How Meghan Markle is switching up the royal fashion game

A couture take on the traditional royal portrait

To announce their upcoming nuptials, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle posed for a series of engagement portraits.
And eschewing tradition, the former actress donned a Ralph and Russo couture gown hot from the AW17 runway.
While the Duchess of Cambridge on the other hand chose a navy number from high street heavyweight, Reiss, for her engagement shoot.
And the ruffled gown hinted at a change in sartorial direction for the royals, as the sheer bodice isn’t something we would ever imagine her future sister-in-law choosing. [Photo: Getty]

The Beckham influence

According to reports, Victoria Beckham and Meghan Markle have become firm friends ever since the former actress moved to London. And the designer has not only been quick to offer up her favourite beauty hotspots but has notably inspired the royal-to-be’s wardrobe.
In her second engagement portrait, Meghan donned a knit by the designer’s eponymous label.
A source revealed to Vanity Fair: “Meghan really likes Victoria’s style and was keen to pick her brains about pulling together a working wardrobe. She loves Victoria’s elegant but smart dresses, so expect her to wear one very soon.” [Photo: Getty]

The accessory which eschewed royal tradition

On her first royal outing hand-in-hand with Prince Harry, the former actress flew the sartorial flag for Canada in a double-breasted navy coat by Mackage. But most notably, she eschewed royal tradition in favour of a handbag by Scottish brand, Strathberry.
It is regarded against royal protocol for female members of the Royal Family to carry large handbags. For instance, the Duchess of Cambridge will often use a clutch in order to avoid the awkward etiquette of hand-shaking while carrying out public engagements. And her rule-breaking accessory hints at a shift in royal codes of conduct. [Photo: Getty]

Waving the sartorial flag for Canada

One label which frequents Meghan’s wardrobe is Canadian super brand, Sentaler. And courtesy of her highly-photographed lifestyle, the brand is set to debut its latest collection at London Fashion Week this season.
For Christmas day celebrations with the royal family, Meghan wore a camle wrap coat from the brand with tan accessories.
Meghan’s unofficial stylist, Jessica Mulroney, could be behind the look. As she has also worked with Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau on her inauguration look which featured a white wrap coat by the label. [Photo: Getty]

The now-famous messy bun

Meghan Markle divided the public when she sported a makeshift messy bun on her first official royal engagement of 2018.
In comparison to the Duchess of Cambridge’s immaculate blow dry, it’s a shake-up for the royals as the former actress donned a more relatable aesthetic to greet crowds.
Again, it is also interesting to note that Meghan chose yet another pair of floor-treading trousers as opposed to the traditional skirt suit. [Photo: Getty]

All-black attire in Cardiff

Not one to bow down to royal tradition, the former actress donned all-black for a public engagement in Cardiff. She accessorised the look with an emerald-hued bag by Demellier and another dressed-down bun. [Photo: Getty]

Giving the cold-shoulder

As Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped indoors, the former actress revealed that she was wearing a checked cold-shoulder jacket by Theory beneath her Stella McCartney coat. And the plaid look referenced Princess Diana’s love of check. And the cold-shoulder cut was a bold take on the beloved print.
Meghan finished the look with a pair of Huit Denim skinny jeans, another rule-breaking choice for the royal-to-be. [Photo: Getty]

The slick evening suit

The nation held its breath for an evening gown and Meghan gave the public a slick suit by Alexander McQueen at the Endeavour Awards in London.
On the very same evening, the Duchess of Cambridge also chose to don the same designer but instead opted for a cape dress during the Scandinavian royal tour.
And we can’t help but wonder if Beckham is behind her shift towards day-to-night workwear. [Photo: Getty]

An androgynous take on royal fashion

For their fourth and most recent engagement, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry visited Edinburgh on 13th February 2018.
And to mark the momentous occasion, the former actress donned a tartan coat by Burberry and accessorised the look with yet another Strathberry bag. In a break from tradition, she became the first member of the Royal Family to don a cross-body bag during a public engagement.
But all eyes were on her floor-treading flares by Veronica Beard. [Photo: Getty]

The sleeveless dress that caused commotion

Not all of Meghan’s subsersive fashion moments are met with admiration.
Arriving at the Commonwealth Youth Forum in April 2018 wearing an strappy Altuzarra pinstripe midi dress, the now-Duchess got a quick lesson in the furore of hard-core royalists.
The seemingly inoffensive strappy dress – which bared her bare shoulders – was met with abuse online.

