Congresswoman urges colleagues to "bare arms" for "Sleeveless Friday" in the House

A day after Speaker Paul Ryan announced that he is looking to modernize the dress code in the House, one congresswoman is urging her colleagues to wear sleeveless dresses to the Capitol on Friday.

Rep. Jackie Speier is circulating a flyer, which she posted on Twitter, calling it "Sleeveless Friday." The California Democrat is calling on other female members to wear sleeveless dresses on the House floor during their votes series and then gather for a photo on the East Capitol Steps afterward.

Her office said Speier and "several of her colleagues are standing in solidarity with women reporters who were recently admonished for "inappropriate attire" in the Speaker's lobby...."

Ryan announced on the House floor Thursday that he is working with the House Sergeant at Arms to modernize the dress code in the House chamber and the Speaker's lobby, a room adjacent to the front of the chamber.

This all stems from a viral CBS News story last week about several female reporters who were kicked out of the Speaker's lobby recently because they were wearing sleeveless dresses and their shoulders weren't covered. While the supposed policy is not new, it's been inconsistently enforced and has not been precisely outlined in the rulebooks.

On Wednesday, Rep. Martha McSally, R-Arizona, proudly stood on the House floor and pointed out that she was wearing a sleeveless dress and open-toed shoes, violating the alleged dress code.

The only existing House rule says that men are required to wear a coat and tie and women are supposed to wear "appropriate attire." 

  • Rebecca Shabad

    Rebecca Shabad is a video reporter for CBS News Digital.