Reversal of Senate Dress Code

September 29, 2023
man in blue suit

For 234 years, every senator that has had the honor of serving in this distinguished body has assumed there were some basic written rules of decorum, conduct and civility, one of which was a dress code.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who helped lead a new resolution for a formal dress code on the chamber floor.

Why It Matters: On Wednesday, the Senate passed a bipartisan resolution that will require business attire on the Senate floor. While the bill doesn’t say what this attire means for women, it describes men’s dress code as “… coat, tie, and slacks or other long pants.” The change comes after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) released informal guidance last week allowing senators to wear what they wanted when voting or speaking in the chamber.

by Emily Hooker, based in Texas