When you get right down to it, presidential attire is so predictable that it’s downright boring. Outside of the most casual of White House events, presidents have almost always worn a suit and tie. It’s a symbol of their power and professionalism, and outside of some color choices (like Barack Obama’s tan suit), there isn’t much in the way of variety.
That’s not true for the president’s family members, however. And regardless of their political affiliation, one thing recent presidents have had in common is that their family members make some downright insane fashion choices before heading to events where their looks will be scrutinized and judged by literally millions of people.
Having trouble believing that presidential family members can barely dress themselves? Keep reading to discover the worst looks ever worn by presidential family members!
Michelle Obama and shorts: a mistake she never repeated
Before you write us any angry letters or emails, we should clarify that we’re using public reaction to gauge whether or not someone’s outfit was really that bad. Perhaps the best example of this is the time that Michelle Obama wore shorts when she vacationed at the Grand Canyon with her family in 2009. Honestly, she looks very comfortable in the photos, and shorts probably are the perfect attire when dealing with the dry heat in the area.
But once the photos of these shorts hit the internet, Obama’s haters went downright crazy. Many claimed that the shorts were too informal, especially because she exited Air Force One in them (to some, that made this more an official event than a private vacation). This probably drove Michelle crazy, but she learned from the moment and never wore shorts to such events ever again.
Ivanka Trump dressed way too casually for the Royal Family
Michelle Obama felt bad enough about being dressed too casually to exit a plane. Eventually, though, Ivanka Trump beat her by dressing too casually for the Royal Family. This all went down at a state banquet at Buckingham Palace back in June 2019, and we’re pretty confident they still gossip about this moment in England each year.
At first, you might not think there’s anything wrong with Ivanka Trump’s outfit: it’s beautiful, elaborate, and (you might think) formal. But the fact that she decided to wear a collared outfit to a white tie event made many people around the world claim she was dressed way too casually and informally for the royals. Considering that Ivanka once had her own fashion line, this fashion faux pas was even more embarrassing.
Melania Trump sends a confusing message to the world
They say that the right outfit always sends a message. We imagine Melania Trump agrees with that notion, but that doesn’t make the time she put a message directly on her outfit any less crazy. In case you’ve forgotten, this was in 2018 when she traveled to Texas to visit a border detention center housing migrant children.
She wore a green Zara jacket that would have been a fine (if a tad plain) fashion choice for the day. Bafflingly, though, she had added printed letters that read “I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?” Many couldn’t help but think this was a commentary on the migrant children, which would make Melania seem incredibly heartless. Later, she claimed it was meant more as a message to those who frequently criticized her, making the whole thing that much more confusing.
Hillary Clinton sticks out in the worst possible way
Hillary Clinton’s fashion choices have always been controversial. For example, she became an early adopter of the pantsuit look, believing it made her look more authoritative than a dress. Hell, she even wore one such suit for her White House portrait that was first unveiled in 2004.
In short, Hillary’s fixation with pantsuits no longer shocks us. However, we were shocked when she wore a lime-green top to the 2012 G20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico. The shade of green is very unflattering on its own (it has the same shade as your childhood toys that would glow on the dark), but it gets worse: Hillary didn’t realize that other national leaders had decided to wear white. While she had an admirable sense of humor about the whole thing, we couldn’t help but feel some serious secondhand embarrassment.
Ivanka Trump rocks some bathrobe couture
They say that money can’t buy you taste, and (bless her heart), Ivanka Trump is a prime example of this. For example, when she decided to visit Guadalupe Center’s childcare facility back in 2019, she selected an outfit that we’re sure came from a major designer and cost a small fortune. Unfortunately, it looks like it came from Bed, Bath, and Beyond instead.
The world took one look at Ivanka’s outfit and collectively asked the same question: “is she wearing a bathrobe?” This fashion faux pas didn’t exactly destroy Ivanka’s reputation, though it may provide some powerful hints as to why her fashion line failed.
Ugly in pink? Melania Trump’s controversial UN speech outfit
Most of the time, the wardrobe malfunctions we have covered concern either the outfit looking terrible (like Ivanka’s expensive bathrobe) or inappropriate for the setting (like Ivanka’s heartless words that may or may not have been directed at migrant children). However, when Ivanka Trump gave a speech to the United Nations in 2017, she managed to knock out both kinds of wardrobe malfunctions in one go.
For starters, just look at this thing. Melania’s over-the-top pink ensemble looks like she has dressed to be an extra in a Legally Blonde sequel, rather than someone who is addressing the free world. But it gets better: she was giving a speech about child poverty, all while wearing what looked like a used Snuggie that, as Marie Claire reminds us, inexplicably cost nearly $3,000 at the time. Critics couldn’t help but accuse her of hypocrisy at this moment, and even many of Melania’s fans had to admit that the pink ensemble was astoundingly ugly.