How to Steal Meghan Markle’s Maternity Look
Meghan Markle was a global style icon long before becoming the Duchess of Sussex, but since announcing her first pregnancy in October 2018, she inspired countless pregnant women to embrace the sartorial possibilities of their bumps.
Throughout her pregnancy and even after the birth of Archie, Meghan managed to nail that delicate balance between comfort and style that so many pregnant women struggle to achieve. And now with baby No. 2 on the way, she's doing it again.
How exactly? By frequently falling back on a trusty formula of monochromatic color schemes and classic silhouettes. And thanks to this couple's media coverage, we now have a clear guide to pregnancy style, good enough for a duchess. Here’s what we can learn from some of Meghan’s best maternity looks of the past few years.
The couple sat down for a tell-all with Oprah on March 7, 2021. Not only did the couple discuss details about stepping down as senior royals as well as the serious issues Meghan faced with depression and racial inequality, but they managed to do so in style.
As seen here, Meghan wears a long empire-waist dress, cinched with a belt. The choice of black only adds to her sophisticated look.
Relaxed and Flowy
The couple announced that they're expecting a second child on Feb. 14, 2021 — the same day that Diana announced that she was expecting Harry exactly 37 years before.
Both Prince Harry and Meghan look relaxed in these pregnancy-shoot photos. Meghan looks stunning in a long dress that only loosely accentuates her bump.
An Empowering Choice
Moms everywhere rejoiced when Meghan stepped out in front of cameras in an empire-waist dress that showed off her postpartum pregnancy bump on May 8, 2019 — a mere two days after giving birth.
The belt that wraps around this chic white sleeveless trench dress accentuates Meghan's belly, a reminder that women (even thin royal duchesses) don't bounce back to their pre-pregnancy weight immediately after giving birth.
Arriving to a Commonwealth Day Youth Event on March 11, 2019, in London, Meghan wore a custom forest green dress and matching coat from Canadian designer Erdem.
The outfit’s clean, classic lines are flattering to Meghan’s growing belly, while the black floral applique draws attention to her face. She completes the ladylike look with a Givenchy satin clutch.
Channeling Jackie O
Wearing a white pillbox hat and a feminine Victoria Beckham frock with a swingy coat, Meghan channeled Jackie O for a formal Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey, also on March 11, 2019, in London.
Proving that even heavily pregnant women need not shy away from light colors or bold patterns, Meghan still manages to look sleek thanks to her impeccably tailored pieces, paired with attention-grabbing emerald heels and a clutch purse.
Meghan appeared on a panel discussion for International Women’s Day on March 8, 2019, in London wearing a ’60s-inspired knee-length dress by high street retailer Reiss.
A black Alexander McQueen blazer sharpens up the simple shift, a style hack that works as well in pregnancy as it does in everyday fashion. She finishes off the look with black suede Manolo Blahnik pumps, drawing attention to her nicely toned legs.
Making a surprise appearance with Harry onstage at WE Day UK on March 6, 2019, in London, Meghan looked casual yet chic in black skinny jeans, a black top and a navy Smythe blazer. The outfit’s dark tones have an overall slimming effect, and Meghan’s favorite black Manolo Blahnik stilettos lengthen her legs.
Lesson learned: A good blazer and stilettos can dress up even the most basic separates, a useful trick for pregnant women who don’t have the energy or time to focus on wardrobe planning.
Just Add a Coat
Are we sensing a pattern here? On March 5, 2019, Meghan attended a formal reception at Buckingham Palace wearing a jacquard brocade dress topped with a sculpted Amanda Wakeley cream coat.
The metallic sheen of Meghan’s dress complements her pregnant glow, and nude Paul Andrew heels give her a lift without distracting from the rest of her outfit.
Little Black Dress
Meghan demonstrated the power of a little black dress at the Andalusian Gardens in Morocco on Feb. 25, 2019. The loose, swingy frock from Palm Springs designer Loyd/Ford gives Meghan plenty of room to breathe, with subtle detailing like soft pleats and an asymmetrical hem.
Its thin spaghetti straps are hidden by a crisp, collarless white blazer from Babaton. She dresses up the simple ensemble with gold jewelry and low polka-dot velvet slingback Manolos.
A Sporty Look
A fresh and timeless striped sweater anchors Meghan’s outfit at the Moroccan Royal Federation of Equestrian Sports on Feb. 25, 2019.
She tops it with an army green J. Crew jacket and black jeans, then gives the laid-back look a kick with black heeled suede booties from Stuart Weitzman.
Keeping It Comfy
Meghan kept it casual and comfortable when visiting an Education for All boarding house in Morocco on Feb. 24, 2019.
Basic black skinny jeans and a fitted crew-neck tee are paired with velvet slippers from Birdies, ensuring that she can stay on her feet throughout the day. A navy Alice and Olivia blazer dresses up the basic outfit, with pinstriped cuffs adding a playful vibe.
Relaxed, Yet Formal
During an investiture ceremony in Morocco, also on Feb. 24, 2019, Meghan freshened up her casual daytime look by swapping in a crisp white blouse and her polka-dot pumps.
