Jan 17, 2012

Happy birthday to style icon (and first lady) Michelle Obama!

Reuters files; Getty Images file
Michelle Obama dazzled in 2011, in everything from elegant gowns to casual ensembles.
Happy 48th birthday, Michelle Obama! While the first lady has been known to rock everything from dramatic, fashion-forward Jason Wu gowns to Narciso Rodriguez silk ensembles, she's also a fan of affordable fashion. In recent years, she's donned bright J. Crew sweaters, colorful H&M dresses and trendy Asos.com printed shirts. (We approve.)
We're celebrating Michelle's special day by looking back at some of our favorite looks from the past year:

Eliseo Fernandez / Reuters
In March, Obama wore this periwinkle frock with flowered brooch to speak to students at a new secondary school in Santiago, Chile.

Charles Dharapak / AP
Michelle Obama donned a dramatic red silk organza dress for the January 19, 2011 state dinner. The dress was designed by the designer of Kate Middleton's wedding gown, Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen.

Pool / Getty Images
Michelle Obama wore a long blue halter gown by Reed Krakoff to an architecture event in June in Washington, DC.

Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP
The first lady sported a bright neon top to dance with students at a middle school in in northwest Washington, DC in May.

Susan Walsh / AP
The first lady wore a sleeveless floral dress with peep-toe patent leather heels to a May ceremony to award posthumous Medal of Honor.

The first lady rocked a tie-dye dress and leather belt to a Cinco de Mayo reception at the White House in May. "You do not want to be between Michelle and a tamale," President Obama joked.
"For me fashion is fun, and it’s supposed to help you feel good about yourself," the first ladytold Women's Health in 2009. "I think that’s what all women should focus on: what makes them happy and feel comfortable and beautiful. I wear what I love. Sometimes people like it, sometimes they don’t. I’m fine with that.
To that, we say: thumbs up.
Larry Downing / Reuters
Michelle Obama gives two thumbs up as she waits for the arrival of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at the Winfield House in London on May 25, 2011.

nterested in copying Michelle's effortless style? Caitlin Moran of Style Within Reach rounded up fun, affordable finds:

Caitlin Moran
White T-Shirt Dress, $72, Topshop
Chiffon Dress, $49.95, H&M
Pleated A-Line Skirt, $32, Old Navy
Slingback Double Bow Kitten Heels, $38.50, Asos
Wide Braided Belt, $9.99, Arden B. 
Cardigan Sweater, $19.99, Target
And be sure to tune into TODAY tomorrow to see Jason Wu, one of Michelle Obama's favorite

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