Casey DeSantis Vs. Melania Trump: A Closer Look At Their Style

Next to every president in United States history, there has stood a first lady in an outfit that's much more interesting to look at than her husband's. First lady fashion is a time-honored topic that deserves all the discussion it gets (though not nearly as much of the criticism), and some spouses in today's political arena are proving that you don't have to be a presidential first lady to garner attention.

With the 2024 presidential election looming, the eyes of the world are on the Republican primary as former president Donald Trump has thrown his hat into the ring once again, along with Florida governor Ron DeSantis. The race has already caused a bit of a media frenzy as each man continues to remark on the other. But while the two men duke it out, we're focusing on something way less high-stakes and far more fun: the style choices of their wives, Casey DeSantis and Melania Trump.

During Ron's time in office and now amid his presidential campaign, Casey has been making headlines for her stylistic choices, often dressing as if her husband is already president. Melania hasn't been on the campaign trail with Donald, but we've got years of first lady looks to know how she'd dress should her husband be elected once again. We already know how their husbands' politics compare, but how do Casey and Melania's styles stack up? Let's take a closer look at the fashion choices of these two women.

Casey DeSantis and Melania Trumpwear distinct palettes

We all have colors that we favor, and first ladies are no different. They are just as likely to become known over time for favoring certain hues. All first ladies have at least one red, white, or blue moment during their tenure, but they're more often dressed in muted tones. The mold notably broke when Michelle Obama was first lady. She typically wore bold, bright colors (Jackie Kennedy and Betty Ford didn't exclusively wear muted tones, but they certainly weren't dressing as boldly as Obama — at least not on a regular basis).

Casey DeSantis and Melania Trump both followed in Obama's footsteps by dressing according to palettes of their own liking, though a little more in keeping with traditional first lady choices than Obama. Trump is very much a fan of neutrals, usually dressed in black, white, khaki, brown, and olive, but she isn't afraid of color. The former model sports jewel tones now and again, and she's shown she's a big fan of a monochromatic look. What Trump is rarely seen in, however, is a pattern. She favors structure and color blocking.

DeSantis favors a pastel palette. Some of her most notable looks have included a powder blue ensemble, a baby blue dress, and a seafoam green dress. DeSantis does wear bolder colors, like a strong red or yellow, on occasion, but most of her wardrobe for public events consists of softer colors.

They opt for form-fitting silhouettes

Both Melania Trump and Casey DeSantis have been known to wear a form-fitting silhouette. Whether they're standing next to their husbands onstage after a victorious election night or meeting with others in the political realm, Trump and DeSantis are often spotted in figure-hugging ensembles that show off their forms, though not so tightly that they risk a wardrobe malfunction or look too risqué. One of DeSantis' most memorable form-fitting looks is the navy Chiara Boni La Petite Robe dress she donned for her official portrait. One of Trump's most notable pieces from her husband's time in office is her white gown from her husband's inaugural ball.

Trump doesn't just wear form-fitting fashions to accentuate her figure. She's also a fan of wearing a belt around her waist, a feature of her inauguration gown, as well as several subsequent outfits like the white look she wore while visiting the Taj Mahal with her husband. Trump's career prior to marrying the former president was modeling, so it's reasonable to assume her time spent in the fashion industry gave her a clear understanding of how best to dress her shape. Some first ladies have to settle into their styles when taking residence at the White House, but Trump entered with a clear idea of what she likes, usually seeking to elongate her legs and accentuate her waist.

Casey DeSantis and Melania Trump often wear heels

The shoes women in politics wear have long been a topic of discussion. In more recent history, former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi gave an eight-hour speech to her colleagues in Congress while wearing heels, making many onlookers wonder just how she was able to do so. Heels are as much a part of politics as any fashion choice, and this extends to first ladies. Casey DeSantis and Melania Trump are almost always wearing heels when photographed.

And Trump has quite a collection of them to choose from. The former first lady has a collection of footwear reportedly worth $100,000, featuring labels such as Christian Louboutin, Valentino, and Manolo Blahnik. Trump does wear the occasional muted color, but most of her heels are bright and patterned, with even the solid colors coming in bold hues. DeSantis' shoe choices are a little more subdued. She's often seen in nude or black heels rather than something brighter.

