Montana State Government Passes New Dress Code That Prohibits Leggings

December 16, 2014  |  

Montana lawmakers have declared leggings banned from the statehouse. The Daily News reports, the comfortable fashion favorite, is not considered dress pants by the Republican-controlled legislation. The representatives drafted guidelines to bring formality to the state house, especially for those who are farmers or business owners from certain demographics in Montana state. In a seven-point list, the representatives noted men should wear suits and women should be “sensitive to skirt lengths and necklines.” Also, women should not wear open toe shoes or sandals and both genders should adhere to no casual Friday or Saturday.

The New York Times claims Montana has never been known as a “black-tie place” and policymakers even as high up as the governor can be found wearing black jeans, cowboy boots or bolo ties. Democratic House member Jenny Eck told the NY Times while she was leaving a health care forum in Helena (the capital of Montana), a colleague told her he was glad to see her dressed appropriately. Eck believes the new dress-code rules allows women to be scrutinized by their male colleagues:

“It just creates this ability to scrutinize women. It makes it acceptable for someone who’s supposed to be my peer and my equal to look me up and down and comment on what I’m wearing. That doesn’t feel right.”

Another Representative, Ellie Hill from the Missoula section of Montana, says the seven-point list sounds conservative enough to be scripted out of the television show Mad Men. But the Chief Clerk Lindsey Grovom, who helped create the new dress policy says she is surprised by the negative backlash. Initially the board wanted to end the tradition of wearing jeans during Saturday morning meetings but they felt it would be more effective to address the entire dress code when new officeholders wanted to know how to dress at hearings.

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