The Republican House leadership held a press conference in Virginia to announce their new policy agenda: "A Pledge to America." Perhaps you've heard of it? The group included three women, but it was the way the men were dressed that was striking: Not a single one of them wore a tie. Have a look:
The no tie-open collar-sleeves rolled up look is well known on the campaign trail, often in town hall style events. It connotes ease, relatability and a readiness to roll up his sleeves and get to work (get it?). But seeing it here en masse looks a bit odd, not unlike if they were all wearing the exact same tie. Of course, they're not all identical. Some shirts are white, some are blue, some are blue plaid. A few opted for jackets. Rep. Jeb Hensarling wore a red polo shirt that looks like it perhaps was laundered one too many times - a bit too informal in comparison to the others.
But not one, not even the leader Rep. John Boehner, opted for a tie. And that's why it looks weird. They had to have coordinated their outfits. Either way in advance, or right before, urging those with ties to take them off. And how do I know that it's not just a coincidence? Because the women are a lot more dressed up. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito and Rep. Marsha Blackburn are wearing suits with button down shirts and plenty of jewelry. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, sporting a baby bump, went for a soft jacket and bold jewelry. All three of these women are leaders in their party and appear regularly at press conferences like this one. They know what's going on. But odds are, they didn't get the no-tie memo because none of them would literally wear a tie, so they were left without information about how to dress in line with their colleagues.
I'm not a conspiracy theorist. I'm really not. But come on, Blackburn shows up in a full suit and heels and not one of those guys wears a tie? I'm not buying it.