Megan Markle has definitely become the latest queen of chic, even though she wasn’t born into royalty herself. Everyone knows and loves the “Suits” star for her chic city style as character Rachel Zane on-screen, but her off-duty ensembles really reveal her journey from classic girl next door to Hollywood hip to becoming a real fashion icon when she began dating Prince Harry. Her style choices have become so influential that stores are even selling out of items just because Markle wore them! Read here to see how Markle’s style has completely evolved over the years (and pick up a few tips along the way)!
1. Rewind And Reflect
Meghan Markle already had that twinkle in her eye before she became well known as an actress in Suits. Calligraphy, cooking, and lifestyle hacks were just a few things Markle had mastered. Calligraphy actually came in handy during the early years of her acting career when she worked as a freelance calligrapher between acting gigs.
Markle showcased her proclivity for fashion of the time with playsuits and jumpsuits, a timeless summer staple piece that’s still in style today in different shapes and forms. Little did this sweet Californian know that she’d become an international style icon at 35, let alone the wife of a prince.
2. It Was Written in the Stars
Life looks pretty good for Markle posing outside the gates of Buckingham Palace during her summer trip around Europe in 1996 while she sports an elegant bag, cat-eye sun glasses and trendy slides. It seems that at just 15, she already started her extensive bag collection with this structured leather tote.
Markle looks calm and collected, but that’s because she had no idea she’d enter those gates 21 years later and become a British citizen. Her childhood best friend Ninaki Priddy stated that she really isn’t surprised that Markle is marrying into royalty. Priddy even remembers her best friend’s fascination with the Royal family.
3. Always a Princess at Heart
Well what do you know, it looks like Markle already has some practice donning a tiara as homecoming queen. In 1998, the budding actress appeared in lots of schools plays and was crowned prom queen at St. Francis High School in Los Angeles.
This lilac strapless dress showcases Markle’s excellent eye for fashion and hints at the promise of her successful career as an actress and her future royal associations, even at the age of 17. With her family ties in showbiz, it was easy for her to become a star. Markle practically grew up on the set of Married with Children because of her dad Thomas Markle, an Emmy Award-winning lighting director.
4. Way Back When
All the way back in 2006, before Markle’s Suits days, she played it safe with this summery tiered spaghetti-strapped dress. This Coach Hampton event appears to be quite casual, so Markle followed suit with a minimal dress and understated gold jewelry.
To bring that X factor and to spice things up a bit, Markle added an elegant peep-toe heel and a snakeskin blue clutch bag. This definitely tied the whole look together, and from here on out, Markle’s outfits just got better and better. However, Markle has never been just a pretty face. She graduated with a double major in theater and communications from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois in 2003.
5. The Bubbled-Hem
The bubble-hem on this dress is definitely reminiscent of what was hot back in 2007. Markle opted for an edgy yet understated look for a pre-Golden Globes event at a private residence in Los Angeles, California. At the time, her acting career was starting to get off the ground with small parts in hit TV shows like CSI: NY.
Markle showcased a youthful appeal in this classic black-and-white baby doll dress accented by the striking bow. While the color palette is monochromatic, she topped it off with her signature pointy stiletto heels, and this time in an edgy metallic silver.
6. The Classic LBD with a Twist
A woman can never go wrong with the classic little black dress, right? Still in the early days in her career, Markle opted for many variations of the LBD, including this flattering black shift dress with chic and sheer billowing sleeves enhanced with a subtle pattern. She rocked this look at the Primary Action 2007 Golden Globe Suites on day three.
This simple and sophisticated dress, paired with a pointy patent silver and black pump, made the perfect ensemble for the event. After Markle became a star on the legal drama series Suits, the actress graduated to even more voguish pieces by labels like Erdem and Alexander McQueen.
7. A Serious Working Woman
Markle’s on-screen alter ego Rachel Zane boasts that serious working girl charm. She is the epitome of office chic, always sporting wavy blown-out hair and a sexy but modest power suit. This rose-colored dress screams “Don’t mess with me,” but in the most feminine way possible.
Markle is practically blossoming in this rose-frilled embellished halter top which creates the perfect contrast against the structured, high-waisted bottom. Markle’ character became a serious trend setter with her sleek shirts and tight skirts, but this just set the tone for Markle’s personal future influence in the fashion world. The actress also moved to Toronto and settled there for several years. Toronto is where Suits is filmed, and Markle believed she could lead an under-the-radar kind of life there.
8. Summery White
Meghan rocked a light and summery look when she attended the Self Rocks the Summer Event in July, 2013 in New York City. The white dress screamed casual yet put together with the cut-out applique detail and an elegant halterneck neckline.
