What to Wear – The Inaugural Edition

What should you wear to an inaugural ball?

For most, attending an inaugural ball is a once in a lifetime experience or to attend  is at the very least an investment.

Now is not the time to wear your sleek black gown. Now is the time to go bold, to stand out and be counted. And no you cannot accomplish this with two tons of sequins, plunging necklines or backless dresses. And before you ask – no, cocktail dresses are not just perfect for this event. No way. No how.

This is an inaugural ball, not an Oscar’s after party.

Think classic with an edge. Rich colors. Unique silhouettes.    

Let your personality be reflected in your dress.

Below are some examples of what I mean. Clearly, some of these dresses are in a very high price point – please use them as inspiration for dresses in your desired price point.

Aside from the stand out white, the shoulder detail on this gown is exquisite. The oh so cool, drape on this modernized obi belt keeps the dress from being cute.

Badgley Mischka Couture Belted Deco Gown – Neiman Marcus $3,245


This green is fabulous and on trend. But the draping and jewel trim give this gown its elegant status. Good for petites and those with more subtle chest endowment. 

Kay Unger New York Bead Trim Jersey Gown – Neiman Marcus $345


This lace gown is one of my favorites – I almost expect to see it on a future Downton Abby if the show hits the 1930-1940s. The navy is refreshing and keeps the gown from coming across as to heavy. The cut out in the back is just enough to be unexpected and alluring. This gown is good for tall silhouettes. Beware the cap sleeves can be unforgiving on upper arms that have taken a bit of a holiday from strength training. 

ML Monique Lhuillier Open Back Lace Gown – Neiman Marcus $798


The color of this dress is positively scrumptious! Ladies love your curves and shimmy right in to this dress – it was made for you! Marilyn Monroe was the size of the average American woman and you could not take your eyes off of her when she wore this same dress silhouette. Stunning. Brunettes this color is in your wheelhouse.


Monique Lhuillier Strapless Trumpet Gown – Neiman Marcus – $7,990


This gown is a modern upgrade on a dress silhouette that has seen its share of inaugural balls and state dinners. Classic, clean lines and a crisp black and white color combination makes this a very chic choice indeed. Good for athletic figures and those with straight (waist-less), slim hipped torsos.    

Carmen Marc Valvo Two-Tone Lace Top Gown – Neiman Marcus $1,150


It is difficult to make a dress with this wow factor to also look effortless and comfortable. But I look at this dress and I want to wear it – everywhere!! Be prepared to be photographed just as much as the President and First Lady! And remember to stand up straight — there is already a lot of slouching going on in the material, you do not need to help the cause any further. Blondes and redheads this is a fun color combo for you but what ever your hair color, please wear a simple updo and let the dress do its thing.

Naeem Khan Cowl Neck Pickup Gown – Neiman Marcus $6,990

*No particular reason for the fact that all the dresses are from Neiman Marcus. I do think they tend to have the fairly unique blend of styles that I needed for this post without my having to pop around on a bunch of different sites.

**I am happy to offer my services if you want me to find a similar style or color as one of these gowns in your price point or even to find you a different dress altogether for the Inaugural events. Please contact me at styledbykdg@gmail.com to discuss.

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