There's A Reason Sen. Dianne Feinstein Wore That Seersucker Suit To The Comey Hearing

Twitter loved her commitment to a Senate tradition.

Former FBI Director James Comey's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee was the talk of Twitter on Thursday, but the attention was on more than just politics.

When California Sen. Dianne Feinstein took the microphone to question Comey about his interactions with President Donald Trump, social media users couldn't help but notice her seersucker suit. While some simply admired her fashion choice, others appreciated her commitment to a bipartisan Senate tradition that has been in place, on and off, for years.

According to the Senate website, Seersucker Thursday, or National Seersucker Day, has roots going back to the early 1900s, when Southern senators would don lighter-weight fabrics such as seersucker in the summer, a fashion choice that lasted until air conditioning in the 1950s made things more comfortable. 

In 1996, former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott of Mississippi decided to bring the tradition back, choosing a warm Thursday in the second or third week of June to show that "the Senate isn't just a bunch of dour folks wearing dark suits and—in the case of men—red or blue ties." 

Sen. Feinstein herself was responsible for encouraging female Senators to participate in the tradition in 2004. The next year, 11 of the Senate's 14 women wore seersucker outfits gifted to them by Feinstein. "I would watch the men preening in the Senate," she reportedly said, "and I figured we should give them a little bit of a horse race."

The tradition was discontinued in 2012, but Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy revived it in 2014. "National Seersucker day is a just plain fun and celebrates an American product invented in my home state of Louisiana," he told Roll Call earlier this week, adding that he had reached out to colleagues encouraging them to participate. "It's a lighthearted tradition and shows that the Senate isn't a bunch of boring suits."

Cassidy and several other senators, including Roger Wicker and Thad Cochran of Mississippi, as well as Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Johnny Isakson of Georgia, were spotted in their summery attire at Capitol Hill on Thursday. And it wasn't just senators — Wicker tweeted that his staff also got in on the fun.

At a tense time in American politics, it's nice to see Republicans and Democrats coming together to have a little fun. Too bad Comey himself didn't seem to get the memo.

Cover image via Orhan Cam.

(H/T: Huffington Post)

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