The Duchess of Sussex has taken pregnancy in her stride, maintaining a busy schedule throughout – including two overseas tours, to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji in October 2018 and to Morocco in February 2019. Since the October announcement that she was having a baby, the former Suits star has set about making the case for elevated maternity-wear: she has largely ignored brands aimed at mothers-to-be, opting instead for an array of custom-designed looks from her favourite fashion houses.
While she has stayed true to her signature colours – nude and navy – she’s also injected more print and bright shades into her wardrobe, and tried out higher hemlines and vintage silhouettes to accommodate her growing bump. Here, Vogue looks at the six key ways the royal has mastered maternity style.
Sticking to her signature style (and favourite designers)
Pregnancy has not put a pause on the designers the Duchess most likes to wear. Key examples include the Stella McCartney wrap coat she re-wore to the Festival of Remembrance in November, the Givenchy coat and pleated dress she wore to visit City University in London in January, and the Brandon Maxwell nude sheath dress she wore to the National Theatre that same month. Markle hasn’t compromised on her heels either, continuing to wear towering Manolo Blahnik and Aquazzura stilettos well into the later stages of her pregnancy.
Experimenting with (block) colour
Though nude and navy remain her go-tos, the Duchess has been more daring with her colour choices during pregnancy. In January, whilst visiting Birkenhead, the royal stepped out in a bold red Sentaler coat and purple dress from Babaton by Aritzia, instantly drawing comparisons with Princess Diana who wore the same colour combination on several occasions during the 1980s. Markle also opted for block colours while on her first royal tour, most notably in a blue Safiyaa cape dress in Fiji and a red Self-Portrait dress in Tonga, matching the countries’ respective flags.
Playing with prints
As well as colour, Markle has played with vibrant prints, particularly during her two overseas tours. The Duchess wore a relaxed floral wrap dress by New York-based brand Figue while visiting Fiji, and stepped out in a printed blue maxi by Carolina Herrera in Morocco in February. The graphics have continued into the later stages of pregnancy, too: see the fresh-off-the-AW19-catwalk chain-print dress by Victoria Beckham at a Commonwealth Day service in March, her penultimate official engagement before giving birth.
In her last few months of pregnancy, the Duchess has added vintage pieces into the mix, including a ’60s couture Courrèges trapeze coat (sourced from William Vintage in London) worn to her New York baby shower in March; a 1950s Dior swing coat for the christening of Zara Tindall’s youngest child, Lena, later that month; and a vintage-inspired red dress, complete with flared A-line skirt, during her tour of Morocco.
Upping the hemline
Bringing a more contemporary feel, the royal has also tried out shorter hemlines during her pregnancy, balanced with higher necklines. She wore a burgundy shift dress by Club Monaco on a visit to London’s Hubb Community Kitchen in November, and opted for a ’60s-style mini dress from Reiss for an International Women’s Day event in the British capital in March.
Bringing glamour to the red carpet
In contrast to the minimalist tailoring she wore pre-pregnancy, when it comes to her maternity eveningwear, the Duchess has gone for full-out Hollywood glamour. She made a surprise appearance at the British Fashion Awards in December in a one-shoulder velvet dress by Givenchy’s Clare Waight Keller, before dazzling in a sequin navy gown by Roland Mouret at Cirque du Soleil’s London premiere in January. And in February, she attended a reception in Morocco in an elegant, floor-length cream caped gown by Dior.
Author: EMILY CHAN