How Melania Trump has channeled Jackie O over the years

Melania Trump has been taking style cues from fellow first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis throughout her husband’s presidency ⁠— to the point that Donald Trump insists she is America’s new ‘Jackie O.’

The late Jackie, who died of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 1994 at the age of 64, was an undisputed style icon in her era and fans still wax poetic about her timeless looks that have inspired countless celebrities and designers over the years. 

Melania, 49, also favors minimalist, classic designs and has channeled John F. Kennedy’s wife on numerous occasions, most memorably when she wore a powder blue Ralph Lauren dress and coat to her husband’s inauguration. 

Opinion: President Donald Trump has insisted his wife Melania is a modern-day Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, saying she should be called 'Melanie T' to reflect her similarities to 'Jackie O'

Opinion: President Donald Trump has insisted his wife Melania is a modern-day Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, saying she should be called 'Melanie T' to reflect her similarities to 'Jackie O'

Opinion: President Donald Trump has insisted his wife Melania is a modern-day Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, saying she should be called ‘Melanie T’ to reflect her similarities to ‘Jackie O’

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The President and First Lady Melania Trump welcomed the Polish President Andrzej Duda and his wife Agata Kornhauser-Duda at the South Portico of the White House in Washington this week.

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Start of it all: Melania famously wore a powder blue Ralph Lauren dress and coat to her husband's inauguration in 2016, a look that mirrored Jackie's at JFK's swearing-in 1961

Start of it all: Melania famously wore a powder blue Ralph Lauren dress and coat to her husband's inauguration in 2016, a look that mirrored Jackie's at JFK's swearing-in 1961

Start of it all: Melania famously wore a powder blue Ralph Lauren dress and coat to her husband's inauguration in 2016, a look that mirrored Jackie's at JFK's swearing-in 1961

Start of it all: Melania famously wore a powder blue Ralph Lauren dress and coat to her husband's inauguration in 2016, a look that mirrored Jackie's at JFK's swearing-in 1961

Start of it all: Melania famously wore a powder blue Ralph Lauren dress and coat to her husband’s inauguration in 2016, a look that mirrored Jackie’s at JFK’s swearing-in 1961

Color story: Long gloves were one of Mrs. Kennedy's signature accessories, and she loved wearing the same color from head to toe, particularly light blue

Color story: Long gloves were one of Mrs. Kennedy's signature accessories, and she loved wearing the same color from head to toe, particularly light blue

Color story: Long gloves were one of Mrs. Kennedy's signature accessories, and she loved wearing the same color from head to toe, particularly light blue

Color story: Long gloves were one of Mrs. Kennedy's signature accessories, and she loved wearing the same color from head to toe, particularly light blue

Color story: Long gloves were one of Mrs. Kennedy’s signature accessories, and she loved wearing the same color from head to toe, particularly light blue 

She accessorized her outfit with matching long gloves and heels and immediately drew comparisons to Jackie, who also wore a pale blue skirt suit and long gloves to her husband’s inauguration in 1961. 

White gloves and pillbox hats (though Melania has yet to wear one of those) were Jackie’s signature accessories, and she loved wearing the same color from head to toe, something that the current first lady has also emulated over the years.  

Iconic look: The former first lady wore a light blue Oleg Cassini strapless dress in Mexico in 1962. The current president, however, doesn't seem to be a fan of the color

Iconic look: The former first lady wore a light blue Oleg Cassini strapless dress in Mexico in 1962. The current president, however, doesn't seem to be a fan of the color

Iconic look: The former first lady wore a light blue Oleg Cassini strapless dress in Mexico in 1962. The current president, however, doesn’t seem to be a fan of the color 

Jackie was particularly a fan of baby blue, a color that she wore to meet Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1962. That same year, she donned a light blue Oleg Cassini strapless dress to a foreign ministry reception in Mexico. 

Ironically, it is that very shade of light blue that also led Trump to compare his wife to the former first lady ⁠— though, he doesn’t seem to be a fan of the color.  

The president brought up Melania’s similarities to Jackie on Friday during a lengthy ‘Fox & Friends’ TV interview in which why he explained why he is retiring the pale blue paint job in Air Force One that JFK’s wife ordered in 1962 in favor of a bolder red, white, and blue color scheme. 

‘You know, the baby blue doesn’t fit with us,’ Trump said. ‘And people get used to something, but — and it was Jackie O and that’s good. But we have our own Jackie O today, it’s called Melania.’

