Melania Trump copied Michelle Obama again -- but this time, it's a brilliant political move

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump (L) Photo c: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images
  • Melania Trump wore a $US75 J. Crew shirt on Thanksgiving.
  • The first lady has been spotted dressing down in the shirt before.
  • Michelle Obama was famously a fan of the accessible fashion brand as first lady.

Melania Trump seems to have a new favourite shirt.

On Thursday, President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump spent part of Thanksgiving Day with members of the U.S. Coast Guard in Riviera Beach, Florida.

Melania’s shirt immediately caught our eye – a $US75 button down from J. Crew. The first lady had previously worn the shirt when returning from Camp David.

The first lady has developed a balancing act between her typical high-fashion looks – which usually cost a couple of thousand of dollars – and clothing she wears when she’s making public visits to promote certain causes.

While Melania will wear a $US3,000 coat to the annual turkey pardoning, she’ll change into a button down and baseball cap to spend time with the Coast Guard. It’s the same strategy that leads the first lady to wear stilettos while leaving the White house, but change into her baseball cap and sneakers on the plane.

Michelle Obama became famous for her appreciation of Target and J. Crew fashion during her time as first lady. Obama used fashion to appear as an accessible yet aspirational “mum-in-chief” – a look that Melania Trump seems to be adopting herself.

First Lady Trump was famously criticised for giving a Republican National Committee speech that was eerily similar to one that Michelle Obama gave in 2008.

That isn’t to say that Trump is necessarily trying to exactly replicate Obama’s style. Obama was primarily known for her more accessible fashion choices, with dresses priced at more than $US1,000 as the exception – not the rule.

However, Melania Trump is learning that, when it comes to certain public appearances, going for a more accessible look can pay off. And, that might require repeating a few J. Crew button downs.

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