As we've discussed in the past, the British royal family's strict set of unspoken fashion "rules" undoubtedly has a way of hindering their personal style preferences. (Although, Meghan Markle has been making an attempt to subtly break some of them.) For that reason, it's somewhat tricky for them to try the latest trends or experiment with a new look, both of which are things that I enjoy doing. You could say that the typical royal family wardrobe is dated, but I find it to be more conservative and classic than dated.
I wouldn't call my style particularly conservative, and much of what the royal family regularly wears just doesn't appeal to me, even though they always look chic. I just can't see myself pulling off a sheath dress and a pillbox hat anytime soon, but there are other items that are royal family–approved that I would wear.
Keep scrolling to check out the royal-approved fashion items I'm skipping, and shop the ones I'm wearing instead.
Hard Pass: Coat Dresses
As sophisticated as they look, I don't fully understand coat dresses. What do you wear underneath them? Another dress? Nothing? Despite my ignorance, every royal seems to love them. Instead, I'm opting for (also royal-approved) wrap coats.
On Kate Middleton: Alexander McQueen coat dress; Manu Atelier Micro Bold Combo bag ($550); Tod's shoes
Hard Pass: Daytime Clutches
Royals love a structured clutch from morning to night, but I much prefer the top-handled mini bags they occasionally carry for daytime.
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On Meghan Markle: Brandon Maxwell blazer and dress; Aquazzura shoes
Hard Pass: Jeggings
One wouldn't typically associate a duchess with jeggings, but both Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle seem to love them, as that's often the style they choose when their duties allow for them to dress down. I'm not holding my breath, but I'd love to see them give the loose-jeans trend a try instead.
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On Kate Middleton: Barbour coat; Penelope Chilvers boots
Hard Pass: Formal Hats
Here in the U.S., there aren't really any occasions that call for a hat, unlike in the UK. While I appreciate that the royals have a bit of fun with this accessory, I'd much prefer an accessory like a currently trending barrette or headband.
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On Princess Eugenie: Fiona Graham hat; Gainsbourg dress; M2Malletier bag; Valentino shoes
Hard Pass: Nude Stockings
This controversial item sparks plenty of debate whenever Markle wears it, but I don't see the nude-stockings "rule" going away anytime soon. That said, I fully support black tights, which royals also embrace.
Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images
On Meghan Markle: Philip Treacy hat; Goat dress
Hard Pass: Round-Toe Pumps
Round-toe pumps aren't particularly flattering, so I'm swapping them for pointed-toe pumps (another royal favorite) and on-trend square-toe shoes.
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images
On Kate Middleton: Orla Kiely dress
Hard Pass: Sheath Dresses
Sheath dresses certainly look polished, but they're not the most comfortable dress style, and they can be a bit boring. On the other hand, they may not be 100% royal-approved, but I love the versatility of a good slip dress and like to think that Meghan and Kate wear them on private vacations on faraway islands.
On Meghan Markle: Givenchy dress, belt, and clutch; Sarah Flint Perfect 100 Pumps ($355)