Michelle Obama's 10 best looks

The gown she wore for her husband's second inauguration ball in 2013 is a fine example of her style. The flowy dress (above) by Taiwan-born, New York-based designer Jason Wu is bright red and has criss-cross straps at the back, all the better to show
The gown she wore for her husband's second inauguration ball in 2013 is a fine example of her style. The flowy dress (above) by Taiwan-born, New York-based designer Jason Wu is bright red and has criss-cross straps at the back, all the better to showcase her toned shoulders and arms.PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, NYTIMES, REUTERS, EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

Here are the United States First Lady's most fashionable choices

United States First Lady Michelle Obama started a new chapter in power dressing in 2008, when her husband Barack Obama was elected as President and her love for fashion started drawing attention worldwide.

Shunning the safe skirt suit that was the preferred uniform of her predecessors, she has not only stepped out in vibrant dresses, but has also dared to bare her arms.

On Nov 8, Americans will vote in a new president. As Mrs Obama's eight years as her country's First Dresser draw to a close, The Straits Times catalogues 10 of her best looks.

1. The gown she wore for her husband's second inauguration ball in 2013 is a fine example of her style. The flowy dress (main photo) by Taiwan-born, New York-based designer Jason Wu is bright red and has criss-cross straps at the back, all the better to showcase her toned shoulders and arms.

2. At the state dinner for China in 2011, she served up drama in an asymmetrical red Alexander McQueen gown (above). Her choice of the British brand was contentious as it was one of the few times she did not pay sartorial tribute to either the country being honoured or her own country. But it was reported by Washington Post that the McQueen dress was just an instance of personal preference.

3. At the Obamas' last state dinner, which was held for Italy on Oct 18, Mrs Obama rocked a spectacular Atelier Versace gown in slinky rose gold chain mail (above).

Her choice, according to The New York Times, "spoke of armour and female strength, of the need to gird yourself to fight for what you believe in". She was also every inch a diva, wrapping up her eight years in the fashion spotlight on a high note.

4. Sometimes, Mrs Obama says it with flowers. In August, to greet her Singaporean guests, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his wife Ho Ching, Mrs Obama chose a yellow Naeem Khan lace dress (above) evoking sunshine and sunflowers.

5. For her husband's second inauguration, she wore a to-die-for Thom Browne coat in navy silk jacquard (above).

6. Mrs Obama chooses her statement dresses carefully for political appearances - ensuring that each piece makes a visual impact and is by a designer whose background reflects the message she wants to send.

Campaigning for her husband at the Democratic National Convention in 2012, she wore a rosy brocade dress by Tracy Reese (above), an African-American designer whose rise was an unlikely story in fashion. Reese, a supporter of Mr Obama, met Mrs Obama at a 2008 presidential campaign fund-raiser.

7. & 8. In black-tie finery, Mrs Obama outshines many a Hollywood star. She was gorgeous in a white Tom Ford gown (above left) and gloves at a 2011 state dinner in Buckingham Palace and in a green Marchesa dress (above right) at the Kennedy Center Honors 2013.

9. & 10. Indian-American designer Naeem Khan has been Mrs Obama's go-to guy for glamour since 2009, when she sparkled in a champagne and silver column gown (above left) by him at the state dinner for India.

He also created the art deco beaded gown (above right) that was beamed all over the world in 2013, when she announced the Best Picture Oscar winner (Argo) via satellite from the White House.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 27, 2016, with the headline 'Michelle Obama's 10 best looks'. Print Edition | Subscribe