Senate Sets Official Dress Code

Senate Sets Official Dress Code

( – There have been a lot of rumblings lately about the dress code in Congress, largely spurred on by one lawmaker’s casual attire. In mid-September, the Senate relaxed the guidelines, with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) advising the sergeant at arms not to enforce them. That didn’t last long, however. Days later, the Senate passed a resolution instilling an official dress code.

The resolution, introduced by Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), defined the Senate dress code in specific terms. It mandates that anyone who appears on the Senate floor follow the regulations, which for men includes wearing a coat and tie and slacks “or other long pants.” It did not define women’s attire.

While Manchin said it was about time to implement “some basic written rules of decorum… and civility, one of which was a dress code,” codifying a precedent after 234 years, there was one senator who has been at the center of debate surrounding the issue.

Many in Congress seemed to take issue with Senator John Fetterman’s (D-PA) casual approach to his work attire. He has routinely shown up to the Senate floor wearing hoodies and shorts while most of his counterparts were in professional attire. It led to a lot of discussion and backlash, and Fetterman himself didn’t shy away from discussing his clothing choices, choosing to insult GOP members in the process.

The Senate resolution passed unanimously, with even Fetterman voting in favor of the move. But he’s not the only one to have ever drawn comments about his looks.

Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) also sparked backlash when she wore a sleeveless dress to her swearing-in ceremony. It didn’t end there, either. One time, she wore a hot pink wig that gained lots of comments on social media, particularly for her lack of decorum. Sinema stuck by her decisions at the time, with POLITICO reporting that she said she wears what she wants and “it’s no one’s business.”

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