Sinking To The Lowest Common Denominator

Back in the age of dinosaurs, I graduated from a secretarial school that had a strict dress code–dresses or skirts, high heels, hats, gloves, etc. It seems trivial, but because of the professional image of that school, its graduates generally found good jobs and advanced in the corporate world. It used to be understood that people in important jobs dressed appropriately. We have all heard the expression, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” Well, the United States Senate seems to have adopted the motto, “Dress for where you would really rather be.” It appears that the future C-SPAN pictures will include Senators dressed as if they recently visited the clearance section of Wal-Mart.

On Sunday, Fox News reported:

The U.S. Senate will no longer enforce a dress code for members of the upper house elected by those they serve.

“However, others entering the chamber must comply with the dress code. Coats/ties for men. Business attire for women,” tweeted Chad Pergram, Fox News¬†senior congressional correspondent.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., quietly sent the directive to the Senate’s sergeant at arms, news website Axios reported.

So the new dress code only applies to Senators–not staff or visitors.

The article notes:

The change allows Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., to continue to wear his trademark hooded sweatshirts and gym shorts while working for Americans.

Fetterman was previously praised for “turning heads” and “redefining fashion in the stuffy Senate”¬†during his recovery after a six-week stay at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he was treated for “clinical depression” and “fitted for hearing aids for hearing loss that had made it harder for him to communicate,” according to an AP story from May.

The senator even found a workaround to the legislative body’s dress code rules by voting from the doorway of the Democrat cloakroom or the side entrance, making sure his vote is recorded before ducking out, per the AP report.

Don’t run for Senator unless you are willing to uphold the dignity of the office. I realize that dignity is often in question, but I believe appearances matter.