The inaugural festivities provide Washington one of its biggest opportunities to show off its sense of style, with countless black-tie soirees, cocktail celebrations, and sacred ceremonies calling for high society to don only their very best looks. There were some clear winners this year—like the Thom Browne coat Michelle Obama wore during the inauguration ceremony (see below)—and some that didn’t do so well (see our take on the First Lady’s inaugural ballgown). Here are the clothes and accessories that stood out to us.
Michelle Obama’s Coat-Dress
The fashion world was shocked to hear of classy Michelle Obama wearing out-there Thom Browne, but the result defined perfection. Browne, whose collections comprise wacky, repurposed menswear, custom-made the piece with a jacquard print inspired by a men’s necktie. The First Lady paired it with a J.Crew belt. Honorable mention: the black sequin Michael Kors dress—and arm party—she wore to an inaugural celebration at the National Building Museum a day earlier.
Eva Longoria’s Leather Coat
Given Longoria’s always-elegant appearance and increasing influence in Washington, we’re surprised she didn’t get more attention yesterday. Her long, pinkish leather coat is straight out of Bally’s resort 2013 collection.
Sasha Obama’s Monochrome
Her gloves and scarf were almost the exact periwinkle shade of her girly, skater-hem Kate Spade coat, which when unbuttoned revealed an equally adorable striped dress of the same brand. The outfit was classy yet age-appropriate, and earns bonus points for the affordable American brand.
Katy Perry’s Orange-and-Black Stripes
Though the colors sound risky, the striped woven coat from Rodarte’s Fall 2012 collection worked surprisingly well for the pop star, who returned to black hair for the occasion. Also of note: Katy’s hat, a mini version of Aretha Franklin’s from the 2009 ceremony.
Jill Biden’s Big Bow
The silk-and-wool Lela Rose coat was stunning against Jill Biden’s blonde hair and white lace dress of the same label, but what really made it a standout is the feminine statement bow just below the collar. Honorable mention: her royal blue Vera Wang ballgown.
Michelle Obama’s Bangs
Obviously. This twitpic is the photo that first broke the news of the First Lady’s new ’do. The President said it best at the inaugural ball: “To address the most significant event of the weekend, I love her bangs. She looks good.”
The rapper’s perfectly tailored suit is by none other than Tom Ford, who, in addition to his many celebrity clients, designed the fierce gray suit worn by Daniel Craig in Skyfall. Honorable mention: Jay-Z’s fur Dior coat, which matched Beyoncé’s.
Joe Biden’s Gold Buttons
We can’t be the only ones who noticed this. Who knew the VP had it in him?
Alicia Keys’s Makeup
The R&B singer’s glowing cheeks and shimmering brown eyelids seriously stood out during her performance, even from a TV screen. Her makeup artist Rebecca Restrepo—who has also painted the faces of Kelly Ripa, Claire Danes, and even Barack Obama—says she used Nars, Elizabeth Arden, and Hourglass products.