No messages here.
For her second trip to the border to visit the border since the family separation crisis, Melania Trump has gone back to basics. Well, she’s gone even beyond the basics, if you ask us.
The First Lady deboarded her plane in Tuscon, Ariz. on Thursday afternoon, exactly one week after she stepped off a plane in Texas wearing that now-infamous $39 Zara jacket with the words “I really don’t care. Do u?” scrawled across the back.
This time, she was wearing simple white trousers with a thin black track stripe running halfway up the side, a black boat neck top with a 3/4 sleeve (how Audrey Hepburn of her), and black flats. No words. No color. No fanciful details or on-trend bomber jackets. The look is timeless in the most literal sense—without context, she could have just as easily been deplaning in the year 1978 or 2018.
In the aftermath of the jacket scandal, Melania has already made a couple public appearances. The first was on the Friday evening following her trip to Texas, when she attended a Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) event in Virginia. She again kept it simple, wearing an ensemble—a white blouse and navy pencil skirt—whose only defining feature was a slightly popped collar.
The following Monday, she chose a pale pink leather Proenza Schouler gown. The just-below-the-knee dress was not particularly exciting, save for the leather material, which helped FLOTUS melt back into the background while the headlines about her jacket choice—which was dubbed apathetic—continued to splash across the news. (Her communications director said the jacket had “no message,” while President Donald Trump contradicted that statement, noting that the message was directed at the “Fake News Media.”)
FLOTUS must have known that all eyes would be on her when she hit the pavement on Thursday afternoon, so it comes as no surprise that she continues her understated streak. And while we don’t condone her insensitive parka pick from last week, we do have to say we miss her bolder sartorial choices—who didn’t love theorizing about that hat?
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Her coat may have overshadowed her actual visit to the McAllen, Texas shelter, but there was still plenty of criticism about how the First Lady conducted herself while meeting displaced children at the center. Melania said of the kids, “I’m sure they’re very happy,” while speaking with leaders who added that the shelter was like a “home.” When she actually met the children, she asked straightforward questions like “where are you from?” rather than “how are you feeling?”
With the world watching as she gets ready for her second visit, we wonder how she will carry herself, especially given the situation she is now checking-in on was created in the aftermath of her husband’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy. Unless she swaps outfits—which she’s been known to do when hopping from place to place—this time, it looks like she’ll let her actions, rather than her clothes, do the talking.