The recent installment of the 116th Congress was historic in many ways. The incoming freshman class was record setting in many ways—the number of women elected, as well as a greater representation of veterans. There were historic “firsts” with respect to Muslim and Native American women being called to office, as well as the first openly bi-sexual member.
As one reviews the photographs of the new Congress, one sees a rainbow of colors, veterans with a variety of obvious war-time injuries, and a cornucopia of colors and native dresses in view.
A number of women have been highlighted for intentional dress as they took the sacred oath of office. Rising Democratic superstar Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez work a white pant suit in honor of the traditional white worn by suffragettes. Muslim member (name) was, perhaps, the first woman to be sworn in wearing a religious head cover. Representative Rashida Tliab wore a traditional Palestinian robe as she swore on Thomas Jefferson’s English translation of the Quran. New Representative Deb Haaland from New Mexico proudly wore garments and jewelry representing her proud heritage in the Pueblo Nation.
We can happily see that the old “dress for success” rules have gone by the way-side. Gone are the days of the 70s and 80s where women felt compelled to mimic men’s conservative apparel, with the standard black or navy skirt suit, complemented with unforgettable bow ties, akin to men’s neckties.
At last, we hope, women can more fully express their individuality in their apparel and accessory choices, while being taken as serious leaders in the nonprofit, business, and government sectors. You Go Girls!