Markle opted for an accessory-free look and let the dress do the talking for event. The only thing she wore as jewelry were some subtle, thin rings and her watch. The Suits actress also went for a natural look with nude makeup and a relaxed hairdo of soft curls. Her smile definitely made this outfit all the more bright and fresh.
9. Silky Nude-Color Tones
Nothing screams sophistication more than a champagne nude color palette and silky fabrics. This outfit hugged Markle’s frame in all the right places while she celebrated Suits’ second season in New York at a USA Network party in May 2012.
For this ensemble, Markle paired a silky champagne-colored camisole with a brown ruched skirt. The strappy nude sandals and delicate coin necklace-and-bracelet jewelry set are exemplary of the actress’s simple and classy style. And of course, the outfit wouldn’t have been complete without her perfect beach waves.
10. Color Blocks and Bodcons
For TV Guide Magazine’s 2012 Annual Hot List Party, Markle graced the red carpet in a color-blocked bodycon dress and pointy stiletto black pumps. Once again, minimal jewelry and wavy locks were the name of the game for the Suits actress.
The party took place in Los Angeles on November 2012. This cocktail bodycon dress and compact black clutch bag definitely emulate that perfect smart-casual look Markle was going for that evening. Her style was becoming more and more defined as her star power grew.
11. Prints and Shifts
Markle’s middle name could very well be “urban elegance”. This shift dress that created the perfect silhouette. The actress was pictured in 2013 on her way to a charity event in New York City. Newly single, Markle was looking bright-eyed and ready to take on the world.
The printed shift dress, patent black heels, and black tote epitomize Markle’s womanly allure. Her signature look would obviously not be complete without her natural-looking wavy hairstyle, just a touch of makeup which is barely even there, and, of course, the minimal jewelry pieces.
12. Berry Delicious
As one of Markle’s most shared looks to date, this berry-hued Marchesa dress definitely deserves a special mention. Captured here is the actress posing on the red carpet in 2013 at ELLE‘s 2nd Annual Women In TV event at Soho House in West Hollywood, California.
This raspberry colored strapless dress complements Markle’s golden complexion and brown waxy locks. The pleated gathering at the bust cinched in with the subtle satin ribbon adds a refined touch to the form-fitting outfit. And, of course, Markle rocks another pair of stiletto point pump heels.
13. A Star-Studded Girl
A regular on the front rows at fashion shows, Markle rocked the scene (literally) with her outfit choice at Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week in February 2014. The star arrived in a biker jacked encrusted with eye-catching gold-studded details on the sleeves.
She paired the casual statement jacket with a fancy white dress and silver patterned stiletto heels, proving how great daring and edgy fashion choices can be. Her up-do with the loose pieces framing her face add to Markle’s effortless charm. Her looks also managed to charm the Canadian celebrity chef Cory Vitiello, and the two allegedly dated between 2014 and 2016 while Markle was filming Suits in Toronto.
14. The Day-To-Night Look
Perhaps Markle perfected the look from all the practice she got as Rachel Zane on Suits, because this outfit masters the ultimate day-to-night work look. Markle opted for a smokey eye, nude lip, straight layered hair to complement her lovely outfit at a Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume event in 2014.
Markle paired some sleek leather pants with a collared white shirt and green chevron-patterned sweater. She polished off the look with a textured black clutch bag with yellow gold hardware and a pair of black high pumps. When she’s not attending red carpet events and parties, Markle busied herself with philanthropist and humanitarian efforts when she became a global ambassador for World Vision in 2014.
15. Preppy Style
As she came to celebrate the exclusive preview of the 2014 Marchesa Voyage line for ShopStyle collection in New York City, Markle decided to go full-blown preppy. The tucked-in airy blouse and high-waisted pants made for a fun, casual and sassy look.
The white accents on each item brightened up this tailored look. The folded bow cuff sleeves pick up on the white collar, white paints, and the oversize geometric white clutch bag. To go with the casual look, Markle went for natural hair and makeup.
16. Effortless and Breezy
Markle got fashion critics excited as she shifted away from her go-to shift dresses at an NBC Press Day event in June 2015 at the Four Seasons Hotel. She surprised everyone with her effortless monochromatic white look paired with her beachy waves and natural makeup.
Markle donned a short-sleeved white mesh top tucked into a pair of high-waisted and wide paper-bag trousers by designer Misha Nonoo, one of the actress’s good friends. She added delicate stacking rings and a dainty bracelet as simple accents. The star might have become a household name for her new style choices, but her lifestyle blog The Tig gained her some attention. She also met Former President Barack Obama in 2015.
