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The Styled Side: How stylish are Republicans?

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CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 19: A delegate from Texas arrive on the second day of the Republican National Convention on July 19, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicked off on July 18.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
A delegate from Texas arrive on the second day of the Republican National Convention on July 19, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

The convention is more than politics: flamboyant hats, buttons and outfits are all taking center stage, too.

Republicans are whipping up the party faithful in Cleveland for their national convention.

But aside from politics, flamboyant hats, buttons and outfits are all garnering their fair share of attention, too.

"Sartorial choices can be carefully calculated messages of party unity and state pride," says Michelle Dalton Tyree of Fashion Trends Daily.

Tyree points out Melania Trump's ivory sheath dress worn during her speech to delegates contained a subtle but deliberate message.

Called the "Margot" from brand Roksanda, it was designed by Roksanda Ilincic, a Serbian-born woman based in London.

"Melania is herself from Slovenia," says Tyree, "and the dress is a notable choice as she works to try and tamp down perceptions that her husband is not exactly foreigner-friendly."

Trump also purchased it off the luxury fashion site Net-a-Porter.

"One of the reasons the fashion press loves Michelle Obama is that she is known for frequently buying at retail like J Crew," says Tyree. "It's interesting that a former high-fashion model such as Melania, known for working with top fashion photographers, would also choose a similar strategy."

What Donald Trump wore also caught Tyree's eye: a blue tie from his own signature collection.

"He has taken heat because it's been reported that his own brand of ties is Made in China, which doesn't pair well with his message of bringing more jobs to America," she says.

"But by wearing his own line and not the Italian Brioni that he's typically worn on the campaign trail, one could read into it that he's seemingly saying that he buys into his brand and voters should, too," says Tyree. "Or is it that he simply likes that tie?"

On the convention floor, loud outfits are a great way to draw media attention to yourself and brand yourself as part of a larger team.

"It's the perfect way to grab a little air time if you're wearing something extra bold," says Tyree.

Plenty of retailers are cashing in as well.

If you want to get your "elephant" on, Tyree has some suggestions:

  • Tom's Shoes, based in Playa del Ray, has a line-up of Republican pride shoes (they are equal opportunity, though, with Democrat donkey ones too)
  • is an online resource to get a basic elephant tee or something more sassy like a "Delete Hillary" t-shirt
  • has an assortment of products including presidential t-shirts for your dog

Stayed tuned next week when Tyree rejoins Take Two for a look at the Democratic style when that party convenes for its convention in Philadelphia.

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