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Regional Fashion Is Flashed at Convention

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

"We all voted on it. And I know some people said, 'Oh, we don't want to wear the same thing. That's hokey,'" she said.

"We all decided that we want to make a statement that 'Here's Montana. We are a small state, but we are important too,'" Hall said.

She mischievously twirled in the women's restroom of the arena, making sure to note the logo on the back of her denim vest that featured an elephant stomping on a donkey.

There was another reason the decision appealed to Montana delegates.

"Who from Montana wants to wear a business suit?" Hall asked. "Most of the men were like, 'Hallelujah! This is a great out!'"

The cowboy hat is also a point of contention for some delegates. For many, it is too overly associated with the Lone Star State. Several Western states opted for cowboy hats, including Colorado. But at least one of that state's delegates worried "it reminds me of Texas."

It is a similar concern of the Oklahoma crowd. They opted against a cowboy hat for that very reason.

So instead, when Rick Santorum visited the Oklahoma delegation, he was swarmed by Sooners wearing dark fitted blazers and khaki pants.

"We love Texas. They're our neighbors," Megan Winburn said. "We value their conservatism. [But] we gotta have a little bit something different."

But beyond the internal debates and intrastate worries, the idea of coordinating outfits is a point of fun amid the fiery rhetoric and ideological angst that has consumed much of the convention.

In between speeches, delegates trade pins with other states.

Cindy Sue Clark, a Hawaii delegate, took an evangelical approach to her delegation's theme.

As House Republican Conference Vice Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.) addressed the convention Wednesday night, Clark stood to the side of the aisle and cheerfully placed seashell necklaces around the necks of anyone, even reviled mainstream media reporters, who passed by the Hawaii delegation.

Her own lei was missing.

"Mine are gone," she said. "They went to Janine Turner and Cathy Gillespie this morning at the Ann Romney breakfast."

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