At least in the United States, the tan suit could nearly be considered an institution of its own at this point. The beige two-piece would seem a safe, harmless choice for appropriate professional wear.
But history has shown it is anything but harmless.
In 2014, Barack Obama wore a tan suit during a press conference. He was blasted left and right by trolls and jokesters all over Twitter.
President Obama is here to sell you tornado insurance http://t.co/RYeWlKAm79— Jared Keller (@Jared Keller) 1409256617.0
The Audacity of Taupe http://t.co/3EC7NN0By8— Jared Keller (@Jared Keller) 1409257654.0
In addition to Twitter digs, some formal condemnations were even launched at Obama, firmly placing the tan suit into scandal territory.
BuzzFeed News reported that Republican Rep. Peter King, of New York, alleged that Obama's suit choice suggested inept foreign policy leadership:
"There's no way any of us can excuse what the president did yesterday."
"When you have the world watching... a week, two weeks of anticipation of what the United States is gonna do. For him to walk out — I'm not trying to be trivial here — in a light suit, light tan suit, saying that first he wants to talk about what most Americans care about the revision of second quarter numbers on the economy."
And now, six years later, Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has learned just how far the American public's collective memory goes back.
McConnell recently wore a tan suit while attending a meeting with President Trump in the Oval Office. Many viewed the wardrobe choice as a glaring example of hypocrisy after Republican lawmakers scandalized Obama for the same decision just a few years before.
Before the McConnell-blasting really hit its stride, The Daily Show was kind enough to bring us all up to speed on the context.
Today Mitch McConnell wore a tan suit in the Oval Office, which is nothing like the time Barack Obama wore a tan su… https://t.co/nFwDo3BiCC— The Daily Show (@The Daily Show) 1595266266.0
And true to form, Twitter leaped at the chance to call McConnell out.
Mitch McConnell in a tan suit? The year of controversy continues. https://t.co/bxnmnOxHYU— The Lincoln Project (@The Lincoln Project) 1595267103.0
mitch mcconnell in a tan suit, which i was once told is the worst thing a politician can do https://t.co/2syWkufzsr— Oliver Willis (@Oliver Willis) 1595259760.0
6 years ago Republicans became outraged because Barack Obama wore a tan suit. Today this is Mitch McConnell. Not… https://t.co/k9U5oOCiZy— Mrs. Krassenstein (@Mrs. Krassenstein) 1595267025.0
I won’t even ask who wore the tan suit better. https://t.co/bFKNmdDywU— Bleeding Heart Liberal Marine (@Bleeding Heart Liberal Marine) 1595264128.0
For some, simply wearing the loaded color was not McConnell's only transgression.
black shoes and socks on a tan suit?! c’mon, Mitch! https://t.co/o1JjujOKIv— Siraj Hashmi (@Siraj Hashmi) 1595259911.0
From which circle of fashion hell is this? #TanSuit https://t.co/C3yULXX38Q— Gänsefüßchen-Deutscher 🐰🏳️🌈🌍😍🐻🎮📸🎧 (@Gänsefüßchen-Deutscher 🐰🏳️🌈🌍😍🐻🎮📸🎧) 1595274461.0
Someone tell @senatemajldr that you DO NOT wear a tan suit, black socks and dark brown shoes... This is a disgrace! https://t.co/feO0rCXvS7— Miss Adorable (@Miss Adorable) 1595263159.0
I don’t know who needs to hear this (IT’S MITCH MCCONNELL), but: Your socks should match your slacks, not your sho… https://t.co/Rqqj3ftFM1— Leah McElrath 🏳️🌈 (@Leah McElrath 🏳️🌈) 1595260667.0
Others took the opportunity to point out what they felt was really driving the double standard.
So, Moscow Mitch McConnell is wearing a tan suit in the oval office today, badly I might add. I remember him wanti… https://t.co/AR8pOerDnz— Ricky Davila (@Ricky Davila) 1595263781.0
It Was NEVER About the TAN SUIT It was about the TAN President! @cspanwj #BlackLivesMatter https://t.co/XHoMTUVKbj— MICHAEL DOLLAR (@MICHAEL DOLLAR) 1595270447.0
In the year 2020, a scandal like this one is almost refreshing for its low-stakes nature.
It's a reminder that while the internet is indeed a powerful tool for information gathering, spreading, and social mobilization, it is also the bastion of over-dramatic, tongue and cheek controversy.