Dress Code for Montana House of Representatives: Dress Boots Are OK

Jeanette Rankin, first Woman Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives

Jeanette Rankin of Montana, First Woman Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives

After reading a short article in The Week about the new dress code for the Montana House of Representatives, I looked it up in the Bozeman Chronicle. You can download the pdf of the official government publication. Click here.

The Week summarized it (12/19/14, p. 6) by saying it “warns women legislators to have modest skirt lengths and necklines, and bans leggings and open-toe sandals. Women legislators say the dress code, drawn up by Republican males without their input, is patriarchal and insulting. ‘The code crosses a line,’ said Rep. Jenny Eck.”

1. “Business formal” for men is defined as “a suit, or dress slacks, jacket, tie, dress shirt, and dress shoes or dress boots.” [What, no cowboy hats?]

2. “Business formal” for women is defined as “a suit or dress slacks, skirt, jacket and dress blouse or suit-like dress and appropriate shoes (flip-flops, tennis shoes, and open-toe sandals are not considered appropriate.) Leggings are not considered dress pants. [Are women allowed to wear dress boots? It does snow in Montana.]

3. “Women should be sensitive to skirt lengths and necklines.”

[Gosh, those poor men must be easily distracted — victims of their raging hormones. It sounds like some male legislators  are already “sensitive” to skirt length and necklines.]

Prohibition (No. 4) against wearing jeans, denim, fleece or sweatshirts presumably applies to both genders, but follows the caution about skirt length and necklines,  as if women were more likely to offend in this way. [Oh-oh. Here’s a photo of Representative Jenny Eck — is she wearing a denim dress?]

Of course, all this does make me curious about what a gathering of the Montana House of Representatives normally looks like. (click here.)

Jeanette Rankin of Montana was the first woman ever elected to the United States House of Representatives, in 1916. That was only 98 years ago. . . .



1 Comment

Filed under Musings, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Shoes, Uniforms and Work Clothes, Women in Trousers

One response to “Dress Code for Montana House of Representatives: Dress Boots Are OK

  1. Since when did professional adults need to have their appearance micro-managed? It’s just one more case of legislatures being more concerned with control than they are with true governing.

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