What happened to the First Lady of Fashion? Low-key Michelle lets Team USA take centre-stage in understated grey look

What happened to the First Lady of Fashion Low-key Michelle lets Team USA take centre-stage in understated grey look

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UPDATED:

18:45 GMT, 29 July 2012

Michelle Obama has been living up to her 'First Lady of Fashion' nickname this weekend in an array of bold looks.

So it came as some surprise to see her watch Team USA beat the French in today's preliminary basketball game wearing an uncharacteristically understated outfit.

A far cry from yesterday's mismatching monochrome and Friday's patriotic blazer, the U.S. First Lady went for a soft grey top and matching cardigan, with cream trousers.

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

Understated: Michelle Obama went for a soft grey top and matching cardigan with cream trousers to watch Team USA beat the French in today's preliminary basketball game at the London Olympics

Olympic effort: It was hugs all round for the U.S. basketball team, including Kobe Bryant (pictured), after they beat defeated France in a preliminary game

Olympic effort: It was hugs all round for the U.S. basketball team, including Kobe Bryant (pictured), after they beat defeated France in a preliminary game

While it was by no means lacking in
style – her hair was worn back in a ponytail and she had accessorised
with a double-strand silver necklace – it lacked the bold style
statements of other ensembles she has worn during this London visit.

Yesterday, for example, another jam-packed itinerary, saw Mrs Obama go for a more typically fashion-forward look to watch Ryan Lochte take Team USA's first gold medal in the 400m individual medley.

The green, black and monochrome-patterned top with a triangular cut-out at the neckline was a $138 design by BCBG Max Azria.

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

Fashion-forward: The First Lady wore a green and black top with a cut-out at the neck by BCBG Max Azria to watch Ryan Lochte take Team USA's first gold medal in the 400m individual medley yesterday

Michelle Obama

Clever clashing: For Serena Williams' opening tennis match against Serbian Jelena Jankovic yesterday, Mrs Obama was seen in a statement number by one of her favourite designers, Tracey Reese

Earlier that day, for Serena Williams' opening tennis match against Serbian Jelena Jankovic, she was seen in prints again, in an artfully clashing number from one of her favourite designers, Tracey Reese.

The $388 dress, from the label's latest
collection, was designed to look like a patterned top and checked skirt,
creating a daring multi-textured look.

But perhaps Mrs Obama's decision to play it low-key today is a reaction to criticism for her rather more divisive fashion choices on Friday.

Though the dazzling J Mendel jacket and
skirt worn for a pre-Opening Ceremony Buckingham Palace reception won
critical acclaim from the style set, some political commentators are
furious that she elected to wear a garment that cost $6,800.

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

Controversial: Though the J Mendel jacket worn for a pre-Opening Ceremony Buckingham Palace reception won critical acclaim from the style set, political commentators are furious that the garment that cost $6,800

Michelle Obama

Bold colour: Though little can be seen of the outfit Mrs Obama changed into for the Opening Ceremony, it was a striking chartreuse jacket, believed to have been part of a suit

The design was almost armour-like
in style and embroidered in shimmering silver, with cap sleeves that showed
off those famously toned arms.

However Gateway Pundit has taken issue with the fact that the design 'cost more
than the average American family makes in a month ($4,284)'.

'She does this as Americans continue
to suffer through a deep recession and record unemployment,' writer Jim
Hoft said. 'Michelle feels your pain.'

Earlier that day it was UK fashion
editors who turned critics, weighing in on the red, white and blue
blazer worn for a breakfast with the Team USA athletes.

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

Divisive: Though the First Lady's peplum top on Friday (left) proved to be a sartorial hit, the jacket she wore over it (right) received mixed reviews from the UK style set

Sporting heroes: Mrs Obama wore a more athletic ensemble to meet with David Beckham at the U.S. Ambassador's London residence on Friday at an event to promote her Let's Move campaign

Sporting heroes: Mrs Obama wore a more athletic ensemble to meet with David Beckham at the U.S. Ambassador's London residence on Friday at an event to promote her Let's Move campaign

Nicole Mowbray, Editor of Life & Style at the Daily Mail called the look 'gimmicky'.

'The star-spangled jacket may be patriotic, but stylish it is not,' she said. 'In my fashion Olympics that’s a DNQ (Did Not Qualify) I’m afraid.'

Sinead O'Connell, Junior Fashion Editor at YOU Magazine disagreed, though.

'I think Michelle looks great!' she said. 'She can pull off the graphic, bold prints as well as the nipped-in waist. The patriotic colours also work well for the Olympics.'