For Thursday’s events ahead of President-elect Donald Trump’s swearing in as the 45th president of the United States, his wife, Melania, wore a knee-grazing black coat. Designed by Norisol Ferrari, the piece was fittingly military-inspired for a day of inauguration activities, including a stop at Arlington National Cemetery.
Another aspect of note in her ensemble? The fact that the future first lady accessorized with large, dramatic Gucci sunglasses.
Twitter users were quick to comment on the look.
Why is #Melania Trump wearing sunglasses at the wreath laying ceremony at Tomb of the Unknowns? Is that even appropriate?
— David J Wyatt (@monsieur66djw) January 19, 2017
Is Melania Trump part of secret service? Shouldn't she have taken off her sunglasses?!?!? No one told her?
— Sherry (@ms_sherryb) January 19, 2017
Sunglasses not a good look for Melania, especially not on overcast January afternoon at national cemetery
— Jennie Matthew (@jenniematthew) January 19, 2017
Most did not hold back their judgments. Some even interpreted the sizable sunnies as an elitist gesture, especially as the former model kept her shades on even after disembarking from the plane at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland and going on to participate in official duties, such as visiting the Tomb of the Unknowns.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 19, 2017
— Alban (@americafaithful) January 19, 2017
@MELANIATRUMP take off the damn sunglasses ! RUDE!! Hiding behind them
— ItsMe (@Leney_3) January 19, 2017
— Ian Cluroe (@icluroe) January 19, 2017
.@MELANIATRUMP take off your sunglasses! Show some respect!
— Pistol Pete (@PistollPete11) January 19, 2017
And others … well, others just thought otherwise.
Noticed @MelaniaTrump was wearing sunglasses on her trip to Washington. Probable doesn't want anyone to know she's with Donald.
— Eleanor Lauck (@ellauck) January 19, 2017
Some were quick to applaud the almost-FLOTUS for her styling, which many speculated could have been a nod to former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy, who favored exaggerated eyewear.
Melania wearing the big dark glasses is reminiscent Of Jackie. I wonder if that is intentional or just circumstantial? #TrumpInauguration
— Jerry Anderson (@MoneyTraderBlog) January 19, 2017
— Ole Miss® (@Allin4OleMiss) January 19, 2017
WOW!!! @MELANIATRUMP channeling Jackie Kennedy with those iconic black sunglasses! ????????????????
— mktgchic (@mktgchic) January 19, 2017
While it’s true that Jacqueline Kennedy’s sunglasses became the stuff of fashion legend, they did not become a part of her signature look until long after her time in the White House. She was regularly seen wearing the iconic, large-frame “Jackie O” sunglasses during the 1970s after her marriage to Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis.
Etiquette expert Diane Gottsman notes on her website that when it comes to wearing sunglasses, always remove them when conducting any kind of business. Wearing sunglasses in a professional or official setting can create distance between the wearers and those around them and puts up a physical barrier, preventing eye contact, which is key for a feeling of connection.
Furthermore, Gottsman writes, “When in doubt, take them off. The bottom line … unless you are driving, working in the yard, lounging on the beach or doing something in the sun, professionally you’re creating a barrier between yourself and those around you. In conversation, people won’t be as easily able to listen to what you’re saying. Instead, they will wonder what your eyes are doing, what you’re really thinking about, what you are hiding — or perhaps what rock band you’re in.”
Melania’s actually a big fan of the Gucci sunglasses she was spotted in; she’s been seen in the $370 pair on multiple occasions.