If there’s one thing I’ve learned about First Lady Melania Trump since her husband was elected president, it’s that she can wear the hell out of a coat. Dramatic, functional, militaristic, sporty, tailored, avant garde—she covers a lot of ground with her coverings. She wears a coat so well, she doesn’t even need to use the sleeves half the time, and she still rocks them better than most.
For the purposes of this list, I’ve eliminated blazers and skirt-suit jackets from consideration, even when they’re really cool. Honorable mentions in that category go to this wild Altuzarra number she wore to meet the President and First Lady of Argentina, the bold choice of a Michael Kors tuxedo jacket for the Joint Session of Congress in January, and this gorgeous Ralph Lauren menswear look FLOTUS wore to host her Canadian counterpart, Sophie Trudeau.
But on to the big coats. And there are plenty. All the coats are posted at @1600slay under #FLOTUScoats.
28. Funky Fendi in Japan
This one fell flat for me, even though I like a crazy coat, and even this color palette. But something about the texture plus the colors plus the flowers was not doing it for me, leaving me with a $4,800 bathrobe feeling. This coat was FLOTUS’ debut look on the couple’s Asia trip, for her meeting with the First Lady of Japan.
27. Basic Black in Beijing
Melania kept her coat game very simple and chic in China in November, sporting this Dior number upon her arrival in the country.
26. Tale of Two Trenches
At Walter Reed Medical Center in April, FLOTUS donned a chic, simple trench coat.
25. Trench Twist
While visiting the Secret Service training center with the president in October, Melania bundled up in Burberry— a classic trench with python piping.
24. Celine with the Children
FLOTUS attended a Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation function at One World Trade Center in September, notably repeating a baby blue dress she’d worn in June. Draped over it was a white Celine coat.
23. Crimson on the World Stage
FLOTUS draped a Bottega Veneta red coat at the G20 in July.
22. An Appointment in Tan
FLOTUS attended the nomination ceremony for Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen wearing a tan/cream-colored coat from Swedish designer, Acne Studios. She’d later wear another Acne jacket, featured later in this list, to visit Texas, but the look was overshadowed by her shoes.
21. Wild & Warm in Alaska
FLOTUS really needed to bundle up while visiting the troops in Alaska on the way back from her Asia trip. She chose a Ralph Lauren winter jacket.
20. Church in Blue
In September, FLOTUS attended St. John’s Church in Washington with the president, draping a light blue Joseph coat over her shoulders on her way to a service to mark the National Day of Prayer.
19. A Royal Departure
FLOTUS departed for the couple’s two-week Asia trip in November wearing a bright purple Emilio Pucci coat dress in her favorite silhouette paired with vibrant vibrant stilettos, also a staple. She’d wear these shoes again later in the trip with another purple stunner. Stay tuned.
18. A Midwestern Lilac
FLOTUS wore a lavender Valentino coat with matching heels when she made a surprise visit to a Michigan middle school during Bullying Prevention Month in October.
17. Olive Fab, not Drab
Melania sported a very military-inspired jacket to a youth center at Andrews Air Force Base in September, where she was promoting STEM eduction. The Veronica Beard look retails for $595.
16. White for Women’s Empowerment
Visiting the State Department and appearing at a White House women’s empowerment event, FLOTUS wore an ivory, belted coatdress from The Row, a well-respected design housed founded by the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen (no, really!).
15. Formal Coat Dress in Japan
For dinner with the First Couple of Japan, Melania wore an elegant, custom, tuxedo-inspired coat dress by her favorite designer, Herve Pierre.
14. Warm in Texas
When Melania visited Texas’ rebuilding efforts in December, she wore a puffy Rag & Bone coat for the trip. It retails for about $995. This was the coat she wore for her famous Whataburger run with Second Lady Karen Pence. I may have awarded it extra points for that reason.
13. When In Rome, As They Say
When FLOTUS stepped out in Sicily, Italy for her first foreign trip with the president for the G7 summit, she debuted in a coat that got lots of press, unfortunately more for its price tag than the look, as it is stunning. Her 3-D Dolce & Gabbana floral jacket runs $51,500.
Designer Stefano Gabbana is unabashed about his support for Trump and FLOTUS on his social media accounts, and criticism of that support led to one of the best fashion clapbacks of the year. D&G started selling a $245 “Boycott D&G” t-shirt when haters vowed to abandon the brand over it dressing Melania.
