Q&A: Youthful Sophistication for the Presidential Inauguration

January 6th, 2009

Q: I’m going to visit my dad in Washington DC for the Presidential Inauguration in January and have no idea what to pack for the trip. I need be comfortable and casual while catching up with my dad, but sophisticated and classy, yet still young, while visiting museums and attending the inaugural activities.


Feeling the love for this set?  Here’s more information about it.


by Traci Tsai

A: We’ve said this before, but the key to winter style on the East Coast is layers, layers, layers.  The weather can be very unpredictable, especially during the winter, so you’ll need to be prepared for anything.  On top of that, you’ll be going between indoors and outdoors throughout the day, so you need to be able to adapt quickly. January in DC will likely have lows below freezing and highs around the 40s.  Here’s how to get a youthful-yet-sophisticated look for Inauguration:

1.  A nice coat is essential. The structured collar on this day coat adds a bit of sophistication while brighter colors keep the look more youthful.  Note that you’ll probably want to switch out this coat for a longer, warmer one for evenings out.
2.  A textured blouse will keep you young, but is a little more formal than might be your normal every day wear.
3.  Most buildings on the East Coast are pretty well heated, but in case you’re in a cooler room, you can pop on a shrug that shows off your blouse but keeps your arms warm.
4.  Skinny pants tucked into a pair of flat riding boots is a little classic and a little modern at the same time. The flat boots will keep you comfortable while walking all over town and through museums.
5.  You’ll want to keep the bag small, especially with all the security everywhere – but use it to add an extra bit of flair to your outfit!

Have a great tip about how to pull off youthful sophistication? Share it with us in the comments!

Entry Filed under: Q&A, Ready Made Outfits, Women, Women's

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jessica Rae  |  January 6th, 2009 at 8:27 am

    I adore this outfit. My favorite part is the green jacket. Great pick!

  • 2. lauren  |  January 6th, 2009 at 8:35 am

    Gorgeous outfit, but you’ll need something much more formal for the inaugural events. Perfect for the museums though.

  • 3. Sal  |  January 6th, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Fantastic recommendations! Especially the flat boots - ideal for a trip that will inevitably involve lots of walking and standing around.

  • 4. Lauren  |  January 6th, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    I actually live in DC full-time. I completely agree with this choice in clothing. One great place to get cover-ups that are travel friendly and chic are forever21.com and shopbarbara.com. Flat shoes are a must, especially on the National Mall, where most of the walkways are gravel. Around this time of year, we are either having cold rain or snow, so make sure your shoes have good traction. Also, slip in some gloves into your tiny purse or coat pockets…you might need them! :-)

  • 5. iz  |  January 6th, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    i love it! but do you have any recommendation for a more affordable riding boot?

  • 6. Daisy  |  January 6th, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    forever21 has a few riding boots that are pretty affordable and they can go up to around $45 i believe, however, i’m not sure about the quality of their boots. also, victoria’s secret has a great sale of riding boots that can go up to $100, and i believe the quality of their boots are a little more reliable. also, you can try aldo shoes because they are having a boot sale. oldnavy.com has a great pair of riding boots for $35 now.

    as you can tell, i’ve been trying to look for affordable riding boots as well. however, it’s a little harder for me because i’m a size 5 and i’ve been looking for affordable and quality riding boots in my size.

  • 7. lk  |  January 6th, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    i love the olive green coat you featured from topshop, but it is not selling on their website. do you know where i might be able to find it? thanks.

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