Sean John fashion show at Cipriani's in Manhattan.

Dressy wear from labels like Sean John will work for Chris "Ludacris" Bridges' Urban Ball. (Jennifer S. Altman)

According to the 2009 Presidential Inauguration Committee, the dress code for the 10 official inaugural balls set to take place on Tuesday night is black tie. Traditionally, for men that entails a fingertip-length dinner jacket with grosgrain- or satin-faced lapels, black trousers with a side stripe that matches the lapels, a cummerbund, black bow tie, black socks and black patent-leather shoes. Women have a bit more latitude with either a formal, floor-length evening gown or a short, dressy cocktail dress deemed acceptable. For members of the military -- such as those celebrating at the Commander-in-Chief's Ball -- an acceptable alternative is the dress-blue uniform with black bow tie. (According to U.S. Army spokesman Paul Boyce, officers who really want to put on the dog can accessorize with a dress cape lined in the color of their branch, such as orange for the signal corps or green for military police.)

But the first inauguration since the rules of black tie went a la carte has brought some creative twists among the dozens of official and unofficial inaugural balls on tap. Among the more noteworthy dress codes for a handful of the unofficial parties in and around D.C.:

Black Tie & Boots Inaugural Ball

Host: Texas State Society of Washington, D.C.

Venue: Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center

Crowd: The outgoing administration and friends get together on the last full day of the George W. Bush presidency (the ball will be held Monday).

Dress code: "Texas black tie"

Which means: Nicely pressed Western jeans, cowboy boots and a tuxedo jacket for guys, formal gowns or cocktail dresses -- with boots -- for women

Quote of note: "A lot of times you'll see men with tuxedos where the vest is a Texas flag. I've seen women in sequined dresses that are the Texas flag. Sometimes there can be some pretty hideous fashion too -- lots of feathers and fur and hot pink, because the people in Texas like to do it up right." -- Jenifer Sarver, Texas State Society historian

Hawaii State Society Inaugural Ball

Host: Hawaii State Society of Washington, D.C.

Venue: Mandarin Oriental Hotel

Crowd: Officials, supporters and home-state ohana(family) hoping for a presidential pop-in

Dress code: Black tie or "formal ethnic attire"

Which means: Holoku gowns, lava-lava, kimonos or accenting that tuxedo with an aloha-print bow tie and matching cummerbund. Guests can accessorize with the floral leis provided.

Quote of note: "We came to the conclusion black tie would be the most appropriate so it's not perceived as a party or a luau but as a very formal, elegant affair to honor the president." -- Ball chairman Micah Kohono Mossman

Lincoln 2.0 Inaugural Ball

Host: Destination DC

Venue: Smithsonian American Art Museum