Melania Trump is bringing back a polarizing fashion trend popularized by Kim Kardashian — and it's a brilliant strategic move

  • Melania Trump wore a glamorous cape on Monday, while welcoming the French president to the White House. 
  • This isn't the first time the first lady has sported a cape or a pseudo-cape, crafted from her off-the-shoulders coats.
  • The cape represents a glamorous sense of mystery that Trump wants to convey to America — something she has in common with Kim Kardashian, another fan of the cape. 
  •  Capes are set to be "every where you look" in fall 2018, according to Vogue. 

Melania Trump is bringing back the cape. 

On Monday, the first lady sported a $2,790 Givenchy cape to welcome French president Emmanuel Macron and his wife Bridgette to the White House. 

This isn't the first time the first lady has been spotted in a high-fashion cape. Unlike Michelle Obama, who is known for her down-to-earth J. Crew, Trump has doubled down on her glamorous fashion choices. 

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Melania Trump brings back the cape trend
French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron's visit is just the most recent instance of Trump donning a cape.
She wore a $8,000 Monique Lhuillier caplet gown during a black tie dinner at the White House.

Trump also wore a cape-style dress while on a trip to Mar-a-Lago.

Even when Trump isn't wearing an actual cape, it often looks as if she is.
The first lady frequently wears her coats off her shoulders, creating the illusion that she is wearing a cape instead of using the sleeves to warm her arms.
U.S. President Donald Trump listens to reporters as walks with first lady Melania Trump on South Lawn of the White House upon their return to Washington, U.S., from Palm Beach, Florida, March 3, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

The frequency of Trump's off-the-shoulder looks has sparked discussion.

 Slate's Christina Cauterucci theorized that sleeves served as a buffer for Trump, who has been spotted more than once denying her husband's attempts to grab her hand in public.

Source: Slate

"Trump’s empty sleeve functioned as a safety buffer," Cauterucci writes. "When your arms aren’t where they’re supposed to be, it’s a lot harder for other people to find them."
Hand-grabbing concerns may play into Trump's love for capes and pseudo-capes, but the cape also captures the message Melania Trump is trying to send to Americans.

"The cape has always exerted a mysterious and magical appeal," Franca Sozzani writes in Vogue. "Beginning with fairy tales in which the handsome prince arrives on a white horse, dressed in a flowing blue cape." 

Source: Vogue

Capes have fallen out of fashion since the early '90s, with Sozzani writing they're bound to have a comeback "sooner or later." Now, it looks like Trump may be helping fuel that return.
The off-the-shoulder coat has become an Instagram mainstay in certain circles, beloved by fashion bloggers attempting to elevate an outfit.
The most prominent fashion advocate for capes in recent years, however, has been reality star and entrepreneur Kim Kardashian.
Like Trump, Kardashian dresses to capture a certain aesthetic quality and send a message — not for practical reasons.
Instead, Kardashian and Trump want to capture the "mysterious and magical appeal" of the cape.
Unlike Michelle Obama, Trump does not aim to be relatable in her outfits. Instead, she and President Trump have put forward a glamorous, over-the-top image that supporters love and critics hate.
BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 26: A model walks the runway for Isabel Zapardiez collection during Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week at Fira de Barcelona on April 26, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Jordi Vidal/Getty Images)
Vogue reported in February that the 2018 fall/winter catwalks featured capes "every where you look."
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There's a clear strategy behind Trump's fashion choices which align her with another cape-lover — Kim Kardashian. 

Here's a brief history of Melania Trump's cape obsession, as well as why the cape craze is on the cusp of spreading across the US. 

See Also:

SEE ALSO: Melania Trump wore a huge white hat for the French president's arrival ceremony — and people are freaking out and comparing her to Beyoncé

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