As Julia Roberts famously said in Pretty Woman, “I want the fairytale.” It’s a sentiment a young Meghan Markle – the California girl who went from small-screen star to royal bride when an English prince swept her off her feet – no doubt related to. And an outing for the Duchess of Sussex in Santa Barbara over the weekend suggests Vivian Ward’s post-makeover wardrobe made quite an impression on her, too.
The Duchess turned out to support her husband Prince Harry, a keen polo player, at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club, where his Los Padres team took home the Lisle Nixon Memorial trophy on Sunday, and her chosen outfit had more than a dash of Pretty Woman about it. Her breezy blouse with tie-front detail featured a polka-dot print – just like the dress Vivian wears to stomp the divots in the classic rom-com.
Meghan added high-waisted tailored shorts like those that were central to Julia’s ’90s power wardrobe in the film, once she’d relieved the boutiques of Rodeo Drive of much of their stock. Black Aquazzura heels, the requisite hat, and movie-star Valentino shades completed the Duchess’s retro look.
Meghan’s crisp white shorts, cinched with a black belt for added polish, are by Khaite, a New York brand that keeps cropping up in her wardrobe. She paired founder Cate Holstein’s off-the-shoulder bodysuit with tailored black trousers to join Prince Harry on stage at the Invictus Games in The Hague earlier this year. Khaite is typical of the labels that Meghan – who relied on Emilia Wickstead dresses and Givenchy formalwear as a working royal living in the UK – now gravitates towards as a mum-of-two living a private (though no less high-profile) life with her young family in Montecito.
These days, her style leans easy, minimalist and neutral, with a luxe touch. Think: cashmere separates by The Row and Loro Piana suiting for business trips to New York, Chanel ballet flats to pose for a relaxed family portrait, and swathes of taupe Ralph Lauren for a visit to the British Embassy in the Netherlands.
Originally published in Vogue.co.uk