She’s got it going on! After serving up nonstop glamor as first lady, Michelle Obama has proved her killer fashion sense extends far beyond her 8-year stint in the White House.
The Chicago native first caught the world’s eye as she stood beside her husband, Barack Obama, during his presidential campaign back in 2007. Once he was sworn into office, Michelle garnered a reputation as a polished fashionista. She even put many now-famous designers on the map, including Jason Wu. The Becoming author famously turned heads in a white chiffon asymmetrical gown by the designer, who was only 26 years old at the time, during Barack’s 2009 inaugural ball.
Wu himself was shocked by Michelle’s decision to wear his creation. “It’s difficult to describe,” he told The New York Times one day after the celebration. “I was over the moon. I know I am an unusual choice for a first lady. I didn’t think it was my turn yet.”
Other standout White House fashion moments from the Princeton University alum include the orangey-red Alexander McQueen gown she wore to the 2011 state dinner, the crisscross Tom Ford number at the 2011 British state banquet, the black off-the-shoulder Vera Wang dress at the 2015 state dinner and the sparkly custom Atelier Versace for the 2016 state dinner.
Since the end of her time in Washington, D.C., Michelle hasn’t skipped a beat on the fashion front. If anything, she’s only gotten bolder. While continuing to evoke pure elegance, the attorney has started taking some more style risks — and we are here for it.
As she separated herself from the first lady, she’s tried a couple of daring choices, including an unforgettable pair of thigh-high sparkly boots from Balenciaga that cost almost $4,000 — which she wore during the Brooklyn stop of her Becoming book tour in December 2018.
Michelle opened up about her fashion evolution in her Becoming documentary, which premiered on Netflix in 2020, calling her post-White House choices “freeing.”
She continued: “Now that we’re out of the White House, not to be viewed, judged and parceled by every other person on the planet yeah it is — it’s better.”
Flash forward to 2022, Michelle turned up the heat when she kicked off her The Light We Carry book tour.
Alongside Elle DeGeneres, at the Warner Theater in Washington, D.C., the Harvard Law School alum wowed in an all-denim outfit from Ganni’s resort 2023 collection. The look included a waist-cinching jacket and wide-leg trousers, which Michelle paired with glossy red boots.
To see all of Michelle’s major style moments since leaving the White House, scroll through the photos below. We promise you will not be disappointed.