The subjects were serious enough at US President Barack Obama’s impromptu press conference, but many viewers and the collective press corps seized on something more immediately visible: his tan suit.
The president’s decision to address the media in a breezy, light-coloured summer suit swiftly took centre stage for many even as he addressed Russian responsibility for rebel actions in Ukraine and ongoing US air strikes against Islamists in Iraq.
“Yes we tan!” became the mocking rally cry on social media as Obama gave a statement and then took questions from what some have deemed a horrified press corps.
Back in 2012, Obama told Vanity Fair magazine that “I wear only grey or blue suits”. By breaking that promise on Thursday – even with what many acknowledge was a sharp-looking, seasonal get-up – Obama inadvertently gave birth to #suitgate.
And the snark from America’s aspiring fashion critics exploded on Twitter.
I’m sorry but you can’t declare war in a suit like that.
— Damian Paletta (@damianpaletta) August 28, 2014
Jared Keller, a programming director at startup MicNews, offered:
The Audacity of Taupe pic.twitter.com/3EC7NN0By8
— Jared Keller (@jaredbkeller) August 28, 2014
Other comments were similarly charitable. Not everyone was amused. Someone immediately started the parody handle @Obamasuit, but Twitter has already suspended the account.