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Why Sen. John Fetterman Doesn’t Wear A Suit Anymore

You may have noticed that Sen. John Fetterman is back to wearing his hoodies and shorts to work at his Senate office. Online, people were saying, “Doesn’t he have to wear a suit?” Turns out, not unless he’s on the floor of the Senate. Via the Associated Press:

“He’s setting a new dress code,” jokes Vermont Sen. Peter Welch, who is the only other newly elected Democrat in the Senate and spent a lot of time with Fetterman during their orientation at the beginning of the year. “He was struggling. And now he’s a joyful person to be around.”

Senators do occasionally vote in casual clothing — Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, for example, is known for sometimes arriving in gym clothes. But Fetterman’s regular attire is redefining fashion in the stuffy Senate. He’s turning heads on a daily basis as he walks the halls in his signature baggy Carhartt sweatshirts and saggy gym shorts, his hulking figure surrounded by much more formally dressed Washington types buzzing around the Capitol.

The senator’s staff had originally asked him to always wear suits, which he famously hates. But after a check with the Senate parliamentarian upon his return, it became clear that he could continue wearing the casual clothes that were often his uniform back at home in Pennsylvania, as long as he didn’t walk on to the Senate floor.

Welch said Fetterman was quiet and withdrawn when he first came to Washington, and often sat in the back of closed-door caucus meetings. Now he’s standing up and talking, sometimes joking and ribbing Pennsylvania’s senior senator, Democrat Bob Casey.