As the First Lady and President Trump arrived in London for their first official visit, Melania Trump looked every bit the part of a first lady – dressed in an outfit and manner that was undeniably presidential.
For the occasion, Trump chose a nude dress designed by French designer Roland Mouret and accented with a red belt, which matched her husband’s signature red tie.
She completed the outfit with a pair of nude Louboutin heels.
The demure outfit was a fitting choice for the First Lady’s trip to England – not only because of the recent controversies surrounding her outfit choices but because of the designer’s link to the country.
Following the backlash over her decision to wear a Zara jacket emblazoned with “I Don’t Care, Do U?” while visiting migrant children separated from their parents at the border, it seems likely the First Lady realised just how much importance is placed on her appearance during public outings – and adjusted accordingly.
Of her makeover, celebrity stylist and fashion expert Alex Longmore told The Independent: “I think she is donning such a sophisticated look because she deems England to be just that and she has gone down the conservative route.”
Trump’s outfit choice may also be an acknowledgement and olive branch of sorts to England and the royal family.
Earlier this week, Meghan Markle set out on an international trip as well – accompanying her husband Prince Harry to Ireland on their first official tour of duty.
The Duchess of Sussex, whose style is well-known as being both appropriate and enviable, wore a Roland Mouret dress – similar to the one worn by Trump just days later.
While the dress choice could be a similarity, Longmore thinks Trump’s choice may have been influenced in part by the Duchess.
Calling it an “extraordinary coincidence,” Longmore said: “I think [Melania] has probably looked to the young royals for fashion inspiration or her stylist has as she knows that Kate and Meghan get it just right.”
Emily Gordon-Smith, head of fashion at trends company Stylus, agreed – telling us Trump’s First Lady look is clearly inspired by the Meghan Markle effect.
As for why the subtle shift in appearance, Gordon-Smith thinks the First Lady’s decision may be because “being royal-ready is potentially Melania’s priority – or maybe it’s about blending into the background given the weekend’s planned protests surrounding the visit.”
Whether her intention is to blend in or simply present a polished and appropriate look for the trip, the First Lady’s outfit choice has reflected her desire to maintain a professional tone.
Aware now how her clothing can be interpreted, Melania Trump is controlling the narrative around her outfit choices and following in the footsteps of past First Ladies, who have blended their own styles with the important role.
And, as Longmore said, “sophistication suits her.”