reality is weirder than you think

Tag: Melania Trump (page 1 of 2)

Melania wears a costume in China

I started compiling this post determined to make a “reduce reuse recycle” joke about Melania’s outfit choices in China.

Turns out they’re completely different outfits.

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I can, however, feel fashion bloggers wincing at the matchiness between the deep fur cuffs and the stilettos. That is a hallmark of Melania’s style at this point. Not much jewelry, very simple silhouettes, and matchiness.

This is the most embellished dress I can recall her wearing. Interestingly, her outfits in Poland and France were also relatively more colorful and embellished. I wonder why she allows her clothes more visual interest overseas?

The unexpected embellishment adds to the feeling of costume, along with the silhouettes that are not typical Melaniawear. The stilettos help tie each look back to what she typically looks like.

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While I’m slowly getting on board with the matchiness idea — some people are just like that — the thing I don’t understand is why she wore two outfits that include the same visual elements on the same trip. She knows that she’s going to be photographed, so I truly don’t understand the decision to wear two outfits that are so similar. It’s harder to distinguish between one event and the other, and it’s an opening for criticism.

The other thing is that black and baby pink really aren’t her colors. She does really well with warmer colors, and browns. Strong colors, not icy ones.

Thinking back on what I’ve written, it strikes me that I don’t know any of the context behind these wardrobe choices. Perhaps they were created by Chinese designers specifically for her visit. Perhaps the fashion industry is being big enough bitches that she’s having a difficult time finding options. I don’t know.

Is it worth finding out?

On the other hand, the images have to stand on their own. That includes the “art direction” inside of the images, which includes wardrobe.

Image of the week: MAGAween edition

Getty won’t let me embed the good image from this series, but the concept is too good to pass by.

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Skeleton. MAGA. HAT.

So simple, yet so effective. And so on-brand.

I love the MAGA, I love the bats, I love Melania’s deployment of a vaguely-military-style coatdress in a color that looks mostly good on her.

It’s a great photo.

And yet, I’m curious about the child dressed in all black. What is he supposed to be —  /pol/, maybe? Or anonymous?

The great mysteries of life.

Melania makes a wrong turn in Carolina Herrera

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Lady, no disrespect meant, but this is awful.

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Please never wear a high waist again. Especially not a high waist with a crewneck top.

Here’s what doesn’t work: there’s no space between the bottom of her bust and the top of her skirt, the start of her “bottom half.” This makes her look compressed, and squished vertically, when in reality her proportions are longer and leaner. Because there’s no breathing room around her bust (amplified by the white crew neck sweater which visual expands the area while also cutting off all visual exits), the proportions end up looking cartoonish. And not in a good way.

Stark red (or is it coral?) and stark white is tough to wear without looking like a candy cane. Melania rarely wears jewelry or a “mix” piece to tie together disparate colors like this, and in this case it would have been a good idea. Even a pale pink scarf would be a welcome addition, while still keeping in the palette.

The skirt is by Carolina Herrera, and is fairly cute on its own. I like the play on proportions in the lookbook, but that would have been an even worse styling decision than the one that Melania’s team made. Hourglass figures cannot handle trapeeze tops — those are for models and 12-year-olds.

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So as not to leave this post on a sour note, I do how she plays the “red and white” to the “blue” of the ties. Again with the tag-team color story.

Melania in Puerto Rico

I suppose now they’ll criticize her for wearing white.

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Just kidding — they won’t talk about this at all, because it wrecks the “Trump doesn’t care about Puerto Rico!” narrative.

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Killer shades — eliminating bugmen with a glance. Has there ever been such an intimidating-looking first lady? I feel like past FLOTUSes (FLOUTI?) have tried to make themselves relatable in some way or another. With Melania, I don’t get that vibe. Time for some research into past First Lady style.

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While the silhouette is great, not sure the color palette works on this one. The gold braid on the hat calls to the workboots, but the white “column of color,” green jacket, and dark hat feel discombobulated.

White doesn’t make sense for a work outfit, even if it’s just for show.

Even so, I like Action Barbie Melania better than Gala Barbie Melania.

Two variations of black and white outfits

Melania has recentlyish worn two black-and-white outfits, both very different.