The lightweight, relaxed blouse leaves plenty of room for Meghan’s bump, while the navy Alice and Olivia collarless blazer adds some formality to the more relaxed foundation pieces.
A Respectful Nod
Taking airport style to stratospheric heights, Meghan stepped off her flight at Casablanca Airport on Feb. 23, 2019, wearing a bespoke Valentino dress, Dior heels and diamond earrings.
Her bold red caped dress, a sartorial nod to Morocco’s flag, is beautifully tailored on top but relaxed and plenty roomy through the midsection.
Modest Gala Attire
Meghan tapped into the classic, structured shift + matching coat formula again for a gala performance of “The Wider Earth” at London’s Natural History Museum on Feb. 12, 2019.
The winter-white Calvin Klein dress has a modest turtleneck but gently hugs her curves, and the knee-length Amanda Wakeley coat hopefully provides some warmth against the chill. Olive-colored accessories from Ralph Lauren are earthy and unexpected.
An Elegant Empire Waist Look
At the Endeavor Fund Awards Ceremony on Feb. 7, 2019, in London, Meghan turned heads in elegant Givenchy separates. On top, she wears a crisp white blouse with an oversized collar and rolled-up sleeves.
On the bottom, her floor-length pencil skirt has an empire waist that comfortably rests above her bump and a knee-high slit that gives it some much-needed edge. Meghan takes a break from her favored pumps with pointed-toe mules featuring metallic straps and 4-inch heels.
Meghan loosened up for a visit to the Old Vic Theatre in Bristol on Feb. 1, 2019, wearing a gauzy, flowing black Oscar de La Renta dress printed with various flora and fauna.
The low-cut neckline and sheer sleeves are flattering features of the fanciful frock, with a sash around the waistline allowing Meghan to give some definition just above her bump. Knee-high olive-toned boots from Sarah Flint add to the fantasy of a jaunt through an enchanted forest.
Pretty in Pink
Looking pretty in monochromatic pink, Meghan made her first appearance as a patron at London’s National Theatre on Jan. 30, 2019.
The dress, by American designer Brandon Maxwell, has a high v-neck and a swingy skirt. A blush blazer (also by Maxwell), suede Aquazzura stilettos and Carolina Herrera clutch add to the very ladylike effect.
Minimal, Yet Stunning
Meghan sparkled in a floor-length sequined Roland Mouret gown at a Cirque du Soleil performance on Jan. 16, 2019, in London.
The striking midnight-blue dress has a modest boat neck top and long sleeves, with an open hem that shows off her strappy stilettos. The overall effect is minimal yet magical — signature Markle.
On a Budget
Countless pregnant women rushed to H&M after Meghan’s appearance at London’s Mayhew Animal Charity on Jan. 16, 2019, where she paired a $35 maternity dress from the brand’s Mama line with a cashmere Armani overcoat.
The cozy cream-colored dress accentuates her growing bump, while the coat adds structure. Matching pumps and a vegan leather Stella McCartney tote complete the monochromatic look.
The duchess again effortlessly blended high and low fashion on Jan. 14, 2019, for a busy day of engagements in Birkenhead, Merseyside. Her jewel-toned ensemble features a bold purple dress from Babaton (currently retailing for $49.99) and a striking scarlet, wide-collared wrap coat made out of baby alpaca wool from Sentaler.
A towering pair of bright red Stuart Weitzman pumps are the finishing touch and an impressive choice for a full day of walking at about 6 months pregnant.
Ready for Business
Meghan appeared appropriately ready for the office at a Jan. 10, 2019, visit to Smart Works, a London charity that helps unemployed women return to work.
Her black maternity dress by Hatch is a solid staple for any working pregnant woman. Her Oscar de la Renta cotton-twill coat and Gianvito Rossi heels are at a higher price point, but still easy enough to emulate.
A Slimming Effect
Attending a Christmas Day service at St. Mary Magdalene Church, Meghan once again opted for a minimal, monochromatic combo that has an overall slimming effect.
The pillbox hat embellished with blue feathers draws attention to her face and adds a touch of flair to her navy Victoria Beckham cashmere coat and matching dress. Her knee-high boots, also by Victoria Beckham, give the duchess a few extra inches of height.
Spring in Winter
On Dec. 18, 2018, Meghan squeezed into a springy floral midi-dress by Brock Collection for a visit to Brimsworth House, an English residential nursing and care home.
The figure-hugging, cap-sleeved frock is warmed up by a grey overcoat from Soia and Kyo. She accessorizes the look with grey suede pumps from Aquazzura and a silk clutch.
Another Lesson in Separates
A glittering peplum-style bustier top from Safiyaa gives Meghan’s growing bump some wiggle room at a Nov. 19, 2018, visit to the London Palladium for a Royal Variety Performance.
She pairs the sequined top with a long fishtail skirt from the same brand, showing that separates can look just as luxe as a formal gown — and may be twice as comfortable.