My Necktie Problem, And Ours

Mark Kleiman discusses a proposal to ban necktie wearing by EU officials in the summertime. Speaking of which, we've just this week seemed to have commenced in earnest the awful DC tradition of 90+ degree days with high, high humidity. The trouble with the terrible DC summer, however, is that it's hard to sum up in one simple statistic.

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 Schumer from 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?