Unofficial inaugural parties and their dress codes
Dressy wear from labels like Sean John will work for Chris "Ludacris" Bridges' Urban Ball. (Jennifer S. Altman)
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