Some speculate that First Lady Melania Trump uses her outfits to make subtle (or not so subtle) statements about her husband’s administration. Omarosa Manigault Newman wrote in “Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House,” that she believes Melania Trump uses style to “punish” her husband.
But others simply admire her “streamlined glamour,” as designer Michael Kors described her style.
First ladies’ outfits are not paid for by taxpayers, and designers often offer to dress them for free. Still, some pieces she has worn are available to buy, even if they’re not exactly affordable.
Here are 14 of the first lady’s most expensive looks.
Manolo Blahnik heels — $US625
The First Lady was criticised for seeming out of touch by wearing expensive designer heels to visit the site of a natural disaster. The Manolo Blahnik pumps retail for $US625 at Neiman Marcus, but are currently sold out.
By the time she disembarked in Texas, she had changed into sneakers.
Balmain button-down shirt — $US690
Trump welcomed the Boys and Girls Club of Washington into the White House Kitchen Garden in a tartan cotton button-down shirt. It’s available on Net-A-Porter for $US690.
Gucci blouse — $US1,100
Trump wore a pink Gucci pussy bow blouse to the second presidential debate. Many wondered if the style choice was related to audio of Donald Trump remarking that he could “grab” women “by the p—y” because “when you’re a star they let you do it” that had leaked a few days earlier. A campaign spokeswoman said that the similarity was not intentional according to a tweet by Sopan Deb, then of CBS News.
The blouse retails for $US1,100 on Net-A-Porter.
Roksanda dress — $US2,865
For her speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention, Trump wore a white Roksanda “Margot” dress which is advertised as “a beautiful option for the modern bride” with $US675 Christian Louboutin heels.
Delpozo dress — $US2,950
Trump spoke to the United Nations about cyberbullying, but people couldn’t stop talking about her $US2,950 hot pink Delpozo dress with voluminous sleeves.
Business Insider’s Kate Taylor wrote that her choice of dress revealed her lack of public speaking experience since the dress didn’t appear oversized from a distance, but was ill-suited for speaking behind a podium.
Michael Kors jacket and Christian Louboutin heels — $US2,970
Gucci coat — $US3,701
Trump wore a pale yellow coat with a butterfly detail belt to the summit in Helsinki where President Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The coat, made by Gucci, is on sale for at Farfetch for $US3,701.
Isoude coat — $US3,995
Trump stepped off of Air Force One in Helsinki, Finland, in an Isuode driving coat with leather details retailing at $US3,995.
J. Mendel gown — $US6,990
After the backlash of Trump’s “I really don’t care, do u?” jacket that she wore on a visit to Texas to visit immigrant children (her spokeswoman said “There’s no hidden message”), she opted for a pale yellow pleated chiffon gown from J. Mendel on her and President Trump’s first official visit to the UK. The gown is no longer available but was priced at $US6,990, according to USA TODAY.
Monique Lhuillier gown — $US7,995
The first lady welcomed The White House Historical Society in a sparkling Monique Lhuillier gown. It is no longer available from Bergdorf Goodman, where it retailed for $US7,995.
Michael Kors jacket and skirt — $US9,590
When some criticised the look as too flashy for the event, Kors released a statement to Vanity Fair: “Mrs. Trump has been a long time client at our New York boutique. She has a keen understanding of what works best for her and her lifestyle. My embroidered black suit reflects the streamlined glamour that she is known for.”
Bally trousers, Manolo Blahnik heels, Hermes Birkin bag — $US14,170
Trump wore $US575 Bally wide-legged trousers and $US595Manolo Blahnik heels when she moved into the White House in 2017 with son Barron. She also carried a Hermes Birkin bag with an estimated cost of $US13,000.
Dolce & Gabbana jacket — $US51,500
Melania Trump wore a $US51,500 Dolce & Gabbana jacket to meet with spouses of world leaders at the G-7 summit in Italy.
Purchasing the floral multicolored jacket requires a $US25,750 deposit. The full cost of the jacket is more than most Americans make in a year.
Custom Hervé Pierre gown — priceless
For the night after the inauguration, Trump worked with designer Hervé Pierre to create a custom gown.
“When sitting down with Hervé to discuss her vision, the first lady knew she wanted a modern, light, unique and unexpected look,” Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s press secretary and communications director, told CNN.
Such custom creations for inaugural balls are priceless. Trump donated her gown to the Smithsonian’s First Ladies Collection exhibit at the National Museum of American History.
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