Politics, Moderate



Dressing Up for Senate success

Tom Purcell on

I suppose it was just a matter of time before casual dress hit the U.S. Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has told the Senate’s sergeant-at-arms to no longer enforce the hallowed chamber’s informal dress code, which had required senators and their staffers to wear business attire.

Schumer’s directive appears to be tailor-made for Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman, who prefers gym shorts and hoodies over the suits and ties male senators have always worn.

When Fetterman first arrived at the Senate, he attempted to wear a suit and tie — but looked as uncomfortable as a kidnap victim constrained by a straitjacket.

After being treated for clinical depression, however, he returned to the Senate in his favorite frump duds.

To paraphrase comedian Dennis Miller, Fetterman’s clothes make him look like the kid who taps the keg at fraternity parties.


As someone who prefers slothful wear over formal attire — running pants, a long-sleeved Pitt Panthers shirt and frayed sandals — I’m sympathetic to Fetterman’s situation.

On one hand, I think the Senate deserves incredible courtesy and respect. It is a tremendous honor to be among 100 of the most accomplished and powerful people on the planet.

Senators must honor their colleagues through their manner, gestures, words and dress — one man’s comfort should never trump one’s duty to show respect to his colleagues and the august institution he represents.

On the other hand, our culture sure has gotten sloppy.


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Copyright 2023 Tom Purcell, All Rights Reserved. Credit: Cagle.com




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