Why Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle Wear Shorter Hemlines While Pregnant
Every person has wardrobe staples that they can't help but pick up time and time again — including Kate Middleton. The Duchess of Cambridge is known for re-wearing outfits as she sees fits, particularly while pregnant, and one of her most obvious go-to staples has been the brand Seraphine.
With so much royal dressing expertise under the company's belt (they also dressed Pippa), who better to weigh in on Meghan Markle's maternity style? InStyle asked Seraphine's founder, Cecile Reinaud, all about royal pregnancy dress, and her insight will have you looking at Meghan's outfits in a whole new way.
"I think generally, people sort of try to stay true to their pre-maternity style during maternity," said Reinaud. "So I think we will see the trends she’s shown us, which is a lot of monochrome, not a lot of print, structured shapes, close to the body, slightly androgynous sometimes with trousers and suits."
She continued, "I don’t think she’s going to suddenly transform herself and wear lots of pastels, which is more Kate’s style. Kate was very much, and has always been, into pastels and florals and Meghan has more of a chic look."
Despite the sisters-in-law's obvious differences in fashion taste, they do share a surprising pregnancy-specific similarity — shorter hemlines.
"[Kate] did [go shorter] for sure. She went shorter, on a couple of occasions well above her knee, which she never does normally," Reinaud said. "And especially in winter, because when she wore opaque black tights, it looks okay. It doesn’t look too much because it’s not bare legs, it’s black opaque tights with a shorter dress."
Reinaud predicts that Markle will go down a similar path as the weather cools down.
"Because her pregnancy is going to be a winter pregnancy, I think she’s more likely to shorten her hemline and also probably wear what we’ve seen at [Eugenie's] royal wedding, this kind of coat dress," Reinaud said.
Another unconventional royal maternity wear prediction? Pants. While Markle's fellow family members have shied away from maternity pants, there's a good chance that she will dare to be different.
"She’s got very thin legs, you know, as we’ve seen with her flashing them on the royal tour, so I think trousers really work well," Reinaud said. "She’s likely to have quite a big bump because she’s quite a petite build ... so highlighting legs and arms is always a good trick to keep a nice silhouette."
Even with personal preferences in mind, there's a unique challenge that makes dressing for pregnancy as a royal slightly more difficult: royal fashion rules. Still, Renauld believes there is a way to find a happy medium between what is required of Meghan and Kate as royal family members and what they individually prefer.
"I think when pregnant, there’s a little bit more freedom, I would say, and people are less judgmental than when not pregnant. I think it’s always a balance of being kind of elegant and demure, and not too sexy," she said.
"So if you do show a little bit of cleavage, then you cover the arms and the legs. If you have a shorter length, then you show no cleavage ... you’re allowed to look attractive and pretty, but not too sexy. I think when you get too sexy, you tend to have criticism, which is kind of a shame, but it seems to be the case."
Reinaud is certainly not wrong about that — when Markle wore a partially see-through skirt on the final day of her royal tour of Australia, she immediately sparked waves of backlash.
Let's hope we can collectively be less disparaging toward the Duchess of Sussex as she dresses for her pregnancy. What she'll wear next has yet to be seen, but if she's anything like her sister-in-law, you should place your bets on Seraphine.