The Unique Differences Between Kate Middleton And Meghan Markle’s Personal Styles

Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle are both Duchesses who married Princes of the British royal family, William and Harry. But that’s where their similarities end. Although some people tend to shove these Duchesses together, they are quite different–especially their styles.

Whereas Meghan Markle dresses in dark, modern clothes, Kate Middleton wears bright patterned dresses. Everything from their hats to their necklaces is drastically different. Keep reading to see the differences between their iconic styles.

Meghan Wears Dark, Neutral Colors

Meghan Markle often wears dark, neutral colors. You can often see her wearing a grey dress, navy blue coat, or a black skirt. These are reflective of her favorite brands, including J. Crew, Birdies, Staud, and Wilfred.Meghan Markle gets out of her car, wearing a black dress for the Royal Academy of Arts.Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

One of Meghan’s designers, Karen Walker, told Glamour: “Her Royal Highness’s style feels very authentic to me. It isn’t forced at all—it’s real and captures her personality.” Anyone can imitate her neutral outfits and not look like they’re trying too hard.

Kate Embraces Bold, Bright Colors

The Duchess Of Cambridge wears a baby blue dress to a museum visit.Tim Rooke – Pool/Getty Images

While Meghan prefers neutral and dark-colored clothing, Kate Middleton does not hesitate to wear bright colors. You’ll often see her in red, violet, and brilliant green dresses. It is also reflected in the brands she wears, including Reiss, Ghost, and L.K. Bennett.

Kate will often wear local designers from the places she visits, including Sweden, New Zealand, and Australia. She takes after her grandmother-in-law by wearing all of the colors of the rainbow. This has brought more business to the brands she wears.

Meghan Wears More Solids Than Patterns

Meghan Markle walks with Prince Harry to Hyde Park, while she wears a black hat and grey coat.GC Images

Meghan Markle tends to wear solid colors for most of her wardrobe. Occasionally, she will wear patterns, but many of these patterns featured muted colors such as grey and beige. Some people believe that her simple wardrobe is meant not to outshine the Queen.

A royal insider told Elle that Meghan does not want her wardrobe to take away from her work. “When there was criticism of Meghan in black and muted colors, it was intentional, so her style didn’t become the story and distract from her charity work,” the insider said.

To see the wedding dress that differed from all other royal wedding gowns, keep reading.

Kate’s Love Of Patterns

Kate Middleton speaks to a man while wearing a blue polka dot dress with a white collar.Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Kate Middleton has no problem wearing bold patterns and colors. She’s gone out in big black polka dots, yellow lace, and detailed florals. Designers such as Emilia Wickstead have made many intricate dresses for Kate over the years.

But you don’t need top designers to imitate this style. Lee Lucas, the principal and CEO of the Fashion Retail Academy, says that Kate wears street-name brands such as “Zara, Topshop, and Marks & Spencer.” This has made her style more accessible to the public.

Meghan Markle’s Hats Have Flair

Meghan Markle wears a beret with navy feathers while walking next to Kate Middleton.Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage

Hats are a standard accessory for the royals. Meghan Markle often wears hats for special events, and all of them have flair. In 2018, she wore an asymmetrical Philip Treacy hat to the Royal Ascot. The black-and-white hat was short on one side but flared on the other.

Meghan often wears berets and pillbox hats, but even these have unique details. During her 2018 Christmas, she wore a navy blue beret with two matching feathers. It was designed by Awon Golding Millinery to compliment her outfit.

Kate Middleton Always Matches Her Hats

Kate Middleton wears a pillbox hat with a bow on the back during Easter Sunday service in 2017.Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

The Duchess of Cambridge always matches her hat to her outfit. She doesn’t mind wearing simple berets and pill hats if they complement the rest of her look. A good example is her Lock & Company pillbox hat with a bow on the back, which matched her cream Easter Sunday outfit in 2017.

That’s not to say that Kate will ignore intricate hats, though. During the Queen’s 90th birthday, she wore a white beret with intricate lace and flower details by Jane Taylor.