First up, the “competent” outfit (seriously, this exact outfit is what you get when you search “competent woman).

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Gets the job done, is classic, the end. Not especially stylish or Melania-like (except for that subtle white stitching detail), but it works for this venue. She’s doing a job that’s focused on conversation, not on herself.

Nest up, the “fashion” outfit. The cropped, wide-leg pants (which you can’t see because I refuse to embed the images that Getty has which have her from a slightly below angle which makes her look awful) are very now, and the double-breasted yet tailored jacket is quite a striking look.


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She’s also doing her job here, but in this case the entire point of the job is a photo-op — to look at her.


Remember when I said that Melania looks better in harder-edged or military-inspired clothes?

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Don’t listen to the media, Melania

Dear Melania,

I realize that you’ve undergone quite a bit of scrutiny in the past few weeks for the clothes that you choose to wear. While I don’t know what it’s like to be that lambasted in the public spotlight, I imagine that there’s immense pressure to change.

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Given that your favored style falls somewhere in the category of “elegant former fashion model” rather than “sporty everywoman” or “uppercrust GOP” like other first ladies, it would be difficult picking out outfits that are suitable and appropriate for disaster situations.

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However, that doesn’t mean you have to dress like a 70-year-old lady. This temporary media storm is going to blow over no matter what you do. Making a u-turn into khaki pants, Chanel flats (ugh!), billowy shirts and 1970s cape dresses is not going to make the media love you.

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You still look pulled together, but you don’t really look like your normal self. Your normal style elements are there — a restricted color palette, tailoring, bold sunglasses — but there’s a restraint, almost a staleness around your choices. (Like that pale dusty green, so like a wallflower, which you are not.)

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Despite what the media says, it’s okay to be yourself. The people who voted your husband into office don’t mind the fact that you once posed for a photo in a fur and metal bikini and have a fondness for stiletto heels. We appreciate you for it, just like we appreciate your husband’s affinity for gold-plated everything

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Please continue being your elegant self. Disaster or no, the media will always find something to complain about.

This too shall pass. In the meantime, wear more stilettos.


Trump Supporters

Melania dresses for the occasion

Let’s start this post off with a photo with great rhythm.

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Secondly, to all the people who claim that Melania is trolling the media by wearing stilettos on the plane to her second trip to Houston, she’s not. She wears stilettos quite often, actually. Continuing to wear them in the face of media outrage is just business as usual.

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This is a total aside, but I swear her superpower is walking on grass in stiletto heels. She does it so gracefully and never gets stuck — because I’m sure if she did, the photos would be all over the internet in seconds.

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That said, it’s a great khaki dress she’s wearing on this trip. I really like how military-inspired pieces look on her. Harder-edged clothes play well off her no-nonsense personality, maybe, in ways that softly elegant clothes don’t.

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Exhibit B for this observation, Melania dressing in work clothes for an event at which she’s going to — gasp — do work. Chambray shirt, olive khaki pants, Chuck Taylors. Maybe it’s the double-pocket detail on the blouse that works so well on her, but I really like both the khaki dress outfit and the chambray shirt outfit.

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On other occasions, like going to church, she dresses perfectly for the venue, all modest in pastel pinks and blues and floral shoes. The outfit is fine, but doesn’t inspire rapturous declarations of love and adoration.

Although I do love it when they dress all matchy.

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The Truth about Melania’s Shoes

Melania can’t get the optics right, you say? A failure in optics for whom, exactly?

Let’s see…

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Donald and Melania, striding through the night with a wind machine at their backs, like characters from an 80s action movie come to save the day in their matching jackets and kick-ass teamwork.

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Donald and Melania, descending from the clouds along with blue skies and a break from torrential rains, showing unity as they draw attention, resources, and strength to the Houston area.

Huh, that’s some spectacular failure right there. Looks pretty good to me.

The divisiveness over Melania’s shoes is yet another symptom of the divide that has been growing wider and wider in our country for quite some time now. Scott Adams likens it to seeing two different movies on the same screen.

