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The royal family is known for having some of the most fashionable women in the entire world. Their polished, sophisticated style is highly coveted and provides inspiration for many women’s wardrobes outside the royal family. While most of the time in 2019 we loved the looks worn by Duchesses Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton, we have to admit there were also a few that left us puzzled. Follow along as we retrace the royal family’s fashion hits and misses of 2019:
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For a solo visit to Johannesburg, the Duchess of Sussex stepped out wearing a chic and affordable trench dress by Banana Republic in a sophisticated shade of khaki. She paired the look with nude Stuart Weitzman pumps and a bracelet by Alemdara. This dress looks amazing on Meghan and is the perfect combination of trendy yet still classic.
Meghan stepped out in July 2019 holding baby Archie to support Prince Harry at the King Power Royal Charity Polo Match. Meghan was likely opting for comfort considering this wasn’t an official appearance, but we have to admit this wasn’t one of our favorite looks of hers this year! She seemed to drown in the fabric and it wrinkled easily, which didn’t appear the most polished.
Kate dazzled when she stepped out to personally walk Princess Charlotte to her first day of school in September! For the occasion, the Duchess wore a pink floral printed dress which she belted at the waist and paired with navy heels. The Duchess doesn’t opt for patterned pieces too often, so it was refreshing to see her step out in such a lovely floral print.
We absolutely love these cow print heels that Meghan wore in January 2019, but we weren’t convinced by the look as a whole. The trench coat seemed to have a lot of excess fabric which drowned her and felt a little messy in contrast to her typical tailored and polished style.
Meghan stepped out at the premiere of The Lion King in July 2019 wearing a midi-length black dress with sheer long sleeves, which was the epitome of effortless class. She pulled her hair back into a sleek bun and topped the look with slingback heels.
Kate stepped out in November 2019 wearing this purple set that she’s worn on multiple occasions throughout the years. While the set itself isn’t too bad, we didn’t love the way she styled it for the occasion. The opaque black tights seemed a little outdated and we would have loved to see her make the outfit a little trendier with a patterned tight or funky heels.
During Wimbledon in July 2019, Kate wore what appeared to be a custom Emilia Wickstead creation. The dress was made of a soft, crepe material and featured unique pleating around the shoulders. She topped the look with a royal purple pin on one side of her dress and a pair of pointed-toe nude heels. The entire look was gorgeous and unique!
We have to admit that we weren’t the biggest fans of this bold colorful look worn by Markle in mid-January during a visit to Birkenhead. The combination of red and purple totally clashed and the entire look came as quite the shock from the neutral-favoring Duchess.
The Duchess of Sussex stepped out in March 2019 to visit Canada House wearing a stunning emerald green coat by Canadian designer Erdem. We absolutely love how striking this rich jewel tone looks on Meghan’s complexion and how the touch of floral embellishment adds a little sparkle.
Kate stepped out in early 2019 wearing this blue belted coat paired with navy accessories while visiting the Braid Arts Centre. While we love this contrasting color combo of dark and light blue, we can’t say we’re the biggest fans of this specific coat. The short cape detail on the sleeves felt like an unnecessary embellishment that distracted from the otherwise quite polished piece.
Kate definitely stole the show when she stepped off the plane for the first official royal appearance in Pakistan this year! She opted for a Pakistan-inspired ensemble in a gorgeous shade of aqua blue with an ombre effect. The look was a twist on the traditional Pakistani shalwar kameez which consisted of a flowing top and a pair of fitted Catherine Walker pants. She paired the look with nude heels and wore her hair in her classic blowout.
On the second day of the royal tour, Meghan recycled a flowing striped maxi dress by Martin Grant that she also wore during the Australia tour last year. While we love the olive and burnt orange stripes, the shape of the dress isn’t the most flattering. Her figure seems to drown in the excess of material on the skirt and it also seems a little too long on her.
