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Question of the day

Friday, Sep 22, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* We’ve all seen the amusing back and forth over the US Senate’s relaxing of its attire rule. But the Illinois Senate also has a rule

No person is entitled to the floor unless appropriately attired.

It’s generally defined as “business attire.” Men must wear a jacket and tie, for example. Masks are considered to be “attire,” and that’s how they enforced their mandate during the pandemic.

* The Question: Should the Illinois Senate drop its attire rule? Make sure to explain your answer and stick to Illinois, please. Thanks.


  1. - Oklahoma - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 12:51 pm:

    No, but get rid of the tie rule. Man leashes need to go the way of the dodo.

  2. - Jocko - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 12:53 pm:

    I’m fine with business casual for men and women…unless they want to bring back powdered wigs and heels./S

  3. - Guzzlepot - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 12:53 pm:

    Yes, keep the business satire rule. A certain formality and solemnity is appropriate in some places, and the floor of the State legislature is one of those places. I also don’t think the requirement to wear a jacket and a tie is onerous. Finally, if you absolutely cannot wear a jacket and tie excluding a medical condition, find another job.

  4. - levivotedforjudy - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 12:54 pm:

    Casual Friday’s and the boom of tech pretty much made wearing neck ties passe. There have even been articles about who some of the main culprits were who helped put the neck tie out of business that included our own Barack Obama. It is sort of rare to see anyone wearing a neck tie now and unfortunately, I have a bunch in my closet gathering dust. Revisit the rules. It’s 2023.

  5. - Guzzlepot - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 12:54 pm:

    @Jocko. I second your motion for powdered wigs and heels. Thinking about my senator and representative in powdered wigs and heels made me laugh out loud. The entertainment value would be immense. /s as well.

  6. - Dem Unity - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 12:55 pm:

    Get rid of it. The “upper chamber” mentality can get with the times.

  7. - Pundent - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 12:56 pm:

    =keep the business satire rule=

    The ILGOP thanks you for your support.

  8. - Just Another Anon - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 12:56 pm:

    No. Serious people conducting serious business should dress for the occasion. If you can’t suspend your desire for hoodies and basketball shorts for the period of time it takes to conduct the appropriation and expenditure of tens of billions of dollars, the oversight of dozens of state agencies and departments, or the consideration and passage of legislation impacting almost 13 million people, then you are not a serious person and should not be serving in that capacity.

  9. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 1:02 pm:

    “If you can’t suspend your desire for[…]”

    ties and suits.

    That door swings both ways.

    Maybe stop using that door at all?

    Personally, I think those who are more concerned with appearances over actions are more of a problem.

    There is no amount or type of clothing to be worn which would ever make me think Darren is a serious person. His actions dictated that, not his clothes.

  10. - charles in charge - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 1:03 pm:

    No, get rid of it. Let the voters decide if they care whether their elected representatives dress a certain way.

  11. - George Ryan Reynolds - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 1:06 pm:

    Ditch the tie rule, keep the jacket rule.

    Few wanted to wear a tie before the pandemic, and that number has only dropped since then.

  12. - Give Me A Break - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 1:08 pm:

    The Senate and most court rooms remain the last bastion of coat and ties. Good. Shows respect for the process. If you don’t like it go start a mega church where the clergy look like they are going to wash their car.

  13. - Amalia - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 1:11 pm:

    women don’t have to wear ties. neither should men. as long as women don’t have to wear a dress or skirt and plastic leg bags (nylons) I’m good. btw, high heels are the worst.

  14. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 1:28 pm:

    To the *exact* question at hand;

    ===Should the Illinois Senate drop its attire rule?===

    To Illinois… no.


    The traditions of the chamber, the rules to those traditions, I support their existence, in Illinois, as a stand alone thought to what is the goal of the rule(s).

    That’s the simple.

    Without changing my response, the power vested in state senators is found in a ballot box not a tie box or garment bag. Those 59 members, men and women, are not empowered by attire but by attendance. The best tradition is a seated member, duly elected to represent their state, and their district by participating in the legislative process.