I see it as upside-down world and rightside-up world. In my world, up is up, and I orient myself accordingly. In a leftist’s world, up is down, and they also orient accordingly. But when I talk about “up,” and they talk about “up,” we both think we are talking about the same thing (“up” relative to our own self) but we are objectively talking about two entirely different things altogether.

As people the post-Trump world has gotten less and less inclined to talk rationally to each other, the poles pretty much flipped. Sometime in 2016, I would have said that they were at right angles to each other — or at least not so far apart that you couldn’t connect on some level — but there was a point, probably 2 months before the election, when something clicked and we’re 180 degrees apart in perception.

So you have two audiences for Melania Trump’s optics:

  • Upside-Down World, who will always hate her no matter what because she’s married to the evil racist scary bigot orange unpresidential monster, and
  • Rightside-Up World, who are inclined to like her or are indifferent — or won’t judge her harshly simply because of who she’s married to.

Citizens of Upside-Down World don’t like that Melania wore stiletto heels on the plane and wish she would have worn something more appropriate.

Citizens of Rightside-Up World are wondering what the big deal is, and why the media is detracting from important issues like, say, catastrophic flooding in a major American city, in order to talk about a woman’s fashion choice.

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I like this photo of her both wearing the shoes and carrying her own umbrella.It’s satisfying. Upside-Down Worlders seem to think that if a woman is wearing stilettos, she can’t do anything for herself.

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So which is more truthful?

“Hi, I’m Melania Trump, former model who speaks 5 languages and is married to an incredibly successful and wealthy man who also happens to be President of the United States. Like most former models, I like expensive clothes. I’m in a non-flooded area wearing the type of outfit that reads ‘utilitarian’ but only on a fashion runway. These are shoes I typically wear.”


“Hi, I’m Melooneeoy Troomp, a beaten and broke down woman who is trying to rehab her image in the eyes of ‘the people.’ Even though I’m not going to be anywhere near the Cajun Navy, and literally nobody expects me to do that, I’m going to dress up in a costume like I’ll be out on the boats rescuing people anyway. Because optics.”

People in Upside-Down World need Melania to wear the sartorial equivalent of a lie, because it looks better, rather than her wearing what she would normally wear as the person that she is. Perhaps it is less of a need than a want — they want the photographic illusion that someone is helping. (Really though, they just want to nitpick and complain.)

Most of the people in Rightside-Up World understand that the President’s help is mostly on a ceremonial level — he will not be helping personally, but with policy and money and manpower and influence — and that dressing up in honest-to-goodness work clothes for a photo op would be patently ridiculous.

What Melania wears in this situation is mostly secondary, but she — as always — chooses clothes that are tasteful, that suit the (real) occasion, that align her with Trump as a team, and that project elegance.

Her outfits are so well chosen it seems like her team is a bit prescient to how the press will react. If I didn’t know better, I’d think this was planned.

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Melania would kindly remind you who she is, and — more importantly — who you are not.

Melania Trump double feature

I should probably post about Milo at the VMAs yesterday, because 1. HOW DID HE GET AN INVITE? and 2. his hair was, as usual, amazing. But why talk about Milo when you could talk about the Slavic Wife of our God Emperor?

First up, a green dress with orange pumps. In theory, that sounds ghastly.

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In reality, it’s less ghastly but I’m still not totally sure I’m on board with it. I get that it matches the orange trim of the dress, so it’s not totally out of left field, but orange and green is a really tough color combination to pull off, for anyone. And, I appreciate her bringing some style to her shoes, unlike Catherine across the pond who wears the same boring shoes over and over again.

Overall, the look works. She’s giving off major MILF vibes.

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Next up, an outfit that reminds me of Jackie O. It’s been worn a thousand times by a thousand different types of women, and really it’s nothing to write home again. Cropped pants, ballet flats, blouse.

Melania is doing shades of pink. She tends to stay within one color family for an outfit, the “column of color” idea (except for when she doesn’t, see above). What gets me is that she takes such a steady outfit idea, and manages to look COOL wearing it.

Those sunglasses were an inspired purchase. They add just the right amount of edge to an outfit without being too outside-the-box.

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She also does a great job of setting herself apart from the two men surrounding her–both in blue and white.

PS. I kind of love that Barron is wearing Gucci loafers.

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