British Lawmakers Are No Longer Tied To Dress Code Tradition

The speaker of the House of Commons said lawmakers no longer need to wear ties.
Posted at 2:48 PM, Jun 30, 2017

British lawmakers have been given the go-ahead to dress a lot more casually.

Well, at least in the House of Commons. On Thursday, Speaker John Bercow decided that from here on out, members could ditch their neckties while at the Palace of Westminster.

"Members shouldn't behave in a way that is disrespectful to their colleagues or of the institution, but do I think it's essential that a member wears a tie? No," Bercow told lawmakers.

Technically, the House of Commons has no strict dress code.

But official guidelines point out it's customary for men to wear jackets and ties and for women to sport an "equivalent level of formality."

Over in the U.S., the House of Representatives has similar guidelines. Though, representatives are strictly banned from wearing hats on the House floor.

The OK to go tie-less comes shortly after Queen Elizabeth II wore a matching blue coat and hat to the state opening of Parliament earlier this month. It was a much more casual look compared to the robes and crown she usually wears.

The monarch's more relaxed look was because of scheduling. This year's opening of Parliament featured "reduced ceremonial elements" because it took place only a few days after London celebrated the queen's birthday.

At least one British lawmaker isn't thrilled with the relaxation of dress requirements. Peter Bone told The Telegraph, "What are we going to do next? Allow people to come in with T-shirts with slogans on them? If you are not wearing a tie, are we going to turn up in jeans?"