The Story Behind Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday” Dress

The sheer, glittering dress dazzled and scandalized America in 1962. We know who wore it, but who designed it, and where is it now?

In May 1962, a certain rendition of a familiar tune took a song that people had heard sung countless times and turned it into a history-making moment.

Monroe’s performance was truly iconic—so much so that the jaw-dropping classic dress she wore became a historical fashion piece that has sold for millions.

Marilyn Monroe sang “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” on May 19, 1962, at a fundraiser for JFK and the Democratic National Committee.

When did Marilyn Monroe sing “Happy Birthday, Mr. President”?

As the photo shows, the dress was sheer and form-fitting, dotted with dazzling beads.

What does Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday” dress look like?

Admittedly, it was hard to picture anyone but Marilyn Monroe in the infamous gown—until Kim Kardashian slipped into it.

Who has worn Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday” dress?

Kardashian wore Marilyn Monroe’s dress for the 2022 Met Gala, where guests dressed for the “Gilded Glamour” theme. According to Vogue, Kardashian wore the real dress only briefly (we’re talking mere minutes) while walking up The Met’s steps, taking extreme caution with the historic garment.

She changed into a replica shortly afterward. Still, those minutes in Marilyn Monroe’s gown were enough to make her Met Gala look one of the—if not the—most talked about of the night.