Decoding Melania's Wardrobe: The Message Behind The First Lady's Outfits

Melania Trump has been First Lady for a year now, though she's been among one of the most withdrawn first ladies in history. The Slovenian-born beauty has been reluctant to dive head-first into her role, and even when she does, she's usually busy behind the scenes, or standing behind the president.

While she's been a FLOTUS of few words, her wardrobe has spoken volumes over the past year. You just have to know how to read the fashion language to see she's sending her own message.

Mrs. Trump opted to introduce herself in her new role in an outfit that was very similar to what Jackie Kennedy wore at her own husband's inauguration, as if channeling Jackie O's confidence, elegance and sense of style.

It can't be overlooked that Kennedy was a fashion icon. The former fashion model might well have also been signaling to the world that she similarly planned to wow in the future.

When Melania sued media outlets that claimed she had previously worked as a call girl, she blasted them saying that they were hurting the lifestyle brand she planned to launch. By giving a nod to Kennedy, it was as if Melania were announcing that she planned to be the next big First Lady fashion icon.

A lot of Trump resisters in the fashion industry made public declarations that they refused to dress Melania. The FLOTUS seemed to take this as a challenge.

On the first international tour with President Donald Trump, Melania did a number of wardrobe changes, and spent the week showing off one expensive outfit after another. One item that got a lot of notice was a $50,000 Dolce & Gabbana floral jacket.

The message from Melania at the time was pretty clear. It was as if she were saying to the designers, "I don't need you."

That same month, a spokesperson for the First Lady announced that Melania had not actually asked any of the designers refusing to work with her to dress her for anything.

Melania may be an American citizen now, but she certainly loves to pay homage to her roots. Most of the designs she wears come from European designers.

She's even broken with tradition when traveling abroad. For example, when Mr. and Mrs. Trump went to China, she neglected to wear a gown by a Chinese designer.

Instead, she wore an Asian-inspired embroidered gown by Gucci. When she went to South Korea, she wore a dress made by Roland Mouret, a French designer.

This was a departure from the former First Lady, Michelle Obama, who usually wore outfits by up and coming designers who were native to the countries she visited. Melania seemed to be stating that she is her own person here, proud of her own heritage.

Some feel that there is an air of snobbery here in the FLOTUS disregarding local designers.

Melania has attempted to dress down a bit in recent months after she's been criticized for being too out-of-touch with the American people. She quickly donned a shirt from J.Crew, something very different from her usual fashion choices.

The attire seemed to be an effort to show the American people that she could relate to them.

Even with this effort, however, Melania always adds a little touch to show her high-fashion tastes, and to show off that she can afford them. Most notably, the first lady showed off a bit with stiletto heels when she and the president went to visit storm-ravaged Texas after Hurricane Harvey.

It'll be interesting to see what the next year of First Lady fashions will bring now that Melania seems to finally be settling into her new role.

Source: InStyle
Photo: US Department of State/Flickr, YouTube

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