Pretty Dresses, Petty Lies: Dress Shop Owners Call BS On Trump’s Bragging
On Monday, Donald Trump told The New York Times that gowns for his inauguration have been flying of the shelves and that huge numbers of people are expected to attend, especially celebrities.
“We are going to have an unbelievable, perhaps record-setting turnout for the inauguration, and there will be plenty of movie and entertainment stars, he said. “All the dress shops are sold out in Washington. It’s hard to find a great dress for this inauguration.”
So, are dresses really going that fast?
Dress shop owners would beg to differ with President Elect Trump, however. People magazine called several D.C. area stores that sell formal- and evening wear gowns, and every store said they were far from being sold-out. All said they had plenty of inventory available for anyone seeking an outfit for the inauguration.
“No, we’re not sold out,” Mae Shipe, owner of the D.C. Mae’s Dress Boutique, told the magazine. “We have 200 dresses, if not more, in stock.”
The Washington Post also interviewed store owners to see if Trump’s claim held much water. The consensus? Nope. It didn’t.
Martha Slagle, vice president and general manager of the Neiman Marcus store in the D.C. area said there were still plenty of gowns to choose from.
Should anyone attending the inaugural ball come in today, “you have more than a thousand evening gowns to choose from,” she said. And every four years, the store stocks up just for the inauguration, she noted.
She couldn’t help but laugh when the Post mentioned Trump’s claim about the supposed shortage of formal wear.
“I’m stuffed with beautiful gowns,” she said.
The same can be said for the city’s smaller boutiques.
“We always have dresses,” noted Krista Johnson, who owns the Georgetown designer-consignment shop Ella Rue. “Unless a thousand people came in today, we’d still have choices.”
The store currently carries labels like Oscar de la Renta, Alexis and Moschino.
And Lena Farouki, who’s the owner and buyer for her shop, Curio Concept, said she has an array of cocktail and formal wear. She found it difficult to believe all of Washington’s shops would ever sell out.
“It would really be difficult to achieve,” she noted. “We’re a bigger city than people think.”
And while there’s plenty of dresses in stock, people aren’t jamming the stores to buy them.
“We have not gotten a huge influx of traffic specifically related to shopping for inaugural dresses, said Anastasia Thomas, an employee at Betsy Fisher, another D.C. area women’s wear shop.
But it goes further than that. At least one boutique owner said demand is almost non-existent.
Peter Marx, who owns Saks Jandel, told People that few people have been looking for inaugural gowns.
“There’s never been less demand for inaugural ball gowns in my 38 years,” he said.
“Never ever has it been less for the inaugural.”
So chalk this up as a Donald Trump bragging point that fell flat.
Photo courtesy of Jemal Countess / Staff / Getty Images