Meghans style evolution – from pre-Harry to post-royal

According to fashion experts, including Samantha Harman, who spoke exclusively with, the Duchess of Sussex has been through many fashion phases. First came the figure-hugging dresses or ab-baring crop tops of her acting days, then there were the more demure, muted looks while she was a member of the Royal Family, followed by a mixture of Californian chic and bold designer outfits since moving to Montecito.

When she first started dating Harry, Meghan stuck to her laid-back style of ripped jeans and baggy shirts, but once her relationship with the Prince became official, she began wearing more sophisticated and modest silhouettes.

As a new royal, after marrying Harry in May 2018, Meghan was seen in subtle, classic cuts and styles, and, as the Duchess noted in her and her husband’s Netflix documentary, she “rarely wore colour” in order to “blend in”.

During her last week as a working royal though, in March 2020, Meghan donned a slew of bright, colourful outfits, to show she no longer cared about “blending in” – she would stand out from the crowd and leave the UK with a bang.

After leaving the UK, Meghan was seen rewearing pre-Royal Family looks, donning relaxed jeans and baggy jumpers. She seemed to look more comfortable in her environment and in her clothes.

This was Meghan the Californian mum, at home with her husband and her children. But the Duchess alternated these casual looks with classy, designer outfits whenever she attended any sort of event or engagement.

Meghan has been seen in Dior, Givenchy, Carolina Herrera, and Chanel, to name but a few iconic labels.

Samantha Harman previously spoke to about the Duchess’ style evolution. She described Meghan’s style before she met Harry as “laid-back chic”, saying: “Meghan’s pre-Harry vibe was Californian, laid-back chic.

“She came across as someone who was really confident in who she was and in her look. She did lots of fashion content with magazines and clearly loves clothes.

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“There was an element of French inspiration to her style, and it is clearly inspired by the likes of Jackie O, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn.

“She [Meghan] once described her desired look as ‘classic and simple with a modern twist’.”

Samantha noted that Meghan “kept these parts of her style throughout her life as a royal” and continues to this day to be inspired by iconic women of the fifties and sixties.

The fashion expert and stylist continued: “In 2016, when asked about the style of wedding dress she liked, Meghan answered ‘Carolyn Bessette Kennedy’, and her boat neck, Givenchy-designed wedding gown in 2018 clearly took inspiration from that look.

“In that same interview, Meghan said that because she got to wear high-end, tailored pieces for work on Suits, when she was off-duty she liked to be ‘pared down and relaxed’.”

Samantha explained that “there was a shift in Meghan’s wardrobe when she became royal – lots more tailoring”.

As for her fashion sense now, while living in the US, the Duchess has “returned to the laid-back Californian style of pre-royal Meghan when ‘off duty’, but with tailoring and a few new designer discoveries for ‘on duty’.

“I think Meghan has a natural flair and love of fashion and now she can wear what she likes without anyone saying a word about it.”

Although Samantha said that everyone’s style “evolves over time”, including Meghan’s, the personal stylist highlighted that the former actress has still demonstrated “key style pillars” over the years.

The fashion expert said: “I think everyone has their own key style pillars.

“Our tastes are instinctive, we know what we like, and these core style values run like a thread through our fashion history.

“There are key themes through Meghan’s style pre, during, and post royal life,” she added.

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