During her time as the First Daughter, Ivanka Trump’s wardrobe has shown that she’s well-aware that what she wears matters. And much like her actions since she’s become First Daughter, her wardrobe has given the public plenty to discuss.
Taking a page from her father’s “Buy American, Hire American” proposal, the adviser to President Donald Trump often chooses to wear American Fashion designers that skew toward the mainstream and that have also been favored by First Ladies in the past: Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Carolina Herrera, and Oscar de la Renta, the latter of which made Ivanka’s white inauguration ceremony jumpsuit.
That’s not to say that wearing American completely ensures sartorial smooth sailing, however; it’s worth noting that although Ivanka sported Herrera’s metallic silver gown for a night out during the first months of her father’s presidencey, her timing to wear it while her father instituted an executive order banning immigrants and travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries garnered immense backlash online for being insensitive during what many considered a humanitarian crisis.
Ivanka’s personal brand, however, is most overtly on display with her day-to-day clothes: conservatively cut A-line silhouettes and dressy sheath dresses in pastel hues and floral prints, often from her eponymous womenswear line, a business she started before entering the political arena. In this way, it’s possible to view Ivanka’s wardrobe as the visual narrative she’s crafted for herself — one of a proudly feminine, self-professed entrepreneur who says she advocates for the economic empowerment of women.
It’s an overt message that’s driven home cogently through the parade of dresses she sports from her own line aimed at working women, mirroring her father’s own endorsement of his brands in the past. That’s not where the similarities end, however — much like her father’s own clothing line, Ivanka’s merchandise has also come under fire for outsourcing and poor working conditions, two decidedly unstylish issues.
With that in mind, here are 17 times that Ivanka Trump’s fashion choices as one of the most visible members of the Trump administration have started a conversation.
November 8, 2016
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Ivanka wore a white wrap coat with an A-line shape to cast her vote on Election Day. With its conventionally feminine shape and shawl collar, it was an on-brand choice for Ivanka, especially on a high-profile morning. Her decision to sport white was an interesting one, given the history of the Suffragettes, who wore white while fighting for their right to vote. To this day, women still pay homage to the women who came before them with the #wearwhitetovote movement. Some online viewed Ivanka’s seeming symbolism with her coat choice as hypocrisy in light of her father’s political stances; one critic went so far as to say that the style choice was ironic since her father was “disenfranchising voters” with his plans for immigration, reproductive rights, and religious freedom.
November 9, 2016
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Ivanka changed into a demure powder blue Alexander McQueen dress for her father’s acceptance speech. The dress’s A-line shape and conservatively cut bodice invoked a feminine style reminiscent of the 1950s, contrasting with the dramatic look of Melania’s one-shoulder, white Ralph Lauren jumpsuit.
May 22, 2017
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Ivanka sported a modest navy ensemble and covered her head with a matching navy hat to pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem; since she converted to Judaism before marrying Jared Kushner in 2009, Ivanka followed the custom of Jewish women covering their heads while visiting the site.
May 24, 2017
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To meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican, Ivanka closely adhered to the Vatican dress code for women by wearing a black, long-sleeved dress and a veil. Stephanie Grisham, the First Lady’s communications director, told CNN this was per protocol. Some questioned why Ivanka would cover her head for the Vatican, as opposed to when she visited Saudi Arabia and chose not to wear a headscarf.
June 22, 2017
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Ivanka wore a white floral dress from popular “It-girl” brand Reformation for the White House Congressional Picnic. The dress made headlines not only for its relatively affordable price tag of $198 and the off-the-shoulder style, but also because of the brand’s dedication to sustainable fashion; it was an interesting fashion choice for Ivanka after her father withdrew from the Paris climate agreement.
November 3, 2017
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On a trip to Japan, Ivanka wore a floral, seemingly kimono-inspired dress with an obi-like belt around the waist. While it appears that the First Daughter was trying to allude to Japanese culture, some online thought that her fashion choice was both disrespectful and clichéd, given that she opted for a design by Italian designer Johanna Ortiz, as opposed to a creator hailing from Japan.