Look —— sympathetic to John Fetterman and what he has been through BUT SOMETIMES HE NEEDS TO DRESS LIKE A GROWN UP.
I am admiring of this man for surviving a stroke and being honest about depression which followed, including being so open about seeking treatment and getting help. That was very BRAVE and hard to do, and left him wide open to some of the nastiest political commentary I have ever seen.
BUT this? A hoody and shorts and sneakers for a presser with other esteemed members of his party? Not a good look and it is my right to say so.
If Senator Fetterman hates suits, I can’t blame him, except a well-tailored suit can be really kind of fabulous. He is not impoverished and can afford some clothing more in keeping with the office he was elected to.
I received some incredibly HUH comments about my feelings on this topic, like:
makes him all the more fascinating to me!
HUH???????????????????? That is such a stupid comment it doesn’t make sense and if a grown man dressing like Elf goes to Washington for a presser makes him fascinating, you need to get out more.
Someone else said:
I did not send him to Washington to pretend to be someone he is not. When he starts dressing differently, I will begin to worry that the swamp is getting to him.
Decorum is a moving target, changing over the years. When I began my career as a programmer, I was expected to wear a jacket and tie, which had nothing do to with my performance as a professional. By the time I retired, the dress code had substantially changed. As long as Fetterman’s sweat shirt doesn’t effect his job performance, I’m cool with it.
Decorum is also based on good taste. Both are subjective. With this in mind, I can see how his appearance might offend some. But, for the record it does not offend me. I hope that this will remain nothing more than a friendly disagreement with those who are offended.
It’s not pretending he is somebody he is not to dress more appropriately, it’s acting like a grown up and dressing like one. He doesn’t like suits? Fine. How about long pants and a simple button down shirt? Observing decorum doesn’t mean he changes who he is. Further and to my point, it isn’t a moving target here and he is not in Washington to serve Shredder Nation and sorry not sorry he doesn’t have to wear a suit but he need not look like Elf Goes to Washington.
Someone else pointed out:
Unfortunately, he is now being targeted by the right wing nuts in Congress for this. As if there are not more pressing problems….Trying to say Senator Fetterman should not be giving don’ the opposition ammunition.
Agree 100%. Fetterman needs to change the narrative. There are more pressing issues, but he looks like Lurch the Shredder Dude. So how about long pants? Button down shirt? Not a suit if he hates suits, but clothing which shows a little more respect for the office. It’s the US Senate, and he’s there to change things, but that doesn’t include wear your hoody and shorts to work.
This is also a question of respect. Respect for the office. Respect for ALL of his constituents, and above all else, respect for HIMSELF.
I am not saying he shouldn’t be himself, and to be honest I don’t know why people can’t get him properly fitted for clothing since he’s tall, but I also know there are options.
This attire is underwhelming at best. I am not saying he has to be a fashion plate, but he needs to dress the part a little bit once in a while. It’s not just about his personal comfort level. Again, I am not saying wear a suit (even if everyone else does), but try pants and a collared shirt. It’s almost selfish this attire of his. I found an editorial from some random person, but this part of it did stand out:
….It’s true that dressing down is part of Fetterman’s brand, and it might play better in some parts of the country than in others. In The Washington Post, Kara Voght writes that the “comfort-craving Fetterman” tries to embody a kind of anti-fashion which “bolstered his everyman image during his successful run for office last year.”
Coming back from treatment for depression, as Voght writes, “the question of what the senator should wear was part of a larger challenge, which is reintroducing Sen. John Fetterman to Washington — on his own terms.” And therein lies the problem — the focus on his own interests and desires and not his role as a public servant.
Sadly, however, Fetterman’s attire reflects our broader culture of unkempt appearance and dress. We act as if dress isn’t important. But what we wear isn’t simply a matter of decorum; rather, it reflects one’s heart and metaphysical well-being. How one dresses the body mirrors the soundness of the soul and the mind, and signals respect for both the beauty of the world and those who live in it.
And in Washington, in particular, dignified dress reflects the order, virtue and beauty of our democracy, as well as the dignity of those our elected officials represent.~ Scott Raines , Perspective: The dressing down of America
Our clothes are a measure of our cultural health. In our society of sweats, the prognosis is not good
I also found this interesting piece from a few months ago:
High Snobiety: JOHN FETTERMAN JUST BECAME PENNSYLVANIA’S WORKWEAR SENATOR
6 MONTHS AGO IN CULTURE BY JAKE SILBERT
On November 9, John Fetterman toppled Dr. Mehmet Oz in the polls to become Pennsylvania’s senator-elect, following a three-year stretch as the state’s Lieutenant Governor…Despite his Master’s degrees from UConn and Harvard, Fetterman has been situated as the blue collar alternative to Washington’s stuffy suits. Despite the stroke he suffered before the midterms, Fetterman’s image is hardy, tough, reliable.
He’s a relative rarity amidst American Liberals, who struggle to reach the blue collar voters that their Republican rivals so frequently court with vague rhetoric about putting America first (that was literally Dr. Oz’s campaign slogan, mind you).
Fetterman, who ran on a platform of abortion rights, commonsense gun control, and legalized marijuana, dresses the part of an Average Joe. His uniform is hoodies and down jackets from Carhartt, the brand worn by folks who work with their hands.
No ties, please: even when sitting for his official Pennsylvania government photo in 2019, Fetterman eschewed blazers for a double-pocketed work shirt.
The only time in recent memory that Fetterman publicly suited up was back in 2019 for his inaugural lieutenant governor address.
Since then, whether he was campaigning with teachers or hobnobbing with presidents, Fetterman has made Carhartt his no-nonsense uniform, so much so that some people tossed on a bald cap and Carhartt hoodie to dress as him for Halloween…
What’s most interesting thing is how Fetterman’s manifested his image through clothing, his Carhartt clothes a replacement for the little American flag pin that’s clipped to so many lapels.
Workwear as political posturing is nothing new, of course: just look at how many gladhanders toss on a hard hat to represent synonymy with laborers.
Ok so his clothing is what makes people remember Fetterman, but should it always be the clothes? And no clothes, don’t make the man but he is 53 years old, and it would be helpful to ALL of his constituents if it wasn’t always a hoodie, shorts, and sneakers.
Is Washington, DC literally full of stuffed shirts? Yes. But Fetterman has had a rough start and he isn’t helping himself. Or his constituents. His constituents are not all of one type. So maybe, just maybe he also needs to remember that.
I actually feel badly for Fetterman, because I honestly feel he is not comfortable in his own skin. But no one is going to remember other than the clothes he wore if he doesn’t try once in a while to dress for the job he was elected to. Again, he doesn’t need to wear a suit. Long pants, collared shirt, regular shoes.
Enough of Elf Goes to Washington. And no, you don’t have to like my opinion, but I am entitled to it.