    The reverence to the traditions and formality of the chamber *are* the trappings of what matters most, doing the people’s business. The traditions allow the reverence to the work done in the people’s name.

  15. - Joe Schmoe - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 1:29 pm:

    Keep it. Show respect for the institution. Besides, who remembers freezing their ass off in the Senate chamber and hallways?

  16. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 1:36 pm:

    Keep it. Does anyone want to see a relaxed dress code Chapin Rose?

  17. - Best Side - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 1:40 pm:

    Keep the rule. It’s important that the Upper Chamber remain more professional than their counterparts across the rotunda. Plus, I don’t want to know what Chapin would wear.

  18. - Rich Miller - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 1:42 pm:

    The Chapin comment may have turned the tide.

  19. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 1:44 pm:

    Yes. A representative democracy should represent more and not be needlessly formal, and instead be like everyday people. As long as they adhere to other rules of dress and conduct, it would be just like millions of other jobs.

  20. - cermak_rd - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 1:44 pm:

    Business casual allows for more flexibility and doesn’t require dry-cleaning typically.
    If fortunate 500 companies can be business casual I don’t know why our IL senate can’t.

    Also this idea of the senate as a classier leg body is just silly. Their districts are larger and they can affirm or deny appointees.

  21. - JoanP - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 1:47 pm:

    = idea of the senate as a classier leg body =

    If they have classy legs, they should show them off! (Yes, I know what you meant, but sometimes I just can’t resist.)

  22. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 1:47 pm:

    The “Illini hoodie” possibly unites.

  23. - Huh? - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 1:49 pm:

    They ought to institute a Hawaiian shirt Friday rule. /s

  24. - City Guy - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 1:50 pm:

    I think the requirement for business attire can be eliminated or modified. Fashion changes with time. It wasn’t that long ago that a properly dressed woman wore gloves and a dress.

    Neck ties are obsolete and sexist. They should go.

    Suit jackets should be optional in large part because the temperature can make them uncomfortable. (I recognize there is AC, but it does break)

    I don’t mind some limits being in place. I don’t think commercial advertisements and political slogans should be on clothes in the legislative chamber.

  25. - Mason born - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 1:52 pm:

    Keep it. Though relaxing the rule on ties may be a justified compromise.

    Everyone elected knew what the uniform of the job they were running for required it isn’t a surprise that you need to wear Business attire. You’re representing the citizens of this state, and making decisions that effect us all having to dress in business attire does not seem to be too big of an ask. Also the tradition of of the Senate also strikes me as worthy of putting some effort into ones appearance. Just my 2c.

  26. - Stix Hix - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 1:55 pm:

    Keep it.

    The more clothes I put on the better I look.

    I believe I share that attribute with many of the Senators.

  27. - Pool boy - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 2:07 pm:

    We have already lost so many customs and traditions, all of which detract from the decorum of the legislative institution. The least legislators can do is dress like they belong in the job.

  28. - ChiefM - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 2:09 pm:

    Keep the dress code. Also lobbyists should adhere to a similar code. More and more they are dressed like they are going to a ball game.

  29. - Jimmy Baseball - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 2:10 pm:

    Keep it. There’s a reason “fixing it in the Senate” is a common statehouse phrase - it’s a serious, deliberate Chamber. If you want to wear jeans, run for the House.

  30. - TNR - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 2:13 pm:

    Keep the rule. And I say adopted in the House, too.

    Decorum, in both dress and behavior, shows respect for an institution. So much of our politics today is directed at undermining democratic institutions. We should hold the line — even if it’s in seemingly small ways.

  31. - Mr. Middleground - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 2:20 pm:

    Keep it. To quote the great Toby Ziegler…It’s not the battles we lose that bother me, it’s the ones we don’t suit up for.

  32. - Bogey Golfer - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 2:40 pm:

    Suit or sport coats required, ties optional.
    And though he is a US rep., could someone get Jim Jordan a really bad sportcoat?

