Michelle Obama on the double standard of dressing in the WH: "Barack wore the same tux for 8 years"

Barack Obama and Michelle Obama wait for Nordic leaders before a state dinner in May 2016.
Source: Carolyn Kaster/AP
Barack Obama and Michelle Obama wait for Nordic leaders before a state dinner in May 2016.
Source: Carolyn Kaster/AP

Before Michelle Obama was even first lady, people were obsessed with her style, taking note every shoe and dress and belt she wore. Once first lady, of course that attention only magnified.

But as far as her husband, well, no one really gave a lick about that.

In an interview at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference on Tuesday, Obama talked about the double standard she saw in the White House, with so many people paying attention to what she wore, but very little attention on what her husband wore.

So little attention, in fact, that Obama said that her husband had worn the same tuxedo for eight years, the entirety of his presidency.

"This is the unfair thing — you talk about Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers — no matter what we do, he puts on that same tux," she said. "Now, people take pictures of the shoes I wear, the bracelets, the necklace — they didn’t comment that for eight years he wore the same tux, same shoes."

So we did a little digging.

Barack Obama and Michelle Obama at a state dinner with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in October 2016
Source: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
Barack Obama and Michelle Obama at a state dinner for Singapore in August 2016
Source: Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images
Michelle Obama and Barack Obama as they wait for Nordic leaders at a state dinner in May 2016
Source: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
Barack Obama and Michelle Obama outside the White House in March 2016 to welcome Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for a state dinner
Source: Alex Wong/Getty Images

And Michelle Obama is absolutely correct. The same tux. The same pocket square. The same bowtie.

Michelle Obama and Barack Obama awaiting the arrival of Chinese President Xi Jinping for a state dinner in September 2015
Source: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Barack Obama and Michelle Obama wait for the arrival of German Chancellor Angela Merkel before a state dinner in June 2011.
Source: Alex Wong/Getty Images
Barack Obama and Michelle Obama wait before a state dinner in March 2012.
Source: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Every time.

"And he was proud of it too," she continued. "He's like, 'Mmm, I'm ready. I'm ready in 10 minutes. How long did it take you?' I'm like, 'Get out of here.'"

You can see a clip of Obama speaking about that here:

Obama's remarks now only affirm the idea that women in politics are harshly judged based on their clothing, with attention reverted to things like their dresses or even jewelry, rather than their words.

That being said though, that was a good tux.

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Rachel Lubitz

Rachel is a senior Style writer at Mic. She previously worked for The Washington Post's Style section for more than three years. Feel free to contact her at rachel@mic.com.

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