In a recent development, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is said to be spearheading an effort to reinstate the informal Senate dress code, according to a report by Breitbart News.
This code, which mandated Senators to don business attire while on the floor, was abolished by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) just last weekend.
The Hill’s Alexander Bolton reported Thursday that Manchin “is circulating a proposal to reestablish the Senate’s dress code,” citing two “senators familiar with the proposal.”
According to a source familiar with the resolution, it would essentially restore the Senate dress code to what it was a week ago, when senators were required to wear coats and ties or business attire on the Senate floor.
“I’ve signed it,” said one senator, who explained it would “define what the dress code is.”
Schumer said in a statement Monday that “senators are able to choose what they wear on the Senate floor. I will continue to wear a suit,” the Associated Press noted.
The rules relaxation is a huge win for Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) who has routinely worn sweatshirts and shorts into the United States Capitol, including on the day he returned in April after a two-month absence to receive treatment for clinical depression.
On the campaign trail, Fetterman frequently wore Carhartt sweatshirts instead of a traditional suit and tie, portraying himself as a "blue-collar tough guy."
Notably, the "blue collar" working class persona is inconsistent with his Harvard University education and the rumor that his parents supported him financially while he was mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania.
Now, Fetterman has brought his style to Washington, D.C., which John Binder, immigration reporter and fashion critic for Breitbart News, describes as a "insistence on larping working poor in the Senate."
Binder spoke with men's fashion expert W. Matt Tinch about Fetterman's clothing choices in light of Schumer's change in demeanor.
“If you’re familiar with Fetterman’s history … he just got out of like a clinical depression, he was in a facility, and he’s come out publicly and talked about his depression,” he told Binder in the article published Thursday.
“In one sense, Fetterman is authentic if you believe his story,” Tinch added. “However, it’s a question of how much of it is authentic. He’s obviously a person who can afford more than a hoodie and basketball shorts.
"If you know Fetterman’s history, it just seems odd. He’s portraying himself as just an average joe, and it feels dishonest.”