From girly frills to grown-up gowns: After Sasha and Malia Obama's very elegant state dinner debut, FEMAIL charts how their style has evolved during their dad's presidency
- Sasha, 14, and Malia, 17, attended their first White House state dinner on Thursday evening while the Canadian Prime Minister was in town
- Both wore dresses by designer Naeem Khan - worth over $18,000 apiece
- FEMAIL takes a look at their style transformations since their dad's first presidential campaign
Growing up in the public eye is certainly not easy, but First Daughters Sasha and Malia Obama have done it with flair — and with style.
In the last year of their father's presidency, the teenagers finally attended their first state dinner at the White House on Thursday night. And though they've always looked polished for the cameras, it became clear how far their fashion sense has come since their dad's 2008 campaign, as the two looked picture-perfect in beautiful designer gowns.
Here, FEMAIL takes a look at the style evolution of Sasha, 14, and Malia, 17, over the course of President Obama's two terms, examining just how they went from gawky but girly kids to chic, poised young ladies.
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Little girls: Malia (left) and Sasha Obama (right) have come a long way since their dad was running for president in 2008 (pictured)
Sweet as sugar: At the Democratic National Convention in August 2008, they were the epitome of girliness in matching pink dresses
Just kids: They tended to coordinate colors with their fashion plate mom, Michelle Obama
Smile! When their dad celebrated his win on election day 2008, they looked ready for a family holiday party or school picture day in their girly frocks
First Daughter fashion: By the end of 2009 (pictured), Americans had started to see them dressing as regular kids, Sasha in little-girl dresses and Malia in tops and jeans
The president is the first to remark on how far his daughters have come, and he did so during his remarks at the state dinner last night.
'When I first elected to this office, Malia was just 10 and Sasha was 7. And they grow up too fast,' he said. 'Now Malia is going off to college … And I’m starting to choke up.'
Surely, the girls were cute back in 2008, when then-Senator Obama was making his bid for the White House. And their style was age-appropriate too, packed with pretty pink hues, frilly bows, and floral prints.
When Obama greeted the crowd at the Democratic National Convention that year, the girls joined him on stage in matching pink frocks: Malia's lacy, with a girlish ribbon tied around it, and Sasha's a swinging shift.
Kit staples: During their dad's first term, Sasha (left) wore lost of headbands while Malia (right) stuck to T-shirts and comfy flats
Other things on their minds... In 2009 (pictured), neither seemed to care much about style but gamely showed up for events with their mom and dad
Playing dress-up: With her mom still likely buying all her clothes, Sasha favored girly bows, flowers, and tulle in 2010
Like mother, like daughter: In November 2010, Malia was a dead ringer for her mom in a matching cardi, long-sleeve-top, and pants
Cool mom: Though the too cleaned up for official events — like this one in December 2011 — it was their mom's style that still stole the show
Mini-me times two: Michelle's style was reflected in theirs in this family portrait in 2011, where both girl's dresses could have been duplicates for ones in their mother's closet
On election night, too, they were sugary-sweet — and, as they often were at the time, perfectly coordinated with their mom Michelle. While Mrs. Obama dressed in a red-and-black dress for the occasion, Malia picked a red frock with a bow and brooch at the waist, and Sasha wore a black velvet number with a big bow at the top.
Their first year in the White House, 2009 saw plenty of headbands for little sister Sasha and trendy colorful jeans for Malia.
Off-duty in those early years, Malia could often be caught on camera sporting shorts and a T-shirt, while Sasha was cruelly accused of suffering through some 'awkward years'.
As the first term went on, the young girls were often left off the hook for formal affairs, but tended to follow mom's lead in feminine, floral numbers when it came to fancier events.
Personal style: In November 2011, both girls let their personal style peek through, with Malia contrasting her red dress with gray-blue tights, and Sasha adding some flair with shiny blue shoes
Lookin' good, ladies: Sasha seemed to have more freedom to dress herself, mixing prints and styles, while Malia grew more polished (pictured in March 2011)
Classic: Their look was still very much influenced by their mom, though, who favors classic sihloettes and ladylike details (pictured in December 2011)
Flaunting her figure: Coming into her teen years, Malia (pictured in July 2011) often opted for cinched-at-the-waist styles
Teenagers! In 2012, both girls seemed to be picking up trends from fashion magazines and classmates, finding ways to work them into outfits for White House events
All the add-ons! They played with accessories and jewelry, Malia contrasting this outfit (pictured in November 2012) with a bright pink belt and Sasha layering chunky necklaces
Can't shake mom's tips: Michelle's classic look never left them, as seen here in September 2012
Totally tonal: The girls had obviously keeping up with the fashion magazines in January 21 when they teamed their purple coats with scarves in the same color family
In the middle: Clearly not much for rocking red or blue to make a political statement, in 2013 the pair wore purple to their dad's second swearing-in
In 2010, poor Malia got fitted for braces, the bane of any teenager's life — and it probably didn't help matters when her dad talked about her getting older to the press.
