Bow Wow and Keshia Chante interview First Lady Michelle Obama at BET Studios, on Nov. 18, 2013.
Bennett Raglin/BET/Getty Images

First lady of fashion? Michelle Obama designed her own prom dress

Michelle Obama’s bold wardrobe choices have drawn praise from fashion critics since her husband became a public figure. It turns out that her fashion sense stretches back to her high school days in Chicago. 

The first lady revealed on an appearance on BET’s 106 & Park that she designed her own prom dress. Her mother, Marian Robinson (who also lives in the White House where she helps care for granddaughters Sasha and Malia), helped sew it. 

“My mother made the dress,” she said. “We weren’t going to Nordstroms or Neimans to buy anything. We got a couple different patterns and the material and my mother made that and I knew I wanted that slit up the side, little risky.”

Obama said she was “breathing a sigh of relief” at that point in her life, because she had just been accepted to Princeton. Much of the conversation on the program focused on the first lady’s educational success and advice, as she tried to boost her husband’s “North Star” goal: for America have the highest proportion of college graduates of any nation by the year 2020. 

She passed along the advice she gives to her own daughters, including eldest Malia who’s only a few years away from college. 

“One of the things that I’m hoping they develop is a passion for learning,” she said. “I mean, so many young people just get into the grades and checking the boxes of just doing what they think they’re supposed to do, but there’s also a value in learning how to love to learn because you’re going to have to be doing that forever.” 

The first lady revealed tidbits of life inside the White House, including that President Obama loves to sing. 

He’s got a pretty good voice,” she said. “I always say my husband’s got swag.” 

“Oh yeah, he’s in the bathroom all the time, just singing. He’s always willing to sing,” she said. 

While her husband may have a good voice, the first lady didn’t think twice when asked which of them is a better dancer. “That’s easy, me! Without a doubt,” she said. “He can sing. I can dance. I think that divides the talent evenly across the family tree. We’re all satisfied.” 

The first lady showed off her dance moves back in February when she joined Jimmy Fallon in “the Evolution of Mom Dancing.” 

Education Policy and Michelle Obama

First lady of fashion? Michelle Obama designed her own prom dress