On Sunday night, President-elect Donald Trump gave a “heated” late-night interview to the New York Times’ Patrick Healy following Meryl Streep‘s speech at the Golden Globes. “We are going to have an unbelievable, perhaps record-setting turnout for the inauguration, and there will be plenty of movie and entertainment stars,” Trump said. “All the dress shops are sold out in Washington. It’s hard to find a great dress for this inauguration.”
Are there really no dresses to be had? Evening-gown shoppers were hit hard by the closure of Saks Jandel, the 128-year-old boutique, and it’s been further diminished by the temporary closing of Rizik’s, another over-a-century-old boutique that is currently being renovated.
But Martha Slagle, store manager of the Neiman Marcus in Chevy Chase, burst into laughter when Washingtonian called to ask her about about Trump’s quote.
“We have a lot of gowns,” says Slagle, who added that between the Chevy Chase and the Tysons Corner stores Neiman Marcus has around 2,500 gowns in stock. According to Slagle, the Chevy Chase store is starting to see inauguration-related traffic, but she says the real rush will start this week.
“We have been planning this for a long time, and we have an ample amount of gowns,” says Slagle.
Additionally, Adam Woitkowski, the general manager for Saks Fifth Avenue in Tysons, says there are “no shortage of dresses at all from my purview. We’ve seen a nice spike in sales of dresses and furs, but still have plenty of inventory leading up to the inauguration.”
Perhaps Trump was referring to second-hand gown shops? Inge Guen, owner of Inga’s Once is Not Enough resale shop in the Palisades, says her store is “well prepared.” Guen, who has long provided Washingtonians with designer gowns for balls, says that she too has only just started to notice the inauguration shoppers coming through her store and that she expects this year, as in years past, the real rush for dresses won’t begin until a week before inauguration.
“It’s always one week ahead because many of the people who come for the inauguration come from all over the country and they don’t want to travel with the dresses,” Guen says.
Okay, how about gown rental shops? When Rent the Runway opened in Georgetown, it made getting event-ready with a designer dress simple with gowns that can be rented and returned. According to a Rent the Runway representative, there are still “thousands of styles available.”
So are all of DC’s dress shops sold out? Despite what the President-elect says, they are not.