The more I look at this photo, the more I respect the outfit and what it reveals.
Arguably, it may reveal too much. There has been criticism that Ms. Trump’s dress is too short for a First Lady, and a woman of presidential-by-association stature. Indeed, in this photo and the other published in the New York Times, you can see that she is keeping her arms and hands close to the dress to keep it anchored to her body. At that length, I wonder about the logistics of ascending stairs and descending from cars while remaining dignified. Do the Secret Service officers turn away exaggeratedly? Is Mr. Trump always behind her, to prevent onlookers from viewing what must not be viewed?
But that’s not what interests me most about this photo.
The dress and her body language compellingly portray her public persona: poised, but aloof; bold, but opaque.
I applaud her choice of flats, which are feminine, but practical, and do not obstruct her freedom of movement–appropriate for a woman who has chosen to remain in New York City while her husband assumes his new job in the White House.
This outfit demonstrates a lack of pretense. The choice of dress does not convey being a middle-aged spouse to the head of state, but instead, seems authentically Melania.
Since her husband has not yet revealed any indication of being a traditional president, why should she play the role of the idealized wife?