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Thus, fairly or unfairly, a first lady's clothes can speak volumes for millions of Americans watching.
That's especially true of Melania Trump, who has spoken relatively little and remained somewhat of a mystery to the public.
With pin-up proportions, Melania Trump, 45, has mastered how to highlight her waist with waist-cinching belts and favors slim-cut, body-conscious silhouettes.
In November, for her very first campaign trail appearance, in South Carolina, she wore a nude, body-hugging dress with a thick belt and a bright red coat draped across her shoulders.
Her consistent aesthetic, one that's timeless but never stodgy, signals a self-assurance and a confident ability to ride above the fast-fashion fray, perhaps thanks to her wealth, her sturdy place in the social hierarchy or her own experience in the fashion world.
What we do know of Melania Trump includes her fashion, and it's an area in which she's in full command.
She was, after all, a professional model, walking runways in Milan and Paris in the 1980s and '90s and inhabiting a world of luxury even after she ended her fashion week stints. She favors an unwavering array of cool neutrals like icy pink and beige, with occasional splashes of patriotic reds and deep blues.
She accessorized with bright pink heels and a large, gold chain-link bracelet.
Her hair was perfectly blown-out, with cascading waves; her makeup was prominent, but flattering. A little more than 24 hours later, Donald Trump would find himself closer than ever to securing the Republican presidential nomination after resounding victories in seven states on Super Tuesday — and Americans could realistically start contemplating what it would be like to see the stylish, glamorous, enigmatic Melania Trump as first lady. Whether she cares about fashion or not, a first lady (or, theoretically, a "first gentleman") is often more seen than heard, given their supporting role in the presidency.
The night Donald Trump came in second in the Iowa caucus, she wore a similar red coat, but with a tight red dress underneath.
Following the South Carolina primary, which Donald Trump won, she wore a simple pink sheath with a massive diamond bracelet on her left arm.
In New Hampshire, where he won the primary, she wore a black dress with a bedazzled belt to cinch the waist.
Melania Trump's approach when it comes to fashion, it seems, is that she's above it.