The definition of proper attire is always changing. It hasn’t been that long since women had to worry about whether the seams of their nylons were straight, and of course a true lady would not be dressed for church without her hat and white gloves.
The photo of the incoming House of Representatives gives us a snapshot of what America now regards as proper business attire.
First, the men. The only accepted attire is the two-piece dark gray or navy business suit. No tan. Ties are mostly blue or blue striped, although there are a few red and what I would call some kind of beige. While I have been under the impression that facial hair is making a comeback, it does not seem to hold true for politicians. There are only a couple with mustaches, clean-shaven is obviously the rule and the mustache is the exception. There are a huge number of American flags being sported on lapels.
First, the women seem to have escaped the lapel flag epidemic. While there are a number of dresses with low heels and nylons, including two LBDs, as well as skirted suits, the most common attire seems to be the suit with pants. Skirts are just below the knee–this is very uniform. The necklace does not seem to be obligatory, and most are large and chunky rather than small. There are a few large white, or maybe pearl earrings, but this also does not appear to be a uniform. Sheer hose is the most common, although there are a couple of examples of opaque (black and white). There are a couple of sport jackets, but they are worn over all-black outfits and with necklaces that make them seem less casual. There is some variation in color, moreso than the men, but the standard is still neutral gray, black, or navy. Is red still a power statement? There are three wearing red. Most hair is shoulder length, but there are a few with very short or very long hair, and two with hair pulled back. I count at least twelve with blonde highlights, this is definitely a Thing.
We will see if they start dressing more alike after they have been in Congress for a while.