News & Politics

A Night Out: Santa Soirée

On any given Saturday night, you’ll find hordes of nattily dressed ladies and gents flocking the bars of M Street and Wisconsin Avenue, Northwest. But a certain crowd (we’re talking to you, Late Night Shots) frequents establishments better known for their exclusivity than their dollar drafts.

Last Saturday’s 17th-annual Santa Soirée, put on by the Capital Club, was no exception. The group, a DC-based social club of 100 young men, is known for hosting several large events every year. This week’s event was held at the members-only City Tavern Club, a four-level rowhouse that’s been around since the time of George Washington.

Where: City Tavern Club in Georgetown.

Ticket Price: $90 for gents, $75 for ladies.

Who: Four-hundred-fifty of Washington’s young socialites, benefactors, and political up-and-comers (including Luke Russert) sipped cocktails in Vineyard Vines-sponsored cups, swayed to the sounds of a band, and chatted with friends on the club’s four floors, one of which was reserved exclusively for Capital Club members and their guests.

Scene: A very merry crowd—filled with Vineyard Vines signature foam whale hats—mingled on all levels, stopping frequently to pose for photos in front of a brightly decorated Christmas tree.

Fashion for the ladies: Standard holiday colors such as red, silver, and gold had a strong showing, and many of the ladies opted for dresses with additional metallic sparkle. The vast majority chose short cocktail frocks despite the black-tie dress code, although one attractive woman did sport a fetching black-pants-and-white-blouse combo. Seasonal trends abounded such as purple, sequins, and feathers, and most dress cuts were on the ladylike side—and nary a scandalous cleavage or ultra-low back was found. Unfortunately, the feathered headdress and ultra-ruffle, a highlight on shows like Gossip Girl, fell flat on the majority wearers.

All photos by Paul Morigi

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Fashion for the gents: We’re suckers for men in evening clothes and this crowd was no exception. While the majority sported a tux-and-bow-tie combo, the few gentlemen wearing the tuxedo tie stood out and looked particularly top-notch. Vests, for the most part, were thankfully left behind. Extra points if the tuxedo tie had a festive (but not gaudy) holiday motif. A few gentlemen decided to forego standard jackets and pants for holiday plaids and embroidered or madras-style patterns. With the exception of club president John Goodwin, whose embroidered holiday cords struck an amusing balance between formal and fun, most choices fell flat.

Best outfitted pair: The festively decorated couple in what we’re pretty sure was vintage Lily Pulitzer. Sir, your Lily vest and framed glasses were most dapper, and your lady friend was looking lovely as well.

Drink of Choice: Red Bull-and-vodka or gin-and-tonic.

Swag-bag status: Gents were draped in Vineyard Vines holiday ties (gratis) plus standard promo materials such as stickers and the aforementioned hats.

Warm-and-fuzzy feeling: Despite the club’s exclusive status, partygoers were uniformly friendly and cheerful. It lived up to its reputation as one of the holiday’s most anticipated events for the younger Washington crowd.

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