First lady Michelle Obama waves as the presidential inaugural parade winds through the nation's capital January 21, 2013 in Washington, DC. Barack Obama was re-elected for a second term as President of the United States. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
First lady Michelle Obama's choice of high-end but lesser-known designer Thom Browne for her inaugural morning ensemble today is getting mostly raves online, from pros and amateurs alike.
The first lady wore a custom-made coat-and-dress outfit based on a men's silk tie, featuring a navy-blue silk jacquard coat in a checkered pattern over a pale blue/grey dress in another checkered pattern topped with a bolero-style cardigan in royal blue by Reed Krakoff.
The choice catapulted Browne to new heights of attention; he's well known in the fashion world, especially for men's wear, but not so much by the world of mall shoppers more likely to recognize the first lady's J.Crew belt, gloves and shoes.
Browne "is not the designer you wander into the mall and find," Daily Beast fashion columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner Robin Givhan said on NBC Monday. She said she was surprised Obama didn't opt for a more intense color scheme, as did her daughters, Malia, 14, and Sasha, 11, both in coats and dresses in popping shades of purple, violent and plum by J.Crew and Kate Spade.
But other fashion watchers were in the thumbs-up category:
• "On a scale of 1 to 10, I give her a 100," Tim Gunn said on CNN.
• "FLOTUS' @ThomBrowneNY coat is STUNNING. Sasha and Malia, in@katespadeNY and @Jcrew, wore fab coats too," Tom + Lorenzo ("fabulous and opinionated") wrote on Twitter.
• "The Thom Browne navy blue tie silk coat dress @FLOTUS is wearing is stunning. Tailored to perfection. Riffing on the menswear trend her way," tweeted Booth Moore, the Los Angeles Times fashion critic.
• "YASSSS that is my @FLOTUS ! Congrats to Thom Browne, everyone will want to buy this coat afterwards," tweeted the blogger afrobella.
• "The bangs give @FLOTUS Thom Browne coat a youthful swing. Her previous hairstyle might have made it all look a bit too stiff," added fashion journalist Kate Betts, author of a fashion bio of Obama, in another tweet.
There were a few dissenting tweets. Pundit Michelle Malkin, an especially vehement critic of all things Obama, reserved most of her tweeted disgust for what she called "the drool bucket media" covering the first lady's attire.
And there were a few bottom-line responses, too: "Happy/sad that @FLOTUS wore Thom Browne today. Prices may go up on my favorite designer but she, as always, looked stunning," tweeted tasha?@tmcronin.
Maria Puente, USA TODAY