The throng of parties surrounding the White House Correspondents Dinner is charmingly known as "the nerd prom" by Washington insiders.
As I surveyed the guests at the Thomson Reuters McLaughlin Brunch at The Hay Adams, I noticed that the attire of some took on a decidedly geeky élan.
An arch example of this would be actress Dana Delany, who sported big, black glasses (note: the kind for visual improvement, not to shield her face from the sun).
The hair disheveled, the face freshly-scrubbed and makeup free. She looked absurdly younger than her fifty something years, and her alter-ego, Katherine Mayfair, on ABC's Desperate Housewives, and more like the president of a college debate union than a television star.
"Nerd chic" suits her well.
I spotted another woman with glasses even bigger than Delany's who would have been the brunt of ridicule by high school jocks in the school cafeteria, but somehow with her hair swept back and a huge grin, she pulled it all together.
Holding center court at the brunch was actor Dennis Quaid (the former Mr. Meg Ryan) who did the normal button down and trouser bit, as did the "King of the Party", the always affable and deep-voiced John McLaughlin.
Mr. Q would be smashing in some glasses and I would kill to see Johnny Boy in the accessory forever associated with true nerd chic, the day-time bow tie (George Will must take a lunch with John at The Palm and convince him of this).
Cerebrally sexy, the wearer of the bow tie demonstrates confidence and an unshakable comfort level with his masculinity.
I am happy to report that I bumped into a few bow ties ( coupled with sear sucker suits, no less) at the brunch that seemed to raise the body heat ( for me, anyway) on an unseasonably tropical day.
The evening before, at Niche Media's Capitol File party at The Mayflower Renaissance, the nerd chic was in short supply as "cool kid" gowns seemed to be the usual rage.
Kim Kardashian, the ultimate non-nerd, sported vintage Valentino, whereas Ashley Judd, who prides herself on her college degree and verbal fluency, donned Dolce & Gabanna with a feathered hair piece.
Ashley: next year, four-eyes please!