Pret-a-Reporter

Melania Trump Wears Her Stilettos to Tour Houston Flood Zone, No Joke

Manolos are the new rain boots.

Melania Trump's sky-high stilettos are the hardest-working footwear in the White House. 

The first lady has been known to reach for a minimum four-inch heel rain or shine, and apparently, not even one of the most brutal storms in U.S. history can lead her to change up her footwear.

Tuesday morning, FLOTUS was spotted boarding a plane en route to Corpus Christi, Texas, alongside President Donald Trump for a briefing on Hurricane Harvey, and despite light showers in Washington, D.C., and a disastrous storm near her destination, Melania paired her on-trend silky olive bomber jacket and black trousers with five-inch stilettos. 

Since making landfall Friday, Harvey has devastated Houston — the fourth-largest city in the country — and the surrounding areas, resulting in nine deaths and the displacement of thousands. Experts are calling the storm, which dumped as much as two feet of water in certain neighborhoods in the span of hours, the worst that Texas has seen in 50 years. 

Given the catastrophic nature of Harvey, Twitter is alight with critics calling into question Melania's glamorous departure look. "Not an expert, but are stiletto heels the best footwear for a disaster zone?" wrote one Twitter user. Another referred to FLOTUS as "disaster Barbie." 

CNN reporter Kate Bennett speculates that Melania will swap shoes for something a little more practical once she arrives in Texas. However, for his part, the president boarded Air Force One in a dark windbreaker, khakis and heavily treaded work boots.

According to Bennett, the first lady's communications director responded with the following message to Twitter users: "It's sad we have an active and ongoing natural disaster in Texas, and people are worried about her shoes." 

Melania's choice isn't necessarily a surprise. Even on inauguration day, when she and Donald walked the streets surrounding the capital for blocks at a time, FLOTUS looked at ease in her powder blue Manolo Blahnik pumps. Though she has been criticized for her go-to footwear, she's not the only politician in the game who loves a high heel. First Lady of France Brigitte Macron is also a proud supporter of the stiletto. 

Should one fault Melania for choosing to wear her favorite shoes just to get on a plane? Not necessarily — she has the right to wear whatever she wants. However, considering the Trump empire was built on carefully calculated media appearances and optics, we would've expected something more "of the people" than "towering above the people." 

By the time she arrived in Texas three hours later, Melania had completely changed her look. Not only did she trade her stilettos for sneakers, but she also ditched her fashion-forward bomber for a sporty and stylish white zip-up and tucked her hair into a black "FLOTUS" baseball cap. The president, notably, did not change his outfit.

Aug. 29, 9:45 a.m.: Updated with Melania's second ensemble.

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