Meghan Markle wore a white trench coat with a dark green dress underneath, and a pair of nude strappy heels to announce her engagement to Prince Harry – a look familiar to anyone who has had half an eye on her style up till this point.
The 36-year-old isn’t the type to change her look. Clean lines and conservative body-skimming shapes are variations on her theme. The clothes are from relatively unknown, notably non-British, brands: the coat hails from the Canadian mid-market brand Line the Label, the dress from the Italian brand Parosh. The royals newest addition isn’t flashy. Instead, think corporate glamour. If Kate Middleton is LK Bennett, Markle is Reiss.
The ring, like the outfit, is a self-assured choice: three diamonds and no coloured stones. This differs from Diana’s sapphire ring, worn by the Duchess of Cambridge, and Sarah Ferguson’s ruby ring. It was designed by Harry using two diamonds from Diana’s collection, and one from Botswana where the couple recently went on holiday.
Jewellery expert Susan Rumfitt says it fits into tradition. She compares it to the Queen’s engagement ring in 1947, made using a stone from Prince Philip’s mother’s tiara. “To use a piece of family jewellery is a traditional idea,” she said. The choice of diamonds, meanwhile, is both fashionable and traditional. “The current fashion is for diamond engagement rings,” said Rumfitt.
Since the couple have gone public, Markle’s style has inevitably been under the spotlight. Her reach with consumers has already been noted by retailers. The Aritzia dress she wore to the Invictus Games in September sold out swiftly, while the sunglasses by Finlay & Co, also worn at the games, have seen sales increase by 1,000% for the brand. Line the Label and Parosh can expect similar spikes.
Markle’s wardrobe would never be called edgy but it has an element of classic cool. It’s no-nonsense in tone – she wouldn’t be seen in anything that could be described as “whimsical”.
In fact, the difference between what she wears as paralegal Rachel Zane in the television drama Suits and her own wardrobe is marginal. Both Zane and Markle wear the pulled-together uniform of a professional woman.
This style will no doubt come in useful as she says goodbye to Suits and hello to her new role, one where the eyes of the world’s media are on her at all times. The dressed-up trench coat suggests she knows what to do. As for the wedding dress, expect more clean lines.