Michelle Obama, 2008
What She Wore: A white, one-shoulder gown by Jason Wu
What It Meant: Both Dincuff and Betts think Michelle had one of the most successful Inaugural Ball appearances of all First Ladies. Considering that hope was such an important part of Obama’s platform, Michelle couldn’t have chosen a better dress.
“The white dress which looked almost like a wedding dress, symbolized a fresh start, new beginnings in a very innocent optimistic moment.”
It also highlighted the Obama’s undeniable chemistry and charisma as a couple–something that has endeared them to the public over his Presidency. “I don’t think people thought she would wear something so ethereal and romantic and white,” Betts said. It sent the message that beyond the political titles and victories, Michelle and Barack were husband and wife–an image relatable and aspirational to the public.
Her bare arms, and the fact that she chose a relatively unknown designer, established her as a modern, confident woman.
Now the question is, what will Michelle wear for her second Inaugural Ball? Dincuff said she doesn’t think she’ll wear white, and Betts suggested she could rewear a dress. Both agree whoever she wears will be an American designer. Now the only thing left to do is wait until tomorrow.