While visiting female entrepreneurs working in technology in Africa, Meghan wore an elegant black jumpsuit that featured a sash around the waist which she tied into a bow. The jumpsuit is from Everlane, which has been a favorite sustainable retailer of Meghan’s for years even before becoming a royal. The royal mom paired the sophisticated jumpsuit with black pumps and dramatic gold earrings by GAS Bijoux which were the perfect choice to complement her sleek low bun.
Kate stepped out to attend an event at Buckingham Palace in March 2019 wearing this soft seafoam green dress with dainty buttons trailing the front. We have to admit this wasn’t one of our favorite looks of hers in 2019. The sleeves and high-neckline felt a little matronly and the color seemed to wash out her complexion.
Kate visited the Empire Music Hall in February 2019 dressed to the nines wearing a glittering Lurex Missoni midi dress in a striking shade of pale aquamarine. The mermaid-inspired gown featured a flattering pleated skirt, an empire waist, and billowing sleeves. We absolutely love the sheer detailing on the sleeves of this dress which really gives it an evening appropriate quality without lacking in the modesty department.
During the royal Africa tour, Meghan paid a solo visit to the University of Johannesburg where she looked fall-ready wearing a green cotton shirt dress by the US brand, Room 502. While the color and shape of this dress are lovely, the material seemed to wrinkle and crease in all the wrong places which made it appear a little messy. We also would have much preferred if she paired the look with lighter cream heels to complement the color of the buttons on the dress!
One of the most iconic appearances of the entire Africa tour was when Meghan and Harry stepped out with baby Archie! This was the first close-up view we had of the royal baby and it was heartwarming to see how similar he looks to Harry. For the occasion, Meghan dazzled in a printed Club Monaco silk dress which she paired with navy pumps. She styled her hair in a sleek low bun and even coordinated with baby Archie in his adorable sky blue overalls.
In March 2019, Kate stepped out wearing this purple pussy-bow top which she paired with wide-leg black trousers. While we can certainly appreciate how this look feels both traditional and modern at the same time, we’re not sure it was one of her best looks of the year. The pants needed more tailoring as they seemed to drag on the ground and drown her figure.
Kate attended the portrait gala in March 2019 wearing a black floral Alexander McQueen dress with a tiered skirt that looked quite familiar for many royal fans. Kate initially wore the floral embellished number at the 2017 BAFTAS; however, this time, there was one noticeable difference about the look. The first time Kate wore this dress the sleeves were a dainty off-the-shoulder style. In 2019, however, Kate decided to make an alteration to the dress and added a flattering cap sleeve which made it appear much more modest and formal. She paired the gown with teardrop earrings, black heels, and a matching clutch.
We love this combination of winter whites and olive greens that Meghan wore in February 2019; however, we felt the dress didn’t fit her the best. The ivory number seemed to wrinkle and fold over her budding baby bump rather than flatter it! Meghan has had some gorgeous maternity looks this year, but this admittedly wasn’t a favorite.
This monochrome light blush look Meghan wore in late January is definitely one of our favorite royal looks she’s worn to date! This lovely neutral shade works flawlessly to highlight her complexion and the head-to-toe tonal dressing was very on-trend for 2019.
Kate stepped out in March 2019 to attend a Scout’s event wearing this burgundy and olive green casual ensemble. This look simply felt a little drab and dark in comparison to her other casual looks throughout the year. Considering this appearance took place in early spring, we would have loved to see Kate incorporate more vibrant, light colors into this appearance.
While visiting the Natural History Museum in October 2019, the Duchess opted for a gorgeous fall color combination: plum and olive green. In the past, the Duchess has favored dresses and skirts for many of her public appearances, but in 2019 we definitely witnessed a shift towards more trendier looks like trousers and culottes. It’s been refreshing seeing her style evolve! We absolutely love this combo of the khaki culottes from Jigsaw and plum sweater with a scalloped neckline. She also accessorized with a perfectly coordinating Chanel bag and buckled pumps.
