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Think Twice Before You Wear That Graphic Slogan Piece! Just Ask Melania Trump

Have you ever worn a graphic tee with a bold text or logo, and just not care about what statement you’re wearing? Serious question.

 

 

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Admit it, there are times when we unwittingly buy a graphic apparel, thinking it’s an interesting pattern, only to later realize it’s a symbol for something. Or perhaps buy a T-shirt with an obscure phrase on it, just because graphic text shirts are a trend. But while our purchasing decisions on these may sometimes be aloof, the impression people get when they see you wear them is critical. To put it simply, whatever logo, symbol or text you wear, people will make those associations to you.

That’s not to say that you should never wear those fun logos and texts—because we’re very much in to it, too. In fact, wearing them can also be a powerful thing, like the rainbow insignia for Pride month, or the #MeToo pins, or even Dior’s viral runway statement “We Should All Be Feminists”. But, let’s not forget to consider the audience, the occasion and your own predicaments before wearing them. Best case in point: Melania Trump’s "fashion faux pas" during a visit to the Texas-Mexico border camps!

 

 

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As First Lady, Melania is doing the responsible thing, which is to visit the migrant children held at the border in light of Trump’s “zero tolerance” family separation policy. But people have aptly pointed out the inappropriateness of her $39 Zara jacket, which has the phrase “I Really Don’t Care, Do U?” written in bold white font.

 

 

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When asked for comment, Melania’s spokesperson, Stephanie Grisham notes, “It’s a jacket. There was no hidden message.”

But that’s not what her husband, President Donald Trump, is saying. In a recent tweet, Trump puts his own spin on the meaning behind Melania’s “I Really Don’t Care, Do U?” jacket, claiming it was a jab against biased media.

 

 

The fashion statement was a disaster, to say the least. But the one good outcome from it was the spurred response from many concerned citizens, who clapped back with the phrase “I Really Do Care, Do U?” and the #IReallyDoCare hashtag, with notable supporters include fashion designer Zac Posen.

Multiple indie sellers have since recreated the jacket, and other merchandise, with the more sympathetic phrase. One particular writer, Parker Molloy, decided to set up ireallydocare.com, which redirects visitors to the ActBlue charity page; the charity currently accepts donations in support of 14 organizations that help the migrant children.

 

 

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Was this “I Really Don’t Care, Do U?” jacket accidental on Melania’s side? Or intentional? Or maybe even subliminal? No one can really say for sure. But any fashionista worth her wardrobe understands the power of communication that comes with style; and heaven forbid we make such careless statements—both in words and clothes!

 

Lead photos via Zara and The Cut