Neither woman is seen exclusively in heels, though. Both will wear a flat or sneakers if the occasion calls for it (though Trump was criticized back in 2017 for deplaning Air Force One in heels with her husband as he traveled to assess damage from Hurricane Harvey). Trump has been seen in sneakers many times, and DeSantis made headlines for the rain boots she wore when accompanying her husband to see the wreckage from Hurricane Ian.

Casey DeSantis changes her hairstyle more often than Melania Trump does

We often dissect political spouses' outfits down to the threads, but we talk about their hairstyles less often. Both Melania Trump and Casey DeSantis have honed their hairstyles, and while they're quite similar, they are also distinct. DeSantis has proved to change her hairstyle more often than Trump. Florida's first lady has one go-to style: a side part with waves that frame her face. But she also pulls her hair back quite a bit, as she did for her husband's 2023 inauguration. DeSantis has been known to pull her hair completely to the side with cascading curls and to sport her hair in a half-up half-down 'do.

Before she was first lady, Trump wore her hair in different styles quite often. But when her husband took office, she assumed a standard look of loose waves and face-framing bangs, and the public wanted to know just how she achieved such a look. "Her hairline is clever. She definitely blow-dries a few sections forward with a large round brush," hairstylist Johanne Herald told Express. "Add volume mousse or spray to damp hair, take a triangular section at the front and dry forward with a bend," she advised for anyone who wants the same look. "Having this area shorter and in-center or just-off-center parting is very flattering to finer hairlines that may have receding bits," she added.

They love to accessorize

Melania Trump and Casey DeSantis each have their own preferred accessories. Both are always seen sporting typical jewelry, but Trump and DeSantis favor bolder choices, too. One accessory that DeSantis has taken a liking to is a pair of gloves. On multiple occasions, the Floridian has sported a pair of white gloves, and pundits and fashion experts alike have theorized that this is an intentional nod to former first lady Jackie Kennedy. "Long gloves, in the context of politics, are so connected to Mrs. Kennedy, that when a first lady (state or federal) adopts the same style of dress, she implicitly connects herself with that White House and all the qualities related to it: style, youth, promise, change," a fashion critic told The New York Times.

Trump has worn gloves, too. She's particularly fond of wearing them to complete a monochromatic look, as she did for her Inauguration Day outfit, and she's also been known to sport a leather glove during cold weather months. However, the former first lady seems fonder of another accessory: hats. Trump donned many a white hat while her husband was in office, like the wide-brimmed hat she wore while visiting Queen Elizabeth. She has also opted for more casual looks, including the black ball cap reading FLOTUS she wore while visiting Texas after Hurricane Harvey.

Melania Trump and Casey DeSantis have both channeled a former first lady

That a first lady is going to channel former first ladies' fashion choices is almost a given, especially if style is important to her (and it appears to be quite important to both Casey DeSantis and Melania Trump). Both Trump and DeSantis have drawn inspiration from one in particular: Jackie Kennedy. Widely regarded as one of the most stylish first ladies ever, Kennedy still serves as fashion inspo today, and Trump and DeSantis both seem to have taken cues from her for their respective Inauguration Day outfits. For her husband's inauguration in 2017, Trump wore a powder blue look akin to what Kennedy wore to her husband's inauguration in 1961. DeSantis wore a similar look for her husband's 2019 gubernatorial inauguration.

While there was plenty of discussion about Trump's fashion choices throughout her time in the White House, there have perhaps been even more regarding DeSantis' choices. This is especially true those seemingly inspired by Jackie O, as DeSantis channels former first ladies while on her husband's presidential campaign trail. Most first ladies wait until their husband has taken the oath of office to wear such looks, but there may be an explanation for DeSantis' perhaps premature choices. As Lauren Rothman, a political stylist, told Insider, "I think that she is using non-verbal communication to say, 'This is just the beginning. Watch out world, here I come. I can play that role. I can dress in that role.'"

Melania Trump favors famed brands

Anytime a first lady steps out in a new outfit (which is quite often), the public wants to know who made her clothes. While Melania Trump was first lady, she continued wearing many of the brands she had worn prior to her husband's foray into politics, many of which are quite famous. For her husband's inauguration in 2017, Trump wore a powder blue ensemble made by Ralph Lauren. While in the U.K., the former first lady wore a gown by J. Mendel and a dress from Dolce & Gabbana. While Trump has worn more accessible brands like Zara, most of her go-to designers were Gucci, Valentino, Chanel, and the like. Trump also wore quite a few custom pieces made by her stylist at the time, former Carolina Herrera creative director Hervé Pierre.

