And this year's coat was a change from previous years' outfits.


The turkeys are the star of the show at the White House's annual Turkey Pardon (which dates back to Abraham Lincoln, but wasn't an official event until George H.W. Bush's administration in 1989), the last few years have seen first lady Melania Trump stepping out in bold coats for the occasion.

This year, Melania Trump attended the event after being booed by schoolchildren at an event in Baltimore. CNN's Kate Bennett reported that Trump spoke about the opioid epidemic as part of her "Be Best" initiative and was met with boos and jeers. She pressed on, however, even though members of the audience spoke over her.
"Thank you to all of the students who are here. I am so proud of you for the bravery it takes to share that you have been strongly affected by the opioid epidemic in some way," Trump said.

President Trump Pardons National Thanksgiving Turkey
Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Trump addressed the audience's reaction, saying, "We live in a democracy and everyone is entitled to their opinion, but the fact is we have a serious crisis in our country and I remain committed to educating children on the dangers and deadly consequences of drug abuse."

Trump went from the speaking engagement at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, right to the White House, where she joined President Trump for the annual pardoning. It seems she didn't have time for a wardrobe change, because she was still wearing the suede trench from the morning's event. The coat matched her chunky-heeled boots. The somewhat sedate look was a turn from past Turkey Pardons, where she wore flashier coats — to some criticism. She may have taken those observations into account with today's tailored look, which safely avoided any comparison to any of the poultry in attendance.

November 2017
Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

For her very first Turkey Pardon in 2017, Melania wore a long-sleeved, rust-colored turtleneck paired with a high-waisted brown leather skirt and a Stella McCartney coat of many colors, which featured a bold floral motif. The choice to wear a design from an outspoken animal-rights activist to an event that spares two turkeys' lives didn't go unnoticed. The Hollywood Reporter mentions that McCartney's been cruelty-free since the start of her career in fashion and Melania pledged to go fur-free herself.

Credit: JIM WATSON/Getty Images

The following year, in 2018, FLOTUS decided to go full-on French. She wore an Art Deco-patterned Christian Dior coat and black suede stiletto Christian Louboutin boots. Many compared the colors in the coat to turkey plumage, which is seasonally appropriate and perhaps a slight to the guests of honor.