17. Shift Dresses Out; Statement Pieces in
As her star power rose, Markle steered away from her classic shift dresses and left her comfort zone for more edgy statement pieces. This picture captures Markle in 2015 at the Wes Gordon runway show during MADE Fashion Week Fall in New York.
This outfit is extremely fashion forward, replete with a faux-fur coat, suede gray pumps, white fold-over clutch bag, and the pastel blue high-waisted skirt. While always elegant and super classy, Markle was now aiming for more trendy and designer pieces.
18. Stripy Business
Still taking things in a bold direction, Markle attended a Prada New York Fashion Week party in 2015 wearing this stripy number. The Suits star kept things trendy and casual with a striped dark blue top and crisscrossed light blue pants.
Markle’s choice of an exaggerated pattern-on-pattern look created a stunning silhouette. She tied in the outfit with a nude envelope bag worn as a clutch and went all out with a trendy take on the Mary Jane pump. Definitely a winner look!
19. A Pastel Party
Markle has definitely broadened the horizons of her fashion choices as the years progressed. While she usually tends to step out in pastel and neutral shades, it doesn’t mean that the actress doesn’t have the ability to pull off vibrant, saturated hues.
Pictured here in Good Housekeeping in August 2016, Markle sported some contrasting colors and textures for what made a striking and fun look. Her fun outfit plays off colors and hues with the bright pink pleated skirt and purple handbag, which complemented the blue and green striped shirt, strappy blue sandals, and orange sunglasses.
20. All “Fedora-ed” Out
Pictured here is the actress modeling more of her casual summer looks for the Good Housekeeping interview in 2016. To match her fun and friendly personality, she wore a wide-brimmed fedora sun hat – a staple item for any summer wardrobe.
Markle has the gift of looking great in just about any outfit, so these shorts paired with a red and navy knit sweater and rose gold metallic loafer pumps, is the perfect summer outfit for walking around the city and exploring.
21. A Humanitarian Vision
Besides for acting, Markle has pursued humanitarian efforts to stop modern day slavery and promote gender equality since 2014. She was a counselor for One Young World, an international charity, and traveled to Spain and Afghanistan as part of the USO Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Holiday Tour.
In 2016, Markle traveled to India and Rwanda after she became a global ambassador for World Vision Canada. At the World Vision event in Toronto, Canada in March 2016, Markle donned a nude monochromatic ensemble, a very tasteful choice for the event.
22. From “Om” to “Namaste”
Markle has always been a yoga lover and regularly practices the spiritual exercise, which makes sense seeing that her mother Doria Loyce Ragland is a yoga instructor in California. She’s either on her way to or from a yoga session, judging by the mat.
The actress kept things simple yet stylish on her way to exercise with her Hermès bag and army green scarf and jacket. She also appears to be getting into the meditative mood with that serenely pensive expression on her face.
23. Navy Goddess
This navy ensemble from March 2016 epitomizes everything about this gorgeous star who would meet Prince Harry later that year. While she didn’t know it just yet, these kinds of outfits would soon become her everyday look after her and and the prince became an item.
However, the actress never forgets to add that classy statement piece like with her pointy stiletto leopard print pumps by Sarah Flint and her bright cranberry red bag to add just the right pop of color to this sophisticated look.
24. Pretty in Lace
Markle attended the Glamour L’Oreal Paris College Women of the Year event in April 2016 in this lace number. The event took place at the NoMad Hotel Rooftop in New York City and the actress impressed with a different spin on her usual cocktail dresses.
She almost never leaves the house without her stiletto pumps, and this time she sported a beautiful clear and white pair to complement her lace dress, cinched in at the waist with a black ribbon. Markle also boasts her natural makeup and hair look as usual.
25. Gem of the Evening
Never failing to impress, Markle attended the Corkin Gallery’s Roland Mouret dinner on April 28, 2016 dressed in this cranberry-and-black off-the-shoulder dress. She opted for a figure-hugging outfit for the event in Toronto accented by an embellished clutch and gold bracelet.
To tone down the look, Markle added a pair of lacy Gianvito Rossi sandals to complement her legs and to achieve that long silhouette. Her beauty means she can easily get away with hardly any makeup and a simple hairdo.
26. Red Carpet Ready
Here Markle steps out in a tea-length red dress with a classic pair of nude heels when she appeared on the Today Show on NBC in New York City. Besides for the little black dress, a red number can also be a winner.
Markle isn’t one to go about sporting elaborate jewelry and fancy details. For her, a classic handbag, pair of shoes, and simple hairstyle to match do the trick, but she still manages to make a statement with her striking outfits nevertheless.
