Trends may come and go, but it seems those boxy, navy poly-blend suits sported by Senate pages are like little black dresses of livery — they’re here to stay.
Fashion guru Tim Gunn had an idea for the challenge he wanted to present to the young designers on “Project Runway Junior” when first lady Michelle Obama appeared on the Bravo show last week. His dream for the FLOTUS show was to have the budding fashionistas make over the uniforms for the girls in the Senate page program, who sport the very same outfits the boys wear.
Gunn told the Daily Mail, though, that the program’s officials shot down the idea. “Guess what? Congress has refused to let us do it,” he told The Daily Mail. “And do you want to know why? They say that they don’t want to sexualize the girls. How insulting is that? Can you imagine?”
According to a congressional report, the page program provides uniforms for the 30 high school juniors who wander the halls of Congress, delivering messages and running assorted errands. The standard-issue get-up consists of “navy blue suits, white shirts, red and blue striped tie, dark socks, and black shoes.” Gunn complained that the outfit hadn’t changed even after girls were admitted into the program in the 1970s.
Which isn’t exactly true — according to an analysis of page-school yearbooks written by a House curator, girl pages wore either skirts or pants with standard blazers in the early co-ed days. These days, girl pages skip the ties.
And it’s not true that the uniforms haven’t changed with the times: The program did give up knickers in 1949.