The Most Inappropriate Outfits Nikki Haley Has Ever Worn

Nikki Haley made waves when she became one of the first Republican contenders to challenge Donald Trump in the 2024 presidential race. While her divisive stance on the former POTUS has made many doubt her sincerity as a serious candidate, Haley managed to maintain her poise throughout her presidential campaign. Despite ultimately backing out of the 2024 presidential race, she made history by becoming the first woman ever to win the GOP's presidential primary elections.

However, Haley's political achievements aren't the only aspect drawing attention to the famous politician. Her fashion choices, though typically understated and not taking center stage in any way, have certainly garnered eyebrow-raising attention on occasion — but not always for the best of reasons. Even Trump himself took notice of Haley's fashion during an event celebrating his victory in the New Hampshire GOP presidential primary in January 2024, describing her as wearing "a fancy dress that probably wasn't so fancy," per HuffPost.

While criticizing an opponent's clothing exclusivity is not a politically approved tactic for winning a presidential election, Haley's fashion decisions have undeniably been questionable at times. From opting for overly casual outfits to wearing ensembles that made her look like a caricature, Haley has had her fair share of inappropriate outfits worth commenting on.

Her slogan sweater fiasco

One of the most, if not the most, eyebrow-raising pieces Nikki Haley has ever worn has got to be her $230 olive green sweater featuring the text "She Who Dares Wins." The former GOP presidential candidate wore the knit on her Iowa campaign tour and debuted it on the Cedar Falls stage in January 2024. While the slogan is not inappropriate on its own, the sweater's designer, Alice Temperley, sparked online outrage when she seemingly tried justifying Hamas' attacks on Israeli civilians in an Instagram post from October 2023. Temperley's original caption, which was later edited for neutrality, read, "If you blow kids and their families up and trap them in a massive prison with constant kidnapping and bombardment — then of course they are going to seek revenge and be very angry," per the Daily Mail.

Notably, Haley has consistently positioned herself as a supporter of Israel since the start of the conflict in 2023. In addition to publicly endorsing the Israeli government, Haley stated Palestinians should relocate to "Hamas-loving countries" during an interview with CBN News.

Given Haley's outspoken stance on the matter, donning such an eye-catching piece from a designer with starkly contrasting views on the issue is perplexing, to say the least. Despite evidently intending to support women's empowerment, Haley's oversight in vetting the designer's background made her attempt at conveying a woke message painful to watch.

The politician wore a seeming bridal gown to her daughter's wedding

There are entire dedicated sections of clothing for the mother of the bride when you look it up online, and none of them typically feature dresses resembling wedding gowns. However, that didn't stop Nikki Haley from wearing one such piece to her daughter's wedding in 2023. In a number of photos Haley shared on her Instagram, the politician can be seen wearing a floor-length gown in what appeared to be an off-white shade.

Criticism swiftly poured in on social media, with many users questioning Haley's decision. "I'm a proud Republican but, honestly, this shows what a narcissistic mother you are that can't stand your daughter have the attention on her wedding day," said an Instagram user under one of Haley's wedding posts. When contacted by a Newsweek reporter for comment, Haley took to her X account to defend her choice, tweeting, "Liberal 'journalists' spend their time harassing conservatives about outfit choices. Grow up." She also noted that the dress was gold.

On her Instagram, Haley shared that the dress in question was from Teri Jon, but on the brand's website, the specific gown she wore is available only in a shade of pink. Despite working in the fashion industry before she became a famous politician, Haley evidently missed the memo about not wearing a wedding gown lookalike to somebody else's big day.

When she took her workout outfit to the stage

Nikki Haley's fashion choices during her presidential campaign tour were clearly intentional, conveying different messages depending on the occasion. During debates, she often wore dresses and skirt suits in bold colors, likely aiming to stand out as the only woman among the male candidates. However, Haley seemed to adopt a different approach while delivering speeches across the country, often opting for more casual looks, perhaps to appear more relatable to her potential supporters. While the psychological trick makes sense, the same can't be said of some of her outfits.

During an appearance in Bloomington, Minnesota, in February 2024, Haley chose to wear what looked like a workout set. One could've easily mistaken her black flare pants for leggings from a distance, while her color block jacket had a distinctly athletic look, undoubtedly more suited for physical activity than a public speech in support of one's presidential bid. To make things worse, she paired the outfit with heeled black boots, completely losing us on her fashion vision.

The jacket, from the brand Carlisle, is no longer available for purchase on the brand's official website. However, it is still featured as part of an athleisure look. With black, white, and pink as its main color-blocking shades, the sporty piece made Haley look like she forgot to change after a trekking session in Bloomington.

Haley unsuccessfully tried channeling Barbie in 2010

When Nikki Haley secured the Republican nomination for governor of South Carolina in 2010, she made a bold statement with her choice of attire, going for a bright pink skirt suit in a shiny material, likely satin or silk. However, she took embracing a stereotypically feminine color and style a step too far, veering into 1980s Barbie territory in terms of fashion.

When she climbed onto the stage in Columbia following her win, Haley's bold pink ensemble undoubtedly took center stage. The suit's glossy sheen was nothing short of blinding, with even the buttons having their own moment. The blazer's frills and the pleated, A-line skirt did little to make Haley seem like a serious politician, instead leaving her looking like a cartoon character. Additionally, instead of going for a more refined hairstyle to at least try to match the aesthetic of her outfit, Haley wore her hair down, detracting from the attempted sophistication of her overall look.

Although the exact suit Haley wore is no longer available for purchase online, similar options can be found second-hand. For those interested in recreating the look in a more fashionable way, an orange version by Le Suit, albeit without the pleated skirt, can be purchased for just over $50 on eBay. Alternatively, a more structured version of the ensemble in pink is available on Etsy for just under $80.

Her fringe cardigan and belt combo made us cringe

Despite already securing a spot on our list of her most inappropriate outfits with a sweater look, Nikki Haley's boho fringe cardigan simply couldn't fly under the radar. Once again, the former South Carolina governor opted for a casual look while addressing potential supporters in Nevada, Iowa, in March 2023, sporting jeans, a white top, and a multi-colored cardigan adorned with fringe on the bottom. Originally sold by Lord & Taylor for nearly $200, the knit piece is currently available for under $30. While the sweater itself isn't inherently bad, Haley completely missed the mark in terms of occasion, failing to elevate her appearance from an everyday look more suited for running errands.

Notably, the politician's styling choices didn't help her cause either. She paired the retro-inspired cardigan with a western leather belt, further adding to the disheveled look with another piece that was completely out of place. In addition to just not making sense together, the entire outfit made Haley seem like she was one of the attendees in the crowd rather than a serious presidential candidate trying to promote her political vision. While Haley's run for president wasn't a total flop, some of her presidential campaign tour outfits, unfortunately, clearly were.