Inaugupocalypse: Being the Belle of the Ball

Ball Hall

So the Balls have (mostly) come and gone, but I think it’s still worth sharing advice of what I did right, what I did wrong, and what I wouldn’t do again when it comes to Inaugural Balls.

First there is the getting there. Matt and I struck out for our ball around 6:30 p.m. and snagged a taxi on Clarendon. We headed into the city, down L until about 17th street when we hit a SERIOUS traffic clusterf*ck that never let up. We made our way down L to about metro center when our driver gave K a shot, and around 12th we wound up in the middle of ball-apalooza. We finally disembarked the taxi, forty dollars later, around Union Station. We walked to the lobby of my office where I made Matt switch coats with me. I was wearing a cape-style coat with arm holes that acted like wind tunnels. I recieved many compliments on it, but that “chic” coat, as heavy as that sucker is, was like putting a band-aid on a bullet wound. Lesson learned: Take Metro, wear a warm coat, and if you’re going to drive, take Constitution.

We arrived at the Ball, checked my adorable-yet-useless coat and I decided to forgo my heels, and not to change out of the fancy pointy-toe flats I had worn for walking. This proved to be sheer brilliance on my part, as no one looked at my shoes, and I stood the ENTIRE time. I also heard a tip that I want to pass on – if you’ve got a long dress, wear leggings underneith. You could even wear sweatpants and no one would know. My boss, an old-time republican, said his wife used to head out to the Texas ball wearing a cowboy hat, boots and leggings to get to the ball. Lesson learned: Wear flats, plus add on some warmth cause no one knows what is under your dress. If you get to wear a tux, well aren’t YOU all warm and comfy?


Mulling around the ball, there was a dinner buffet and open bar. Yes, I know, most balls didn’t have such luxuries, but we were a little off the beaten path at our ball. I loved every minute of it, plus the bar made my favorite champagne cocktail. I was one happy little girl. Lesson learned: Eat, drink, and be merry.

Photo courtesy of
‘President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama’
courtesy of ‘acaben’

Now, Obama didn’t come to my ball, but I hear from our readers and flickr contributors that a well placed dancing spot will earn you some fabulous pictures once the President enters the room. Lesson learned: Think where you mingle. Strategically choose a prime location.

We wound up dancing to a cover of Tiny Dancer, which was simultaniously hilarious and amazing. We were also able to assess the fashion of some eighty-year-old ladies who clearly had not exited the 1980’s and were rocking sequins only seen these days at the drag queen race. Lesson Learned: Make it what you can – there are few occasions when you can see Washington’s true sense of style (or lack thereof.)
All in all, I had a wonderful time at our ball.

How about you reader? What did you learn? What would you do differently if you had the chance for a do-over? Do tell.

Unless otherwise noted, photos in this post courtesy of flickr user Needlessspaces.

Katie moved to DC in 2007, and has since embarked upon a love affair with the city. She’s an education reform advocate and communications professional during the day; at night and on the weekends, she’s an owner here at We Love DC. Katie has high goals to eat herself through the entire city, with only her running shoes to save her from herself. For up-to-the-minute news and reviews (among other musings), follow her on Twitter!

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