Question: Is the dress code policy for the Houses of Congress available publicly?

  • If so, is there an official source such as a US .gov website or how might a citizen go about finding it?
  • If not, has it ever been and why is it not available for citizen review now?
  • Why do you think it wouldn't be?
    – Joe W
    Jan 18, 2021 at 23:25
  • I found a bunch of sources talking about the dress code and people not only not being allowed on the floor but in the surrounding hallways for not meeting the dress code
    – Joe W
    Jan 18, 2021 at 23:32
  • Also would note it is hard to enforce a dress code if it isn't public
    – Joe W
    Jan 18, 2021 at 23:32
  • According to this they are not written down.
    – CGCampbell
    Jan 19, 2021 at 17:39

1 Answer 1


Yes, the dress code rules are public but they are not well documented


Jen*, a staffer working for a Democratic senator: Every individual senate office is like its own small business. The tone when it comes to vacation policy and office hierarchy and dress code is set by every office independently. I have the benefit of working for someone who is really pragmatic about dressing and would prefer that people are in comfortable shoes as opposed to stylish shoes. I think there are other offices that put more of a premium on presentation, so their dress codes are stricter.

That said, Congress is an institution, and it’s an arcane institution. There are rules about what you can and can’t wear on the senate floor. Men have to be in suit and tie. For women, if you’re wearing a dress, you have to have your shoulders covered. If you’re wearing slacks, you have to wear a jacket. One day I was in slacks and a sweater and I tried to swipe onto the floor and the sergeant at arms said, “You can’t be out there, you don’t have a jacket on.” My boss was with me and was like, “Really?” They were like, “Unfortunately, she can’t accompany you.”

  • I wonder whether Jen* meant archaic rather than arcane.
    – shoover
    Feb 6, 2021 at 6:31

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