‘Melania!’ he repeated. ‘We’ll call it “Melania T,” okay?’

The president’s inauguration was undoubtedly the most important style moment of Melania’s life, but she also likes to emulate Jackie’s more casual moments. 

When she and her husband arrived at Palm Beach International Airport in February 2017, she wore a black button-down, white trousers, and statement sunglasses — an outfit nearly identical to the one Jackie had on at the West Palm Beach Airport in 1973.

And this isn’t the only time Melania has emulated one of Jackie’s effortlessly chic black and white looks. 

Then and now: To meet with France's first lady Brigitte Macron in July 2017, Melania donned a smart red skirt suit. Jackie wore a similarly colored skirt suit in 1962

Then and now: To meet with France's first lady Brigitte Macron in July 2017, Melania donned a smart red skirt suit. Jackie wore a similarly colored skirt suit in 1962

Then and now: To meet with France's first lady Brigitte Macron in July 2017, Melania donned a smart red skirt suit. Jackie wore a similarly colored skirt suit in 1962

Then and now: To meet with France's first lady Brigitte Macron in July 2017, Melania donned a smart red skirt suit. Jackie wore a similarly colored skirt suit in 1962

Then and now: To meet with France’s first lady Brigitte Macron in July 2017, Melania donned a smart red skirt suit. Jackie wore a similarly colored skirt suit in 1962

Tradition: Both first ladies wore black Italian lace veils known as mantillas during their respective visits to the Vatican in 1966 and 2017

Tradition: Both first ladies wore black Italian lace veils known as mantillas during their respective visits to the Vatican in 1966 and 2017

Tradition: Both first ladies wore black Italian lace veils known as mantillas during their respective visits to the Vatican in 1966 and 2017

Tradition: Both first ladies wore black Italian lace veils known as mantillas during their respective visits to the Vatican in 1966 and 2017

Tradition: Both first ladies wore black Italian lace veils known as mantillas during their respective visits to the Vatican in 1966 and 2017 

Last June, she stepped off Air Force One in Tucson, Arizona, wearing a casual black three-quarter sleeve shirt and wide-leg white pants that she paired with white sneakers and oversized sunglasses. 

The outfit was reminiscent of the look her predecessor wore in Greece the day before her wedding to Aristotle Onassis, though Jackie’s sleeves were shorter and her feet were bare. 

Melania has taken quite a bit of color inspiration from Jackie as well. In addition to sporting the monochromatic looks that she favored as first lady, the former model has also worn similar shades for big occasions. 

To meet with France’s first lady Brigitte Macron in July 2017, she donned a smart red skirt suit, matching pumps, and black oversized shades. 

Jackie wore a similarly colored skirt suit to discuss plans for the new National Culture Center (later renamed The Kennedy Center) in the White House in 1962. 

Lookalikes: When Melania arrived at Palm Beach International Airport in February 2017, she wore an outfit nearly identical to the one Jackie had on at the West Palm Beach Airport in 1973

Lookalikes: When Melania arrived at Palm Beach International Airport in February 2017, she wore an outfit nearly identical to the one Jackie had on at the West Palm Beach Airport in 1973

Lookalikes: When Melania arrived at Palm Beach International Airport in February 2017, she wore an outfit nearly identical to the one Jackie had on at the West Palm Beach Airport in 1973

Lookalikes: When Melania arrived at Palm Beach International Airport in February 2017, she wore an outfit nearly identical to the one Jackie had on at the West Palm Beach Airport in 1973

Lookalikes: When Melania arrived at Palm Beach International Airport in February 2017, she wore an outfit nearly identical to the one Jackie had on at the West Palm Beach Airport in 1973

Casual style: Melania mirrored Jackie last June in a black and white outfit that was reminiscent of the look her predecessor wore in Greece the day before her wedding to Aristotle Onassis

Casual style: Melania mirrored Jackie last June in a black and white outfit that was reminiscent of the look her predecessor wore in Greece the day before her wedding to Aristotle Onassis

Casual style: Melania mirrored Jackie last June in a black and white outfit that was reminiscent of the look her predecessor wore in Greece the day before her wedding to Aristotle Onassis

Casual style: Melania mirrored Jackie last June in a black and white outfit that was reminiscent of the look her predecessor wore in Greece the day before her wedding to Aristotle Onassis

Casual style: Melania mirrored Jackie last June in a black and white outfit that was reminiscent of the look her predecessor wore in Greece the day before her wedding to Aristotle Onassis

