Michelle Obama's predecessors have carved out enough different roles as first lady that she is now free to fashion the job in a way that suits her.
But like her fashion choices, Mrs. Obama will go her own way when it comes to picking and choosing her priorities. And she's started to offer some clues.
Sit in on Cabinet meetings like Rosalynn Carter?
No thanks. Mrs. Obama says she doesn't like "the process."
Pick an issue?
She's identified a few favorites, including supporting military families with a parent far from home.
Her priority? She always will be "mom-in-chief" first.
Protective of her daughters, Mrs. Obama made it clear she wasn't amused when the makers of Beanie Babies released "Sweet Sasha" and "Marvelous Malia" dolls just after the inauguration.
People who've built careers studying first ladies say it will take time for Mrs. Obama to settle into hew new role.