The entire Trump administration seemingly has a cloud of controversy hovering over them. And nobody is safe from it — not even first lady Melania Trump. While the controversy surrounding her various fashion choices is a little less concerning than, say, the president’s Twitter feed, they have still raised eyebrows across the U.S. and the world.
From her embarrassing hurricane relief accessories to the series of scandalous outfits she’s worn in the Middle East, we take a look at some of first lady’s most controversial fashion choices in her first year at the White House.
1. The outfit she wore while visiting Saudi Arabia
While many Western women choose to forgo a headscarf while traveling in the Middle East, Melania Trump saw a lot of backlash for it. The reason? In 2015, Donald Trump took to Twitter to comment on Michelle Obama’s missing headscarf, stating: “Many people are saying it was wonderful that Mrs. Obama refused to wear a scarf in Saudi Arabia, but they were insulted. We have enuf [sic] enemies.”
Aside from that, the long black dress and gold statement belt was her most conservative outfit of the entire trip. “A” for effort, Melania.
2. The FLOTUS hat she wore during Hurricane Harvey relief efforts
While visiting Texas during Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, the first lady of the United States took her job very seriously in a “FLOTUS” baseball hat. While we appreciate her “dressed-down” efforts, the hat saw a lot of controversy on social media. One Twitter user sarcastically stated, “Melania Trump is now thoughtfully wearing a hat saying FLOTUS so we know who she is.”
3. The sky-high snakeskin heels she wore during Hurricane Harvey relief efforts
The FLOTUS hat isn’t the only fashion choice that caused controversy during her visit to Texas. The first lady was seen in sky-high snakeskin heels — not exactly something you’d expect to see someone headed into the aftermath of a hurricane wearing.
4. Her Ralph Lauren U.S. Presidential Inauguration dress
After the 2016 presidential election, it was unclear what designers would agree to dress the incoming first lady. Then, when Melania Trump wore a blue Ralph Lauren number to her husband’s inauguration, anti-Trump supporters served a lot of backlash — particularly toward the American designer. The brand immediately saw controversy on social media with a “#BoycottRalphLauren” hashtag growing in popularity.
5. The pink pussy bow blouse she wore to the second presidential debate between Trump and Clinton
Following the controversy around Donald Trump’s so-called “locker room talk,” Melania Trump wore a hot pink pussy bow blouse to the second presidential debate between her husband and Hillary Clinton. While no one is sure whether she was trying to send a message, the fashion choice was a bit ironic, given the circumstances.
6. Her Gucci sunglasses
While on a visit to the Arlington National Cemetery, Melania Trump was spotted in a pair of dark Gucci sunglasses and was in hot water yet again with the public. Outraged civilians took to Twitter to express their concerns regarding the controversial decision to wear sunglasses in the first place, as shielding your eyes is viewed as a sign of disrespect.
7. Her New Year’s Eve dress
On New Year’s Eve, Melania Trump wore a black cocktail dress by Italian label, Dolce & Gabbana. Many suspected she bought the dress off the rack without the brand’s consent. But, when designer Stefano Gabbana praised the future first lady on his Instagram account and used the hashtag “#DGwoman” to solidify his support, it was clear he was a fan.
This caused immediate controversy with thousands of comments from users stating just how offensive they found his support.
8. This white and yellow Delpozo dress … and other non-American designer garments
Another controversial fashion choice? Her decision to wear non-American designers. In his Inaugural Address, Donald Trump stated, “We will follow two simple rules: Buy American and hire American.” Yet, the first lady has done just the opposite. With many of her dresses and fashion items coming from international designers and brands, it’s clear that her husband’s words don’t weigh heavy on her wardrobe choices.
9. The low-cut white skirt suit she wore to visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem
Many people viewed her fashion choices during Donald Trump’s visit to the Middle East as scandalous and inappropriate. But we can’t help but draw close attention to the revealing white skirt suit she wore to visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem. With a V-neckline and leg-baring skirt, the first lady’s business attire felt a bit too sexy for a trip to one of the holiest places in the world.
10. The navy blue heels she wore to visit with Hurricane Maria victims in Puerto Rico
After what happened in Texas, you’d think Melania Trump would have learned her lesson that heels and hurricane relief don’t mix. However, while leaving on a trip to Puerto Rico to visit with Hurricane Maria victims, the first lady wore a pair of navy blue heels.
Luckily, Melania Trump changed out of them on Air Force One, opting for something a little more practical: Timberland boots.
11. The hot pink dress she wore to a United Nations luncheon
When it comes to fashion choices, Melania Trump sure knows how to turn heads. However, while many of her controversial fashion choices are on her, this one is on the public. After wearing an oversized hot pink dress to speak at a United Nations luncheon about bullying, FLOTUS was ironically bullied on social media for looking overweight.
One Twitter user posted a comparison picture of the first lady and Violet Beauregarde from Willy Wonka and said, “Just watched Melania [Trump’s] speech. For some reason [it] made me think of the blueberry girl from Willy Wonka.” Ouch. Lucky for her, the media had her back with this one.
12. The leg-baring dress she wore while visiting a school in Saudi Arabia
Melania packed her suitcase for the Middle East with many controversial looks. Case in point? The leg-baring dress she wore while visiting a school in Saudi Arabia. Although the dress covered her arms, it revealed quite a lot of skin on her legs. Given that she was visiting a conservative country, this was probably not the best dress to wear on a school visit.
13. Her official White House portrait
Another controversy surrounding the first lady’s fashion? Her official White House portrait. Photographed showing off her 25-carat diamond wedding anniversary ring, the internet spiraled out of control with criticism and memes mocking the portrait.
14. Her $51,000 Dolce & Gabbana coat
After she wore a Dolce & Gabbana jacket that reportedly cost $51,000 to the G7 Summit, Melania Trump saw backlash for showing off her wealth. The extravagant jacket retails for just a few thousand dollars below the 2015 median U.S. household income. Therefore, many deemed it inappropriate to wear something so expensive.
15. Her fashion influence on Dolce & Gabbana
Speaking of Dolce & Gabbana, the Italian designer brand has been at the forefront of quite a few of her fashion faux pas. Following the jacket incident, those against the fashion choice took to Instagram to post comments on designer Stefano Gabbana’s post thanking Melania for wearing his design.
Similar to the Ralph Lauren controversy, commenters began using “#BoycottDolceGabbana” to gain attention from the designer. And they sure did. According to W Magazine, the brand is making light of the situation and set to release T-shirts with #BoycottDolceGabbana printed on them, as well as a full-fledged social media campaign centered around the hashtag. Touché.