Also this from Yglesias, which is very true:
The heat is bad, yes, but it's also the humidity. But there are more hot-and-humid cities out there -- Atlanta, say. What makes DC different is its aspiration to be a northeastern-style walkable urban center where you can walk four blocks, get on a Metro, ride a way, then find yourself just a four block walk from, say, some destination somewhere.Which is fine, except you wind up arriving for your work-related event looked sweaty and ridiculous. All of which could be mitigated by attire except that DC is also one of the most formal of American cities at this point. I'll always remember this July 12 breakfast with Chuck Schumerfrom last summer for exactly how uncomfortable everyone (the Senator included) looked in our jackets and ties and remembering who, exactly,we were all trying to impress by dressing like that?
I actually now wrap up my sleeves both when headed to and from work. I'm also fairly proud of my decision to just store most of my ties in my office. There's no way I'll wear a tie during my commute, but I would sometimes forget to pick one out. Even with these precautions I tend to run a fan for five minutes or so when I first get in. An overall ban is probably a bit much, but he may be a good negotiating point. The real trick is lowering the level of expected formality. A ban on tie wearing government employees would probably do the job.
Also, out of curiosity, is there any equivalent to the tie on the female side? Obnoxious things that you have to wear to be business formal? I'm guessing shoes are an issue, but I see enough variety in outfits that I'm not entirely sure what's expected.