Michelle Obama is known for launching women's fashion trends worldwide, but it was a menswear that served as inspiration for the first lady during Monday's daytime Inaugural events.
The custom navy jacquard Thom Browne Coat and dress she chose to kick of the festivities in Washington took its cue from the fabric of a silk men's tie, reports the Associated Press. Neckties, of course, are a trademark of her husband first term.
"It's one of those moments when I just can't believe that happened," Browne told the New York Times' Eric Wilson. Known primarily for his suits, Browne was named GQ's Designer of the Year in the fall 2008, the same year as Obama's historical election to the presidency.
The first lady has been a fan of Browne's dress collections in recent months. She wore a custom gray dress with a black lace overlay in October, during the Democratic National Convention.
The decision to wear Browne was a win for Michelle on Monday, according to at least one fashion critic.
@FLOTUS SO CHIC in her #ThomBrowne navy coat," Elle's Joe Zee tweeted.
Browne can't take all the credit. Mrs. O also called on her own famously high-low fashion sensibilities, pairing her navy look with a belt and silver heels from J. Crew.
The First Lady has made the mass market brand an unofficial designer for the first family over the past four years. Colorful J.Crew coats and gloves kept Sasha and Malia Obama warm during their dad's swearing-in ceremony in 2009.
On Monday, Malia kept the tradition going, dressed in a purple J.Crew wool coat. Her sister Sasha broke the trend with a lavender Kate Spade coat and dress.
But in the days leading up to the inaugural events, all eyes have been on the First Lady, a fashion icon who launched the career of young American designer Jason Wu four years ago at the Inaugural Ball. Speculation on her choice of designer this evening remains. But already another sartorial choice is making headlines. At Sunday's private swearing-in ceremony, Mrs. O chose a royal blue cardigan and dress by designer Reed Krakoff.
Fashionista's Leah Chernikoff call the decision "an interesting choice given that Ann Romney was criticized during the campaign for wearing Krakoff's $990 silk bird-print t-shirt."
Of course, this year her dresses are trumped by an even bigger style decision in recent days: those bangs.
"I love Michelle Obama, and to address the most significant event of this weekend, I love her bangs," the two-term president joked in a national address Sunday.