Karvelas, who is a presenter for ABC Radio National, was asked to leave the House of Representatives by a supervisor who deemed her perfectly acceptable top a breach of the dress standards.
Let’s get one thing out of the way: These dress standards are outdated, to say the least.
Karvelas was wearing a chic, professional pantsuit, not a mini-skirt and singlet, and the offending top revealed nothing but her bare arms.
The dress standards in the chamber are murky and they seem to be largely up to the discretion of the speaker. Even so, according to the Australian Parliament House website, MP’s, staff and members of the press, must dress "in a formal manner similar to that generally accepted in business and professional circles".
In 2005, then-speaker David Hawker outlined that the "keeping in business and professional standards" means casual wear, sportswear, or clothes with printed slogans on them are all deemed inappropriate.
So far Karvelas’ outfit ticks all the boxes, at least, for a businesswoman in 2018.
In an interview with ABC News Karvelas said she was shocked at being approached by a supervisor, "The attendant came up to me; she was very polite," Ms Karvelas continued, "She said she was essentially executing orders of her supervisor, who said my clothes, what I'm wearing: too much shoulder.”
Karvelas added, "Basically, I needed to cover up more, I needed a jacket.”
The journo (rightfully) contested her ejection from the chamber but was sent away anyway.
On November 26, Julie Bishop wore a pink dress with a similar cut to Patricia Karvelas’ pantsuit in Parliament House during Question Time, she was neither asked to leave nor reprimanded for an arguably similar breach.
Whilst we think what Julie is wearing fits within the “business and professional" code, what this does make clear is that along with the rules themselves being outdated, they are also unevenly policed.
Keep up Canberra, because this is ridiculous.