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Laura Bush's Unexpected Fashion Faceoff

12/08/2006 at 05:58 AM ET

Imagine spending $8,500 on a beaded Oscar de la Renta gown to wear to an exclusive White House holiday reception and then arriving to find three other women wearing the same dress. Now, imagine that you’re the First Lady who has found herself in the middle of a real-life, four-way fashion faceoff! That’s what happened to Laura Bush at a Dec. 3 event at the White House. Luckily, she able to sneak off upstairs mid-party to change into a new dress. Susan Whitson, Press Secretary to Mrs. Bush, tells PEOPLE: “Though Mrs. Bush has seen guests at the White House wearing dresses she herself owns, this was the first identical dress-to-dress encounter she has had.  She and the President found it quite amusing that Mrs. Bush and three other ladies had on the same gown at the same event.” If only all Fashion Faceoffs could be solved with a quick run upstairs!

Photo: Eric Draper/The White House/AP

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CRYSTAL on

For those who are saying why should he be having fun while the men and women in Iraq are not. Bush is just a figure head, the decisions to be in Iraq come from many different people and if anyone could do a better job then start campaigning. Anyone can criticize. Thank you to the men and women that sacrifice so much that we can be here to celebrate Christmas and that we have the freedom to say what we want when we want. God Bless America. And Bush is doing the best job he is allowed to do. And Mrs. Bush looks great.

Wildflower on

I love Laura Bush, she has so much class and is such a lady. I am happy to hear that they were able to find humor in it, I could see myself using it for a good laugh for the evening.

Could you even imagine if it had been Hilary Clinton that that happened to? She would have had security remove the other two women immediately! That woman frieghtens me!!!!

Jennifer on

The funny thing is that people are turning this into a political debate, but just remember it’s only in America that you have the freedom to say what you think and want without getting killed for it. I thank God for the men and women who have fought for our freedom so we can continue to have our freedom. If you don’t like what the President and his advisors are doing, run for office and see if you can do a better job.

As for Laura Bush, she looks amazing and how sweet it must be to be able to sneek upstairs to change. Good for her to be able to have a laugh over it!

Sara on

First, that dress is ugly and does not fit her right. Second, that is not a couture dress because there were four of them sold and hundreds of other made to be sold across the country. Third, traditionally first ladies do not buy couture dresses unless they are made by an American designer and everything else is usually bought off the rack unless it is a major occasion like the Inauguration Ball. Fourth, our tax dollars did not pay for the dress so don’t worry about it if she wants to spend $8,000 on a dress let her but it’s only making the two of them look bad!! Fifth, I find it odd that more of you are disturbed by the dress then by the real issue, they are celebrating Christmas in style while hundreds of Americans will celebrate Christmas without loved ones because of the lies and mistakes of the Bush Administration.

Allison T. on

I always read the comments on the Stylewatch blog and was particularly fascinated by the comments on this post. Even when it comes to fashion, when the Bushes are involved, there’s a tremendous diversity of opinion. I agree with the person who wrote that it’s a free country (thank goodness!) and everyone is entitled to his or her opinion— that’s what makes this country so great. But I relate the most to Jenn’s comment on Dec. 8th. I mean, this is a funny fashion story about duplicate dresses—must everything that touches politics become so partisan and nasty? Thanks, Jenn, for telling it like it is (or should be)!

amrija on

She looks BEAUTIFUL as always and they are ADORABLE. Do you think that because there is a war going on that he is not entilted to attend a party? Do you really think he is ever at ease without the war on his mind? Our soldiers chose to serve and protect our country. Mr. Bush did not force them to enlist. When you do enlist you take the chance of maybe having to fight in a war. Let’s pray for Mr. Bush rather than bash him. I can’t imagine having to fill his shoes. GOD BLESS AMERICA AND OUR SOLDIERS.

Lia Smith on

It would have been better if she stayed in the dress. I would just have said “Looks like we all have good taste” and gone with it. (It happened to me at my wedding reception – the other room in the banquet hall. Not only did we have the same wedding dress, but the bridesmaids had the same dresses in the same color. We laughed and said now we could crash each other’s wedding and hardly anyone would notice!). But frankly, if she paid $8,500 for an original and it wasn’t (obviously), then I ask for a refund.
No comment on politics – this is strickly FASHION.

Shelli on

They are the cutest couple! It shows that she is not snotty enough to get a one-of-a-kind dress!! Plus, they seem to have a great sense of humor.

Shelli on

To those negative people, the Bushes deserve to have a nice holiday. The Clintons sure partied way more than the Bushes! Celebrating the holidays is custom for the White House in times of war and peace. Plus, most everyone I know serving our country are behind the President and proud to be serving for a worthwhile cause.

Stephanie on

It happens to the best of them. At my HS prom three girls had on the same dress I did, I was horrified. At least Mrs. Bush could go upstairs and change her dress. THey do look cute all dressed up!

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