Meghan is a huge fan of effortless fashion, but we felt this particular look she wore in early February was simply lackluster rather than effortless. The shirt and skirt seemed to buckle and wrinkle in all the wrong places and didn’t highlight her budding baby bump in a flattering way.
On the first day of the royal Africa tour, Meghan recycled a Veronica Beard dress that she previously wore during the royal Australia tour from fall 2018. The first time she wore the bright blue dress she styled her hair in a ponytail and paired the dress with powder blue pumps. This time around, Meghan styled the dress with her go-to black wrap wedges and wore her hair down in soft waves. This look feels quite consistent with Meghan’s basic yet elevated personal style, which is why we totally understand her decision for the repeat-wear! She looks stunning.
In October 2019, Kate Middleton attended an event at the Aga Khan Centre wearing this floating turquoise chiffon dress. While we actually really love this color on Kate’s skin tone, we didn’t love the green sash and emerald shoes that were paired with it. The combination of the blue and green seemed to clash more than complement each other.
In March 2019, Kate opted for an ensemble designed by Catherine Walker in a rich shade of cherry red for Commonwealth Day. We absolutely love the bold button detail which trails the front of this coat since it adds an eye-catching pop of metallic to the monochrome ensemble. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Kate wear this look! She first stepped out wearing this ensemble back in 2014 while visiting New Zealand. In 2014, however, she left her hair down in glossy curls. This time, she changed things up and opted for a low chignon.
One of Meghan’s go-to outfit colors is black and she’s worn some gorgeous black ensembles over the years. This one she wore in November 2019 doesn’t happen to be one of our favorites though. While we love the flattering jacquard texture of this dress, there seemed to be a little too much fabric on the skirt which made it appear somewhat bulky.
Meghan donned a gorgeous purple midi dress with long sleeves by Aritzia to attend the opening ceremony of the One Young World Summit. The purple dress is one that she’s worn previously; however, it was hidden under a red jacket for a visit to Birkenhead earlier this year. This time around, she accessorized the lovely midi length dress with navy heels and a bouncy blowout which she parted down the middle.
Kate stepped out in July 2019 wearing a blue printed dress while attending the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival. We have to admit we weren’t the biggest fans of this look in comparison to some of her other ensembles this year! The print seemed a little outdated and lackluster. We would have much preferred to see her in a more classic floral print or polka dot.
Kate Middleton looked like a walking valentine when she opted for this sweet pink dress for the 100 Women in Finance Gala Dinner in February 2019. We love the two-tone detailing of this look and the gorgeous contrasting burgundy velvet.
Meghan had an unfortunate fashion miss when she stepped out to visit a mosque in Africa wearing an olive green, cargo-style maxi dress paired with a cream headscarf. The shape of this dress didn’t seem properly tailored to her body and she even got tangled stepping on the hemline a few times.
Meghan looked gorgeous in October 2019 where she donned a Hugo Boss leather skirt paired with a coordinating burgundy v-neck sweater. She stayed true to the burgundy theme of her look and even wore a pair of matching heels to top off the look. For final touches, she wore her hair in a soft updo and wore minimalistic gold jewelry.
In September 2019, Kate attended a garden-themed event wearing this pale blue and fuschia floral gown. This look simply felt a little out of season for a September occasion and felt better suited for the spring or summer. We also didn’t love the pair of mauve wedges she paired the look with which didn’t seem to match the colors of the dress.
Kate was a vision in white when she stepped out to attend the Queen’s State Banquet with Prince William at Buckingham Palace in June 2019. For the occasion, she wore a floor-sweeping Alexander McQueen dress that was unlike anything we’ve ever seen her wear! The dress featured soft cap sleeves and full ruffles trailing from top to bottom. Kate topped the formal look with her favorite tiara, the Lover’s Knot tiara, which was also a favorite of Princess Diana.
