Fashion Whip is a political style column in the Huffington Post by Lauren A. Rothman, inspired by Lauren's experience as the founder of Styleauteur, a style and fashion consulting firm.
Locals will have Hollywood royalty in their backyard this weekend. Saturday is Washington's big day to dress up, and every year the White House Correspondents' Dinner festivities get even the most slovenly dressers into a tie or tux. This is the media's weekend to celebrate and many will push through the daily news cycle as they attend celebrity-studded parties around town.
Amy Poehler at the 2013 White House Correspondents' Dinner.
Many of TV and film's biggest stars will be in attendance but even the flashiest of celebs tone it down on DC's red carpet. Actors and the people they emulate on TV and in movies will mingle at brunches and cocktail parties. You may see Julianna Margulies from "The Good Wife" alongside someone who really is a good wife, and America's favorite television president, Tony Goldwyn from "Scandal", may pose for pics with President Obama. While this event always has a best-dressed list, politicos and press superstars take their own turns to shine at the Washington Hilton.
Some famous on air-personalities enjoy fashion and style but, on the whole, this is an industry that doesn't do spray tans, teeth whitening, or borrowed jewels. You're more likely to see people getting their makeup done at a Nordstrom counter and a blowout in Georgetown, than ushering a glam squad into their home.
President Barack Obama at the 2013 White House Correspondents' Dinner.
Just what, you might ask, is the key difference between a Hollywood red carpet and the White House Correspondents' Dinner? This presidential send-up is traditionally attended by the District's old-school press royalty. Washington's most valuable currency is power and here that nest egg grows with experience. Many wear the same shoes for 12 hours and get frustrated when dresses and skirts don't have pockets -- it's not unusual for me to be tasked at the last minute with finding clutches (with optional straps, of course) to accommodate reading glasses, multiple cell phones, and lipstick. The DC vanguard expects comfort and convenience from their ensemble even in the dressiest of circumstances.
Most celebrities visiting the nation's capital this weekend will be dressed in borrowed designer duds, accessories, and the latest trend in shoes as they are photographed coming and going. They will dress to impress and continue their personal branding through this unique extension of the recent awards season, looking to land an endorsement deal to become the next face of a fragrance, makeup empire, or retailer.
Savannah Guthrie at the 2013 White House Correspondents' Dinner.
Meanwhile, the press core is a group that buys their own formal attire, sometimes on sale and usually off the rack. I have certainly helped DC power players source unique, custom, and couture gowns but, for this event, expect slits instead of cutouts, understated lace in place of bold patterns, higher necklines and peplum waists. Red carpet red is always popular and a sea of black makes it easy to blend in at the affectionately referred to "Nerd Prom."
The best way to add District sparkle and blur the line between celeb and politico? Rent the Runway -- a well-kept secret (totally worth bragging about) that will help any party-goer feel like Cinderella -- or First Lady Michelle Obama -- and fit right in!
See what stars wore last year: