When Meghan Markle made her very first public appearance with Prince Harry, the actress wore a slightly oversized white button-up shirt with jeans. The look was casual and pared-back, but still exuded elegance and sophistication – and the style has fast become the duchess’ trademark, one which she turns to again and again, as she did this week in the form of a loose-fitting pinstripe number when promoting her latest charity venture.
Giving fans a sneak peek into the workwear capsule she is launching alongside Smart Works, the duchess could be seen giving some very hands-on direction during the campaign shoot, where she looked low-key yet professional in a striped, oversized button-up from sustainable British label With Nothing Underneath. She teamed the shirt with a pair of dark-wash skinny jeans, nude court shoes and some dainty gold jewellery – it is the epitome of the effortless glamour that has become synonymous with the Duchess of Sussex’s style.
Her penchant for the crisp button-up shirt is clear – Meghan has turned to it countless times since becoming a member of the British royal family, not to mention the occasions she wore it pre-Harry.
Take, for example, when the duchess visited Sussex and teamed a leather pencil skirt with a dark green button-up. A few months later, she dressed her growing baby bump in an oversized white shirt by French label Maison Kitsune when she visited the town of Dubbo during the royal tour of Australia – she paired it with relaxed black jeans and boots. Then, Meghan dressed the style up for an appearance at the Endeavour Fund Awards in February of this year in the form of a bespoke Givenchy shirt-skirt hybrid. For both Wimbledon appearances as a royal (and one pre), Meghan has turned to the button-up shirt, first in striped Ralph Lauren and later a white Givenchy offering, which she paired with a feminine, pleated Hugo Boss skirt.
Meghan has glammed it up, dressed it down, worn it underneath a tuxedo, paired it with ripped jeans, made it feminine, embraced its masculinity and truly demonstrated the versatility of this enduringly stylish item.
Making this one of the key pieces in her arsenal is so telling of her polished, yet low-key look with the duchess consistently turning to capsule pieces that can be brought out again and again – the court shoe, tailored trousers, pencil skirts and jeans are some of her favourites. Her adoption of this way of dressing feels very relevant – it is more sustainable and it is also relatable, in spite of being a member of the royal family, she embraces versatile pieces to wear time and time again. And although she has made tweaks to her look since becoming a duchess, she has remained true to her former non-royal wardrobe, sticking to this clearly inherent capsule-wardrobe style.
Meghan’s take on the button-up is to make it work for anything, from a royal charity gala to a day on set. The oversized shirt is comfortable but it’s not casual. It’s simple but it’s still chic. In fact, it can be whatever you want it to be – and nobody is making a stronger case for it right now than the Duchess of Sussex.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR UK.