In front of Egypt's Great Pyramid Saturday, the first lady wore a Chanel blouse with a black tie and a khaki-colored blazer.
Social media erupted with comparisons to Dr. Rene Emile Belloq, the villain from Indiana Jones adventure “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”
Others likened the look to that of Michael Jackson in the music video for "Smooth Criminal."
"This is a first lady that no matter what she does — it's sort of 'damned if I do, damned it I don’t,'" CNN's Kate Bennett, who traveled to Africa with the first lady, told Inside Edition. "Certainly, there is also going to be a meme. We saw this with Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail. We used to see it sometimes with Michelle Obama."
The helmet she wore on safari in Kenya also drew criticism for being tone-deaf. For some, the helmet is a symbol of colonialism.
"Many Africans took offense at the white pith helmet simply because it hearkens back to a time in their culture and their history where it wasn’t necessarily the best for them," Bennett added.
Herve Pierre, who designed Melania's inaugural gown, is thought to have helped put together the first lady's Africa wardrobe.
"The effort is always one of teamwork with the first lady always having the final word," he told Women's Wear Daily.
In other respects, the first lady has gained much praise for her first solo trip abroad due to her interactions with children in Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, and Egypt.