The past few months have seen a huge change in the lives of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Their move away from England and their duties as senior royals have had a wonderful effect on Meghan’s style choices, her last few royal duties saw her taking a sensational journey through the colour wheel, opting for vivid, colourful gowns instead of her usual neutrals.
This is not to say that she was not already a revied fashion icon, ever since Meghan entered the royal stage, her fashion choice made a far greater impact than anyone could have anticipated.
We have seen her put the ‘Meghan Effect’ to some seriously good use, thrusting little-know brands into the international spotlight, placing a focus on showcasing sustainable and ethical companies.
Despite all this, there is something about her fashion choices that have impressed even the most fashion-forward of sartorial critics.
We are breaking down some of Meghan’s most revered looks of 2020, breaking them down from cuts to colours and giving you some dupes, to help you look regal for the decade to come.
A Colour Explosion
The most notable aspect of Meghan’s style evolution of recent months is seen in her embrace of brighter, bolder colours.
Meghan’s style has changed a lot from her journey to becoming a member of the royal family. Her first year as the Duchess of Sussex saw a style evolution from a casual, goo-pair-of-jean aesthetic to full-blown royal family conservative.
Along with the expected nylon tights, modest necklines and tidy appearance, there came another change. You would almost always see Meghan sporting a neutral shade, whether it was a light blue, grey, or blush tone.
Blush was a particular favourite of Meghan’s, wearing it in almost every shade when she was a new royal. Since it was not a colour you would really ever see her wear before her marriage to Prince Harry, it led many to question the choice.
Resulting in many different theories, ranging from her showing respect for the rainbow dressed queen, to it being used as a way for her to keep in the background while she becomes accustomed to royal life.
Meghan’s recent move to the striking jewel tones has been celebrated because of it’s an exciting contrast to her safer past looks, but because of how well it suits her. As we learnt from talking to top stylist and colour consultant Jules Standish, jewel tones work to enhance Meghan’s particular colouring (take a look at the article to find out which colours suit you best).
Since it is her jewel-toned outfit that has caused such a celebration in the fashion community, it is these we will be focusing on today.
Green Goddess Look
Meghan’s last engagement as a member of the royal family saw one of her most exciting looks yet. She wore an emerald midi pencil dress with an attached cape, which she paired with a matching fascinator, nude heels and a darker green tiny handbag.
This dress is from the band Emilia Wickstead, a known favourite of Kate Middleton. With its high round neckline, three quarter length sleeves, and midi length pencil skirt, it ticks all the modesty boxes required for the royal protocol.
However, its strikingly chic design, tailored to flatter her silhouette is worn, big shock, without any tights. Which has led many fashion commentators to view this outfit as a quiet assertion of Meghan’s status as an individual outside of royal control.
That turquoise Victoria Beckham pencil dress
The flattering, timeless style, with its short sleeves, high round neckline and mid-length pencil skirt, is infinitely wearable. A timeless look that will stay stunning for years to come, the dress has been tailored to nip in at the waistline, enhancing the hourglass silhouette.
One of Meghan’s most wearable outfits, an item, we think, every woman should have in their wardrobe. But, if you aren’t quite on a royal budget, take a look at some of the stunning turquoise pencil dresses we have selected.
For her final engagement as a senior royal Meghan wore a beautiful navy midi pencil dress, by the Australian label Scanlan Theodore. You can see Meghan really knows the cuts and styles that best compliment her figure. This midi-length pencil dress has capped sleeves, is, again, tailored at the waistline, with a high neck with a short slit detail that Meghan has accessorised with a little scarf.
This outfit was worn to an event which saw the Duchess host 11 scholars at Buckingham Palace, each of whom represented different Commonwealth nations, where they discussed sustainability and economic opportunities for developing countries. The serious subject matter can be seen as a reason for Meghan’s choice for a less striking, more understated colour choice, letting the young scholars in the room take more of the stoplight.