12. Not Your Momma’s Tan Coat
I’m not generally a fan of the tan or camel coat, but I liked this version of it. This double-breasted Bottega Veneta was an extra treat for kids visiting the White House on Halloween.
11. Great in Black at the Great Wall
Melania wore several black coats on their Asia trip, and this wouldn’t be my favorite except that it really decided to get into the spirit while FLOTUS was photographed on the Great Wall. Again, Melania drapes her coat instead of wearing it traditionally, and this $2,675 cashmere and wool coat took its moment in the spotlight.
@WhiteHouse_Fash While touring the Great Wall of China FLOTUS wore a D&G coat, the row skirt, Alaina Vienna Belt and Louboutin flats. pic.twitter.com/5EtJAySScW
— Tiffany summit (@summit_tiffany) November 10, 2017
10. Reagan Red on the Runway
Early in the presidency, Melania was spotted in a gorgeous Alice Roi coat with military influence on top and flowy elegance on the bottom. Some suggested it was a nod to “Reagan” red and Nancy Reagan’s ensembles of the same bright color. Looking at it again, I’m thinking this early entry from early spring of this year should be higher on the list. WANT.
Four Coats for Christmas
FLOTUS was out and about on the White House grounds overseeing ceremonies and decorations during the Christmas season as well as visiting a local hospital and the U.S. Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots drive. She was rarely without a festive coat in her rounds.
9. Holiday Chic
At the lighting of the National Christmas tree, Melania wore a 2017 Chanel red, boucle coat with a plaid detail.
8. Kelly Kween
While visiting the Toys for Tots charity drive, Melania opted out of her go-to formal look for a shorter kelly green Prada coat that retails for $1,488.
7. FLOTUS also visited Washington Children’s National Hospital
She read stories and greeted patients. She donned all white on the occasion, draping a Max Mara winter-white wool coat with a dramatic collar over a pencil skirt and sweater of the same hue. Kim Kardashian also favors Mara outerwear and has been spotted in this exact coat.
6. A Christmas Statement
And finally, while receiving a 19-foot evergreeen from Wisconsin for the Blue Room of the White House long with son Barron, FLOTUS wore a navy Calvin Klein coat with a red check to kick off Washington’s official Christmas season. She paired it with knee-high Victoria Beckham boots and a red turtleneck. The coat retails for about $1,600.
5. Houston Bomber
It was Melania’s Manolo Blahnik stilettos that got all the silly, hand-wringing press when she and President Trump left the White House to visit Houston in the wake of Hurricane Harvey (she was in flats by the time Air Force One landed). Overlooked was her casual jacket by Swedish designer, Acne Studios ($650).
4. Floral for a Fowl Pardoning
Melania often spices up her coat looks with interesting shapes or tailoring details over patterns, but when she goes for a pattern, she really goes for it. She paired this embroidered $975 Stella McCartney floral coat with a high-waisted leather skirt by the Herve Pierre, the designer who created her Inauguration gown, and rust-orange Victoria Beckham top.
3. McQueen in Seoul
FLOTUS really enjoys a very tailored coat with militaristic details, and this was my favorite of the genre this year. Melania wore several black coats on her swing through Asia with Trump. Her choices in China were very subdued, as referenced earlier, but she let loose in South Korea. FLOTUS donned this double-breasted, cashmere Alexander McQueen coat with exaggerated shoulder details, paired with a dramatic leather belt to tour the National Cemetery in Seoul.
2. The Inaugural Look
This one rides the line between blazer and coat, but as it was definitely an outdoor, cold-weather coat functionally, it’s in the mix. And it has to be toward the top of the list, as such a great first-impression look, echoing Jackie Kennedy in robin’s-egg blue, all designed by Ralph Lauren.
1. Delpozo in the East
Melania wore this dramatic, avant garde coat when she arrived in Seoul in November. The dark purple coat relies on architectural details like its large sleeves to make a statement, and FLOTUS paired it with none-too-quiet bright purple heels. For this look that very few can pull off convincingly, much less in a high-stakes and elegant setting such as greeting the First Lady of South Korea, I award this crazy coat the No. 1 slot on my list.
Feel free to argue with my ranking. That’s the whole point! Thanks to @WhiteHouse-Fash, @MelaniaTrump.style, Vogue, AOL, and @flotus for pictures and tips. If I’ve missed any you remember, let me know!