Melania Trump left in stilettos and landed in work boots.
On Tuesday, the first lady, 47, deplaned Air Force One in Carolina, Puerto Rico, wearing an olive green jacket, aviator shades, a baseball hat, white skinny jeans, and a pair of Timberland boots. Melania was traveling with President Trump to the U.S. island to assess damage left by Hurricane Maria, which has been called a “humanitarian crisis.”
The casual look was a 180-degree departure from Melania’s earlier ensemble – she departed in black cropped pants, a $1,340 Victoria Beckham navy blue wool turtleneck sweater, and matching pumps.
We’re now accustomed to Melania’s in-flight costume change, after she visited Texas in August in the wake of Hurricane Harvey wearing black pants, a green bomber jacket, and black Manolo Blahnik stilettos, only to arrive wearing a white button-down shirt and white sneakers.
A few weeks later, she returned to Texas for a second tour of damage wearing a Ralph Lauren dress and Manolo Blahnik snakeskin stilettos. She deplaned wearing blue Converse sneakers.
In both cases, Melania faced backlash for her clothing choices while visiting the devastated regions, and Tuesday was no different – but this time, the focus was on her boots, an item that was perceived by some on social media as contrived.
Tension has been running high between the president and Carmen Yulin Cruz, the mayor of San Juan. Over the past two weeks, Cruz has been making passionate pleas to the Trump administration to hasten relief efforts to citizens with no power, food, or water — sharing with CNN, “We’re dying here” —and the president has responded in part by criticizing Cruz, saying she shows “poor leadership.”
At the Muñiz Air National Guard Base on Tuesday, Trump also compared the death toll from Maria to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. “Every death is a horror, but if you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina and you look at the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people that died, and you look at what happened here with really a storm that was just totally overpowering — nobody has ever seen anything like this,” he said.
Trump continued, “And what is your death count as of this moment? Seventeen? Sixteen people certified. Sixteen people versus in the thousands.”