WHAT TO WEAR: Inaugural Ball

What to Wear

“Some call it the Inauguration; we call it a block party.” These words were hung around GW’s campus on posters and signs, advertising the 57th Presidential Inauguration, which took place on January 21. Several students woke up at 4 AM, bundled in layers of warm clothing, to see President Barack Obama take the oath. Some woke up at that to time just to hear Beyoncé sing (ehem, me). With D.C. filled with thousands of tourists from all over the globe, the ladies of GW used their knowledge of the city to bypass traffic and get to their hair and make-up appointments for the magical night ahead.

Every four years, the students of GW experience what is called their “Inauguration Year.” Several students receive Inauguration tickets from their Congressmen, many volunteer at the event and others attend the public access areas to watch history in the making. Each and every student is invited to GW’s Inaugural Ball. This is an enchanting evening at the beautiful Omni Shoreham Hotel, which opens up all of its ballrooms to GW students and faculty to celebrate the inauguration of the president. A once in a lifetime experience, each room is designated to a specific group performance and filled with a variety of food and drinks. This is also a chance for the ladies and gents of GW to dress to impress and have a jaw dropping appearance.

Of course, I was on the job at the Ball, scouting out the best-dressed and most unique looks of the night. The most common colors were red, white and blue—if that wasn’t going to be obvious. I saw traditional prom dresses with different cuts and colors. There were also a lot of sequins, sparkle and texture. I also saw some things that would make Joan Rivers drop dead. Overall, the night was filled with glitz and glamour. Every girl felt beautiful and every guy felt lucky.

But I still thought back to the balls I used to imagine, like the ones in Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella. Where were the poofy dresses and glass slippers? Where were the gloves and diamonds? Most importantly, where was my Prince Charming? Things must have changed around a bit since I last saw the movies because I realized at the Inaugural Ball that glass slippers were exchanged for Louboutin’s and Prince Charming does not exist. I decided someone must be wearing gloves and went on the hunt for my Belle of the Ball.

Cut to opera-length black gloves, a beautiful printed dress and a red clutch—statement after statement after statement. One of the only dresses of the night with a print, the texture and detail of this Fashionista’s dress was remarkable. It was elegant but chic and fancy enough for the event. A similar dress from Sherri Hill has an edgy, tulle bottom but a very classy, textured top—perfect for an affair such as this one. A pop of color was just what this Fashionista needed and she found it in her red clutch. The use of color was very prominent at the Ball either in the jewelry, purse or shoe. This Rebecca Minkoff bag is both stylish and edgy, adding texture and color to any formal look. Finally, this Fashionista is wearing the best accessory of all—gloves. Opera-length gloves are a trendy add-on. I love how the look doesn’t seem forced, but very natural and sophisticated. With her red lipstick to match her purse, this Fashionista was a standout at the Inaugural Ball, looking both unique and chic.

One Simple Change: Black, patent leather pumps would have been a great shoe choice to capture more of a sleek, crisp look. This Fashionista brings out the gold in her dress with a light brown shoe, but for a more formal event, black is a safer, chicer choice.

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