The Trump-resistance Washington Post went after First Lady Melania Trump’s choice of a white coat Monday when previewing the White House Christmas decorations earlier this week.
The Post’s fashion critic, Robin Givhan laid into the first lady after briefly approving of this year’s December decorations after the paper chastised last year’s display as a “nightmare forest.”
— Melania Trump 45 Archived (@FLOTUS45) December 2, 2019
In the piece, titled, “Melania Trump’s Christmas decorations are lovely, but that coat looks ridiculous,” Givhan writes that Trump’s outfit was “dismissive,” and “cold,” despite the white coat being the first lady’s signature look that performs in perfect harmony with this year’s theme being “The Spirit of America,” where white is a dominant color of the exhibition.
“More than a silly fashion folly, the coat is a distraction,” Givhan lambasted. “It’s a discomforting affectation taken to a ludicrous extreme. In a video that is intended to celebrate the warmth and welcoming spirit of the holiday season, that simple flourish exudes cold, dismissive aloofness.”
Watch the video for yourself, so cold.
In 2016 and 2017, multiple media outlets fawned over Hillary Clinton’s white coats and pant suits. Vanity Fair and USA Today explained the “hidden meaning” of Clinton’s white outfits, linking them to the women’s suffrage movement. The New York Times fashion critic praised Clinton’s white pant suit in 2016, then declared Tulsi Gabbard’s white pant suit look “leaves a chill.”
The Washington Post writer now castigating the first lady’s wardrobe outfit had previously spent years gushing in the Post over former First Lady Michelle Obama’s fashion attire, parading Obama’s dress as humble yet provocative and “impressive.”
As the Obamas were on their way out in 2016, Givhan wrote in awe of the departing first lady’s legacy on fashion in the White House, titling her piece, “Michelle Obama didn’t like to discuss her clothes, but they spoke volumes.”
Washington Post under Obama: Michelle “slays” again with that outfit
Washington Post under Trump: Melania looks ridiculous pic.twitter.com/6Q4Fhy8EE4
— Tristan Justice (@JusticeTristan) December 3, 2019
Fifteen years ago, the same fashion critic mocked the clothing of Chief Justice John Roberts’ young children at the judge’s appointment ceremony, characterizing their outfits as too conservative and “too carefully coordinated.”
Dressing appropriately is a somewhat selfless act. It’s not about catering to personal comfort. One can’t give in fully to private aesthetic preferences. Instead, one asks what would make other people feel respected? What would mark the occasion as noteworthy? What signifies that the moment is bigger than the individual?
But the Roberts family went too far. In announcing John Roberts as his Supreme Court nominee, the president inextricably linked the individual — and his family — to the sweep of tradition. In their attire, there was nothing too informal; there was nothing immodest. There was only the feeling that, in the desire to be appropriate and respectful of history, the children had been costumed in it.
Givhan’s condemnation of Trump’s designer outfit complementing the carefully conscripted colors of this year’s theme earned much-deserved scorn on Twitter.
Fashion criticism is great but Washington Post's fashion critic is almost always just "liberal politicians look amazing and conservative politicians look awful" but even for her, this is a transparently and laughably petty take. pic.twitter.com/Dqpd5XmPdv
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) December 3, 2019
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) December 3, 2019
Of course, Givhan is not alone in applying this partisan double-standard of wardrobe criticism.
For years, Michelle Obama was paraded as the “slay-queen,” merely every time she simply looked nice, (and she did, often look fabulous).
Melania Trump however, as evidenced in this week’s page from the Washington Post has been afforded with little such grace. The former supermodel-turned first lady representing the United States alongside her husband has been criticized countless times by elites in the media over her wardrobe choices often condemned as too extravagant.
As Fox News Contributor Lisa Boothe notes, the coverage of the first lady would be far different if she were a Democrat.
Melania Trump would be on the cover of Vogue if she was a Democrat. Her wardrobe is impeccable and she looks fierce in this jacket.
— Lisa Boothe (@LisaMarieBoothe) December 3, 2019
Clearly, the correctness of one’s fashion choices are directly related to their political affiliation than their fashion industry bonafides.