Rep. Howard Coble (R-N.C.) is set to retire at the end of this year, after serving in Congress for nearly 30 years. The North Carolina delegation remembered his career on the House floor last night by making the worst fashion decisions of their lives.
He wears madras while talking to constituents.
He wears madras while talking on the phone.
Wardrobe demonstrates #style and support. Matching cap and madras. @HowardCoble ! #nc06 pic.twitter.com/XoWPYdFa3u” #tcot #rockpol #gsopol— Jeff Hyde (@JefferyTHyde) June 28, 2014
He wears madras while singing bluegrass.
The one and only @HowardCoble singing #bluegrass in his famous madras jacket. pic.twitter.com/bOVdKBB2z3— Ryan Minto (@RyanMinto) February 9, 2014
He wears madras while winning lifetime achievement awards.
In his signature madras, @HowardCoble receives lifetime achievement award from @NCFEF pic.twitter.com/NXg5Su8kb6— N.C. Electric Co-ops (@NCelectriccoop) September 23, 2014
He wears madras while talking to soldiers with impressive facial hair from the American Revolution.
And he wears madras while his colleagues wear madras and say nice things about him.
According to Rep. Richard Hudson's (R-N.C.) speech on Wednesday, Coble is known for making other fashion statements.
"Howard's not only been known for his colorful jackets," he said. "When he first came to town, Howard Coble was known for his many colorful suspenders. In fact, I don't know how many colors he had, but it was well-known that he would always have his bright colorful suspenders on. Next, he became well-known for wearing distinctive hats. In fact, in the 90s, Tim Russert used to refer to Howard Coble as the man with the hat. Then it was Tim Russert's son, Luke, who first noticed the madras jacket a few years ago, and he actually put on his Twitter account," that the jacket looked like an "exploding turtle."
Hudson had his political fashion history a bit off. Russert did appear to be the first person to tweet about the madras jacket...
Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC) is bringing it with the madras blazer today. http://yfrog.com/kg6iamij— Luke Russert (@LukeRussert) July 12, 2011
...but Dave Weigel gets credit for the best description of said jackets, according to a press release that Coble's office sent out about the tweet, which as far as we can tell actually happened and isn't just an election-induced hallucination. Again, can't be certain on that.
@daveweigel always enjoy rockin' the madras— Howard Coble (@HowardCoble) September 20, 2013
A local newspaper in his district suggested at the time that Coble "donate the Exploding Turtle blazer to the Greensboro Historical Museum. Let the Washington media elite laugh. Greensboro gets it."
However, as Will Cubbison pointed out on Twitter, North Carolina has found the perfect legislative replacement to keep their sartorial cred intact: new Rep. Alma Adams (D-N.C.).
Sad to see Howard Coble's madras jackets go, but NC Congressional fashion is staying strong with Alma Adams' hats joining the party— Will Cubbison וויל קביסון (@wccubbison) November 13, 2014
Or, as Coble introduced her, "the legislative lady with the hat."