Michelle Obama's Carolina Herrera State Dinner Dress: How Does It Stack Up with the Rest?

02/12/2014 at 10:42 AM ET

Michelle Obama Carolina Herrera State DinnerLandov; Getty (3); Rex USA

If a style code exists for “First Lady formal attire,” Michelle Obama isn’t afraid to break it. The first lady follows her own sartorial rules (cool prints, fun colors, unique necklines … we could keep going), and frequently captivates the country (and social media!) with her unique choices. So in honor of her elegant gown at Tuesday’s black-tie affair (more on that in a sec), we rounded up some of her most memorable state dinner looks.

For her first state dinner in 2009, FLOTUS welcomed the Indian prime minister while wearing a custom champagne strapless Naeem Khan gown covered in a silver sequin floral design. She paired the look with mega drop earrings and a wrist full of bangles. (And we understood why her arms have their own Twitter account.) In 2010, to host the president of Mexico, Obama went for shimmer again, selecting an electric blue gown (she’s not afraid of color!) by New York designer Peter Soronen. A crystal-studded belt and voluminous curls completed the look.

RELATED: For even more news on the First Lady, click here!

For a dinner in honor of the president of China in 2011, she made her boldest statement yet, wearing a voluminous Alexander McQueen gown with an abstract floral print and asymmetrical neckline, plus Kimberly McDonald earrings. She followed that with a navy off-the-shoulder Marchesa gown and Tom Binns statement necklace to greet the British prime minister at the White House’s 2012 dinner.

Finally, at last night’s dinner in honor of the French president Obama made our jaws hit the floor once again in a Carolina Herrera gown featuring a sheer black beaded top over a “liberty blue” corset and a full inverted-pleat skirt. She completed the look with a black velvet belt and Sutra jewels. Between the somewhat retro ballgown silhouette and her full, classic blowout — dare we say she might be taking a page right out of that First Lady style manual?

We want to know: Which gown is your favorite? Vote in our poll below, and share any other thoughts in the comments!

–Brittany Talarico

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Showing 48 comments

Guest on

Beautiful dresses for a beautiful First Lady!

sandradee on

they should have added the “none of the above button”
I would’ve chosen that one. I see what my tax dollars pay for now.

Denise on

Beautiful lady.

Kate on

I see “boob belts” are still in “vogue.” (Eye Roll)

Sunny on

Ugh, Sandradee, seriously? She pays for her own clothes. Thank you for a typical response. There’s always one in the comments section.

An opinon on

While I voted for the Kahn dress as my favorite, last night’s McQueen’s was a close second. When I think ‘French,’ I think lace and that color has often been called “French Blue” in the fashion industry. I think it was a great choice.

Ann on

She has the worst posture. She looks like a monkey.

Susan on

I don’t remember a play by play with any other flotus… enough with the freaking love fest! We get it, you love them.

Sylvia Tarvers Weston on

I think she believes she is a movie star. She doesn’t know how to dress appropriately for a state dinner. Go away Obamas!

Tonya on

I love when people discuss our tax dollars when this is the case with every sitting president and first lady. In addition, most of these dresses are donated to the White House because it gives the designer exposure. If you visit the George W. Bush the Oscar De La Renta red dress she wore to a state dinner was is in the museum.

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