Meghan Markle stepped out during her two-day Morocco tour wearing a muted navy and black look that we felt quite underwhelmed by in all honesty. The look seemed to lack some much-needed texture or contrast in color.
Meghan stepped out in Africa re-wearing a gorgeous pink trench dress that she first wore in July 2018 during a visit to the Nelson Mandela Centenary Exhibition. Whether coincidentally or not, the Duchess repeated the blush trench dress for another Nelson Mandela-related engagement where she with Graca Machel, the wife of the late Nelson Mandela. For the occasion, she styled her hair styled in a low, loose bun and accessorized with beige heels.
One of the most notable fashion looks of the Royal Ascot this year was Kate Middleton’s cornflower blue look. The Duchess of Cambridge wore a whimsical polka-dotted dress designed by Ellie Saab from her 2019 Resort collection. The dress featured a pussy-bow collar detail, sheer sleeves and lace embroidered throughout which she topped with a fascinator. We have to admit we weren’t the biggest fans of this look as it felt a little matronly and overly conservative rather than chic and trendy.
Kate dazzled at the 2019 BAFTA Awards in this whimsical and floaty white dress. The Duchess always nails her BAFTAs look each year and 2019 was no exception. We love the frilly shoulder detail of this dress, which was the perfect example of glamour without going overboard.
On one of Harry and Meghan’s first appearances in Africa, the Duchess stepped out wearing a Malawi-made black and white wrap dress by Mayamiko and her go-to black wedge wrap espadrilles. While the shape of this dress is certainly flattering, the bold print didn’t seem to flow with Meghan’s typical personal style which usually consists of simple prints and clean lines.
For the Field of Remembrance event, the Duchess stepped out wearing a textured navy coat which belted at the waist. She paired the look with a matching fascinator from her go-to milliner, Philip Treacy, which featured a mesh detail covering her face. She accessorized with slouchy black heels, leather gloves and a red poppy on the lapel of her coat. This look felt both glamorous and effortless at the same time, which is the epitome of Meghan’s style.
When it comes to casual attire, Kate typically opts for cropped coats and polished jeans. Often she pulls off these looks just as well as she would a ballgown, but we have to admit we weren’t the biggest fans of this olive green casual look in January 2019. The coat seemed to cut off her body at an unflattering length and the combat boots didn’t feel the most refined.
Kate’s most glam show-stopping moment of the Pakistan tour was when she stepped out to attend a special reception to enjoy some of the creative talents in Pakistan. She was a vision in green wearing a floor-length sequin gown by Jenny Packham. She pulled her hair into a sweeping half-up hairstyle and accessorized with gold statement earrings by Onitaa.
Meghan stepped out in Morocco in February 2019 wearing a floor-length patterned dress that we weren’t the biggest fans of. The double-tiered ruffled sleeves overwhelmed her figure, especially when paired with the sweeping skirt that had no shape. We wish this look had cinched in or had an empire waist for a more updated version of maternity fashion.
In mid-January, Meghan absolutely dazzled in a navy glittering dress by Roland Mouret. This gorgeous sequined gown certainly made a statement with its three-quarter length sleeves, leg slit, and sparkly finish. For her beauty look, Meghan opted for a classic low bun that’s become her signature hairstyle. She deepened her makeup for the evening event with a bronzed smokey eye and a glossy berry lip.
While Kate and William visited the beautiful Hindu Kush mountain range in Pakistan, the Duchess wore a brown midi skirt, a leather vest, and a brown collared shirt. Rather than her typical Duchess pumps, Kate opted for something a little more practical with a pair of knee-high flat brown boots. This monotone brown color scheme seemed quite dull and uninteresting in comparison to some of her more eye-catching looks throughout the year!
Kate looked stunning when she stepped out at the Palladium Theatre in November 2019 wearing this elegant lace dress. The look was designed by Alexander McQueen and featured dramatic sheer lace floating on a nude underlay. The garment also featured flattering velvet detailing which acted as a belt around her waist and trailed the neckline of the dress.
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