20 most expensive US first lady outfits, from Melania Trump’s Gucci coat and Michelle Obama’s custom Atelier Versace gown, to Jill Biden’s favourite Oscar de la Renta florals

These outfits that US first ladies Melania Trump, Michelle Obama and Jill Biden wore are not only eye-catching, but also have a hefty price tag. Photos: Reuters, AFP, @parsnippo/Twitter, AP
There are plenty of perks to being a first lady of the United States, but an expensive designer wardrobe is certainly top of our list.

Here are some of the most expensive items worn by Melania, Michelle and co ...

Michelle Obama kept it down to earth and wore trainers. Photo: @ptryph26/Twitter

In 2009, Michelle Obama garnered criticism for wearing US$540 Lanvin trainers to a food bank. When reporters asked her representatives about the expensive trainers, they said, “They’re shoes”.

Michelle Obama takes the stage to speak at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US, in July 2016. Photo: Reuters
Obama gave her famous “When they go low, we go high” speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in a US$995 blue Christian Siriano dress. 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.
US President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden stand with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth during a visit to Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, in June 2021. Photo: AP
Dr. Jill Biden wore a US$1,000 powder blue suit designed by Adam Lippes to meet with Queen Elizabeth in 2021. Her blue outfit coordinated with President Joe Biden’s tie.

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Jill Biden at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. Photo: @KuckelmanAshley/Twitter
Biden wore a US$1,390 polka dot Brandon Maxwell dress to the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. She had previously worn the silk sheath dress to the G7 summit.
Former first lady Michelle Obama waves standing with Dr. Jill Biden before former US President Barack Obama’s state-of-the-nation speech before members of Congress of the US Capitol in January 2015, in Washington DC. Photo: Getty Images

Obama wore a US$1,595 grey tweed Michael Kors suit to the 2015 state-of-the-nation speech. The skirt was altered for her by removing a thigh-high zip slit that appeared on the runway version in Kors’ winter 2013 collection, the Observer reported.

Former first lady Michelle Obama and wife of former US Vice-President Joe Biden, Dr. Jill Biden, arrive before former US President Barack Obama delivers the state-of-the-nation speech before members of Congress in the House chamber of the US Capitol in January 2016, in Washington DC. Photo: Getty Images

Obama’s yellow Narciso Rodriguez dress from the 2016 state-of-the-union retailed for US$2,095. The dress, which was marked down to US$628 for Black Friday, sold out of Neiman Marcus immediately, CNBC reported.

Former US President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron, former US first lady Melania Trump and French first lady Brigitte Macron are seen on the balcony at the White House in Washington DC, in April 2018. Photo: AFP Photo
Melania Trump matched French first lady Brigitte Macron in a white Michael Kors jacket costing US$2,195 in 2018. Aside from the jacket , Trump wore a Hervé Pierre hat and US$775 Christian Louboutin heels.

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Former US President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama welcome Pope Francis at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, for the pontiff’s first arrival to the United States in September 2015. Photo: Reuters

In 2015, Obama greeted Pope Francis wearing a blue Carolina Herrera dress that retails for US$2,290. The cowl-neck, short-sleeve dress sold out on Neiman Marcus.

Jill Biden meeting young students. Photo: @flotus/Instagram
Biden’s blue Oscar de la Renta dress, which she wore on the cover of Vogue, retails for US$2,690. The dress, which she also wore to events in July and October, is sold out.
Former US first lady Melania Trump arrives to address other first spouses of world leaders at a United Nations lunch in September 2017, at the United States Mission in New York. Photo: AFP Photo

Trump’s hot pink Delpozo dress, worn to a United Nations lunch in 2017, was priced at US$2,950. She spoke to the United Nations about cyberbullying.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, former US President Donald J. Trump and former US first lady Melania Trump pose with a football of the 2018 Fifa World Cup during their meeting in the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, in July 2018. Photo: EPA-EFE
Trump wore a US$3,700 yellow Gucci coat to a meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin in 2018. She wore the pale yellow coat with a butterfly detail belt to a summit in Helsinki. The coat was on sale at Farfetch.

