Sleeveless Dresses are "Inappropriate" According to House of Representatives

Sleeveless Dresses are "Inappropriate" According to House of Representatives

A young female reporter was denied entry into the Speakers Lobby because she wore a sleeveless dress.

A young female reporter was denied entry into the Speakers Lobby because she wore a sleeveless dress.

Text: Christina Cacouris

According to CNN, a young female reporter was denied entry into House Chamber’s Speakers Lobby as her outfit—a sleeveless dress—was not considered appropriate attire, igniting a debate on what constitutes “business attire,” bringing attention to the limitations women face in workplace dressing.

The baring of arms, so to speak, has been a hotly debated issue since Michelle Obama’s official White House portrait, in which the then-First Lady wore a black Michael Kors number with pearls. Conservatives decried her look as “inappropriate,” and continued to criticize Mrs. Obama for her sartorial choices throughout her husband’s presidency.

Notably, however, current First Lady Melania Trump wore an ivory Herve Pierre gown showing bare shoulders and bare arms. Naturally, many took to Twitter to voice discontent with what they saw (rightfully) as blatant hypocrisy.

Now the topic is rearing its head again thanks to the House reiterating its policy, namely that "Members should wear appropriate business attire during all sittings of the House however brief their appearance may be." (A wholly vague statement completely open to interpretation, no less.) The debate begs the question: if it’s appropriate for the First Lady of the United States to wear it—shouldn’t a reporter be able to as well?

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