Schumer Approves End Of Senate Dress Code

The Senate’s informal dress code has been quietly abandoned by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and senators are now free to wear whatever they choose on the floor, as reported by various news outlets on Monday.

According to Axios, the Senate’s Sergeant at Arms has allegedly been instructed to cease enforcing the chamber’s unofficial dress guidelines for lawmakers.

This decision follows the example of several state legislatures that have reevaluated their dress codes, citing concerns of oppression, racism, and sexism. Opponents of these dress codes have argued that wearing non-traditional attire can serve as a powerful “statement of resistance.”

One person who will benefit from this change is Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA), who prefers gym shorts and hoodies over the formal business attire that was previously expected in the chamber. This new code allows him to stay on the Senate floor before and after votes.

Fetterman has received accolades for his unique style from some and criticism from others.

While he was recovering from a six-week stay at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he was treated for clinical depression and fitted for hearing aids, Fetterman navigated around the legislative body’s dress code rules by casting his votes from the doorway of the Democrat cloakroom or the side entrance, where he would record his vote then discreetly step out.

Fox News senior congressional correspondent Chad Pergram shared that the new change in dress code applies specifically to senators, while staff members are still expected to adhere to the old dress code. He posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, “Others entering the chamber must comply with the dress code. Coats/ties for men. Business attire for women.”

It’s worth noting that the U.S. House, traditionally known for its stricter dress code, has also made efforts to relax some of its requirements in recent years, especially after receiving criticism and protests about the clothing restrictions imposed on women in the lower chamber back in 2017.

Female lawmakers’ objections to the long-standing ban on sleeveless tops and open-toed shoes in the House were instrumental in prompting the call for change.

Schumer commented about the change, saying, “Senators are able to choose what they wear on the Senate floor. I will continue to wear a suit.”