Over the weekend, Michelle Obama was spotted strolling around the Italian town of Montalcino wearing a cotton-candy pink one-shoulder top, white jeans with rips at the knees, white sandals, hoop earrings, silver bangles, sunglasses and a white cross-body bag. She looked so relaxed, like she had simply put on the clothes that were the truest reflection of how she felt — which is not insignificant, because how often did she get to do that as First Lady? My guess is extremely rarely, given the overwhelming and unending scrutiny of her every bodily aspect and clothing choice.
Part of the fun of putting on the clothes that perfectly capture your mood (or the essence of whatever version of yourself you want to project at the moment) is the ability to walk out the door in that outfit and give it the chance to commune with other people’s eyeballs.
But First Ladies can’t always do that. Even though it’s 2017 and, sure, they can wear bright colors and show their arms and dabble in the occasional black-tie sequin, there is still a set of unspoken guidelines for what is considered “proper” attire. Michelle Obama experimented within these parameters as best as she could. She wore bold prints and custom rose gold Versace chainmail. Sponge crepe and Fran Drescher pink. Skinny jeans and eyebrow-skimming bangs. She always looked incredible, stylish, chic (!), but never completely and utterly relaxed.
That’s why the pink one-shoulder top ensemble stands out so distinctly. It was a cherry on top of Michelle Obama’s recent personal style tour, beginning at her first appearance post-White House in a jersey midi dress, which eased into the joyful, casual, off-duty-ness of batwing cap-sleeves; the edgy indulgence of a corset belt encircling a trailing, striped button-down; and most recently, the easy comfort of a white off-the-shoulder top paired with olive green linen pants, a small oxblood tote, a gold cuff and simple slide sandals.
Is the best part of being First Lady actually no longer being it? When it comes to letting your clothes say exactly what you want them to, or simply letting them blow breezy kisses into the Tuscan air, the answer is undoubtedly yes.