The Senate’s informal dress code was quietly scrapped on Monday by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), giving senators free rein to wear whatever they want on the floor, according to Breitbart News.
The Senate’s Sergeant at Arms has reportedly been told to no longer enforce the chamber’s unwritten dress requirements for legislators.
The move follows several state legislatures which have recently reconsidered their dress requirements on the grounds they were “oppressive” and variously decried as racist and sexist by opponents who also urged wearing unconventional clothing can be an effective “statement of resistance.”
According to the outlet, one beneficiary will be Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) who enjoys gym shorts and hoodies over the formal business attire traditionally required in the chamber, allowing him to linger on the Senate floor before and after votes under the new code.
The change applies only to senators — staff members will still be required to follow the old dress code.
The traditionally even-stuffier U.S. House has already attempted to dilute some of its own dress requirements over the past several years, including changes in 2017 following criticism and protests over what women were still forced to wear in the lower chamber.
Objections from female lawmakers to a longstanding ban on sleeveless tops and open-toed shoes in the House prompted the call for change.
“Senators are able to choose what they wear on the Senate floor. I will continue to wear a suit,” Schumer said in a statement shared with the outlet.