Melania Trump has come a long way from her humble beginnings in Yugoslavia, rising all the way to become first lady of the United States. Melania might not be the most outspoken first lady, but she knows how to make a statement with her keen fashion sense. (As well as how to stay fit and youthful at almost 50!)
Unfortunately, some of Melania’s fashion statements have stirred up a ton of controversy. We’ve got the full scoop on the wildest and most controversial wardrobe choices Melania has worn since becoming first lady!
Inauguration Day Dress
In some ways, Inauguration Day was the most important day for Melania Trump. This would be the day that introduced her as first lady to the world. What did she end up wearing? A tasteful blue cashmere number from Ralph Lauren.
You might think nothing could be controversial about cashmere, but some detractors felt that this label was taking an unnecessary political stance by providing an outfit to Melania. Ultimately, the detractors were lashing out because of politics. This was made most evident because of who else rocked some Ralph Lauren that night: Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump’s rival for the presidency!
She Put a Ring On It
The White House portraits are an important part of any presidential legacy. These images offer a way for the president and his family to be remembered long after they are out of office. However, Melania caused a stir when she wore a 25-carat diamond ring when posing for her portrait.
Some haters felt this was a way to flaunt wealth, especially because she wore this ring in lieu of her simpler engagement ring. Others felt that it was only logical Melania would want to dress fancier than usual for the most important pose of her life.
One bit of old wisdom holds that “it’s not always what you say, but how you say it.” If Melania’s 2017 U.N. speech is any indicator, we might also say “it’s what you wear while you say it.”
The content of her speech focused on issues such as cyberbullying and hunger that affected children around the world. But critics were quick to point out that she was wearing a pink Delpozo dress that cost nearly $3,000. Between the price tag of her dress and her husband’s constant Twitter antics, many felt that her message about ending bullying and hunger felt hollow.
Suffrage or Suffering?
Melania Trump has made some weird fashion choices over the years. But there are times when it feels like she just can’t catch a break.
For example, at the 2018 State of the Union address, she wore a white pantsuit. And this decision triggered a surprising amount of hostility and criticism. The reason is that many of the famous women in attendance were wearing black in solidarity with the Time’s Up movement.
This movement was meant to draw attention to predatory behavior like that of Harvey Weinstein. Critics assumed that Melania wore white as a rebuke to the movement. In actuality, her white attire was meant to symbolize the suffragette movement which historically fought for women’s rights.
Most people assume that fashion labels are politically neutral and that Melania Trump infuses them with controversy. In some cases, though, it’s a little bit of both.
For example, for a 2017 visit to Sicily, Melania wore a Dolce & Gabbana jacket with an astounding price tag: $51,000! This became its own controversy because that one item costs more than most families in America make in a year.
Throw in Dolce & Gabbana’s race-based scandals toward Chinese people and African-Americans and this quickly became a major controversy.
“I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?”
The shorter the message, the easier it is to misinterpret. That’s a lesson Melania Trump learned when visiting a border detention center and wearing an outlandish jacket in June 2018.
She came to visit detained children while wearing a $39 Zara jacket. The price tag wasn’t the problem, though. The issue was that the back of the jacket read “I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?” in white letters.
Critics immediately assumed the message described her thoughts on the immigration policy that led to children being detained. Melania later clarified it was directed toward the media who would scold her no matter what move she made.
The World’s Fanciest Gardener
Most of us have some kind of “outdoors clothes.” These are the clothes that we don’t mind getting dirty when we are jogging or gardening. But at a 2017 Boys and Girls Club event at the White House, Melania stirred up more than the garden.
Her gardening outfit was actually a plaid shirt from Balmain with a price tag of $1,380. While you could argue this is cheaper than some of her other outfits, many critics felt this showed how out of touch she was with common people and down-to-earth activities.
Stolen Royal Valor
On a long enough timeline, fashion controversies are going to repeat themselves. And that happened in June 2019 when Melania sported another Dolce & Gabbana ensemble while visiting the queen of England.
Melania looked stunning in her white dress and hat. So, what was the problem? This is the exact look that both Meghan Markle and Princess Diana are known for. Accordingly, some thought it was in poor taste to dress like the queen’s daughter-in-law who died after a tragic automobile accident.
When Melania visited Africa in October 2018, she took a few precautions. For example, she rocked a white suit to help her reflect the sun and keep her cool. Aside from the fact that she looked like an Indiana Jones character, what could possibly be the issue here?
It’s the hat. What she is wearing is a pith helmet that colonialists wore in years past. As such, many Africans considered this to be a cultural insult.
9/11 Coat Controversy
Even if you aren’t a big Melania Trump fan, you have to admit some of these controversies only exist in the heads of her haters. That’s definitely the case with the Hervé Pierre coat she wore on September 11, 2018 while visiting the Flight 93 memorial on in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Her navy-blue coat sported a sharp A-line. What, then, upset the internet? Some detractors felt that the stitching on the coat looked like a tower being attacked. And they felt that while such a coat would always be a bad look, it was especially poor taste on 9/11.
Ultimately, a stitch is just a stitch. We recommend waiting for a real controversy instead of trying to read the tea leaves (or coat seams) for a reason to get mad.