Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) caused quite a stir on Tuesday, and not only for forcing her party to abandon higher tax rates on wealthy Americans and corporations. This time it was Sinema’s less-than-business-casual sartorial choices as she presided over the Senate.
The criticism of Sinema’s cutoff denim jacket ran the gamut, from people who found it unprofessional or unfashionable to from those who saw it as another opportunity to criticize Sinema’s infuriating policy preferences or enigmatic political persona. After all, “this is the most visible member of the Senate who is currently involved in highest-stakes negotiations on legislation that could shape the future of the country showing up dressed for some kind of Scottsdale version of a biker rally,” Bill Goodykoontz writes at The Arizona Republic.
But sometimes a vest is just a vest, which is why singer Aaron Neville’s response on Wednesday afternoon gets a special mention.
“Do her clothes matter? Not a bit,” Goodykoontz writes near the end of his long column on Sinema’s denim vest. “Does whatever message she’s sending matter? Yeah, it does.” He says it is generally “gross” for people, especially men, to comment on what a woman wears, and concedes that “as someone who has basically worn a T-shirt and jeans to work for years, I have no standing to critique anyone else’s fashion sense.” But while “it would be better for everyone if people were talking about, and media were covering, what Sinema is really up to, not what she’s wearing,” Goodykoontz concludes, “here we are, sleeveless and speculating.”