First Lady Melania Trump harvested the White House vegetable garden on Friday with some help from the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington. To do so, she wore a $1,380 Balmain shirt—and some Twitter users realllllly had a problem with it.
Needless to say, a $1,380 shirt isn’t the most practical thing to be digging around in the dirt in—and Trump was, in fact, doing some work in the garden Michelle Obama started. Most of us might opt for an old T-shirt or something that has a few coffee stains down the front. But she’s a First Lady, and so her fashion choices will always be up for endless analysis and critique.
Of course, the Internet hasn’t been too happy with a few of her looks lately: There was the $2,950 Delpozo dress she wore to give a speech about childhood hunger to the United Nations General Assembly, which Twitter was quick to point out came off as a little tone-deaf. And just a few weeks ago, Trump was criticized for wearing heels en route to Houston after Hurricane Harvey hit (Manolo Blahniks, no less).
Anyway, here is the shirt and a ripe-looking green pepper:
It’s worth pointing out that, while, yes, a $1,380 shirt errs on the side of being ridiculous, especially for gardening, the spouses of world leaders aren’t exactly known for shopping at Old Navy or Target, or, heck, even J.Crew—until Obama came along. To some degree, designer fashion is de rigueur if you’re married to someone who contributes, for better or worse, to running the world, and it’s not fair to drag Trump just for sticking to the dress code, however crazy it might seem to some of us mortals (for many of us, her shirt is a month or two of rent). At the same time, Obama wasn’t immune herself to designer duds in the dirt: She wore some Jimmy Choos as she broke ground on the garden.
That brings us to Twitter’s take on it. Kate Bennett, a CNN reporter opened the can of worms:
And then others chimed in with a whole range of opinions:
Bennett had a final response to the kerfuffle:
So, yes: First Ladies traditionally wear expensive things, and taxpayers don’t contribute to their wardrobe—so maybe it’s best to let them wear what they want? Overdressing for the garden isn’t and shouldn’t be a partisan issue, though she’s unlikely to score relatability points.