  33. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 2:41 pm:

    This is likely the most recognition commenters have given to the Illinois Senate in who knows how long,

  34. - Drury's Missing Clock - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 2:45 pm:

    If you’re going to make the rules for everyone else you should at least give everyone else the dignity of dressing up to do it.

  35. - Pundent - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 2:54 pm:

    If they want to wear jeans they can simply pay Dorothy Brown for the privilege.

  36. - JS Mill - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 2:57 pm:

    =They ought to institute a Hawaiian shirt Friday rule. /s=

    Steve Dahl thanks you.

    Keep the rule. There is no harm in dressing better and decorum (usually) seems to follow.

  37. - Stuck in Celliniland - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 3:02 pm:

    ==Steve Dahl thanks you.==

    You mean Dave Dahl, right?

  38. - uptown progressive - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 3:13 pm:

    I am personally a jacket and often a tie guy. Some of the most comfortable clothes in my closet. (After that it is PJ’s). However, this standard identifies women, non-binary, and others who might adopt costumes that are culturally appropriate as somehow OTHER. Why not some kind of language that suggests dressing to show respect to the institution and to the people of Illinois. Then let the people in the district decide whether or not they have been respected.

  39. - Ron - In Texas - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 3:20 pm:

    If they wanted to RELAX the rule I could see that (no ties required, or at a minimum Business casual.

    The real problem is seeing a US Senator literally in basketball shorts and a hoodie. The business of the state (and the US) is important and must be respected. If you wouldn’t show up at an important event (Funeral, Wedding, etc) in shorts and hoodie you shouldn’t be wearing it.

  40. - West Side the Best Side - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 3:29 pm:

    If the rule gets dropped then people will show up in sports team jerseys and just imagine how much more acrimonious it would get with Cubs/Cards, Bears/Packers … well maybe not the Packers, that would lead to impeachment.

  41. - Dotnonymous x - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 3:32 pm:

    One suggestion?…Make Republicans wear their MAGA hats…mandatory.

  42. - 32nd Ward Roscoe Village - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 3:43 pm:

    Keep the rule. An editorial I just read on the topic mentioned these pertinent thoughts: You have to act the part. You have to comport yourself with dignity. We want to be respected but no longer think we need to be respectable. Like someone mentioned above: the people making the rules should dress like adults.

  43. - state worker - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 3:45 pm:

    For the record, Senator Chapin Rose is well-dressed, looks great, and takes the office and the issues seriously, even if I don’t always agree 100%.

    But all kinds of regular people come to the capital. It would be good if they saw that their elected representatives are also regular people. If people love to dress up, let them dress up. If not, dress down.

    People used to dress up to get on airplanes. Let it go.

    A more important dress code issue: our elected officials should wear visible ID badges. If you care about representing constituents and making the statehouse democratic, then people besides lobsters should be able to figure out who you are.

  44. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 3:47 pm:

    === and takes the office and the issues seriously===


    But to also, defend *and* refute my own snark, Rose doesn’t take himself overly seriously which is a great thing too and to his credit.

  45. - Rich Miller - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 3:51 pm:

    ===This is likely the most recognition commenters have given to the Illinois Senate in who knows how long===

    I was pleasantly surprised. Usually, that chamber is a vicious comment killer.

  46. - Dr Nick - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 4:17 pm:

    Tech bro’s can do what they want, Senators are elected officials. Same goes for the Agency Directors and professional lobbyists that come before committees. It’s basic respect for the institution and process.

    If my doctor walked into the office in a hoodie, I’d walk out the door.

  47. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 4:19 pm:

    === If my doctor walked into the office in a hoodie, I’d walk out the door.===

    If you are measuring your medical personnel by “dress code”…

    I mean, Frank Burns or Hawkeye Pierce?


  48. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 5:17 pm:

    Point of information:

    Sorry I’m late to the game and I’ve no opinion on the question. But as an historical note, I’d mention the time when Gov. Thompson was kicked off the Senate floor by the doorkeeper because he showed up sans coat and tie.

    Charlie Wheeler

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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* *** UPDATED x1 *** Isabel’s morning briefing
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* Yesterday's stories

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