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Michelle Obama: So what about those green shoes?

And can we also talk about Aretha's hat and Jill's boots? Yes we can.

The messages of joy and jubilation started appearing on my Facebook page shortly after the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States. There was nary a note of discord from my hundreds of FB friends who wrote on my wall or posted notes and links. There were no sour grapes or unkind words on this historical day. The country was celebrating its new leader.

It was also cheering for its new First Lady. Like any other major televised event, there was plenty of dishing about fashion during the inaugural festivities. Although there was a smidgen of guilt about it. One of my FB friends semi-apologized for discussing Michelle Obama's wardrobe by asking, "Is it wrong to write about her dress instead of world peace, unity and other forms of social change?"

Absolutely not! So off we went, writing on each other's walls about what worked and what didn't. The consensus? Michelle Obama scored a 10. Well, except for a few things. The golden yellow (lemongrass) brocade sheath dress with matching coat was a good choice, although her green pumps shocked most. One commenter was "horrified" and another said, "She needs a shoe doctor!" I liked her green leather gloves, which later we discovered were from J. Crew. As far as those goofy green shoes, I pointed out that they were the same color as George W. Bush's getaway helicopter. I don't think that was part of the plan.

Aretha Franklin was the hands-down winner for coolest chapeau of the day. Although she struggled in the cold with her rendition of America the Beautiful, the Queen of Soul had no problem carrying off that grey glittery upswept hat with Swarovski crystals. In fact, the much-photographed hat created its very own Facebook page: Aretha Franklin's Inauguration Hat has 79,337 fans, and I'm one of them. For $179, the hat can be yours, too.

As far as the Second Lady, Dr. Jill Biden's red coat, short dress and high boots received mixed reviews. I felt it was a bit too Nancy Sinatra-ish (These Boots Are Made for Walkin') and she should have updated her do. Others called her look classy and cool. Biden's inauguration ball gown was a red strapless number, very stunning and Oscaresque. But Michelle Obama was the queen of the evening in her white, silk chiffon, one-shoulder floor-length gown. Her best accessory? The unwavering smile and confidence that carried her throughout the long day. And dancing with our new President of the United States.

At last.

You too can dress like First Lady Michelle Obama. Seattle Times business reporter Amy Martinez tells how Nordstrom hopes to strike gold with Jason Wu collection.

Sue Frause is a Whidbey Island freelance writer and photographer. You can reach her at sue@suefrause.com.


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