Still, she looked incredible.
[Photo: Getty]

The game-changing LBD

Just days later, Meghan stepped out in an LBD that spoke a thousand words.

Silencing the naysayers, the royal wore a belted sheath dress by LA-based brand Black Halo, named the ‘Jackie O Dress’ costing £267, which she paired with the fashion-foreward Milano pumps by her go-to brand Aquazzura.
[Photo: Getty]

A memorial day fedora

Meghan proved she can take her hand to any royal engagement her new life throws at her, even the sombre ones.
Stepping out for Anzac day memorial services, the now-Duchess gave her fans as first look at how she tackles hats, wearing a wide-brimmed fedora to the services.
The fashion moment gave a taste of what was to come: hats, hats, hats.
[Photo: Getty]

The wedding gown and its nod to feminism

In the lead up to her wedding, it was the most-talked about dress in fashion. And after? It won international acclaim.

Meghan Markle’s custom Givenchy dress featured a bateau neckline and was made of double-cady silk. Her veil was crafted with floral designs with honoured all 53 countries in the Commonwealth.

The dress was deisgned by Clare Waight Keller, Givenchy’s first ever artistic director – a nod to feminism if we ever saw one.
[Photo: Getty]

Championing sustainable fashion

But her tell-all wedding looks did not stop at the dress. For her eveing reception, Meghan stepped out in a halterneck, floor-length white gown by British designer Stella McCartney.

The choice to wear the famously sustainable fashion brand said everything about Meghan’s sentiments.
[Photo: Getty]

Yet another website-crashing dress

After the wedding, the interest in the Duchess of Sussex only grew.

For her first appearance as royalty – Prince Charle’s birthday garden party at Buckingham Palace – Meghan’s selling power was proven after the website for the label she was wearing, Goat, crashed.

Her peachy dress by the British label then proceeded to sell out in minutes, and so the Meghan Effect was running at full steam ahead…
[Photo: Getty]

The date night mini dress

In August 2018, Meghan threw caution to the royal rule book wearing a tuxedo mini dress to a public eye attending a gala performance of ‘Hamilton’.
The Judith & Charles dress diced with protocol, coming to roughly five inches above the knee.
It’s also the first time she’s worn the little-known Canadian tailoring label, championing brands from her former hometown once again.
[Photo: Getty]

The ‘Meghan Markle Effect‘ is sweeping the globe sending her go-to garments and accessories flying from the shelves.

But it’s hardly surprising, as the royal is following in sister-in-law the Duchess of Cambridge ‘s footsteps with her every sartorial move victim to the camera lens. And a headline, two Instagram snaps and a shopping article later, her latest get-up manages sells out faster than the last.

Whether it’s a Strathberry bag on the crook of her arm, a bell-sleeved knit fresh from the high street, or a peachy Goat dress worn to her first engagement as the Duchess of Sussex, there’s no trend the nation won’t buy into.

But with a penchant for uber-cool labels and a soft spot for homegrown brands, the 36-year-old is undoubtedly reinventing the wheel when it comes to royal fashion.

By swapping evening gowns for slick suits and eschewing the traditional clutch in favour of handbag heavyweight Chloé, the Duchess of Sussex is bringing a whole new meaning to upper class fashion one label at a time.

And with multiple sell-out public engagement looks already under her belt, it’s hard to believe the royal wasn’t born into the Monarchy.

From androgynous suiting to rule-breaking accessories, here’s how Meghan Markle is shaking up the fashion agenda over at Buckingham Palace…

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Read more from Yahoo Style UK:

The ultimate Meghan Markle style file

Meghan Markle marries Prince Harry in tiara, five-foot veil and custom Givenchy wedding dress

Every look the Duchess of Cambridge has worn in 2018

Still, she looked incredible.
[Photo: Getty]