White House Independence Day Style Through the Years

The 4th of July is considered to be the United States’ birthday — and of course, the first family typically celebrates in a big way.

Of course, for the Obama family, July 4 is more than just Independence Day: It also marks the birthday of President Barack Obama’s eldest daughter, Malia. For her birthday in 2016, Malia celebrated with a party at the White House, wearing a striped crop top and light-wash jeans as the president sang her “Happy Birthday.” The celebration also included a performance from Janelle Monae.

US President Barack Obama hugs his daughter Malia, after singing to her Happy Birthday, at the Fourth of July White House party, while singer Janelle Monae (R) reactsWhite House Independence Day party, Washington, D.C, America - 04 Jul 2016Guests at the party included military families and staff and their families from throughout the administration. Because of the rain the party was moved from the South Lawn to the East Room of the White House.US President Barack Obama hugs his daughter Malia, after singing to her Happy Birthday, at the Fourth of July White House party, while singer Janelle Monae (R) reactsWhite House Independence Day party, Washington, D.C, America - 04 Jul 2016Guests at the party included military families and staff and their families from throughout the administration. Because of the rain the party was moved from the South Lawn to the East Room of the White House.
President Barack Obama hugs his daughter Malia, while singer Janelle Monae (R) reacts at the White House 4th of July party, 2016.
CREDIT: Rex/Shutterstock

Despite the date conflicting with his daughter’s birthday, President Obama usually hosted a barbecue for members of the military and their families on the day throughout his presidency — and each year, first lady Michelle Obama would choose a patriotic ensemble for the festivities. For instance, in 2011 she opted for a striking red and blue patterned dress by Sophie Theallet, which she teamed with black embellished sandals.

First Lady Michelle Obama, sophie theallet dress, barbecue, Independence Day barbeque, White House, Washington DC, America - 04 Jul 2011Independence Day barbeque for members of the armed services and White House staff and their families on the South Lawn of the White HouseFirst Lady Michelle ObamaIndependence Day barbeque, White House, Washington DC, America - 04 Jul 2011Independence Day barbeque for members of the armed services and White House staff and their families on the South Lawn of the White House
First Lady Michelle Obama wears a Sophie Theallet dress with embellished sandals at the White House’s Independence Day barbecue in 2011.
CREDIT: Rex/Shutterstock

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Two years later, the “Becoming” author made another patriotic choice, choosing an ombré Boy. by Band of Outsiders dress. She paired the dress with low-heeled dark red pumps. Meanwhile, the president looked dapper in a collared red shirt and khakis — a dad-friendly take on the dressed-down barbecue look.

Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Boy. by Band of Outsiders dress, President Barack Obama, right, and first lady Michelle Obama walk down the South Portico steps during a Fourth of July celebration with members of the military and their families on the South Lawn of the White House in WashingtonObama Fourth of July, Washington, USABarack Obama, Michelle Obama President Barack Obama, right, and first lady Michelle Obama walk down the South Portico steps during a Fourth of July celebration with members of the military and their families on the South Lawn of the White House in WashingtonObama Fourth of July, Washington, USA
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama walk down the South Portico steps during a 4th of July celebration with members of the military and their families on the South Lawn of the White House, July 4, 2013.
CREDIT: Manuel Balce Ceneta/Rex Shutterst

While in 2013 Michelle opted for mostly blue and her husband went for mostly red, the pair switched colors in 2015. That year, the first lady sported a red and white gingham dress by Michael Kors, teamed with metallic flats. President Obama wore a collared blue button-down shirt tucked into jeans, completing the outfit with brown lace-ups.

Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, michael kors dress,Barack Obama and Michelle Obama4th of July Celebrations, Washington D.C., America - 04 Jul 2015United States President Barack Obama, accompanied by first lady Michelle Obama, arrives to make remarks to members of the military and White House staff who were invited to the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C.. The guests were treated to a Bruno Mars concert and the traditional fireworks on the National Mall. An earlier Bar-B-Que had been planned but was cancelled due to inclement weather.
Michelle Obama wears a red and white gingham Michael Kors dress with metallic flats at a 2015 4th of July celebration in Washington, D.C.
CREDIT: Rex/Shutterstock

Most recently, President Donald Trump marked 4th of July in 2019 with a celebration at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. The president sported a classic dark suit with a red tie and an American flag pin on his lapel. Meanwhile, first lady Melania Trump bucked the red, white and blue tradition in a Carolina Herrera dress with multicolor stripes. For footwear, the former model selected sky-high hot pink pumps from Christian Louboutin.

melania trump, carolina herrera dress, louboutin pumps, President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump leave an Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial, in WashingtonTrump Fourth of July, Washington, USA - 04 Jul 2019President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump leave an Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial, in WashingtonTrump Fourth of July, Washington, USA - 04 Jul 2019
First lady Melania Trump wears a Carolina Herrera dress with pointed-toe pink pumps from Christian Louboutin at the 4th of July celebration at the Lincoln Memorial, July 4, 2019.
CREDIT: Carolyn Kaster/Shutterstock

And going back in time, President George Bush celebrated the 4th of July in 2003 by hosting a special guest: Dolly Parton. The country singer arrived at the White House in a form-fitting white suit with American flag detailing on the labels, before heading off to the National Mall for a performance there.

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