Senate gets a more relaxed dress code

September 19, 2023
Man in a suit

Senators are able to choose what they wear on the Senate floor. I will continue to wear a suit.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in a statement after directing the Senate’s Sergeant at Arms to allow a more relaxed dress code for senators, overriding the informal dress code expecting business attire.

Why It Matters: As of this week, senators will no longer be required to wear business attire (coat and tie for men, dresses with sleeves and/or pantsuits for women). While there is no written dress code and expectations are more customary rather than official, the updated guidelines provided by Sen. Schumer mark the first time in centuries that lawmakers do not have to dress in more formal attire on the Senate floor. Other staff members are still expected to follow the previous dress code.

Something to Consider: Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) has attended the Senate wearing shorts and hoodies after returning to work following treatment for clinical depression earlier this year. The updated dress code now allows for casual attire such as Fetterman's.

Scoop: Schumer ditches Senate's informal dress code

The Senate Dress Code Gets a Casual Overhaul

by Jenna Lee,