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U.S. Senate’s Informal Dress Code Loosened

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, has notified the senate sergeant-at-arms to no longer enforce the senate’s informal dress code for the Senate floor. Male senators, instead of wearing suits, can now wear more casual clothing. 

Senator John Fetterman, D-PA, is widely seen to be a beneficiary of the change as he has routinely worn shorts and hoodies can now apparently wear them on the Senate floor. While senators can relax their clothing selections, their staffs will still be required to wear business clothes and others on the Senate floor will also need to wear business attire, which for men means a jacket and a tie.

The Senate may simply be changing with the times. A recent Gallup Survey revealed that only 3% of those surveyed reported that business professional clothing is their norm while 41% of workers in U.S. wear business casual, 31% wear street clothes, and 23% of workers wear uniforms. Gallup surmises that “these shifts in workplace attire may be largely attributed to habits that began during pandemic lockdowns when many workers shifted to telecommuting.” An Ipsos poll earlier in the year confirmed that at least some of Fetterman’s choices are deemed appropriate as 58% of those polled believed that shorts were fine at least some of the time in a professional work environment.