Similarities: Mrs. Kennedy wore a white wide-brim hat to a visit to India in 1962. Mrs. Trump sported a similar look in Southampton, England, earlier this month

Similarities: Mrs. Kennedy wore a white wide-brim hat to a visit to India in 1962. Mrs. Trump sported a similar look in Southampton, England, earlier this month

Similarities: Mrs. Kennedy wore a white wide-brim hat to a visit to India in 1962. Mrs. Trump sported a similar look in Southampton, England, earlier this month

Similarities: Mrs. Kennedy wore a white wide-brim hat to a visit to India in 1962. Mrs. Trump sported a similar look in Southampton, England, earlier this month

Similarities: Mrs. Kennedy wore a white wide-brim hat to a visit to India in 1962. Mrs. Trump sported a similar look in Southampton, England, earlier this month  

Classic: Jackie, pictured in 1970, was an undisputed style icon in her era and fans still wax poetic about her timeless looks

Classic: Jackie, pictured in 1970, was an undisputed style icon in her era and fans still wax poetic about her timeless looks

Classic: Jackie, pictured in 1970, was an undisputed style icon in her era and fans still wax poetic about her timeless looks

Undoubtedly inspired: Melania, pictured on a safari in Nairobi in 2018, has taken several style cues from Jackie over the years

Undoubtedly inspired: Melania, pictured on a safari in Nairobi in 2018, has taken several style cues from Jackie over the years

Undoubtedly inspired: Melania, pictured on a safari in Nairobi in 2018, has taken several style cues from Jackie over the years

Both women opted to wear demure black dresses and laced veils during their respective visits to the Vatican in Italy to meet the Pope. 

Jackie had been a widow for three years when she had a private audience with Pope Paul VI in January 1996. She donned a simple yet elegant long-sleeve black dress and an Italian black lace veil. 

Meanwhile, for her meeting with Pope Benedict in May 2017, Melania wore a lace coat dress and a short lace veil. However, the look might have had to do more with tradition than Jackie O.   

Many former first ladies have worn a lace veil — known as a mantilla — in the presence of the Pope, including Betty Ford, Rosalynn Carter, Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, and Michelle Obama. 

Melania has had a few more subtle nods to Jackie over the past few years. While in Saudi Arabia in May 2017, she cinched the waist of her long black frock with a large gold belt that was a similar shape and style as the belt Jackie wore to the opera in New York City 50 years earlier.  

Subtle nod: While in Saudi Arabia in May 2017, Melania donned a large gold belt that was a similar shape and style as the belt Jackie wore to the opera in New York City 50 years earlier

Subtle nod: While in Saudi Arabia in May 2017, Melania donned a large gold belt that was a similar shape and style as the belt Jackie wore to the opera in New York City 50 years earlier

Subtle nod: While in Saudi Arabia in May 2017, Melania donned a large gold belt that was a similar shape and style as the belt Jackie wore to the opera in New York City 50 years earlier

Subtle nod: While in Saudi Arabia in May 2017, Melania donned a large gold belt that was a similar shape and style as the belt Jackie wore to the opera in New York City 50 years earlier

Subtle nod: While in Saudi Arabia in May 2017, Melania donned a large gold belt that was a similar shape and style as the belt Jackie wore to the opera in New York City 50 years earlier

Twins: Melania appeared to be inspired by fellow first lady Jackie O when she wore a blue headscarf last week, which were often worn by the style icon

Twins: Melania appeared to be inspired by fellow first lady Jackie O when she wore a blue headscarf last week, which were often worn by the style icon

Twins: Melania appeared to be inspired by fellow first lady Jackie O when she wore a blue headscarf last week, which were often worn by the style icon

Twins: Melania appeared to be inspired by fellow first lady Jackie O when she wore a blue headscarf last week, which were often worn by the style icon

Twins: Melania appeared to be inspired by fellow first lady Jackie O when she wore a blue headscarf last week, which were often worn by the style icon 

Style of the times: Both women have sported sunny yellow gowns to formal events. Jackie is pictured in 1973 while Melania is pictured in 2018

Style of the times: Both women have sported sunny yellow gowns to formal events. Jackie is pictured in 1973 while Melania is pictured in 2018

Style of the times: Both women have sported sunny yellow gowns to formal events. Jackie is pictured in 1973 while Melania is pictured in 2018

Style of the times: Both women have sported sunny yellow gowns to formal events. Jackie is pictured in 1973 while Melania is pictured in 2018

Style of the times: Both women have sported sunny yellow gowns to formal events. Jackie is pictured in 1973 while Melania is pictured in 2018 

The first ladies are also fans of Chanel suits. Jackie wore several skirt suits by the label, including the now-iconic pink and navy suit she had on the day JFK was assassinated. 

