Speed Reads

Dress for the job you want?

The Montana legislature's new dress code warns women to 'be sensitive to skirt lengths and necklines'

Female lawmakers in Montana are advised to keep covered under the legislature's strict new dress code.

The Montana House of Representatives last week imposed rules banning jeans, open-toed sandals, and excessive cleavage for all members. "Women should be sensitive to skirt lengths and necklines," the code states.

Female members of the legislature bristled at the change, with House Minority Whip Jenny Eck saying it suggests [women] can't be trusted to get up in the morning and dress appropriately." But House Speaker Austin Knudsen said the code was merely aimed at ensuring formality, and insisted he never imagined it could be construed as sexist.

"I'm a lawyer so I'm used to dressing a certain way and don't think it's too much to ask the 100 legislators to show respect and professionalism for the House," he told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.