With less than a week away, gowns have been purchased, tuxedos have been fitted and all of D.C. is abuzz with Inaugural anticipation.

@CommonCurtsey would like to offer quick and dirty Inauguration Etiquette tips to get you through the Inauguration of our nations 44th President.

1. LESS IS MORE. And who better to take a cue from than our very own, First Lady Michelle Obama. Mrs. Obama showed us in 2009 how it’s done and here are the tips we picked up from her styling. In 2009, Mrs. Obama wore the infamous white gown with two arm bangles and beautiful drop earrings. Don’t bog down your beautiful look by over accessorizing. There is something to be said for simplicity.

2. LENGTH IS IMPORTANT. Not only is it important to make sure that your gown is properly hemmed for the heels you plan to wear. It is even more important to recognize that we rarely get to wear long gowns these days. TAKE ADVANTAGE. This is not the time to opt for the little black go-to cocktail dress. An occasion that happens only once every four years deserves the formality of a luscious long gown.

3. BLACK TIE v. WHITE TIE. Carefully read your invitation and make sure that you and your prince charming are prepared for the attire that is called upon. We know that no matter what, for balls, ladies will wear formal gowns. But for men, the question becomes black tie v. white tie. To answer that question, simply look to your invitation. Dark suits are out of the question and custom tailored tuxedos beat out rentals any day!

4. KNOW WHEN TO SAY “WHEN”. As with any occasion, @CommonCurtsey recommends limiting yourself to 2 adult beverages. After all you want to be able to remember your amazing evening. Additionally, networking and socializing become a challenge when you’ve had 1 too many. Know when to say “when” and when to say “wine”.

5. BEING PREPARED & ARRIVALS. From Inauguration day to check-ins at balls, arrive early so you don’t frustrate yourself or miss out on the full experience. And remember, when entering a room, always “pause for effect”. What is “pause for effect” you might ask? It is you and your date taking a moment before entering a room and scanning in order to plot where you will move first. It allows you to both see and be seen.

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