Colombian Foreign Ministry’s New Dress Code Stirs Controversy
The Colombian government has received both criticism and support in recent weeks after the Colombian Foreign Ministry released a new suggested dress code for its diplomats. Critics have pointed out that the attire of many government officials, including President Gustavo Petro (above, 2nd from left) himself, is not in line with these standards.
The new suggested dress code for diplomats pushes for a “business formal” or “business casual” dress code, promoting a classical style with ties and a vest and handkerchiefs for formal events, and a more casual dress code where a tie isn’t essentially mandatory for more casual events, El Pais reported.
The women’s styles appear to be stricter than the men’s, where they either wear a full dress or a tailored suit with a skirt, with recommendations for discreet make-up, simple hairstyles, and pushing for neutral colors and a minimal amount of accessories.
The new dress code has been criticized for how inflexible is, and many, like Senator María José Pizarro, are pointing out how the new suggested dress code is making “new aesthetics and identities invisible,” and calling for a change in the “business formal” style being prescribed.
Journalists like Javier Lafuente have pointed out that neither President Gustavo Petro nor Vice President Francia Márquez follow these dress codes, and that cabinet members like Minister of Mines and Energy Irene Vélez have previously shown up in meetings wearing sneakers instead of formal shoewear.
While neither Petro nor Márquez has commented on the new dress code, Foreign Minister Álvaro Leyva has attempted to distance himself from the reported code by saying that he is “not the one to say how people should dress” and that the country’s constitution protects an individual’s “free development of personality.”
It is unclear from that statement, however, if the government will be retracting the new dress code, or if they will remain in place.