Women in the royal family live their lives in the spotlight, so it makes sense that they have go-to fashion tricks that they use for formal events—no one wants a wardrobe malfunction on their hands! Here, 11 genius hacks that have helped Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle, and Princess Diana pull off their most stylish ensembles.
1. Princess Diana used clutches to hide her cleavage
Princess Di used her clutches to cover her cleavage as she got out of cars. Why? It prevented any prying photographers from snapping a revealing pic of her. Even her go-to handbag designer Anya Hindmarch famously called them “cleavage clutches.”
2. Kate Middleton wears pantyhose with sticky heels
It’s no secret that part of royal protocol for women is to wear pantyhose, but the smooth material can make it easy for their feet to slide out. Kate Middleton’s have silicone pads so that they stick to the inside of her high heels. Apparently, she’s a fan of the brand John Lewis.
3. Princess Diana wore hats with hidden combs in them
More formal public occasions sometimes call for hats, and I’m sure you’ve wondered at some point how they even stay on—especially the larger, wide-brimmed ones. Reportedly, Princess Diana’s had combs inside them that secured to her hair so they stayed put. Hidden but useful!
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4. Kate uses hairnets to keep her strands in place
In this image, Kate makes a fashionable case for the chic hairnet. She often wears them when her hair is styled in more intricate updos—that way she doesn’t have any rogue fly-aways. Here, she wore one again over her low bun at the 2019 Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey.
5. Royals wear weights on their hems…sometimes
Another go-to fashion hack royals use to stop wardrobe malfunctions is adding weights to their skirts and dresses. Although it seems that this method isn’t always used, as evidenced here by Kate’s flying-skirt moment at Princess Eugenie‘s wedding in October 2018. Stewart Parvin, one of Queen Elizabeth‘s couturiers, told the Daily Mail that he sews small lead weights (used for curtains!) into the hems of her clothes, which prevents her skirt from blowing up in the wind.
6. Royals often wear heavier materials and more fitted silhouettes
Another way royals prevent their outfits from billowing in the wind is by choosing thicker fabrics and more fitted silhouettes, like Kate’s tweed blazer-and-skirt set pictured here.
A-line silhouettes have a greater chance of flying up in the wind, but a sheath dress like this will prevent any breezy malfunction.
7. Royals wear shoes that are one size larger than their feet
According to fashion expert Harriet Davey, going up a shoe size is a style hack employed by many celebrities. It looks like Meghan used this trick in this photo, as there’s lots of room at her heel in these strappy Aquazzura pumps. “Celebs often go a size up, or even two, in the shoe department when they’re at an event or on the red carpet, and it’s for one reason we can all relate to—to avoid blisters,” she said in an interview with The Sun.
8. Meghan Markle opts for bodysuits so her top stays put
Meghan looked super fashion-forward (like she always does, TBH) when she stepped out in this Alexander McQueen suit in February 2018. But perhaps more notable than her chic pantsuit was the fact that her white blouse was actually a BODYSUIT (!!!) by the brand Tuxe.
9. Surprisingly, royals also wear bodysuits that increase static
Speaking of bodysuits, etiquette expert Myka Meier said in an interview with The Sun that Kate and Meghan often “wear bodysuits and clothes that actually increase static so it’s much hard[er] for something to fly up.”
It achieves a similar result like weighted hems, but in a more wearable form. Although it’s just a guess, it seems likely Meghan might have worn one underneath this breezy pleated Self-Portrait dress in April 2018.
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10. Meghan possibly wears low buns to prevent hair “dents.”
Another speculation is that Meghan’s signature low, messy bun makes it easier to wear her hair down for other events later in the day. Her loose updo doesn’t cause those annoying hair “dents” like a tighter hairstyle would.
According to Byrdie UK, “a low bun is like a form of damage control. Markle can wear one all day and then quickly unwind it—letting her loose waves fall beyond her shoulders, ready for the evening’s function.”
11. Kate wears leather insoles in her heels to avoid sore feet
Royal functions mean wearing fancy attire, and that usually means wearing heels for women. Kate Middleton spends a LOT of time in sky-high footwear. This is why she’s reportedly a fan of Alice Bow leather insoles, which add extra cushiony padding to any shoe. They come with double-sided sticky areas to really hold them in place.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.