Meghan Markle’s Simple But Elegant Wedding Dress

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle walk down the Windsor castle stairs after getting married.Jane Barlow – WPA Pool/Getty Images

In a bold move, Meghan Markle had no lace or beading on her wedding dress. She went for a Jackie O. style with a silk gown, three-quarter sleeves, and a high neckline. She chose designer Waight Keller for her “elegant aesthetic” and “relaxed demeanor.”

Waight worked closely with Meghan to design the dress. In the end, it cost $265,000. The five-meter-long veil took longer to make than the gown. Inside of the dress, Waight sewed a piece of Meghan’s blue dress that she wore on her first date with Prince Harry.

If you’ve ever wondered why minimalist jewelry is popular, you may want to continue reading.

Kate Middleton’s Iconic Wedding Gown

Kate Middleton walks toward her wedding as her sister spreads out her wedding dress.Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Kate Middleton’s wedding dress was so popular that replicas were created and sold to brides. It was designed by Sarah Burton, the creative director of the luxury fashion house Alexander McQueen. The ivory satin gown cost a whopping $434,000 in total.

The shape was inspired by Victorian corsets. Lace lined the v-neck, long sleeves, and bottom of the skirt. The gown changed the wedding industry for years afterward, as designers focused less on strapless dresses and more on delicate lace sleeves.

Meghan Goes Modern

Meghan Markle watches the Invictus Games while wearing a white collared shirt and jeans.Chris Jackson/Getty Images for the Invictus Games Foundation

Compared to other royals, Meghan Markle tends to dress more modern. You may have seen her wearing jean jackets, white buttoned shirts, jumpsuits, and shirt dresses. Designers such as Victoria Beckham, Veronica Beard, and Madewell give her a modern–if not casual–wardrobe.

It’s no surprise seeing Meghan wearing a jean dress or wide-legged pants. She dresses similarly to how many mothers dress today, even if some of her gowns cost $1,590! She may look casual sometimes, but she knows how to style clothes.

Kate Dresses Professional And Conservative

While walking with Prince William, Kate Middleton wears a blue dress with a black blazer and hat.Indigo/Getty Images

Kate Middleton dresses much more professionally than Meghan. Wearing designers such as Emilia Wickstead, Gianvito Rossi, and Temperley London, Kate often looks as if she’s walking into the office in The Devil Wears Prada. That’s only a good thing, of course.

Kate often wears long-sleeve dresses with high necklines that end at the knee. Many of her dresses double as coats, and she wears dashing tights with them. Her wardrobe appears more conservative than Meghan’s classic jean jacket.

Meghan Markle’s Jewelry Is Simple And Chic

Meghan Markle's bracelets are seen as she moves her hair out of her face.Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Meghan is not a fan of jewelry as a statement piece; rather, she wears small, dainty pieces. Her necklaces often feature small studs and come from designers such as Jennifer Meyer (a friend of hers) and Adina Reyter. Tiny studs, crystals, and hearts adorn her jewelry.

Her earrings usually make a bigger statement than her necklaces. She’ll often wear pearl and diamond drop earrings from designer Shaun Leane and the Canadian company Birks. Many of these understated designs are in style today.

Coming up: how the Duchesses dressed before they got engaged to their Princes.

Kate Middleton’s Jewelry Is Timeless

A close-up shows Kate Middleton's earrings matching her broach. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Just as Kate has no problem wearing colorful clothes, she’ll also wear colorful jewelry. Her jewels are often carefully coordinated with her outfits. For instance, she may match Monica Vinader Green Onyx earrings with a green dress or pair a sapphire G. Collins & Sons necklace with her matching ring.

Kate’s jewelry tends to be more regal than Meghan’s. That said, she still enjoys buying from affordable brands. She’ll often wear earrings and necklaces from Missoma, Zara, and Catherine Zoraida.

Meghan Wears Classic Shoes With A Twist

A close-up shows Meghan Markle's pumps during her visit to the District 6 Museum in South Africa, 2019.Chris Jackson/Getty Images

It’s no secret that royal women often wear heels and pumps. But Meghan likes to add a twist to these classic styles. For instance, her engagement outfit featured nude heels by Aquazzura with a criss-cross design in the front.

