Dressing like a Duchess has become a way to boost your style credentials ever since Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton joined the Royal Family. The new royals have influenced many a fashion trend with their wardrobe choices and frequently cause clothes, bags and shoes to sell out as fans flurry to get the look. But while Kate’s dress sense is fairly elegant and formal, Meghan has wowed fashion followers with her more laid-back looks, especially since moving back to LA – so how can you dress like the modern royal?
When it comes to her wardrobe, Meghan has mastered her look, according to Rich Simmons, Lead Stylist at Stitch Fix UK.
“Meghan’s signature style is sophisticated and elegant – she’s often seen wearing smart basics and tailored separates, be it shirt dresses, pencil skirts, pointed court shoes or trouser suits,” the fashion expert mused.
“She’s great at a smart casual look, but when the occasion requires it, she tends to favour a smart, fitted, stylish aesthetic.
“She’s definitely mastered the crisp white shirt, which she dons at both casual events and more important engagements, teaming perfectly with jeans, a blazer and pumps or a gorgeous tailored two-piece.”
However, while she clearly has an eye for fashion, Meghan also has expensive taste.
“In Meghan’s case, her elegance often comes with a hefty price tag; her pumps are often Manolo’s and her coats Victoria Beckham,” said Rich.
“Then there’s her favourite fashion house of all, Givenchy – Claire Waight Keller designed her wedding dress, dressed her for her first royal tour and first solo engagement.
“Whilst Keller has now left the label, she was certainly her go-to designer of choice for many of her appearances and engagements as a member of the Royal Family.”
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Rich also believes that Meghan’s style has evolved since marrying into the monarchy – and again since she stepped down from her royal duties with husband Prince Harry.
“Before joining the royal family, she was a much more casual dresser – her classic tailored look and stylish workwear approach definitely began once she began her royal engagements,” explained Rich.
“This continued into her maternity wardrobe – it blossomed with a rainbow of smartly tailored dresses and coats, with elements like double-breasted buttons, cinched waists, and the occasional A-line shape.”
The fashion pro noticed that Meghan even kept to her high-fashion taste during her pregnancy, wearing custom outfits from Valentino in the month before Archie was born.
However, the summer after Meghan became a mum for the first time, she began switching back to her pre-royal style.
“Since she’s stepped down from royal duties, whilst she’s still a fan of classic elegance, and the crisp white shirt still makes its appearance, it’s been great to see she’s incorporated even more casual looks into her wardrobe,” said Rich, suggesting it may be a “symbol of her newfound freedom and a more relaxed way of life”.
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But while Meghan has a distinctive style, she has plenty in common with her sister-in-law Kate Middleton too.
“Similar to Kate, she’s also a fan of recycling garments, modernising worn-before looks with fresh accessories,” commented Rich.
“For example, she wore a purple Aritzia dress whilst pregnant, which she wore again in October that year.
“Another example is the beige sleeveless trench coat dress by Canadian label, Nonie, which she has worn to many a royal engagement. It’s always great to see our style icons recycling their outfits – and really demonstrates the value of those timeless investment pieces.”
But while recycling clothes isn’t anything new for royal fans with a much tighter budget, there are certain style notes that Meghan sticks to that you can follow in order to copy her look.
Opt for block colours
Anyone who’s been following Meghan’s fashion since she first burst onto the royal scene may have noticed that she often chooses bold colours, unlike Kate Middleton’s passion for prints.
“Meghan often wears block colours – including black, navy, forest green and crisp white – a classic, versatile palette that complements her complexion and suits her elegant style,” agreed Rich.
“That said, she’ll also be seen wearing pops of colour, for example pastel pink, bold purple, red, or even yellow.
“These colours are harder to nail, but the colours that make up her more classic looks can be applied to many – monochrome is everyone’s friend.”
Customers using Stitch Fix can pick Meghan’s favourite colours when setting up their preferences if they want to get the look, as well as entering the ones they want to avoid.
“At Stitch Fix, we’re all about that extra level of personalisation,” explained Rich. “The beauty of being styled by an expert is that we may even introduce you to colours you may not think to have tried before and open your eyes to a whole new colour palette that works for you.”
Invest in quality brands
Meghan’s wardrobe will no doubt have an eye-watering collective price tag, but you can still steal her style by following her method of going for quality over quantity. So which brands should you be shopping for?
“If you’ve got the budget for it, Givenchy is the obvious choice,” advised Rich.
“A pair of Manolo’s will certainly fit the bill, too, but if you’re after something a little more affordable, the brands I recommend to my customers at Stitch Fix are definitely Whistles and Mango for a tailored look, Rag & Bone for smart, comfy basics, Ivy & Oak or Won Hundred for denim, and Ghost for evening wear.”
These versatile brands will really last – which could save you money in the long run.
Make tailoring work for you
Meghan has a penchant for tailored clothing, something that’s been seen in the last week as she wore a chic pair of pinstripe trousers for her interview with feminist icon Gloria Steinem. But does everyone suit the look?
“Cinched waists and peplum may not suit everyone, but a tailored approach to dressing, and wearing block colours is definitely something that everyone can have a go at – and something the stylists at Stitch Fix can help you with,” explained Rich.
“Take her classic crisp white shirt for example – there’s a style to suit every shape, whether it’s changing up the neckline, sleeve length, shape of the body itself, material or fit.”
It doesn’t matter what shape you are either – you just need to tweak the fabrics to make them work for you.
“Whilst she’s a fan of a buttoned shirt dress, we know this isn’t a feature that works for the curvier shape,” added Rich.
“Try to find styles that have plenty of stretch or non-working buttons so you can avoid gaping.”
Don’t forget to accessorise
Rich has spotted that Meghan often finishes her looks with essential details that bring the whole outfit together.
“Something simple I’ve noticed, but which is crucial to her key style, is that her accessories match her clothing in subtle ways,” he revealed.
“For example, she’ll team an all-black outfit which has subtle green tones, with a green cross-body bag to turn the all-black outfit into something a little more special – it’s something we say all the time, but accessorising really can be all it takes.”