I think we may have just seen a permanent change in Men's dress codes. At this evening's Inaugural Balls, President Obama upstaged his wife by daringly wearing a white-tie with his dinner jacket. Inaugural Balls are typically white-tie and Obama's decision to wear a tuxedo (a bad one, sadly) instead was reported as a signal of frugality in the economic crisis. But then he wore a white-tie with it! This may be a situation like the creation of the dinner jacket by the Edward VII (while Prince of Wales) or the adoption of the soft collar and authorization of midnight blue by his son the Duke of Windsor (when he, in turn, was Prince of Wales). In each case - as in most changes to the male dress code through the years - they used their status at the very apex of the social pyramid as license to change the rules. I wonder if we have not just seem the same thing from the new phenomenon/President - the final banishing of the tailcoat and the adoption of the dinner jacket for white-tie.