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24 of the most expensive designer outfits that first ladies have worn

Joe Biden and Jill Biden at a White House state dinner for JapanJill Biden’s Oscar de la Renta gown from the White House state dinner for Japan retails for nearly $16,000.

MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

  • Michelle Obama’s custom state-dinner gowns were worth an estimated $12,000.
  • Melania Trump wore a $51,500 Dolce & Gabbana jacket at the 2017 G7 summit.
  • Jill Biden presented at the Grammys in a $16,000 Oscar de la Renta gown.

As highly visible public figures, first ladies choose their clothes carefully. Their outfits have historically served as important tools in crafting their legacies — and occasionally sending subtle messages.

First ladies have also been known to drive fashion trends by popularizing certain styles and causing the items they wear to sell out instantly.

Here are some of the most expensive outfits first ladies have worn.

In 2009, Michelle Obama garnered criticism for wearing $540 Lanvin sneakers to a food bank.Michelle Obama speaks onstage at a food bank. Jill Biden stands in the backgroundFirst lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden at an event at a food bank.

Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images

When reporters asked her representatives about the expensive sneakers, they said, “They’re shoes,” The New York Daily News reported.

Obama gave her famous “When they go low, we go high” speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in a $995 blue Christian Siriano dress.Michelle Obama at the Democratic National Convention in 2016First lady Michelle Obama speaks at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images

The dress was custom-made for Obama by the “Project Runway” alum, but a similar version was available on Siriano’s website, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Jill Biden wore a $1,000 powder-blue suit designed by Adam Lippes to meet with Queen Elizabeth in 2021.President Joe and Dr. Jill Biden stand with Queen Elizabeth.First lady Jill Biden, Queen Elizabeth, and President Joe Biden at Windsor Castle.

Richard Pohle-WPA Pool/Getty Images

Biden’s blue outfit coordinated with her husband’s tie.

Biden wore a $1,390 polka-dot Brandon Maxwell dress to the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.Jill Biden at the Olympics wearing a polka dot dressJill Biden at the Tokyo Olympics.

Dylan Martinez – Pool/Getty Images

She had previously worn the silk sheath dress to the G7 summit.

Obama wore a $1,595 grey tweed Michael Kors suit to the 2015 State of the Union speech.Michelle Obama at the 2015 State of the UnionFirst lady Michelle Obama prior to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The skirt was altered for Obama by removing a thigh-high zipper slit that appeared on the runway version in Kors’ winter 2013 collection, the Observer reported.

Her yellow Narciso Rodriguez dress from the 2016 State of the Union retailed for $2,095.Michelle Obama in a yellow dress at the 2016 State of the UnionThen-first lady Michelle Obama at the State of the Union address.

SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

The dress, which was marked down to $628 for Black Friday, sold out of Neiman Marcus immediately, CNBC reported.

Melania Trump matched French first lady Brigitte Macron in a white Michael Kors jacket costing $2,195 in 2018.melania trump brigitte macronMelania Trump and Brigitte Macron visit the National Gallery of Art.

Brian Snyder/Reuters

Aside from the Michael Kors jacket, Trump wore a Hervé Pierre hat and $775 Christian Louboutin heels.

In 2015, Michelle Obama greeted Pope Francis wearing a blue Carolina Herrera dress that retails for $2,290.Michelle and Barack Obama greet Pope FrancisPope Francis is escorted by President Barack Obama, first Lady Michelle Obama, and their daughters.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The cowl-neck, short-sleeve dress sold out on Neiman Marcus’ website.

Biden’s blue Oscar de la Renta dress, which she wore on the cover of Vogue, retails for $2,690.Jill Biden arrives in Georgia.First lady Jill Biden arrives in Savannah, Georgia.

JIM WATSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The dress, which she also wore to events in July and October 2021, is sold out.

Trump’s hot-pink Delpozo dress, worn to a United Nations luncheon in 2017, was priced at $2,950.melania trump pink dress united nationsMelania Trump addresses a luncheon at the US Mission to the United Nations.

Craig Ruttle/AP

Trump spoke to the United Nations about cyberbullying.

She wore a $3,701 yellow Gucci coat to a meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin in 2018.Melania PutinFirst lady Melania Trump, President Donald Trump, and Russian President Vladimir Putin pose for a photo.

Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

Trump wore the yellow coat with a butterfly detail belt to a summit in Helsinki. The coat was on sale at Farfetch.

Trump wore a $3,950 Bottega Veneta coat while giving out candy to trick-or-treaters in 2018.melania trump halloweenPresident Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump welcome trick-or-treaters to the White House.

Mike Theiler-Pool/Getty Images

The plaid brushed-wool coat is no longer available on Net-A-Porter.

Obama’s Naeem Khan dress, worn to meet with Cuban President Raul Castro in 2016, retailed for $4,490.Barack and Michelle Obama pose with Cuban president Raul CastroCuban President Raul Castro with first lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Obama paired the dress, which is no longer available on Moda Operandi, with black heels and dangling earrings.

