John Fetterman Just Became Pennsylvania's Workwear Senator

On November 9, John Fetterman toppled Dr. Mehmet Oz to become Pennsylvania’s senator-elect, following a three-year stretch as the state’s Lieutenant Governor. In doing so, Fetterman ushers in a new era for the City of Brotherly Love not because of his radically different policies, but because of his utterly distinct wardrobe.

Despite his Master’s degree in business administration from UConn and Public Policy Master’s from Harvard, Fetterman has been situated as the blue collar alternative to Washington’s stuffy suits.

He’s a relative rarity for American Liberals, who struggle to reach the blue collar voters that their Republican rivals so frequently court with vague rhetoric about putting America first (that was literally Dr. Oz’s campaign slogan).

Fetterman, who ran on a platform of abortion rights, commonsense gun control, and legalized marijuana, appropriately dresses the part of an Average Joe. His uniform is Carhartt hoodies and down jackets, clothes worn by folks who work with their hands.

No ties, please: even when sitting for his official Pennsylvania government photo in 2019, Fetterman eschewed the blazer for a double-pocketed work shirt.

The only time in recent memory that Fetterman publicly suited up was back in 2019 for his inaugural lieutenant governor address.

Since then, whether he was campaigning with teachers or hobnobbing with presidents, Fetterman has made Carhartt his no-nonsense uniform, so much so that some constituents dressed as him for Halloween.

It’s part of the branding, really. With his bald head, tattooed forearms, and Carhartt clothes, Fetterman is the spitting image of the no bullshit sleeve-roller-upper who’ll cut through Washington’s red tape on behalf of his constituents.

Now, whether or not Fetterman is what he says he is, it’ll all come out in the wash. The interesting thing is in how Fetterman’s utilized clothing to manifest his image, Carhartt staples in place of the little American flag pin that peers clip to their lapels.

Workwear as political posturing is nothing new, of course: just look at how many gladhanders toss on a hard hat to represent their synonymy with the working class.

But Fetterman’s dependable Carhartt garb is too consistent to be a costume. The guy literally lives in workwear and it makes him look approachable as a result, especially compared to the buttoned-up, perpetually-TV-ready Dr. Oz.

Washington’s dress codes may make it tough for Fetterman to keep up on his Carhartt habit but the Detroit workwear institution ought to endorse him or something. Maybe a duck canvas suit is in order for when he joins the Senate in 2023.

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