'LOOK busy' would appear to be the dress code for Fine Gael and Labour on Budget 2013 day in the Dail.
Whether intentional or not, the array of colour and print to the Ceann Comhairle's left side was eye-catching to say the least, on this un-festive of all days.
Though striped and speckled ties in navy, red and burgundy were aplenty on notable ministers Leo Varadkar, Michael Noonan, Brendan Howlan and Enda Kenny, the big boys were surrounded by a host of distracting choices.
During Leaders' Questions, the television was framed with a line-up of brightly coloured and textured ties – in yellow, green and pink – as well as a bold patriotic green on Frances Fitzgerald and a purple-clad Joan Burton.
The Finance Minister opened his day with a throwaway comment to the awaiting media – "nice and Christmassy this morning" – in a spotted wine tie that would easily disguise any stain a secret lavish lunch could perpetrate.
The Taoiseach played it safe in a navy striped schoolboy tie which tattled, 'It wasn't me miss. It was Michael and Brendan's idea'.
Ruairi Quinn's penchant for a quirky tie resulted in a cross-house fashion face-off with Sean Fleming – both deputies opting for near identical technicolor clown ties.
Speaking of 'The Other Guys', suit-wearing Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein seemed to pool their efforts with a colour scheme aimed at wooing the nation.
All in pink, red, mauve, purples and blues, the bulk of the opposition looked a couple of months early for Valentine's Day, but perhaps on schedule too for the expected shifting allegiances in the masses.
One would not be advised to have stared too long at the mesmerising 3D-effect tonal purple ties of Jerry Adams and Pierce Doherty.
'The Levis Crew' didn't fail to reflect what they viewed as the tone of the house on Austerity Day 2013. Luke 'Ming' Flanagan chose a cosy and festive orange Aran geansai, which hopefully protected him from the blow of the 'roll-your-own' tobacco price increase.
His backbench neighbour Mick Wallace gave a ceremonious 'up yours' to the dress code, stagnant politics and indeed the seasonal weather in his signature pink short-sleeved polo top.
Ming 'n' Mick's partner in denim, Richard Boyd Barrett, was smart at first glance, but on closer inspection his print shirt resembled prison stripes or the top half of a pair of pyjamas.
So a bitterly cold and dark day – where funereal garb would have been expected – was awash with sartorial diversions.
But even a freshly appointed and starkly dressed Christmas tree did nothing to lift the mood at Leinster House.