Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, John Boehner offered a pointed reprimand to his fellow Representatives on Wednesday. While not specifically stated in the reprimand itself, it can be assumed that Speaker Boehner felt some of his colleagues were dressed in an unprofessional manner while present on the House floor. The basis for such an assumption came on February 25, when Speaker Boehner interrupted house proceedings to offer the following warning,
“Members should wear appropriate attire during all sittings of the House, however brief their appearances on the floor may be.”
Though it was clear Speaker Boehner meant to send a message to the House, it is unclear as to exactly which Representatives Speaker Boehener was referencing. After the above referenced warning, Speaker Boehner added,
“You know who you are.”
MSN‘s Christina Marcos reported that Speaker Boehener’s message, albeit deliberate, was received with an overall since of humor and laughter from the House floor.
As odd as this occurrence may seem, the Washington Post reports that House Speakers addressing House attire is nothing new. In a recent article, Philip Bump conducted a brief study on the number of times that House Speakers had pointedly addressed the clothing choices of their fellow congressional colleagues. Bump would go on to state that according to his reckoning, one could conclude that the more times a particular Congress had their attire publicly addressed, the “sloppier” that Congress was. Bump would further go on to do his readers the favor of ranking the the last eight Congresses from best dressed to worse dressed based on the aforementioned reprimand-based method.
In short, Blumb ultimately determined that based on the number of times a Congress was reprimanded by the Speaker for their choice in attire, that the 108th Congress (2003-2004) was the least “sloppy” and the 113th Congress (2013-2014) was the “sloppiest.”
Now in case their is any confusion as to what exactly constitutes traditional business attire, the University of Wisconsin-Madison offers the following guidelines to its business students,
“Professional dress, for men, simply means a dark business suit, conservative dress shirt worn with a tie, and shined dress shoes. For women, professional dress means a dark skirted or pants suit, conservative dress shirt, hosiery and pumps (closed toe with a heel).”
If the 114th Congress abides by the above guidelines, it is likely that there will no longer be a need for public scoldings from Speaker Boehener over House attire.
[Image credit to NYMAG.com]