Washingtoniennes Call Dibs On Choice Gowns, Avoid Inaugural Brawls

Genius idea: a website is allowing women to register the gowns they're wearing to inaugural balls so no one makes the faux pas of showing up in the same dress. We say: Thank. God.

The simple yet brilliant idea was dreamed up by one Andrew Jones, an automotive industry consultant whose wife "had" to fly to New York from Palm Beach to make sure she'd have a unique getup for some charity function. According to Politico, " the site includes a place where users can log the designer, color, length, neckline description, material and other characteristics of their dresses. There's even a spot to upload a photo."

So far a hundred ladies have registered gowns — understandable when you consider that Laura Bush had to change when she showed up at the 2006 Kennedy Center honors to find three other dames in the same Oscar de la Renta. (And shouldn't the protocol have been for the other ladies to change? Maybe she lived closer.) After all, there are only so many beaded, mother-of-the-bride apropos Washington-style dresses in the world! The Star-Telegram confirms the frump factor: "Registered dresses are mostly ankle length, many with plunging necklines. Labels range from an ankle-length blue dress by Banana Republic to a scoop-neck, to-the-floor ivory gown by Halston. Shades of purple, orange and red seem to outnumber the old classic, black."

While the success of the scheme obviously depends on everyone registering their outfits - which we simply can't see grandes dames of a certain age doing — it's a smart modification of something some upscale stores have been doing for years; and what is, after all, standard practice for designers. In order for the concept to really take off, it will probably have to work in concert with those populations. Actually, while we can see how it would make sense for a press-heavy event like the inauguration, the natural market for something like this seems to be high school proms. Think about it: a tech-savvy population drawing on a much smaller pool of options, with probably more humiliating duplication consequences. Can you imagine the rush to claim the choicest Betsey Johnsons, the pouffiest Jessica McClintock? While this would obviously lead to a few brats putting dibs on numerous dresses and then making a decision at the last second, well, who's to say some senator's wife isn't doing the exact same thing? The internet can bring out some people's dark sides.

DressRegistry.com [Official Site]
Web Site Lets Women Register Their Inaugural Dresses [Star-Telegram]

Say Bye Bye To Dress Duplicates
[Politico]