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Wedding belle: Carla buys her perfect dress from Acorns Bridal Shop in Castle Bromwich for her Big Day

There are more important things to discuss than this subject, but we had to get it off our computer fingers. It’s the way people dress today. Of all places, we thought of this often when observing people in the U.S. House and Senate office buildings in Washington, D.C., one day last week.

The dress in these hallowed buildings where our federal lawmakers have their offices is sloppy and far removed from what it once was. Staffers still are dressed well as are the lawmakers. Lobbyists who we observed were well-groomed. In fact, some were sharply attired — fashionable.

We know that overall our representatives in the Senate and House are not held in the highest esteem by many of the citizens of this great country. However, the offices they hold should generate some respect and that includes proper dress by visitors.

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When did wearing jeans and walking shoes (we used to call them tennis shoes) become proper dress when visiting congressmen or -women? There were a few in shorts. Others wore baggy and loose-fitting clothes. Some of the people wondering around the halls trying to find the office they wanted to visit were not much removed from some of the street people we observed. And they didn’t appear to be much cleaner than the typical homeless person!

There were people with name tags which meant they were lobbying, usually for an association of whatever and there were those pulling luggage, who we assumed either just arrived or were getting ready to leave. Many were carrying briefcases and stacks of briefing papers, copies of which were left at the lawmakers’ offices.

We saw one man wearing a T-shirt with an American flag imprinted on it and, of course, he had long, stringy hair. Like several others, he was dressed like a protestor. Another man wore gold-colored shoes and loose clothing.

We were a bit surprised at the large number of small children with parents. There seemed to be as many Asians as African-Americans.

The sharpest dressed individuals were the military personnel, usually of high rank and many ribbons, who undoubtedly were lobbying for additional funding for this or that for our armed forces, or were there to discuss foreign policies.

Many people had their computers with them. It seems everybody had a cellphone. In the Longworth Building our Missouri delegation from the National Newspaper Association worked our way into a cafeteria for lunch. It is a huge cafeteria and it’s definitely for people in a hurry. People hunt for a table. The food is OK, but when in a hurry who thinks about quality? This is a place where many people are fed quickly. The process is well-organized.

If you like to people-watch, we recommend one or two of the office buildings that house our lawmakers. It’s better than any hotel lobby or where the public gathers. It’s all there, from all walks of American life, young and old, trying to see and visit with the men or women who represent them and add to the overloaded book of laws.

One suggestion is to be there Tuesday through Thursday at noon because that’s when the members of Congress usually are there. The other days they are arriving back from their state or leaving for home.

We have been making these annual journeys for more than 20 years. We really weren’t shocked at what we observed this year as the dress of visitors in these buildings has been going south for years. That’s the trend in our other activities, casual. Remember when people “dressed up” to go to church? We remember seeing old pictures when men in taverns wore suits and ties.

Casual is the dress today and some of it, depending on where you are, is proper, but it is downright disrespectful at many places and events.

More info: school formal dresses online

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