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So That's How Fetterman Is Getting Around Dress Code Rules

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Sen. John Fetterman's preferred attire—a sweatshirt and baggy shorts—has been his signature style long before he entered the Senate. But it seems he's not willing to give up the look. Last week, the Democrat turned heads for dressing this way next to colleagues Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Peter Welch of Vermont during a press conference discussing debt ceiling negotiations. 

While most people agree the senator should dress in business attire, even if it's business casual, the Associated Press is hailing the gym getup as a sign of progress:

Before Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman checked himself in to the hospital for clinical depression in February, he walked the halls of the Senate stone-faced and dressed in formal suits. These days, he’s back to wearing the hoodies and gym shorts he was known for before he became a senator. […]

People close to Fetterman say his relaxed, comfortable style is a sign that the senator is making a robust recovery after six weeks of inpatient treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where his clinical depression was treated with medication and he was fitted for hearing aids for hearing loss that had made it harder for him to communicate.  […]

“He’s setting a new dress code,” jokes Vermont Sen. Peter Welch, who is the only other newly elected Democrat in the Senate and spent a lot of time with Fetterman during their orientation at the beginning of the year. “He was struggling. And now he’s a joyful person to be around.” […] Fetterman’s regular attire is redefining fashion in the stuffy Senate. He’s turning heads on a daily basis as he walks the halls in his signature baggy Carhartt sweatshirts and saggy gym shorts, his hulking figure surrounded by much more formally dressed Washington types buzzing around the Capitol.

The senator’s staff had originally asked him to always wear suits, which he famously hates. But after a check with the Senate parliamentarian upon his return, it became clear that he could continue wearing the casual clothes that were often his uniform back at home in Pennsylvania, as long as he didn’t walk on to the Senate floor. (AP)

So how is the lawmaker getting around the dress code issue? According to AP, he "votes from the doorway of the Democratic cloakroom or the side entrance" all so he doesn't have to wear a suit. 

And we are being told this is a good thing; he's "redefining" that "stuffy" institution. 

Readers were less convinced, however. 


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