Until recent years, most first ladies were revered for their loving support of their husbands’ taxing job, or their signature pillbox hats and oversized shades (no shade, Jackie O). But Michelle Obama, a commanding First Lady if there ever was one, has been in the spotlight not just at the behest of President Obama. Instead, the Harvard Law School graduate launched programs like Let’s Move!, aimed to end childhood obesity, and Let Girls Learn, an initiative to help girls around the world go to school. The outspoken FLOTUS also refused to stay quiet on the upcoming election, calling Trump “irrational” and saying that “someone who’s roaming around at 3 a.m. tweeting should not have their fingers on the nuclear codes.” (Ed note: Amen to that.)
And while we’d never reduce Obama to her clothes, we’d be remiss to not recognize how her style—less stiff or seemingly calculated, more “I-look-good-but-have-better-things-to-worry-about—has helped shape her as both approachable and modern. Case in point: During her September 20 appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” she induced some serious style envy in a cut-out sleeveless mock-neck top with a pair of wide-leg Milly pants—but was just as well-spoken and personable as ever.
While she’s been killing it on the fresh vegetables and getting kids to exercise front, she has quietly snuck in as a top contender for best dressed first ladies—and the FLOTUS’ major fashion moment inspired us to take a look back at her best looks through her past eight years in the White House. Here, Michelle Obama’s best style moments of the presidency.