Female Democrats 'Bare Arms,' Go Sleeveless to Support an Updated Capitol Hill Dress Code

July 14, 2017

A group of female House Democrats banded together in support of "Sleeveless Friday," a movement to show support for the modernization of the dress code in areas of the U.S. Capitol.

"Thank you to all my colleagues who joined me for #SleevelessFriday -- because women have the right to bare arms!" tweeted Rep. Jackie Speier (D, Calif.) on Friday. This was an attempted play on words in reference to the Second Amendment.

Rep. Chellie Pingree (D, Maine) also chimed in, saying, "It's 2017, and women vote, hold office, + choose their own style. Time to update the House rules to reflect the times!"

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D, Wash.) repeated the newly beloved reference to "bare arms."

The decision to "go sleeveless" was in response to the recent debate over the current dress code enforced in the House chamber and speaker's lobby. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) announced on June 13 that he will be reviewing and updating the current requirements to reflect modern views on appropriate business attire.

The current dress code had been in place since 1979 and was enforced under previous House Speakers, including Democrat Nancy Pelosi.

"A dress code in the chamber and speaker's lobby makes sense," Ryan said Thursday. "But that doesn't mean that we need to bar otherwise acceptable business attire. So, look for a change in that soon."