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Melania and Donald Trump greeted trick or treaters. Photo: @FreedomFriesInc/Twitter

Trump wore a US$3,950 Bottega Veneta coat while giving out candy to trick-or-treaters in 2018. The plaid brushed-wool coat is no longer available on Net-a-Porter.

Former US President Barack Obama and his family react along with former Cuban President Raúl Castro to an exhibition baseball game between the Cuban National team and the MLB Tampa Bay Rays at Estadio Latinoamericano in Havana, in March 2016. Photo: Reuters

Obama’s Naeem Khan dress, worn to meet with Cuban President Raúl Castro in 2016, retailed for US$4,490. Obama paired the dress, which is no longer available on Moda Operandi, with black heels and dangling earrings.

Then US president-elect Joe Biden and vice-president-elect Kamala Harris stand with spouses Jill Biden and Doug Emhoff after delivering remarks in Wilmington, Delaware, in November 2020, after being declared the winners of the presidential election. Photo: AFP

Biden has worn a US$5,690 Oscar de la Renta dress with flower embroidery on several occasions. 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.

Former US President Donald Trump and former first lady Melania Trump leave the US ambassador’s residence, Winfield House, on their way to Blenheim Palace for dinner with Britain’s former Prime Minister Theresa May and business leaders, in London, Britain, in July 2018. Photo: Reuters

In 2018, Trump wore a US$6,990 pale yellow pleated chiffon gown by J. Mendel on her and Donald’s first official visit to the UK. She wore the gown to a dinner at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.

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Former US President Donald Trump speaks as former first lady Melania Trump listens during a reception at the State Dining Room of the White House in September 2017 in Washington DC. Photo: Getty Images
Trump wore a Monique Lhuillier gown priced at US$7,995 to a 2017 White House reception. The first lady welcomed The White House Historical Society in the sparkling gown, which is no longer available from Bergdorf Goodman.
Former first lady Melania Trump attends former US President Donald J. Trump’s first address to a joint session of Congress in February 2017, at the Capitol in Washington DC. Photo: Abaca Press/TNS

Trump wore an embroidered Michael Kors jacket and skirt ensemble totalling US$9,590 for a joint session of Congress in 2017. The dinner jacket retailed for US$4,995, the skirt for US$4,595. The outfit is no longer available.

Former US President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama wait to greet former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his wife Agnese Landini for a state dinner at the White House in Washington DC, in October 2016. Photo: AP Photo)

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 US$12,000. She chose the Italian designer in honour of former 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.

Former US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle greet former French President François Hollande as he arrives for a state dinner in his honour at the White House in Washington DC, in February 2014. Photo: Reuters

Obama wore a custom Carolina Herrera gown, also worth an estimated US$12,000, for a state dinner with former President François Hollande of France in 2014. The dress featured a black beaded bodice with three-quarter sleeves and a full skirt in “liberty blue”, according to The Daily Mail.

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Former US first lady Melania Trump steps out of a car as she arrives at Chierici Palace, part of a visit of the G7 first ladies in Catania, Italy, in May 2017. Photo: EPA

In 2017, Trump garnered criticism for wearing a US$51,500 Dolce & Gabbana jacket at the Group of Seven summit in Italy. Trump wore the look to meet with spouses of world leaders. The full cost of the jacket is more than most Americans make in a year, which proved a controversial choice.

This article originally appeared on Insider
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  • Michelle dazzled in a US$12,000 gown alongside Barack Obama at her last state dinner, as did Melania in her Monique Lhuillier dress with Donald Trump at a 2017 White House reception
  • Jill matched Joe Biden in a powder blue suit when they met with Queen Elizabeth in 2021 – but why did Melania’s Dolce & Gabbana jacket cause controversy?