What to wear to an inaugural ball?

January 6, 2009 4:50:35 PM PST
For people lucky enough to be attending an inaugural ball one of the most pressing questions right now is 'what to wear?'Plaza Escada on Michigan Avenue has sold a number of inaugural gowns.

"Especially because Chicago is being so focused upon, naturally with Obama being from our great city," said Ann Wallace, Plaza Escada.

The inaugural buzz is on. What does one wear? Does one go long, short, dark, bright, long sleeves or short sleeves?

"Long is generally in order. And people do tend to want to wear bright colors but many times end up wearing black because it is the easiest color to wear and very flattering," said Wallace.

"You don't want to overdo it. You want to keep it to the minimum. You want to make sure your earrings are coordinated with your gown as well as your necklace, as well as your bracelet, if you decide to wear a bracelet or like a nice detail, small watch," said Pam Leonard, Plaza Escada.

When it comes to style, Michelle Obama has become a fashion leader. First ladies are considered role models in the world of fashion. Sara Albrech of Ultimo Boutique on Oak Street says Obamas' influence is clear - unmuddy and youthful - the look of the future.

"It's very exciting and people aren't trying to dress like her but they just are aware that she is going to be a new fashion icon," said Sara Albrech of Ultimo boutique.

Ultimo has sold a number of inaugural gowns with customers buying an average of three for the various Washington parties.

"[It will be] Better than the Academy Awards," said Albrech. "But I'm biased." said Albrech.

Escada and Ultimo say that an evening gown is an investment piece that one should keep and use over and over again and even shorten it and make it into a cocktail dress for another event.