Melania and Ivanka Trump Skip Headscarves During Visit to Saudi Arabia

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump make their way to a luncheon after Trump received the Order of Abdulaziz al-Saud medal from Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud at the Saudi Royal Court in Riyadh (May 20, 2017). Credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

Melania and Ivanka Trump turned heads in stylish outfits when they arrived in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, May 20, but it was what they weren’t wearing that caused comment.

The First Lady and President Donald Trump’s oldest daughter opted not to wear headscarves in in the religious country that enforces a strict dress code on its women, who are expected to be fully covered from head to toe when out in public.

The White House told CNN on Saturday that the Trumps were not required to wear a head covering.

Melania, 47, did dress conservatively, however, covering up in black Stella McCartney jumpsuit with a wide gold belt as she and her husband arrived at Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport on Air Force One.

Presidential advisor Ivanka, 35, who is accompanying the couple on their trip to the Middle East and Europe along with her husband, Jared Kushner, was also demurely dressed in a long-sleeve Cedric Charlier maxi dress.

Earlier this year German Chancellor Angela Merkel also opted not to wear a head covering during a visit to the kingdom. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also skipped a scarf during her visit in 2012.

In 2015, then-First Lady Michelle Obama also went without a headscarf during a visit to Saudi Arabia, prompting criticism from the real estate mogul.

Thank you for a beautiful welcome to #Riyadh! #SaudiArabia

A post shared by First Lady Melania Trump (@flotus) on

“Many people are saying it was wonderful that Mrs. Obama refused to wear a scarf in Saudi Arabia, but they were insulted,” Trump tweeted at the time. “We have enuf enemies.”

The country has a legally imposed dress code that requires Saudi women to wear an abaya, a dress that covers them from the neck to the ankles, in public. Some Muslim women opt to wear a niqab that covers their entire face only leaving their eyes visible, others wear a burqa that covers them from head to toe, with mesh covering their eyes. At home, or in all-female settings, the women can be less covered up. (Foreign women are not subject to the same rules.)

After visiting Saudi Arabia, Trump and his entourage will fly to Israel for meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then head to the Vatican in Rome, where he will seek an audience with Pope Francis. The president will then travel to Brussels for a NATO summit, and a meeting of the G-7 industrial nations in Sicily.

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