Choosing a Dress for the White House State Dinner

My husband’s reaction made my jaw drop.  

He said “you need to buy yourself a nice dress.” I have known and loved my husband for 20+ years, and he has NEVER said “you  need to buy yourself a nice dress.”

What prompted such an unprecedented comment?  We were invited to the White House State Dinner.  We’ve never been to a State Dinner. 

We’ve been to White House correspondent dinners and White House holiday parties, but never a State Dinner. Even “Good Morning America” anchor George Stephanopoulos told me this morning that one can be jaded and cynical about many things, but a White House State Dinner is deeply cool. 

The dinner this Thursday is in honor of the Korean president Lee Myung-Bak, who I have met a number of times over the years.  Last year, I interviewed him as a part of a multi-part story for “GMA” on the 60 th anniversary of the Korean War.   So many Americans gave their lives for the prospect of peace and prosperity on the Korean peninsula.

With these lofty thoughts in mind, I went off to Saks Fith Avenue in New York City with my husband and Keiko, my friend who is a style consultant there, to help me decide. Here’s what I tried on:

Soft purple… striking and not-black tie uniform, but  perhaps too much cleavage?: 

Red.  Greco.  Is it too much fabric?:

Black sequins.  So glam… all the sparkle:

Black bejeweled.  Very stately.  Very elegant. Very expensive.  Modern take on traditional black tie. Designer is Marchesa:

Blue tulle. Someone told me it was too prom dress-y but I loved it. It fit me well and it showed some skin, but not too much skin. Designer is ML - Monique Lhuillier:


Red roses are fabulous.  It fits like a T.  But is there a touch too much going on?  Maybe red is cliché? Designer is Machesa:

Bright fuschia, a Pamela Roland dress:

Black mermaid dress, so tight and so revealing. I don’t think I could pull it off. Designer is Miranda Eng:

A Carolina Herrera dress.  Very Jackie O with a twist-y cumber bun:

Ah. Deep purple.  With a nod to heavy metal classic band.  Drapes well.  Modern. Designer is Pamela Roland:

Tell me what you think! Which dress is your favorite? VOTE below:

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