The Inappropriate Outfit We Can't Believe Hunter Biden's Wife Melissa Wore

These days, Hunter Biden's wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, has a real shot at unseating Melania Trump as D.C.'s most fashionable living presidential family member. However, there's a reason the stunning blond activist didn't immediately become a style star when she married into the Biden family. Even now, when she has presented plenty of evidence that her wardrobe has undergone a major upgrade, Melissa is still capable of committing the occasional crime against fashion.

Unlike Melania, who didn't bother attending Donald Trump's hush-money trial in one of her stylish suits, Melissa made it a point to show everyone that she was standing by her man when he went to court. Melissa's attendance at Hunter's gun possession trial was punctuated by chic, sophisticated outfits that had the Daily Mail likening her looks to those of the former first lady. One ensemble included a charcoal pinstripe blazer, a silk shirt with a ribbon tie, and statement sunglasses.

Melissa's courtroom attire was quite a departure from some of her ensembles from years earlier, such as a blue tie-dye top paired with flared jeans and a tan fringe coat. The aesthetic was befitting of the way a pal described her to the Daily Mail in 2019 — the insider said she had a "laid back, hippy chick vibe." However, during an outing to a trendy eatery, Melissa wasn't channeling Melania or a free spirit who's all about the peace and love. Instead, she looked like she was ready to party like it was 1999.

Melissa Cohen Biden went all retro at RiRi's favorite restaurant

In May 2024, Melissa Cohen Biden and Hunter Biden were photographed leaving Giorgio Baldi, an L.A. eatery frequented by celebrities — none other than Rihanna is one of its most famous regulars. Amid rumors of an impending breakup from Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez was also spotted heading to the Italian restaurant solo, according to People. Speaking of which, Melissa was dressed as if she was hoping to mingle with J.Lo from before the first iteration of Bennifer — we're talking "If You Had My Love" era Lopez.

The nostalgia factor was strong in Melissa's red satin mini skirt with a floral pattern, black pleather top with a keyhole detail, and matching jacket. But perhaps the most late '90s element of her ensemble was her knee-high platform boots — all she was missing was a tattoo choker from Hot Topic. She looked like she was ready to strut through a Third Eye Blind music video, and she definitely would have been one of the coolest girls at her local theater when "The Matrix" premiered. Unfortunately, her look was missing something modern to save it from being a little too dated. Her flimsy outerwear and matching top also had a fast fashion feel that made her outfit totally inappropriate for a Hollywood hotspot where she might rub elbows with famous tastemakers such as Beyoncé, Hailey Bieber, and their respective husbands.

Melissa Cohen Biden took style notes from royalty

Days after her fashion throwback flopped, Melissa Cohen Biden scored a wardrobe win at a White House state dinner for Kenyan President William Ruto. Melissa walked the red carpet without Hunter Biden, so she was subjected to a bizarro "Where's Melania?" moment. According to White House Correspondent John T. Bennett, Melissa ignored questions about her husband's whereabouts.

Melissa wore an ivory gown that featured elegant caped sleeves, a notched neckline, and floral details. The dress was designed by Safiyaa, a brand that is popular with numerous high-profile women. One of Meghan Markle's most stunning fashion moments was when she wore one of the label's caped gowns in light blue, and her sister-in-law Kate Middleton has sported one in a darker shade of the same color. The brand is also popular with D.C.'s most fashionable women; according to Vogue, Michelle Obama wore it after noticing that it was ubiquitous in The District. And if there's anything that women from across the aisle can agree on, it's that Safiyaa makes some superb clothing; Ivanka Trump is a fan, too.

Safiyaa's luxurious look was unusual for Melissa, who didn't even wear a designer gown on her wedding day. In his memoir "Beautiful Things," Hunter recalls, "Wearing a sleek white jumpsuit she'd plucked out of her closet minutes earlier, Melissa looked like a million bucks." So, she doesn't need to break the bank to compete with the elite; she just needs to avoid the black pleather.