And for celebrities, politicians, and royals alike, the impact of the clothes on their backs is even greater. Many stars make statements—ranging from political commentary to a display of their commitment to sustainability or their support of minority designers—through what they choose to wear each morning, and Meghan Markle is no exception.
On Tuesday, she stepped out in a predictably light pink House of Nonie trench dress that may have looked simple to the eye, but in reality, is coded with a lot more messaging than what it seems. Not only was it the exact same kind of sleeveless trench dress she's worn before, but it also subtly paid homage to her time as an actress on Suits.
The dress is by an up-and-coming fashion label House of Nonie, which is based in Canada, where Markle lived and filmed her TV show for six years. The Duchess of Sussex has been a staunch supporter of the brand since even before she married Prince Harry, and her decision to once again wear them is reflective of her pre-royal life mixing into her current royal fashion wardrobe.
It's also not a new dress. Markle pulled this one out of her own closet. (Hello, sustainability!) People reports that Markle bought the Spring/Summer 2018 dress before she moved to London late last year.
"To have Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle wear my design, is such a dream come true," Nina Kharey, brand founder and creative director, said to InStyle. "Her support of the brand means getting the right exposure on not just me, but on Canada as a whole. It’s amazing when people get excited about Canadian designers because we have some really incredible designers here in Canada."
That isn't the last of the dress's tie ins, though. House of Nonie has another famous fan in the form of stylist Jessica Mulroney—one of Markle's best friends.
According to the brand's website, the House of Nonie is also committed to an ethical production system, which falls in line with Markle's past as a champion of human rights. The cherry on top? The brand is helmed by a woman. Thus, by choosing to wear the 10-year-old label, Markle is helping to uplift a female-founded business. (The "Meghan Markle Effect" is real, and we can only imagine the business boost that will result from Markle's outing).
Kharey, for one, says she's sure the demand will be there for some time.
"Our website traffic has increased immensely all day today and it hasn’t even been a full day yet!" Kharey said. "The support is overwhelming. The nice thing is that all the dresses are made to order so we can handle immense requests easily as each order is treated with a custom outlook."
At the end of the day, Markle has the fashion world at her fingertips—with Dior and Givenchy only a phone call away—and she has an awareness that each and every one of her ensembles will be scrutinized down to the stitch, so her decision to wear a lesser-known brand is very intentional.
Her go-to silhouette, in a purposeful color, designed by a Canadian, and tied to her best friend? Yes, there was a lot more to this dress than first met the eye.