The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Is Michelle Obama going to make jumpsuits happen? Experts say yes.

Once reserved for the sartorial realm of military paratroopers and the stars of “American Hustle,” jumpsuits are now welcome for the White House after dark. Just ask first lady Michelle Obama.

More facts continue to surface about Mrs. Obama’s “no social media” 50th birthday party last Saturday — from who danced (House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Sir. Paul McCartney) to who performed (Beyonce and friends). But who the first lady was wearing remains shrouded in mystery, although we do know what she wore. That would be a “silk red jumpsuit” similar in style to the flowing Jason Wu gown the first lady donned to the 2012 inaugural celebrations, according to our sources on the inside.

There are no official photos or even blurry unfiltered Instagram snapshots of a newly 50 Michelle Obama two-stepping across the dance floor in what one can only imagine was a bold fashion choice. Still, as with all things related to Mrs. Obama’s fashion choices, a trend might be on its way. The same night of the big White House birthday bash, 3,000 miles away 46-year-old actress Julia Roberts wore a custom made pink Valentino jumpsuit to the Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles.

“If you’re over 40 and you’re going to wear a jump suit I think Julia Roberts is the perfect example of how to pull that off,” said said Tara Luizze, the sales and merchandise manager at Hu’s Wear in Georgetown. She added about the first lady, “If you have great arms and the body that can pull it off. Fifty is the new 30 so why not try it?”

But, not everyone is ready for the jumpsuit, which rightfully brings to mind dizzying visions of gold lamé or Catwoman. According to the style experts, the red-carpet and Blue Room version are draped (not tight), wide legged instead of skinny, with a more conservative neck line.

“In general the jumpsuit is a dramatic choice,” said local stylist Lauren Rothman, author of the book “Style Bible.” “It’s a statement-making party outfit. There’s a sense of grandeur to a jumpsuit, the way it weaves its way across your curves.”

Cathy Starnes, a wardrobe consultant in D.C., said that the party-friendly one-piece might not be as provocative a choice as some in Washington might think.

“Jumpsuits are transitioning into a realm of a more classic style and its not quite as risky,” said Starnes. “Let’s face it. Michelle doesn’t often get it wrong when it comes to style.”

The most important accessory besides a cute belt and a chunky necklace is a little bit of courage.

“The confidence that the first lady has to make that style choice is what’s so empowering,” said Rothman. “That she’s not scared to wear a jumpsuit to her fiftieth birthday party, I think that’s awesome.”