Melania Trump makes many fashion choices, most of which are questionable at best, but I’d like to focus today on her attempt at a sartorial choice that has failed many others ahead of her and will continue to make a fool of those who try.
Melania met with Kailash Satyarth, an Indian children right’s activist, and Rachel Roy, an American designer who might be Becky with the good hair, and walked them around the White House talking about children, their rights, and god knows what else. During said engagement, Melania wore the suit jacket of her staid houndstooth ensemble draped upon her shoulders like an ersatz cape, sleeves empty and dangling helplessly at her sides: The editor’s drape, a style seen mostly on the bodies of fashion bloggers, street style clingers-on, and fashion editors ducking in and out of runway shows in bare legs and summer dresses in February.
Any style choice, no matter how puzzling or confounding at the start, can work if executed properly, but the editor’s drape as implemented by Melania only highlights how impractical and frankly, stupid, this concept is to start. The point of a jacket is to keep the wearer’s arms warm while exposing the body of the outfit. If your shoulders are covered, you are warm, I guess, and if your body is exposed, you can still show the people how glamorous you really are. When wearing a jacket in this manner, the arms are essentially useless—those without the broad shoulders of a champion swimmer will have difficulty keeping said jacket on their body. If you’d like to use your arms, to gesture towards a painting, maybe, or simply pick up a small glass of wine or to guide Rachel Roy through the corridors of the White House, you cannot. Your arms are trapped at your sides. You are useless.