First Lady Melania Trump is closing out the year with another controversial fashion moment. Yet this time, it wasn't outrage that the first lady's outfit sparked, it was utter confusion. Call it a case of Yanny or Laurel, of blue dress or white dress, but when the first lady returned to the White House on Thursday following an unannounced visit with troops in Iraq, her pants had folks on Twitter scratching their heads. Indeed, when Melania's leather pants were photographed, it created an optical illusion that had some believing she'd opted to go without pants.
Melania stepped off Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Thursday wearing dark sunglasses, a $2,480 Prada peacoat, and skin-tight leather pants, according to Allure. However, the pants' fitted nature and tan coloring caused some on Twitter to mistakenly believe that the first lady was wearing either a super short miniskirt or no bottoms at all.
"Holy crap. That is a MINI, mini-skirt," one Twitter user wrote.
"Where on earth are her pants?," another tweeted.
But Twitter users weren't the only ones to mistakenly miss Melania's leather pants. "At first glance, it does appear that FLOTUS rolled out of bed, threw on a coat, and headed to Air Force One," Vanity Fair's Hilary Weaver wrote. "But as she starts moving, one can see the fabric rolls on her knees — if one is watching very, very closely."
But while some debated whether or not the first lady was truly wearing pants, others seemed more put off by the fact that Melania was wearing dark sunglasses at night. "To be honest, the 'skin tone' leggings don't vex me as much as the sunglasses," Elle magazine's R. Eric Thomas wrote. "This just seems unnecessarily complicated. I mean, yes, you look cool, with your no pants and your Hollywood glasses, but can you see?"
The first two years of Donald Trump's presidency has seen the first lady make a lot of controversial fashion choices. There was her pith helmet, her "I REALLY DON'T CARE, DO U?" Zara jacket, and the Dolce & Gabbana jacket that cost more than many Americans make in a year.
However, the first lady has bemoaned news coverage that centers around her wardrobe. "I wish people would focus on what I do, not what I wear," The Washington Post reported she said in October after facing criticism for wearing a pith helmet — long thought of as a symbol of colonialism — while in Africa on a solo trip.
More recently, Melania told Fox News' Sean Hannity that "opportunists," which she defined as "comedians to journalists to performers, book writers," focused too much on "gossip" and "nonsense" when covering her and her husband's administration. "They like to focus on the gossip," she said. "And I would like to they focus on the substance and what we do, not just about nonsense."
While Melania has said she doesn't care what the media thinks of her fashion choices, she told ABC News earlier this year that she felt she was one of the most bullied people in the world. "I could say I'm the most bullied person on the world," Melania said, before quickly adding, "one of them."
But Melania isn't the only first lady to ever be criticized for her clothing choices. In 2009, former first lady Michelle Obama was torn apart for wearing shorts when returning from a family vacation to the Grand Canyon. Michelle was also heavily criticized for wearing a sleeveless dress in her first official photo as first lady.