This is another ultra-wearable piece from the duchess a timeless pencil dress style, a cut that is universally flattering, especially when it has been tailored to enhance the waistline.
This colour is also a wonderful choice, for those who like their clothes to be versatile. It is easy to see how this outfit would work perfectly for any occasion, whether it is to the office of an evening out.
A Firey Favourite
Meghan turned heads when she attended the Mountbatten Music Festival on March 7. Wearing a glorious Safiyaa dress, a style that is clearly a favourite of the Duchess, she had previously worn the blue version of this style in 2019 while on tour in Fiji.
The floor-length style has short sleeves, tailoring that lightly skims the body and a real show-stopping cape overlay, with a mock neckline, that fits above the bust at the top, falling to the same length as her maxi skirt behind.
Meghan wears this style with her hair down, behind her earrings, showing a pair of ruby red, jewelled, statement earrings, with a red satin clutch bag and a pair of red, suede stilettos.
Along with her emerald green, caped pencil dress, this floor-length red number is among the more daring looks Meghan has worn while a member of the royal family. The bold red colour and fashionable cape detail make this outfit really eyecatching, while the smooth, classic silhouette and cut of the dress ensure that it is ultra-elegant too.
We have included some dupes inspired by Meghan’s look, although, we have tried to find pieces that are slightly more wearable for everyone’s day to day lives.
How You Can Easily Embody this Regal Style
We can see from the images above, some of Meghan’s most celebrated look ever, that they do have quite a few key things in common.
Firstly, as we have mentioned above, the colour palette. Meghan seems to have really found the tones that best suit her, and she is pretty much sticking to these. The jewel tones work with many different skin tones and are perfectly on-trend for this season.
If you don’t quite feel like bringing this particular colour family into your wardrobe, then we suggest that you look for shades that will make you look and feel your best. Jules Standish broke down how to dress for your own colouring here, so you can bring this regal glow into your own dressing.
Find your own 'wow colour' from the wonderful range of Lydia pencil dresses
Another thing that can be seen in all of the above looks, and many others for that matter, is a consistent silhouette. More often than not, you will see Meghan wearing a dress that is fit close to the body, not quite body-con, rather form-fitting.
The best way you can achieve this look is to wear garments made from stretch fabric. This will help to create a smooth, feminine silhouette since the fabric is a blend of elastane it will smooth out any bumps, it has a really complementary effect on the figure. If you don't like your clothes to show quite as much of your figure then why not opt for a pencil dress with pleated details, which will help strategically hide any less favourable areas, as seen in the image below.
Click here to view the Daphne pencil dresses in many more stunning colours
The next thing to pay attention to is tailoring. Although Meghan’s outfits are not overly tailored, they all do feature tailoring at the bodice, which ensures a defined waistline. This technique, combined with a stretch fabric dress, will help you achieve the stunning hourglass shape, whatever your figure.
Lastly, the cut. Another consistent aspect of Meghan’s dressing can be seen in which cuts and styles she wears. You can frequently see her sporting a midi length pencil dress, with a high neckline, either round or with a slight slit, with either three-quarter length or short sleeves.
Of course, part of the choice of these particular cuts might be due to her royal position. As a member of the royal family, you are seen as a representative for them on the international stage, therefore, you’re expected to dress to uphold this position. No super short hemlines here. Meghan has embraced these sartorial expectations; always looking polished, wearing classic pieces that photograph well.
The outcome of this, far from making her look stuffy, or dull, has allowed Meghan to embrace a truly modern classic look, that will look stunning, no matter when it is seen.
For those looking to embody a little more regal fashionista into their lives, these are the things to bear in mind; your most complementary colour palette, stretch fabric pencil dresses for a smooth silhouette, and timeless, modern classic cuts.
With such an impressive fashion evolution under her belt, we can’t wait to see what the new phase in Meghan and Harry's lives bring for her wardrobe!