Sleeveless Attire Now Banned From US House

CBS News reports:

A young, female reporter recently tried to enter a guarded room known as the Speaker’s lobby outside the House chamber, but her outfit was considered inappropriate because her shoulders weren’t covered. She was wearing a sleeveless dress. Forced to improvise, she ripped out pages from her notebook and stuffed them into her dress’s shoulder openings to create sleeves, witnesses said. An officer who’s tasked with enforcing rules in the Speaker’s lobby said her creative concoction still was not acceptable.

These rules are far from clear cut and there are no visible signs defining them. They are also not enforced on the Senate side of the Capitol. Some lawmakers have loosely interpreted these rules, which prompted Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, to recently reiterate an announcement made to House lawmakers over the years: “Members should periodically rededicate themselves to the core principles of proper parliamentary practice that are so essential to maintaining order and deliberacy here in the House.”

Among them: “Members should wear appropriate business attire during all sittings of the House however brief their appearance on the floor may be.” That directive also extends to the Speaker’s lobby, where reporters, armed with their voice recorders, position themselves as they wait for members to exit the floor in order to snag an interview. The dress code is only enforced inside the Speaker’s lobby — not along the rest of the chamber’s perimeter.