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FLOTUS wears Reed Krakoff in second official portrait

The official portraits of first lady Michelle Obama,

The official portraits of first lady Michelle Obama, taken, from left, in the Blue Room and Green Room, respectively, of The White House in Washington, DC. (Feb. 27, 2009 and Feb. 20, 2013) Credit: AP, Getty Images

What a difference four years makes. In her first official White House portrait, Michelle Obama went new guard wearing a sleeveless, black, racerback Michael Kors’ dress that showed off her famously toned arms. A double strand of pearls was her featured accessory.

This time around, she appeared in a much more traditional vein, wearing a custom navy silk and wool dress with three-quarter length sleeves by Reed Krakoff, according to Women’s Wear Daily. The more modest dress features a more modest accessory…a single strand of pearls. And of course, there’s the much buzzed about new ‘do: bangs.

The first lady has worn Krakoff before, most recently to President Obama’s official swearing in ceremony on January 20. WWD reported that her second official photograph was shot by Douglas Kennedy in the green room on February 12.

So what do we think of the two distinctly different looks? The Kors’ dress could have easily gone to a cocktail party – it was celebratory, fresh and new, and the bare arms were downright youthful and a little sexy. It could have been construed as a bit daring for a first lady. This time around, Obama seems much more business-like, but still approachable – the “cute” bangs and all.

Kate Betts, the fashion expert and author of ““Everyday Icon, Michelle Obama And The Power Of Style,” (Clarkson Potter, $35), told us, “She’s… more conservative than before. She’s announcing herself as the hostess of the White House and she knows exactly how to construct her image. She recognizes that the expectations are traditional.”

We think the first dress had a wow factor, this one is remarkably unremarkable -- dare we say boring? And that may be just what the first lady was going for. What do you think?


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