The internet made its feelings known yesterday after First Lady Melania Trump committed the most distasteful of acts – wearing an expensive jacket.
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) October 24, 2017
Whilst visiting a middle school in Michigan on Monday, the First Lady opted to wear a rather expensive pink Valentino jacket, priced at $2,950 to be exact. This isn’t the first time the internet has had things to say about the clothing of Mrs Trump. In her short tenure as First Lady, Melania has managed to make herself look, well, let’s just say a little out of touch. While there may be slightly more pressing matters at hand, like the ever-escalating power play between America and North Korea, and Trump’s repeated attempts at a Muslim ban, we get that Melania’s outfit choices don’t exactly endear her to the masses.
From recently wearing improbably high Manolo Blahnik stilettos to go see hurricane victims in Texas, to donning a $1,380 Balmain shirt to pick plants with children in the White House Garden, Melania’s somewhat impractical and lavish fashion sense has some scratching their heads. In a time of increasing inequality, exhibiting such expensive taste rubs slightly the wrong way.
— NYLON (@NylonMag) September 25, 2017
This comes after addressing the UN last month, on the issue of child hunger, while decked out in a designer dress, also worth $2,950.
Basically…. Melania Trump wears average American income in one jacket. https://t.co/c0DFbeR6RW
— Jeremy (@Watchthehit) May 26, 2017
The one that really took the cake though was stepping out at the G7 summit in a Dolce & Gabbana jacket worth $51,000 – that’s more than the average American household income.
Yes Melania definitely gardens there’s no way this is just a photo op pic.twitter.com/SRZaRafQ0t
— Raffaella77 (@HeelSpurs0) September 22, 2017
All of this lies in stark contrast to her predecessor, Michelle Obama, who hosted a similar gardening event at the White House lawns for children in 2009. For the occasion, Michelle opted for more practical gear. She was also known for dressing in a more affordable, and largely American designed, wardrobe. All of which is to say, First Ladies have a history of having their wardrobes scrutinised, and as the current FLOTUS’s husband uses economics to slash many necessary social care programs and increase healthcare costs for millions of his voters, she probably could be performing her public duties a little more thoughtfully dressed.
That said, prior to Melania’s stint as First Lady, she was a full-fledged millionaire. It might seem a bit disingenuous if suddenly her sartorial style favored Old Navy and Walmart. And since she has the means to support sustainable and conscious fashion brands (rather than some of the more prickly practices of fast — yet affordable — fashion), then we shouldn’t be so quick to call her out. What we can agree on is there’s probably a middle ground somewhere, and she may do well to find it.