Living through what feels like the end times is fun in theory but less so in practice. A week after an attempted coup led at Donald Trump’s urging has placed American lawmakers in the unfortunate position of enduring a second impeachment hearing roughly one week before Joe Biden is set to take office. For those attracted like a moth to a flickering light to the nightmare that is the American democratic process, which allows for both sides to speak as if they were at a college debate tournament, paying attention to the words coming out of these people’s mouths quickly becomes tiresome. So, like the gentle idiot I am, I started looking more closely at their clothing. What on earth does one wear to a second impeachment?
There’s no dress code for an impeachment proceeding; technically, this is another day in the office for lawmakers who are tasked with doing this sort of work, so dressing appropriately means just getting dressed, period. But the fact that yesterday’s proceedings were literally history in the making, whether we want it to think about that or not, stands to reason that you’d put on an outfit that made it look like you were taking this entire situation seriously.
Nancy Pelosi, ever the natty dresser, marked the occasion by dressing for a funeral, which feels appropriate, but a little on the nose. There is an overwrought metaphor here about how the second impeachment is some sort of funeral for democracy as we knew it. However, the funereal aspect of Nance’s mourning garb is less notable only because, as many other people have pointed out, she’s wearing the same dress she wore to the president’s debut impeachment hearings, in 2019. I like the practicality of having one outfit for serious events.
Obviously, the most notable fashion “statement” of these entire proceedings was the face mask, which every single person in the chambers wore, thanks to Pelosi’s decree earlier this week that stated members who refused to do so are subject to fines. I am very happy that the members of our government are now wearing face masks inside when they are breathing in and around each other’s bodies, and I feel like it is fitting for the mess that we’re in that this change took place only after an attempted coup led to a possible superspreader event that gave at least three lawmakers covid.
I’d like to draw attention to the sartorial stylings of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a woman who chose to attend the impeachment hearings in a mask that accurately reflects her complicated interior life. Greene has never met an internet conspiracy she didn’t love and decided that this was the correct way to mark this momentous occasion.
Other women, like Rep. Nicole Malliotokis from Staten Island, dressed for a job interview as the middle-manager of a Chase in Midtown. Hear me out: I like the blazer, but I am confused by the choice of pink cami underneath the blazer. Ma’am, this is an Arby’s, except when I say Arby’s, I mean the House floor, but if this is how you’d like to go out, then I cannot stop you.
You know what was nice? Rep. Yvette Clarke wearing her sorority colors in honor of Founder’s Day, and coordinating her rhinestoned mask to her bright red suit, that’s what. Look at this drip.
Fuck whatever I said about propriety and somber shit for the funeral of democracy, this is proof that you can still do your job, as grim as it may be, and look good as hell while doing so. Is it flip to talk about fashion during a massive political crisis, the likes of which most of us have not witnessed, ever? Sure! But it is often easier to process trauma by ignoring it until later, so that’s where we’re at. Yvette looks good!
So does Cori Bush, in this little aubergine number, which went perfectly with her short speech, in which she called Donald Trump a white supremacist, to booing and jeers from her colleagues. I know that American democracy works this way because of the Constitution or whatever, but “booing” an adult when you are also an adult should be grounds for a time-out. Is there a time-out corner in the House? Can they fucking make one? Anyway, Cori looks nice.
Unfortunately, none of the men did anything worthy of note, but I feel now is the time to address a pervasive issue that I have seen amongst men as of late. I don’t know what it is about men as a general concept that they are incapable of keeping their masks over their noses, but I wish that every man who struggles with this find a mask with a nose wire. The nose wire anchors the mask to the nose, regardless of how big the nose is, no offense to anyone with a large nose.
Anyway, this person, Rep. Greg Steube of Florida, is wearing a mask but is also dressed like a ringmaster at a circus on his way to a job interview.
Good looks, guys! Congrats on impeaching! We did it, Joe.