B.C. mayor wears one suit, 15 months later someone comments
Nick Wells, CTVNews.ca
Published Tuesday, February 23, 2016 7:15AM EST
The Vancouver-area mayor, who decided to wear the same suit to every council meeting until someone noticed, has ended his social experiment after more than a year.
Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart wore his plain, dark blue suit approximately 150 times over the course of 15 months.
The social experiment ended on Feb. 15, after a city councillor made a comment about Stewart's suit. But, as the mayor explained on Facebook, the remark was not about the fact he was wearing the same suit over and over again.
"The comment was actually because three Councillors had worn grey suits, and I was in a dark blue suit. So it was a flippant ‘Didn’t you get the memo’ comment," Stewart wrote.
Explaining his social experiment to CTV Vancouver, Stewart said, "There's all kinds of burdens placed on women that run for office or we've heard it about other professions as well. It seemed frustrating for me so I decided 'I'm gonna wear the same suit until someone notices'."
Stewart says the idea came to him during the last municipal election, after hearing members of the public and other candidates comment on what women wore, but ignoring male candidates’ attire.
The plan was reinforced by the story of an Australian news anchor who wore the same suit for a year with similar consequences.
Now that his social experiment is over, Stewart hopes he's made a point about appearance not affecting ability.
"It affects my daughters, I want them to grow up knowing that their appearance has nothing to do with their success in a career," he said. "We as a society have to, every chance we get, recognize the barriers we put in place for a lot of folks."
As for the future of the suit?
"I'm sick of it. I'll probably donate it to a thrift store if they'll have it," he said.
With a report from CTV Vancouver