Melania Trump's Most Controversial Fashion Moments

The First Lady is relatively quiet in public - but her clothes often make a statement. As a former model, Melania Trump knows the power of fashion, and frequently picks pieces that speak louder than words. Look back at the outfits that have gotten people talking, whether they had a "hidden message" or not

01 of 07


Andrew Harnik/AP/REX/Shutterstock; Tradesy

Mrs. Trump was slammed for wearing a two-years-old Zara jacket that read "I REALLY DON'T CARE, DO U?" on her way to visit facilities holding migrant children at the Texas-Mexico border in June 2018. Despite the backlash, she put it back on for the return flight to Washington, D.C.

Although the First Lady's communications director, Stephanie Grisham, claimed the jacket "had no hidden message," President Trump directly contradicted her by Tweeting that the jacket was a commentary on the media.

02 of 07

Heels on the Way to a Hurricane Zone

President Trump Departs White House En Route To Texas
Alex Wong/Getty

Mrs. Trump also received criticism for wearing sky-high stilettos while traveling to Houston to tour neighborhoods devastated by Hurricane Harvey and console storm victims in August 2017. (She changed into sneakers when she deplaned Air Force One.) The criticism didn't seem to faze her, however, as she wore heels again a few months later on her way to visit a Hurricane Maria-stricken Puerto Rico.

03 of 07

White Pantsuit at the 2018 State of the Union Address

Mark Wilson/Getty

On a night when Democratic women in Congress wore black in solidarity with the Time’s Up movement, Mrs. Trump noticeably wore a white pantsuit. However, many interpreted the color choice not only as a way to stand out, but possibly as a way of emulating her husband’s presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton.

New York Times fashion critic Vanessa Friedman said the suit was "exactly the kind of outfit that became a symbol of her husband’s rival, Hillary Clinton, during the last election, and has since become widely accepted as sartorial shorthand for both the suffragists and contemporary women’s empowerment and something of an anti-Trump uniform."

04 of 07

The White Hat Moment


While many were focused on President and First Lady's strange hand-holding moment while welcoming French President Emmanuel Macron and First Lady Brigitte Macron in April 2018, others couldn't help but be distracted by Mrs. Trump's wide-brimmed white hat.

Some compared the hat to Olivia Pope's metaphorical "white hat" on Scandal (including the show's costume designer, Lyn Paolo), which symbolizes morality and doing the right thing, while others noted that the hat gave off Beyoncé vibes.

05 of 07

A Balmain Plaid Shirt for Gardening

US First Lady Melania Trump harvests and plants vegetables with students from the Boys and Girls Club of Washington DC

The First Lady's choice of a $1,380 Balmain plaid button-down shirt for her first event in the White House garden in September 2017 raised eyebrows; while some found the extravagrance of the shirt "obscene," others defended her right to wear anything she wants.

06 of 07

$51,500 Dolce & Gabbana Coat

Italy G7
Domenico Stinellis/AP

Accompanying her husband to the G7 Summit in Sicily in May 2017, Mrs. Trump wore a 3D-floral embellished silk coat from the controversial Italian designers that cost $51,500. The Italian designers have openly embraced the First Lady (as other designers expressed hesitation about dressing her), even creating $245 #BoycottDolceGabbana T-shirts mocking people who disagree with their decision to furnish her wardrobe.

07 of 07

Pussy-bow Blouse

Patrick Semansk/AP

Mrs. Trump was making waves in the fashion arena even before she entered the White House. At the second presidential debate in St. Louis, she wore a $1,100 Gucci pussy-bow blouse — just days after audio was released of her husband telling then-Access Hollywood host Billy Bush that as "a star," he can grab women "by the p----."

The shared language between the top and the quote was perhaps unintentional, but still hard to ignore. (Ahead of the debate, Melania herself called her husband’s commentary “unacceptable and offensive.”)

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