She may be a California girl, but Meghan Markle called Toronto home for the last six years and it would seem that her adopted country heavily influenced her style. For her first official outing as an engaged royal-to-be earlier today, Markle wore a coat by Canadian label Mackage.
WATCH BELOW: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to attend World AIDS Day event
She attended the Terrace Higgins Trust World AIDS Day charity fair in Nottingham with Prince Harry dressed in a double-breasted, ankle-length navy coat with black leather piping (a signature of Mackage designers Eran Elfassy and Elisa Dahan), and paired it with a full khaki skirt by British label Joseph and mid-calf suede boots. It’s not her first time wearing Mackage — she also donned a burgundy biker jacket by the Montreal-based label in September at the Invictus Games.
This is Markle’s second major appearance in which she’s chosen to wear a Canadian fashion label. On Monday, when she and Prince Harry officially announced their engagement outside Kensington Palace, she wore a white wrap coat by Toronto-based fashion brand Line the Label.
And it would seem that her fashion choices are having a “halo effect” on sales. Much like Kate Middleton, whose “Kate effect” caused a significant spike in sales of certain items she wore during her official visit to Canada last year, Markle’s white Line coat sold out almost immediately on Monday, as did the olive green P.A.R.O.S.H. dress she wore underneath, inspiring both brands to name the items “The Meghan.” She also wore earrings from Birks, which the venerable Canadian jewelry company said caused a 50 per cent increase in website traffic by early afternoon.
Her fondness for Canadian fashion is largely attributed to the fact that the Suits actress has developed a close friendship with stylist Jessica Mulroney, who dresses Sophie Gregoire Trudeau. Although it’s not confirmed that Mulroney is Markle’s stylist, the Daily Mail said that she is “credited with reinventing the star, transforming her wardrobe, polishing her style and introducing her to the wealthy, fashionable and well-connected young crowd in Canadian high society.”
While it’s uncertain whether Markle is officially working with a stylist, if she is, that person is not up-to-date on the royal rules of fashion. As some eagle-eyed royal watchers noted on Monday, she broke a long-standing royal fashion rule: she was bare-legged.
The Cut noted that “Queen Elizabeth has been wearing panty hose for 91 years,” although the revival of nude hose is largely attributed to Middleton, who is never seen in public without the telltale glossy sheen of sheer stockings covering her legs. In fact, a 2012 report in WWD noted that sales of flesh-toned tights soared by 46 per cent at Selfridges following the royal wedding, and British supermarket chain Asda saw a 500 per cent increase.
“Up to about 20 years ago, it was seen as a bit trashy not to wear tights at all times,” Kate Reardon, editor of U.K. society magazine Tatler, said to WWD. “While the rest of the world has moved on — revelling in advances in hair removal and self-tan — posh Englishwomen have clung to them doggedly.”
It remains to be seen if Markle, a thoroughly modern woman in both personal style and attitude, will usher in a new era of hose-less royal fashion.
Harry and Markle will have a May wedding at Windsor Castle’s St. George’s Chapel.