Bernie Sanders in a suit at the Democratic debate on CNN Wednesday. Photo: AP
Bernie Sanders is far from the most stylish candidate out there. If the people were voting for best dressed, it would probably be a close race between Donald Trump for his ability to blend business suits with baseball hats, Hillary Clinton and her affinity for bright colors such as chartreuse and teal, and Marco Rubio because of his heeled booties. The Vermont senator, on the other hand, has a signature look consisting mostly of ill-fitting separates and old ties, disheveled hair, and ties without any personality. But on Thursday night, Sanders finally made a fashion statement when he wore a brown suit — maybe.
Appearing on CNN’s democratic debate, Sanders went head-to-head with the former Secretary of State, vying for the 246 delegates at stake in Florida. He spoke of immigration reform (a pertinent topic for the Miami residents in attendance), education, and climate change. But those watching at home were more interested in deliberating the color of the candidate’s suit as opposed to his policies.
Call it #TheDress for nerds, but viewers couldn’t determine whether Sanders was in a brown, black, or dark blue ensemble.
— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) March 10, 2016
Is Bernie Sanders wearing a dark brown suit, or is that my TV?
— Josh Greenman (@joshgreenman) March 10, 2016
What color is Sanders’ suit? I feel like my TV is getting it wrong.
— Nick Confessore (@nickconfessore) March 10, 2016
Bernie’s suit is clearly brown and while it doesn’t look great with his skin tone it is a bold choice.
— Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie) March 10, 2016
Bernie’s suit even got its own Twitter account:
RT for brown fav for blue
— BerniesSuit (@BerniesSuit) March 10, 2016
According to Mike Casca, Sanders’ rapid response director initially claimed the the suit to be blue.
the suit senator sanders is wearing tonight is black*
*corrects for wrong color.
— mike casca (@cascamike) March 10, 2016
Another campaign member, Michael Briggs, backed this up.
Michael Briggs is now also saying @BernieSanders suit tonight is black– true division in the campaign
— MaryAlice Parks (@maryaliceparks) March 10, 2016
Some were still unconvinced though, instead using digital manipulation tools to prove a point.
— Alfred Ng (@alfredwkng) March 10, 2016
Science: Photoshop says Sanders’s suit is brown pic.twitter.com/sPCLKnH48y
— Peter Stevenson (@PeterWStevenson) March 10, 2016
In addition to the dispute, there was some serious fashion shaming for daring to wear the color brown. The critique gave Sanders a taste of what Clinton deals with on a daily, from talk about her hair to skirt suits. The discussion of whether or not a brown suit’s appropriate or not also recalled the time when President Obama shocked the nation by opting to discuss foreign policy with the press in a tan suit. Talking about Benghazi, ISIS, Syria, Ukraine, and more, the Internet instead focused on the light shade that was brought out in August, just a few weeks before Labor Day.