loan or outright give the clothes — a good marketing ploy for them, since most usually end up in the Hall of First Ladies. Several dozen designers were asked to design, and my understanding is that the future First Lady makes her choice, with a backup. Looking through the designs, I saw several that I thought were quite beautiful, without being over the top, including Isaac Mizrahi's and Micheal Kor's.

    And before people start whining about the "waste" involved, the fashion industry in this country is worth billions both nationally and internationally — and is one of the few not asking for a handout or a bailout. Supporting our fashion industry is actually one of the "jobs" of the First Lady…

    December 9, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  16. !@#$%^&*()_

    yeah I know, I screwed up the spelling.

    December 9, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  17. proudliberal

    what? no overalls? members of 'rednecks for obama' will not be happy about this........

    December 9, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  18. American View

    Who cares?

    December 9, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  19. A Really Conservative Realist


    CNN reporting something, in this case a picture, that makes Michelle Obama appear as LESS than she really is. HeeHee.

    December 9, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |

    Michelle, just don't over-arch the eyebrows. Okay?

    December 9, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  21. Stacy Clarks, TX


    December 9, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  22. Kel in Auburn, AL

    I can't wait. January 20th is going to be such a historic day for America. Go O!

    December 9, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  23. Rocky

    Whatever is worn I do hope that huge expenditures of money for this Inauguration will be curtailed when you consider that so many people are out of work, out of a place to live, out of a job, out of retirement savings drawn down considerably by that shell game referred to as the stock market and out of alot of options. Let's put it to work for those that so desperately need help.

    December 9, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  24. sunshine

    choose what you and the girls love, after all it's your night, be blessed.

    December 9, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  25. Peggy - TX

    The designers need to design for Mrs. Obama, not an unrealistic “Barbie doll” version of her. All of the sketches show Mrs. Obama as a lanky, pattie women with exceptional posture as if they can not comprehend any other figure for their customers. Mrs. Obama is a beautiful woman, just as she is, but she does not have the “Barbie doll” figure, much to her credit. She does have one tiny, almost unnoticeable, little flaw in that her shoulders tend to stoop forward a tiny bit as if the front muscles are too strong and unbalanced with her back muscle. She enjoys fashion, she should pick what she likes and have fun with it.

    December 9, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
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