Friday, January 9, 2009

THE OBAMATHON GUIDE.™ Part 6: Got Balls?

So, you made it into DC, watched the inauguration and parade, and ate a hearty meal. What's next? Partaaay! On the night of January 20, DC will look something like Marti Gras with good manners. Well, at least all the places where Obama's going to show up will. For those looking to keep things on the lowbrow, you'll have plenty of options as well. Here's a brief guide to getting your groove on, inauguration style.

Balls: There are balls representing every state, region, and interest group. For me to publish a full list of inaugural balls would take way too long, but here's a pretty comprehensive list to check out. Ticket prices vary widely, but can go from $50 to as much as $2000. For If balling is your thing, you probably know all about what to wear. But just in case, here's a quick refresher on dress codes.

Men's Dress Codes - from least formal to most formal:

(No dressing specification)

Wear whatever you like, although it's recommended that you wash it first.

Black tie invited/optional

In this case, it is not mandatory to wear a tuxedo, however you will probably see more tuxedos than dark suits at these affairs. Black tuxedos and white or ivory dinner jackets with black trousers are appropriate. However, dinner jackets are out of season during the inauguration.

Black tie preferred

This means the host of the party prefers to see all guests in formalwear. You could wear a dark suit, but tuxedos are preferred.

Black tie

If the event you are attending is “black tie” and the invitation says the same, you are expected to wear a tuxedo. All guests invited to this function are required and expected to wear formalwear.

White tie

This is the creme de la classy. You must wear black tails with black trousers and a white pique formal shirt, bow tie, and vest. This ensemble is know as the “ultra formal look,” and if your event calls for it, you should not wear anything else. Guests not in adherence to the dress code will be sneered to death.

While similar dress codes don't apply directly to what women should wear, they serve as cues as to the level of formality at the event. Besides, if you're a woman, you probably have a sixth sense for what and what not to wear. And if you're worried about someone wearing the same dress as you, register yours at the Dress Registry.

For those of you not classy enough to attend balls, there's always the bar scene in DC. The latest outlook is that bars will stay open until 4. Check this site for a complete listing of DC bars, or just head to the Adams Morgan or Dupont Circle areas.

Many of you will simply want to head home after the inauguration. But for those looking to party after the inauguration, you have good reason to do so, and plenty of places to cut loose. Rock on, DC.

Introduction (history, crowd density)
Part 1: Is It Safe? (safety, prohibited items, law enforcement, crime)
Part 2: Crush Hour(Transportation, Getting to DC, Getting to the Mall, the Metro)
Part 3: When Nature Calls (restrooms, sanitation)
Part 4: Phone Frenzy (Cell phones, texting, finding lost friends)
Part 5: Food for Thought (Food, sack lunches, vendors, restaurants)
Part 6: Got Balls?

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