Melania Trumps' Style Secrets, Decoded With 5 Simple Rules

These are the wardrobe rules the FLOTUS lives and breathes by

By Diana Nguyen May 26, 2017 12:00 PMTags
ESC: Melania TrumpERIC LALMAND/AFP/Getty Images

First lady fashion changes with each administration, but if Melania Trump's wardrobe is one thing, it's consistent.

That's not to say her style hasn't evolved.

Before Donald Trump took office, his better half was more at liberty to wear shorter hemlines and lower necklines. Now that Melania is a public figure, meeting world leaders as she has done in apparent high fashion on her latest international tour, the FLOTUS has adopted more conservative adjustments to her wardrobe. Still, the fashion formula we saw pre-election is still the same: minimalism + (luxury x 2) = Melania Trump's uniform.

Melania Trump's Best Looks

"I think she's one of those women who finds a style that works for them and sticks with that. She knows the silhouettes that work for her and the colors she likes," said Phillip Bloch, former creative style director for the Miss Universe pageant. "She luxuriates in minimalism."

The stylist, who consulted on Tiffany Trump and Marla Maples' inauguration ensembles, calls the first lady a "front-row friend," recalling the first time he met her at Luca Luca fashion show. "I remember looking across the room and thinking, ‘Is that Jennifer Lopez with Donald Trump?' She was wearing a white or powder-blue coat, blonde highlights and a glowing tan. The outfit I first saw her in still works for her today."

What exactly works for the FLOTUS, who, like her predecessors before her, do not receive fashion freebies? We asked Phillip to dissect the anatomy of Melania Trump's first lady fashion.

1. Black & White Are Go-Tos

First Lady Melania Trump has a penchant for neutral colors, especially black and white. "It's a nice palette for a first lady," said fashion consultant Phillip Bloch. Of course, everything she wears comes with a hefty price tag, like this Dolce & Gabbana lace suit she wore to meet the pope. The FLOTUS added a veil to the all-black ensemble, as is customary when meeting the pontiff. 

The first lady is always "very chic, classic and elegant," said the stylist. White, as seen here on a visit to Israel, is crisp and sophisticated on the former model. 

"The colors don't change: It's black and white—that's the only thing that's going to get a little boring, but at least it's not the bad blue and red that everyone wears," noted the stylist. 

2. Punch Up the Accessories

"A khaki shirt dress and zebra-like shoe—that's her way of spicing it up," Phillip said of the outfit Melania wore to Riyadh.

Melania loves a good statement belt as well. "It's classic-but-modern first lady style. It's 2017," said Phillip. 

Even if the belt blends in with the rest of her ensemble, she'll sometimes funk it up with printed or patterned shoes. 

3. Pantsuits Are for Politicians

The former model doesn't wear your run-of-the-mill pantsuit. "She likes luxurious fabric," noted the pro. "She wears fashion power suits—they're not cheap. There's a slight masculine tailoring to a lot of things."

Even when it's skirt suit, there's a fashion edge to it, as seen here with the Maison Ullens Custom Leather Jacket & Skirt she wore to Brussels. 

Every now and then, the design details, seen here in the piping and trim around the pockets and jacket edges, will show her attention to quality and fabrication. 

4. When in Doubt, Wear a Coat Dress

Oftentimes, especially when she's traveling, you'll see the FLOTUS wearing coat dresses as her main piece. Lazy or genius style trick?

"You know what I'd love to see: her just lounging," noted Phillip. "You rarely see her wearing casual [clothes]. I'd love to see her in a sweater. I can't think of her in a sweater or cardigan or a knit."

5. Color Over Prints

For formal events, like when the Trumps visited Saudi Arabia, we may see a pop of color from the first lady. However, we're unlikely to see prints. 

Very J.Lo-esque, no?

"Michelle [Obama] used her fashion to make a statement. She supported unknown designers—that was her thing in fashion," said Phillip. Melania, on the other hand, stays true to her high-fashion aesthetic. "I like that she's not trying to be not herself—she's being very true to who she is and that's a lot to say for someone in her position," added the family friend. 

One more thing to note about Melania Trump's style: You'll never see the first lady carrying a handbag.

She has deep pockets, after all.