Sure, yesterday's inauguration was mostly about change, making history, and one mildly mixed-up oath of office — but let's face it, a day with no fewer than ten balls is also going to be about clothes. Expensive ones. We ogled every photo we could find of the celebrities who turned out to support the Obamas — as well as of the First Lady herself — and have compiled a list of our personal bests, worsts, and in-betweens of the Inauguration Day festivities. Spoiler alert: Don King shocks the nation by going slightly over-the-top.
Best Red: Jill Biden
We saw a lot of that hue last night -- including on Anne Hathaway -- but have to give the nod to the veep's better half, Jill Biden. She's gotten some flack for dressing "too young," but we say flaunt it while you've got it, and she looks great in this strapless silhouette.
Most Perilous Cleavage: Rihanna
This was essentially a mustard-colored shelf on which to plop Rihanna's boobs. We can't look at the photograph without being afraid her left nipple is about to pop out and take a bow; the random strap feels like a last-minute addition to try to keep the cows in the barn.
Best Juxtaposition: Kanye West and Pete Wentz
On one hand, you've got Kanye West looking sharp in a classic tux. On the other, there's Pete Wentz playing to the kids in an Obama-Batman T-shirt. We wonder which one of them wished he'd worn something else.
Most Patriotic: Don King
Don King's jacket pulled out all the stops. There was an airbrushed image of Mount Rushmore on the shoulder, and you could make a drinking game out of counting the stars and stripes on his person. We can only dream of what glories are on the back; in our fantasies, it's a BeDazzled portrait of the president himself.
Worst Sense of Occasion: Sarah Silverman
Granted, Sarah Silverman only attended a night-before bash hosted by the Huffington Post, but we're pretty sure none of the invitations to ANY of this week's festivities read, "Dress Code: Semi-Hygienic Hobo."
Worst Floor Sample From David's Bridal: Beyonce
It's a nice change to see Beyonce wearing something devoid of robot hands, or minus her usual strapless-bodice-with-fishtail-hem. But at the same time, who wants to see Queen B, of all people, putting the "matronly" in "Matron of Honor"? And what is it doing to her chest?
Best Headgear: Jay-Z and Aretha Franklin
Who would have thought that both Aretha Franklin and Jay-Z would wake up Tuesday and decided to channel Joan Collins, in a tremendous rhinestone-encrusted bow-hat and a giant fur turban, respectively? We assume they spent the rest of the day planning the destruction of their enemies.
Most Egregious Lack of Bling: Cher
Surely, we thought, we could count on Cher to show up wearing a red, white, and blue feathered headdress. Instead, she looks like a depressed middle-school vice-principal. We've never been so disappointed in our lives. Has she forgotten she's, you know, Cher?
Best Nightie: Soledad O'Brien
While this blue is gorgeous on her and the cut is flattering, we can't escape the feeling that the photographer caught Soledad O'Brien at home, padding into the kitchen during a commercial break to grab a box of Triscuits.
Most Sensible in These Trying Economic Times: Susan Sarandon
An actress of Susan Sarandon's status probably has designers throwing outfits at her in droves -- or you'd think the die-hard Democrat might drop a bundle on something custom-made for the occasion. Instead, Susan went with what appears to be the same sensible, understated black pantsuit she wore to the Golden Globes a week ago. Now that's recycling.
Best Opportunity to Make a Nineties Teen-Movie Pun: Rachael Leigh Cook
Seriously, even Rachael Leigh Cook herself looks surprised that she was invited to an inaugural ball. She hasn't been All That for years, and this wedding-cake dress is unlikely to help.
Biggest Mess We're Surprised We Care About: Amy Brenneman
We thought we'd hold that awful Judging Amy against Amy Brenneman until the end of time. But it turns out we like her enough to be upset by this metallic satin disaster, which gives the illusion that either her left boob is winning a race to her navel, or her right one is slowly deflating.
Most Likely to Whip Out a Triple Toe-Loop: Natasha Henstridge
Attending a more casual event is still no excuse for Natasha Henstridge dressing like she's auditioning for a Just One of the Guys-type movie about a woman who infiltrates the men's figure-skating squad.
Biggest Risk-Taker: Michelle Obama
No matter what you think of Michelle Obama's inaugural wardrobe, we give her credit for mixing a big name like Narciso Rodriguez with less famous designers like Isabel Toledo and Jason Wu. The casual camel Narciso looked chic and classic, but we thought she went a bit too bridal at the balls and a tad too Queen Mum at the oath. Still, we love her for giving us something to talk about -- and for tripping slightly on her dress during the dancing, like the rest of us mortals probably would have done, too.
Most All-Over-the-Place: Jennifer Lopez
First, Jennifer Lopez picked volume: a blue dress whose large bow-ruffle combo occasionally made her look uncharacteristically dumpy. Then she went hyper-ornate with a Chanel number that could pass for a Buckingham Palace window treatment. But Lopez closed strong on Inauguration Night with a minty Marchesa that was so graceful and pretty, we wish Michelle Obama had worn it instead. Yes, we did just say the First Lady could learn from J.Lo. We can't believe it either. Get your skates -- hell just froze over.
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