Melania wore a Chanel Haute Couture dress for the Trumps’ first state dinner at the White House in April 2018. She was also an admirer of late Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld, whom she paid tribute to on social media when he died in February. 

‘Today the world lost a creative genius. We will miss you Karl! #RIPKarlLagerfeld,’ she wrote, sharing an image of one of Lagerfeld’s sketches as well as photos of herself modeling his designs and posing with on a red carpet with him. 

For her first official White House appearance in 2017, Melania wore a white skirt suit designed by Lagerfeld to greet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  

It seems the Slovene-born first lady has always admired Jackie O. 

Back in 1999, when Donald — her then-boyfriend — was considering running for president for the first time, she told The New York Times she ‘would be very traditional’ if she got into the White House, ‘like Betty Ford or Jackie Kennedy.’

All white: Jackie, pictured in 1963, wore several looks by Chanel. For her first official White House appearance, Melania wore a skirt suit designed by late Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld

All white: Jackie, pictured in 1963, wore several looks by Chanel. For her first official White House appearance, Melania wore a skirt suit designed by late Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld

All white: Jackie, pictured in 1963, wore several looks by Chanel. For her first official White House appearance, Melania wore a skirt suit designed by late Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld

All white: Jackie, pictured in 1963, wore several looks by Chanel. For her first official White House appearance, Melania wore a skirt suit designed by late Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld

All white: Jackie, pictured in 1963, wore several looks by Chanel. For her first official White House appearance, Melania wore a skirt suit designed by late Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld

Dress for the job you want! When Melania voted in the 2016 presidential election, she channeled the former first lady in a camel coat similar in style to the one Jackie wore in 1971

Dress for the job you want! When Melania voted in the 2016 presidential election, she channeled the former first lady in a camel coat similar in style to the one Jackie wore in 1971

Dress for the job you want! When Melania voted in the 2016 presidential election, she channeled the former first lady in a camel coat similar in style to the one Jackie wore in 1971

Dress for the job you want! When Melania voted in the 2016 presidential election, she channeled the former first lady in a camel coat similar in style to the one Jackie wore in 1971

Dress for the job you want! When Melania voted in the 2016 presidential election, she channeled the former first lady in a camel coat similar in style to the one Jackie wore in 1971

Reminiscent: Melania modeled a white double-breasted coat on the Today show in April 2016. The ensemble was a modern version of the white coat Jackie wore to the airport in 1966

Reminiscent: Melania modeled a white double-breasted coat on the Today show in April 2016. The ensemble was a modern version of the white coat Jackie wore to the airport in 1966

Reminiscent: Melania modeled a white double-breasted coat on the Today show in April 2016. The ensemble was a modern version of the white coat Jackie wore to the airport in 1966

Reminiscent: Melania modeled a white double-breasted coat on the Today show in April 2016. The ensemble was a modern version of the white coat Jackie wore to the airport in 1966

Reminiscent: Melania modeled a white double-breasted coat on the Today show in April 2016. The ensemble was a modern version of the white coat Jackie wore to the airport in 1966

When her husband was running for president in 2016, she took the saying, ‘Dress for the job you want, not the job you have,’ to heart while picking out her looks on the campaign trail. 

Melania modeled a white double-breasted coat while appearing with her husband and his children at an NBC Town Hall on the Today show in April 2016. The ensemble was a modern version of the white coat Jackie wore to the airport in 1966. 

And then when she voted in the 2016 presidential election in November, she channeled the former first lady in a camel coat similar in style to the one Jackie wore in at Heathrow Airport near London in June 1971. 

The strategy seemed to have worked, as she is now first lady, and according to her husband, a style star in her own right.  

Melania mirrored Jackie last Friday when she was pictured leaving Ireland wearing a $2,090 Burberry trench coat, a pair of large sunglasses, and a scarf wrapped around her head.  

She tucked the scarf, which appeared to be Hermes, into her coat while boarding Air Force Once with her husband at the Shannon Airport.  

The first lady bore a striking resemblance to the former Mrs. Kennedy, who was frequently photographed with a pair of sunglasses shielding her eyes and an Hermes headscarf wrapped around her face. 

 

 

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