Dolce & Gabbana have made Sicily their fashion muse, so it wasn’t surprising that Trump’s wife would wear their designs in Sicily, the final stop on Trump’s trip.
The White House did not respond to requests for comment on how much Mrs. Trump, a former model and the wife of an independently wealthy president, paid for the jacket. The U.S. government does not provide first ladies with a wardrobe allowance — though attire for official events of public or historic significance may be given as a gift by a designer and accepted on behalf of the U.S. government.
Several fashion designers have said publicly that they will not dress the first lady because they oppose her husband’s policies — a fact that Gabbana appeared to chide in earlier Instagram posts he tagged #boycottdolce&gabbanaplease with laughing emojis.
Mrs. Trump, a former model, is known for her stylish appearance. Her fashion choices so far have been a contrast to her predecessor, who liked to mix designer items with more accessible brands like J. Crew.
The retail price for the Dolce & Gabbana jacket Mrs. Trump wore comes in at about $5,500 below the median U.S. household income of $56,516 in 2015, the most recent year for which figures are available from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Trump ran a populist campaign, promising to raise workers’ wages and revive American manufacturing, but never shied away from showing off and talking about his personal wealth.
As the Trumps traveled through Saudi Arabia, Israel, Italy, Brussels and then back to Italy, the president left it to top aides in Washington to explain the details of his federal budget proposal for 2018. Trump has proposed a $4.1 trillion spending plan that slashes safety net programs for the poor, including food stamps and Medicaid, while spending billions more on the military and protecting retirement programs for the elderly.