My parents recently purchased for me a meal with our Congressman in DC in the Congressional Dining Room in mid-May. I am unsure about what to wear. I want to ensure that my dress conveys the appropriate level of respect for the location and the office. However, I don't want to be overdressed or be too hot given the time and location. Also, breakfast is generally a more casual meal which again pushes me toward not wanting to overdress.
I second MikeAD91's advice. You cannot possibly go wrong with a navy suit and white shirt. Charcoal would be just fine, too, I think. I don't think you have to have only a red or blue monochrome tie, but a very subtle subtle geometric pattern or simple stripes in basic colors is about as flashy as I would advise. Dark brown shoes are probably fine, too, but make sure they are dark brown and not walnut or tan or something. And make sure your belt matches, more or less.
Sounds like a cool thing to do, though. Depending on who your representative is, it could be informative, interesting and/or outright hilarious.
Are there any photos online of the Congressman doing these breakfasts? See what type of things he's wearing. Is there some sort of customer service line to call and ask what they recommend? They might even tell you suit and tie and mandatory? Can't go wrong with the Navy suit, white shirt combo as stated above. I would go with brown shoes though. It's breakfast so maybe a yellow tie?
My Congressman is Frank LoBiondo. He represents Southern NJ. He is a rare breed known as "The Not Insane House Republican." He has represented us since 1996 or so and I have found over the years that even though I may disagree with some of his ideas he works hard to do his best for our district and I respect that.k
I was thinking suit for this event. My only thought about that was it being breakfast, as I mentioned above. The classic blue blazer and pressed chino look was suggested to me by another acquaintance of mine. Does anyone have any thoughts on that? The Congressman's aide informed us that there is no official dress code or requirement for the dining room. There will be a photo taken with Congressman LoBiondo and we were informed that we should dress as we would like to appear in the picture.
Im assuming this breakfast is on a weekday, in which case dressing for it should be the same as dressing for mid-day meeting - people will be dressed for work.
I you have a suit that looks decent, that's best. I don't think the look it has to be fully "conservative business dress" - that is to say, it needn't be solid white/light blue shirt only, but a small pattern would be OK, or pink or yellow or dark blue shirt. Pressed chinos is too informal unless you're young. Maybe a solid navy blazer and pressed gray slacks would be OK.
It it's the weekend, maybe go more informal, though if it was me I'd still wear a suit (perhaps a summer suit such as poplin if it was warm) and be prepared to ditch the tie if many people were dressed down.
Congress is 'in session,' meaning votes may be scheduled, during the tan highlighted days. During those days, the dress code on the House side is jacket and tie. It is a very conservatively dressed environment. Non-highlighted days, or, 'out of session,' are much more relaxed - there is a wide variety of dress, depending on what staffers have on their plates that particular day. At a minimum, most staff do not wear ties. Members of Congress are somewhat more unpredictable, and may wear suits and ties (or not) regardless.
If you'd prefer to wear a suit in the picture, this would seem to be the overriding concern. However, hopefully the description above clues you in a little more about what to expect. Cheers.