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

sylvia on

you either like the dress or not… the additional comments make you sound stupid…. if you don’t like the Obamas, why did you click on the post because you certainly didn’t have to.

Lori on

A $12,000 Carolina Herrara dress…dogs dressed up in diamonds, extravagant food…and today her husband will go out and talk about how unfair inequality is in our society. Priceless.

slawson on

She looks gorgeous and beautiful as usual.

LAW on

To all of those complaining about their tax dollars: Quit whining!! Every FLOTUS going back decades has glammed it up for state dinners. Did you whine about Laura Bush’s designer gowns? Hillary Clinton’s? It’s tradition and I’m not sure why all of a sudden it’s a problem when Mrs. Obama does it. I didn’t like George W. Bush, but I didn’t throw shade on his wife for following the same traditions EVERY FLOTUS has observed. Get a grip.

MARIA on

I CAN’T BELIEVE THE HATE THAT COMES FROM SOME OF THE HATERS OF THE OBAMA’S!! IT IS TIME FOR YOU TO GET OVER IT!! IF YOU DID NOT WORRY ABOUT YOUR TAX DOLLARS WITH THE FIRST 43 PRESIDENTS, PLEASE DON’T COMPLAIN NOW!! GET A LIFE!!

BEAUTIFUL 1ST LADY AND FAMILY!

me on

Ok Maria, take it down a notch.

Jm on

She has obscure fashion taste. Sometimes her outfits work and sometimes they are very odd. She likes taking risks but a good portion of the time they don’t work.

karen on

Well let me say this she looks horrible maybe because she’s so ughhhhhh I can’t even see the beauty of the dress. People need to stop been so hypocritical and tell the truth. I’m black and I cannot wait for them ( the Obamas) to go away, just go away. This man is nothing for the country but thinking he’s a celebrity. UGHHHHH

LiLa on

Do all you complaining about Mrs. Obama wearing designer gowns for a state dinner, what would you have her wear to honor a head of state? Your daughter’s old prom dress?

Candi on

A bit much on the cleavage for a first lady…also agree, her posture is terrible, in all the pictures. Given our country is virtually starving, they should be ashamed of their lifestyle and celebrity spending and the image they are creating for our country. We all know they have no self-awareness.

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