'Even though she's 5'9" now, she's still my baby,' he said, according to the Associated Press. 'And she just got braces, which is good, because she looks like a kid and she was getting ... she's starting to look too old for me.'
As their dad's second term rolled around, the First Daughters took more and more style cues from their mom — a good move, since Michelle's sense of style has so often been lauded by fashion magazines.
For more casual days, they copied her fit-and-flare dress and cardigan combo to a T. For dressier occasions, they substituted mom's low heels for ballet flats, often worn with matching black tights.
Getting the most of it: In October 2013, Malia re-wore the dress she donned for her dad's swearing-in earlier that year, showing her mom's skill for recycling style; Sasha looked chic in a checkered coat
One-upping mom: On a trip to China in March 2014, Malia stole the show with trendy knee-high socks and a cropped sweater, while Sasha got experimental with textured tights
Style stars: Both also have their mom's skill for mixing high-end and low-end items (pictured in 2014)
Fans of flats: Though they occasionally slip their feet into heels, both tall young ladies tend to favor flats and sandals (pictured in August 2014)
Totally trendy: Malia earned fans for her plaid skirt and hiking boot combo in November 2014
Rita who? While standing with singer Rita Ora on stage in December 2014, the teens looked right at home next to a red-carpet regular. Wearing velvet dresses — which were quite trendy at the time — didn't hurt
Now a high school student, Malia started earning fashion praise of her own. Like Michelle, she was applauded for mixing high- and low-end styles, wearing a Kate Spade dress one day and a Topshop one another.
By 2014, Sasha was starting to make style statements too, following her sister's lead by teaming high, contrast-color socks with ankle-high boots.
In fact, both girls have inspired their share of copy-cats, who seek out similar looks and show off their 'Sasha skirts' or 'Malia dresses' on social media.
But as their dad's last term winds down, the teenagers seem to have finally decided that it's their time to really shine in the fashion department — perhaps because they realize it's the last time they'll be able to take advantage of their access to high-end designer,s who are happy to lend them pieces to wear like they do for actresses and singers.
Sisters sharing: Malia seems to pass some tips down to little sister Sasha — and some of her clothes, too, like this denim dress she wore in June 2015 (left) that Sasha rocked two months later (right)
Few flops: Despite constant scrutiny, the First Daughters have manged poise under pressure
Growing up: Now a teenager too, Sasha has been coming into her own, switching up her style with pretty pleated skirts and cool slip-on sneakers
Where can we get that? By 2015, the young women were inspiring copy-cats, with fans trying to shop their looks
Go-tos: They still can resist a good fit-and-flare frock and a pair of ballet flats
While their mom and Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau, the wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, certainly lit up the room with their own gowns for the state dinner last night, it was the First Daughters' style choices that earned the most buzz.
Malia looked incredibly elegant in a Naeem Khan gown from the designer's Pre-Fall 2015 collection. The $17,990 dress — which featured a strapless sweetheart neckline and full ball gown skirt — glittered with gold beading down to the hem.
Sasha also wore Naeem Khan, picking a full-skirted gown of her own from the Resort 2016 collection. She even gave the $19,990 floral number a twist by tying a simple choker around her neck.
And if anyone needed convincing that these girls have hit the fashion big time, they can just look to Hollywood. Last November, Hunger Games star Willow Shields wore the same dress as Malia to the Mockingjay: Part 2 premiere. And Brittany Snow wore a similar dress to Malia's — from the same collection — in September of last year.
All grown up: At their first state dinner on Thursday night, the girls looked totally stunning
Princess moment: Malia donned a strapless gown from Naeem Khan's Pre-Fall 2015 collection
All dressed up: Sasha picked a ball gown from the same designer's Resort 2016 collection
Star power: Last year, Hunger Games star Willow Shields (left) wore the same dress as Malia, which retailed for $17,990 (right), to a premiere
Celeb-inspired: Brittany Snow (right) wore a similar dress from the same collection last year; Sasha's (left) retailed for $19,990
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