Students gather for Inaugural Ball in new, old fashion

(U-WIRE) WASHINGTON – Whether you were a guy running to the Men’s Warehouse to rent a tuxedo or a sorority girl rummaging through a “sister’s” closet for a dress, students at The George Washington University did what they could on a college budget to “glamorize” for the 2005 GW Inaugural Ball. “It’s like a college prom,” said GW Freshman Corrine Conry.

The Ball was held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., Friends and family attended the sold out event with style and class. Men wore tuxedos and ladies wore formal, satin and jeweled dresses.

“There is an understated style tonight, but it is very elegant and classic. No one is trying to show each other up and it’s just a great event,” said sophomore Mary Ann Tan.

One student, Ian Beed, chose to wear a traditional Scottish kilt outfit instead of a tuxedo.

“I’ve had it for a few years it’s a family tradition,” he said.

GW Student Association President, Omar Woodard, also tried to vary from the norm.

“I tend to wear a lot of suits for other occasions, so tonight I wanted to spice things up and be a little different with long tails and a pinstriped vest,” Woodard said.

The ladies at the Ball did not hesitate to admit that most of their gowns were not purchased specifically for the event, but rather as a chance to bust out previous prom and formal dresses. This idea worked well for some, but for others it was a much too obvious choice to relive old memories.

“I feel like a lot of people are wearing their high school prom dresses, which is great for them since they liked their outfit in high school. But a lot of these people definitely need an updated look,” said GW Junior Kelly O’Neill.

GW couple John Connors and Samantha Small, chose to compliments each other’s outfits in a most classic way with a black and white contrast.

“Well, we wanted to do the black and white thing, none of this prom dress business, and so now we match,” Connors said in his three piece tuxedo, complete with sterling silver cufflinks.

A crowd of 4,000 attended the Ball, ranging from those in college, to visiting parents, to Military men looking for a night on the town. Perhaps the only real fashion offense at the event was that after 10 p.m., there wasnt any room left in the coat check for the burdensome winter jackets attendees wore to fight off the bitter D.C. weather.

“I’ve been standing in line for an hour and a half at three different coat checks,” complained one woman.

With tickets set at $75 each, the aggravation was to be understood. Once inside the Ball, attendees were given a choice of four stunning ballrooms with different food and entertainment in each to wander among. No one at the Ball seemed to be there for any sort of political statement, but just for a good time.

This is history and I’m glad to be here, Woodard said.

In the end, the fashion at the Ball seemed to match the makeup of the country: Many different styles, many different people, all coming together for one good time.

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