Casey DeSantis is often seen in name-brand clothing, but most of the designers she wears don't have the legacy status that Trump's favored designers have. DeSantis has been known to wear pieces by Ted Baker, Badgley Mischka, Shoshanna, and Trina Turk. These certainly aren't brands the masses wear, but they're not quite as notable as what Trump regularly sports.

Trump's brands differ in another distinct way: They're far more expensive. While neither woman wears cheap clothing, Trump's wardrobe is worth much, much more money. Most of what DeSantis is photographed in retails for a couple of hundred or a few hundred dollars, while most of what Trump is photographed in retails for thousands.

Both women are known to go full glam

For better or worse, the spouses of governors and presidential candidates attract a lot of attention, and both Melania Trump and Casey DeSantis take their role seriously, dressing and wearing makeup for the part. Both women sport full glam when out in public, though their particular makeup looks have been viewed quite differently. While Trump's makeup look has been broken down so others can recreate it, DeSantis' has been mocked by the internet. Many on the internet have questioned DeSantis' eyebrow routine, criticizing it for being too dark and too bold.

As noted, Trump's makeup routine has been lauded, particularly for the looks she wore both on Inauguration Day and at the inaugural ball. "I wanted the emphasis to be on Melania's perfect skin by adding warmth and dewiness and topping it off with a delicate smoky eye for understated grandeur," Trump's makeup artist Nicole Bryl told Us Magazine of her goal for Trump's inauguration makeup. In a separate interview with Women's Wear Daily, Bryl noted that skin care is one of her main focuses when it comes to everyone whose makeup she applies, including Trump's. "I certainly spend the most amount of time on my client's skin. Ensuring that there is always a gentle, flawless glow and that everything is blended perfectly is a skill I never tire of perfecting," she said.

Melania Trump worked with a stylist while in the White House

While it's all fun and games to compare Casey DeSantis' style to Melania Trump's, many might say Trump has the upper hand. What's important to remember, though (aside from the greater access Trump has to clothes and accessories thanks to her bigger budget), is that much of the comparison between these women is drawn from Trump's time in the White House, and during that time, she worked with a stylist. DeSantis, on the other hand, has never stated whether she works with a stylist or not — she might be choosing her looks all on her own.

Trump worked with Hervé Pierre while her husband was in office. Pierre had previously worked as the creative director of Carolina Herrera, and as he said to Women's Wear Daily, "I told the First Lady at the time, 'You know, I'm not a stylist.' She said, 'Well, I'm not a first lady either, so we will learn together.'" Herrera noted that he was honored to dress Trump, and he mentioned some of the position's challenges. "You have all the glamour, but then you also have hospital visits and everything else. The panorama of the wardrobe for a First Lady is so big because there are so many events that need to be fulfilled," he said. Styling a first lady is no easy job.

Melania Trump has been known to make a statement

Casey DeSantis is certainly making a splash in the political fashion world, but Melania Trump has long made statements with her style choices, whether intentionally or not. In 2018, Trump garnered criticism for wearing a Zara utility jacket that read "I don't really care, do u?" on the back while at a facility in Texas where migrant children were being held. Critics found the piece of clothing insensitive, and the former first lady's fashion choice inspired a fundraiser for migrant children. Though Trump did work with a stylist, Hervé Pierre, while she was in the White House, Pierre told Women's Wear Daily that he did not have a hand in that styling choice.

A year prior to the infamous jacket, just months into her husband's presidency, Trump was criticized for wearing a Dolce & Gabbana coat that retailed for $51,500 while on a trip to Italy. Many found it distasteful and tone-deaf for the former first lady to wear an item of clothing that costs more than what many United States citizens earn in a year. Trump has never publicly commented on either buzzy look, but both fashion moments spoke for themselves whether they sent her intended message or not. DeSantis has generated plenty of chatter from her first lady looks so far, but nothing she's worn as of yet will add her to the conversation of best-dressed political spouses of all time.