Model Democracy

MINISTRY OF FASHION

The U.S. may have the world's wisest, noblest Congress, but what about the most fashion forward? In the U.S. House chamber, coats and ties are mandatory for men. Elsewhere they aren't so stuffy. Here are some of the chicest:

BERMUDA: Last week lawmakers made Bermuda shorts acceptable dress in Parliament. Safari suits and Nehru jackets for men were also allowed, as were pantsuits for women. Verdict: Very retro, very groovy.

SOUTH AFRICA: In 1994, Mandela's sweeping reforms introduced to Parliament traditionally African items, such as long floral shirts. Verdict: Fresh, casual and oh-so-now.

BRITAIN: The speaker of the...

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