27. The Master of Airport Style
The show Suits is filmed in Toronto, so Markle rented an apartment in the city during her time on the show. This meant the star had to master the art of looking good while traveling back and forth from Toronto and her hometown of Los Angeles.
The frequent flyer makes sure to travel with a comfortable handbag like this bright blue Hermès tote and a small suitcase. She also masters the whole beanie, winter coat, sweater, jeans, and sneaker look really well. She retired from acting ahead of her royal nuptials.
28. Caught in the Moment
It almost looks like Markle has just stepped off the set of Suits while she poses for a picture with some friends when she attended the World Summit in Ottawa, Canada. Elegant as always, the star wore a wrap coat and shift dress with a gray handbag.
She wouldn’t be herself if she wasn’t wearing classic pointy stiletto heels, now would she? So it’s no different in this case. No matter the occasion, she always looks in tiptop shape with a big smile on her face. She also schmoozes with several celebrity A-listers like Serena Williams and former Miss World Priyanka Chopra.
29. On the Road Again
Finishing touches are always a crucial part of Markle’s outfits, even when she’s traveling. Long before she began touring the world with Prince Harry, Markle traveled around the world and shared her experiences on The Tig, her now-defunct lifestyle blog.
In the summer of 2016, Markle took a girls trip around Europe visiting Italy, Spain, and Greece for plenty of red wine and beach time, two of her favorite things. Pictured here, Markle looked ready to vacation with her fedora and staple tote-and-suitcase travel combo.
30. Summer Loving
During her summer vacation, Markle stopped off in scenic Capri, Italy for a few days. She makes summer look so insatiable while touring the rustic roads in her breezy summer shirt-dress in a nautical-inspired stripe pattern and her fedora hat.
Once again, she opted for a minimal look that she pulls off best. All that’s needed is a splash of jewelry and understated tones to match her bronze sun-kissed tan. After all, it was all fun and games until she had to get ready for the responsibility of being royalty.
31. A Master Cook
Prince Harry and Markle met in July 2016 and become an item about two months later. A self-proclaimed foodie, Markle spoiled Harry with good food from the get-go. She showed off her cooking skills ahead of Thanksgiving, 2016 with an Instagram post of a turkey from the year before.
Before Markle had to delete her social media accounts to be part of the royal clan, the actress would share lots of delicious dishes she’d made. Besides for the good food, her casual outfit looks great with the denim-on-denim look she’s got going on over there. The navy vest ties in well with her chambray shirt and jeans (another thing she’ll kind of have to give up in her royal wardrobe).
32. These Are a Few of My Favorite Things
Meghan Markle loves to stop and smell the roses, and she’s often spotted walking through the city holding a stunning bouquet of flowers or two. Ever since she met Prince Harry, he has loved to surprise her with peonies, her favorite flowers.
Markle would document her floral deliveries on her Instagram with captions like “Swooning over these” and “Perfect delivery.” Here she was spotted on a stroll with three bouquets while wearing a lovely casual winter outfit mixing tones of beige, white, and gray.
33. More Flowers
Meghan Markle was spotted here in London, shopping for flowers while she sports another casual outfit with a Hunter rain boots, a Maison Goyard tote, a Barbour jacket, a navy beanie and chunky scarf. At this point, she and Prince Harry still hadn’t officially announced that they were a pair.
Whether it’s casual or smart looks, Markle really pulls anything off with style and elegance, but after her relationship with Prince Harry was announced in October 2016, her style evolved even more. She switched to more British brands and haute couture tailored pieces.
34. Making It Public
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made things official with their first public appearance together as a couple at the Invictus Games in Toronto in September 2017. She kept it simple with an oversize white button up shirt by Misha Nonoo and ripped light wash jeans.
She completed the look by way of a brown Everlane Day Market leather bag, brown flat Natalie leather pumps by Sarah Flint, and Illesteva Leonard sunglasses. They look totally in love and laid back, the perfect combination for their casual outfits.
35. She Said Yes!
After months of rumors, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle officially announced their engagement at the Sunken Gardens at Kensington Palace on November 27, 2017 in London, a year after their relationship was officially announced by the royal family. To match her beaming smile, Markle donned a chic white belted wrap coat by Canadian brand Line the Lable, a green P.A.R.O.S.H dress, and beige crisscross suede heels by Aquazurra Matilde.
Harry proposed to Markle with a custom-designed 2.5ct ring with a center stone from Botswana, where they spent their third date, and two diamonds from Diana’s personal collection. The stone from Botswana is a rare yellow hue, which Harry chose because it’s Markle’s favorite color.
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