Biden has worn a $5,690 Oscar de la Renta dress with flower embroidery on several occasions.Joe Biden with Jill Biden after his victory speech in 2020President-elect Joe Biden with Dr. Jill Biden after being declared the winner of the US presidential election.

ANDREW HARNIK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

She first wore the dress for her husband’s victory speech on November 7, 2020. She then wore it twice more, in May and June 2021.

In 2018, Trump wore a $6,990 pale-yellow pleated chiffon gown by J. Mendel on her and President Trump’s first official visit to the UK.Donald and Melania Trump in the UK. Melania wears a yellow dress.President Donald Trump and Melania Trump depart for Blenheim Palace for dinner with Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May.

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

She wore the gown to a dinner at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.

On the eve of the inauguration, Biden wore Jonathan Cohen’s “Unity” coat and dress in a matching set totaling $6,190.Joe Biden and Jill Biden at a COVID-19 memorial service on the eve of the inaugurationPresident Joe Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden on the eve of his inauguration.

PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

The $3,895 coat and $2,295 dress supported Joe Biden’s message of unity, since the color purple is a combination of Democrat blue and Republican red.

In addition, the outfit also gave a platform to Cohen as a small-business owner and the son of Mexican immigrants, as stated on the Jonathan Cohen website.

Trump wore a Monique Lhuillier gown priced at $7,995 to a 2017 White House reception.President Donald Trump and Melania Trump at a White House reception in 2017President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump at a White House reception.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

The first lady welcomed The White House Historical Society in a sparkling Monique Lhuillier gown. It is no longer available from Bergdorf Goodman.

Trump wore an embroidered Michael Kors jacket-and-skirt ensemble totaling $9,590 for a joint session of Congress in 2017.Melania Trump wears Michael Kors at a joint session of Congress in 2017.Melania Trump at President Trump’s speech to a joint session of Congress.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

The dinner jacket retailed for $4,995, the skirt for $4,595. The outfit is no longer available.

For her last state dinner as first lady in 2016, Obama wore a custom Atelier Versace gown made of rose-gold chain mail with an estimated cost of $12,000.The Obamas greet Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his wife at the White HousePresident Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his wife, Agnese Landini.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

She chose the Italian designer in honor of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi of Italy’s visit. There was also speculation that she wore the chain-mail dress in a nod to female empowerment.

Obama wore a custom Carolina Herrera gown, also worth an estimated $12,000, for a state dinner with President Francois Hollande of France in 2014.President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama with French President Francois HollandePresident Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama with French President Francois Hollande.

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

The dress featured a black beaded bodice with three-quarter sleeves and a full skirt in “liberty blue,” the Daily Mail reported.

Biden’s white Gabriela Hearst dress, worn to an event for King Charles III’s coronation in May 2023, retails for $15,900.Jill Biden attends a Coronation Big Lunch in May 2023First lady Jill Biden arrives in Downing Street to attend the Coronation Big Lunch hosted by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty.

Wiktor Szymanowicz/Future Publishing via Getty Images

Biden wore the midi dress, featuring long sleeves and cutouts throughout the fabric, to a Coronation Big Lunch hosted by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty in London. She was joined by her granddaughter, Finnegan Biden.

Biden had previously worn the dress in September 2021 while meeting with Queen Letizia of Spain for World Cancer Research Day, Women’s Wear Daily reported.

Biden wore a $15,990 Oscar de la Renta gown at a state dinner for Japan in April.Joe Biden and Jill Biden at a White House state dinner for JapanPresident Joe Biden and Jill Biden with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his wife Yuko Kishida at a White House state dinner.

MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Biden’s sapphire and silver ombré gown from Oscar de la Renta, sold at Moda Operandi, glittered with embroidered crystals. Her dress coordinated with Japanese first lady Yuko Kishida’s violet gown.

Biden wore a custom Oscar de la Renta gown that retails for $16,000 to the Grammys in 2023.Jill Biden presents at the Grammys.First lady Jill Biden presents at the 2023 Grammy Awards.

Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images

Biden presented the Grammy for a new category, best song for social change, in a glittering custom gown by Oscar de la Renta. She wore a navy version of the same dress to a state dinner with Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron of France in December, The New York Times reported.

The award for best song for social change went to Iranian singer and songwriter Shervin Hajipour for her protest anthem “Baraye.” Biden also presented the award for best song, which went to Bonnie Raitt’s “Just Like That.”

In 2017, Trump garnered criticism for wearing a $51,500 Dolce & Gabbana jacket at the Group of Seven summit in Italy.Melania Trump at the G7 summit in 2017.First lady Melania Trump arrives for a visit at the City Hall of Catania during the 2017 G7 Summit.

GIOVANNI ISOLINO/AFP via Getty Images

Trump wore the look to meet with spouses of world leaders at the G-7 summit in Italy.

The full cost of the jacket is more than most Americans make in a year, which proved a controversial choice.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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