Related: Living, Politics, Social Issues

Inauguration Couture


I went shopping for my Inauguration wardrobe last night.   No, not at Nieman’s.  I headed right to Outdoor World.   Let’s face it:  the government has done nothing but issue the direst dire warnings about the ugly, barely-survivable conditions likely to exist at the presidential inauguration.   Here’s a snippet:

The day is historically cold and wet.  The average temperature at noon is 37 degrees.  You may wish to bring a blanket with you to the ceremony.  The crowds will be very large and guests will likely be outside for a minimum of four hours.  For this reason, and because strollers are not permitted, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies strongly discourages small children or those not capable of standing for that period of time from attending.” 

Standing for “a minimum of four hours” comes after walking several miles to get there!  The security precautions in force for this inauguration are unprecedented, and seem designed to discourage many people from coming.   We’re coming anyway!!

I’ve been to just about every presidential inauguration since 1972, so I’ll be darned if the dire warnings are going to scare me off!   We’ve had large crowds (Clinton’s ’92, a huge crowd), heavy security (Nixon’s ’72 during the height of Vietnam protests) and precarious international situations (Reagan’s ’80 when the Iran hostages were released as he was sworn-in) on previous inauguration days.   Security is surely extremely important, but reasonable citizens can wonder about some of the scare tactics that are currently imposing extraordinary limitations on the right of citizens to share the inaugural moment with their new president.

But, heck, we’re more resourceful than that!   Extraordinary limitations call for unusual preparations.   Forget about ball gowns and the crown jewels, a good pair of cargo pants with lots ‘o’ pockets will be essential since you can’t carry a backpack, camera bag, baby bag or any kind of bag for that matter.   Cargo pant pockets — perfect for granola bars, juice boxes, camera batteries and hand warmers!!!

The forecast is 38 degrees but sunny for January 20 — but that’s still kinda cold.   As I wandered the copious racks at Outdoor World, this snuggly hat caught my eye:


Nah, too obvious!   And I skipped right past the other blaze orange outfits, too, not wanting to call too much attention to myself in the crowd…  (and I’d not want to run into someone else wearing the same outfit… just in case a certain departing vice president is heading right from the ceremony to quail hunting…!!)


I passed by a man carrying exactly the kind of backpack that makes the Secret Service nervous…. bows and arrows were peeking out the top of the bag, a perfectly normal sight at Outdoor World, but not your wise inauguration kit.   I didn’t take his picture, to be on the safe side…

I came across these lovely tree-like camouflage outfits with rustling leaves…. seems to me that these should definitely be on that list of stuff the Secret Service has banned, these could cause loads more trouble than baby strollers:


So many choices!   But I settled for an extra warm jacket, gloves… and yes, toe warmers!  The look will be more Caribou Barbie than Anna Wintour, but on inauguration day, at least for the ceremony and parade, warmth and comfort will trump couture!

Don’t let the scare tactics prevent you from joining the fun.   Bundle up and come on down!  For information and guidance about attending the inauguration check out these websites:

Joint Congressional Committee on the Inauguration

DC Inauguration Guide

Inauguration Resources


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Patricia A. McGuire, President, Trinity, 125 Michigan Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20017
Phone: 202.884.9050   Email: