Take a moment to consider the fact that only two years ago, no one except fans of the hit TV series Suits actually knew who Meghan Markle was – then again, getting engaged to one of the world’s most eligible bachelors has a way of thrusting someone into the public spotlight, whether they like it or not.
Since Markle appeared on the international scene – a lovely, intelligent, and philanthropically compassionate person who happened to be an ideal match for Prince Harry – the world has been obsessed. With her nuptials only days away, she is poised to become the “People’s Princess” in a way no one else has since the original owner of the moniker, Princess Diana of Wales. It must be so surreal to have the eyes of the world scrutinizing her every word, move, and item of clothing.
In fact, according to WWD, Markle is worth $212.2 million to the brands she wears when you add up sales, social media impressions, and overall public exposure. The media has dubbed this phenomenon the “Markle Effect”, but we prefer to call it the “Markle Sparkle”. To understand just how impactful the future royal’s fashion patronage is, we spoke to Scottish luxury accessories company Strathberry. When Markle was spotted on her first (official) royal walkabout in Nottingham with Prince Harry carrying a tri-colored Strathberry ‘Midi’ tote, sales shot through the stratosphere.
According to the brand, “Daily web traffic is consistently up 400 percent from daily average pre-Meghan Markle carrying her Strathberry bag. Sales to the US and on our US website are up over 200 to 300 percent, however, this is still held back as we are not fully stocked. We estimate sales this year will increase by up to 20 to 40 percent due to increased brand awareness.” The surge in interest was so huge that Strathberry is now managing 2,000 restock requests, stating, “Later this month, we will begin to restock in larger volumes. It has taken three months to get to this position as everything is handmade using the exact same materials as the Meghan Markle bag.”
While Markle’s off-duty looks are more relaxed – centering on casual button-ups, denim, sandals or flats, and a chic tote – her on-the-job style is as enviable as it gets, which is why so many women are now counting Markle as their ultimate style inspiration. The real criteria of the “Meghan Markle-ness” of an outfit is as follows: is it polished, is it sophisticated, is it tailored perfectly, and can I meet a head of state in this look without embarrassing anyone when it comes to certain social mores (for example, Queen Elizabeth II apparently has a strict “no knees” policy, which is why Markle favors fitted, midi-length pencil skirts)?
Breaking down her looks is quite easy because she sticks to a trusted formula. When Markle isn’t wearing a tailored dress and pumps, she reaches for elegant trenches and wool coats worn over chic blouses and pencil skirts. Her jewelry is always minimal and refined, her footwear choices are typically practical, and she loves berets when it comes to the expected royal headgear.
As you might expect from a future royal, Markle is loyal to UK and Scottish fashion brands like Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, and Mackage, but she’s no snob. Like her future sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, Markle also favors affordable brands like Self-Portrait, Everlane, and Aritzia (although we’ve yet to note her wearing any high-street brands). If Meghan Markle is your ultimate style icon and you want a better sense of how to dress like the future royal, browse – and shop – some of her best looks in the gallery below.
For a female-empowerment summit, Markle chose a chic LBD by Los Angeles-based brand Black Halo, whose owner created the style in sizes up to 18 in order to bring fashion to an inclusive array of women.
When this cozy knit topper first appeared on Markle during an outing to Northern Ireland, it sold out instantly. It has since been restocked.
A day at Westminster Abbey for the Anzac Day commemoration called for a more formal look. For this occasion, she chose an Emilia Wickstead skirt suit with a cropped jacket accented by chic accessories, like an elegant Jimmy Choo clutch.
When Markle appeared in an affordable floral dress by Self-Portrait featuring the popular “cold shoulder” style, the dress flew off the shelves. It’s sold out in most places, but Shopbop’s recent restock means you may still have a chance to snag it in your size.
People went gaga for Markle’s cape-backed Stella McCartney dress, but eagle-eyed observers also fell hard for her gorgeous Naeem Khan ‘Leo’ clutch that echoed Markle’s zodiac sign.
Considering this is one of Markle’s strongest looks to date, nearly every element of this ensemble sold out within days. However, the beautiful striped Altuzarra dress is back in stock at multiple sites right now.
Markle’s sophisticated Hugo Boss dress was an instant social media crowd-pleaser, but the sleeveless version from the brand’s Spring/Summer 2018 collection is no longer available. However, we’ve tracked down a nearly identical dress for the avid fan.
From her Everlane tote to those affordable flats, Markle’s casual look ticked all the right boxes for fans of her style. However, it was her louche Misha Nonoo ‘Husband’ shirt that caught the most notice, and it’s still available for purchase on the brand’s site.
Shoewise, Markle tends to favor flats, wraparound sandals, and simple pumps. However, the tortoiseshell detail on this pair of Sarah Flint ‘Jay’ pumps caught our attention immediately.
Finally, we’ve gotten to the famous Strathberry ‘Midi’ tote. Not only did this push sales through the roof, but it also has a pre-order back catalogue that’s over 2,000 shoppers strong. But don’t worry, there’s still time to add your name to the list.