That’s not to say that she will ignore classic styles. She’ll also wear Greco-style brown sandals from Sarah Flint. Especially during her pregnancy, Meghan wore flats and pumps. Occasionally, you may see her in sleek white sneakers from Veja Esplar.

Kate Middleton Wears Neutral, Simple Shoes

A close-up shows black boots that Kate Middleton wore while visiting the National Centre for Youth Mental Health in Ireland, 2020.Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Because her clothes are so bright and intricate, Kate Middleton often wears neutral shoes. You’ll often see her in boots, heels, and sneakers in brown, beige, and black. Some of her favorite shoe designers include L.K. Bennett, Jimmy Choo, and Emmy London.

Sometimes, Kate will put on darker-colored shoes that match her outfit. Navy blue velvet and burgundy leather seem to be favorites. During her more active adventures, she will wear neutral sneakers by brands such as Nike and New Balance.

Before She Was A Royal, Meghan Was All Hollywood

Meghan Markle appears on the red carpet of the Golden Globes.Michael Tran/FilmMagic and Amy Tierney/WireImage for Primary Action

Before she married Prince Harry, Meghan Markle was an actress. Her wardrobe consisted of Hollywood glam looks that she rarely wears today. She would often wear short, tight dresses in several different colors to the Golden Globes or MuchMusic Video Awards.

Meghan still wears some brands that she donned back then, such as J. Crew and French designer Roland Mouret. But she also wasn’t afraid to wear crop tops, deep plunging necklines, and see-through shirts. Those aren’t allowed on royals!

Coming soon: which Duchess didn’t wear white to announce her engagement.

Before She Married, Kate Was Much More Casual

Kate Middleton wears a casual outfit with jeans and a a shirt to watch Prince William play polo in 2009.Indigo/Getty Images

Before she married Prince William, Kate Middleton dressed much more casually than she does today. Having grown up in rural England, she brought some country aspects into her wardrobe. She would often wear jeans, knee-high boots, cowboy hats, tank tops, and short shorts–you’ll never see her in those today!

That said, she still carries some of her old style. For instance, she’ll wear knee-high boots from fancier brands such as Aquatalia and Stuart Weitizman. She also continues to wear more affordable brands like Zara.

Meghan’s Bright White Engagement Outfit

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announce their engagement in November 2017.Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

When a royal couple gets engaged, they always announce it to the public. Meghan Markle’s engagement outfit foreshadowed her wedding dress. She wore a $627 white coat by the Canadian brand LINE. It had a wide collar, tied at the waist, and reached down to her knees.

Underneath, the Duchess of Sussex wore a dark green crew-neck dress by PAROSH, marked at $585. Her shoes were cross-strapped nude heels by Aquazzura, which she had shown one year earlier in 2016.

Kate’s Engagement Dress Was Formal And Understated

Prince William and Kate Middleton arrive to announce their engagement to the press.Samir Hussein/WireImage

In 2010, Kate Middleton announced her engagement to Prince William. Her engagement outfit was less “bridal” than Meghan’s and more modern. She wore a blue dress by London-based designer Daniella Issa Helayel, which matched her sapphire engagement ring.

The knee-length dress had a wrap design below the bust. It also had long sleeves and a flattering v-neck. After the photos were released, the dress immediately sold out. It appeared on the store again in 2015 and 2018, after which it sold out again.

Have you ever seen a close-up of the Duchesses’ purses? Continue to see them.

Meghan Markle’s Engagement Ring Fits Her Style Perfectly

A close-up shows Meghan Markle's engagement ring as she moves her hair away from her face.Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Meghan Markle’s jewelry is minimalist, and her engagement ring is no exception. The three-stoned ring sits on a thin golden band. Like many royal husbands, Prince Harry created the ring from scratch to hold special meaning.

The center diamond is from Botswana, a location that carries fun memories for the couple. The other two diamonds belonged to his late mother, Princess Diana. The band was created by the royal jeweler Cleave and Company. Although the engagement ring is simple, it still stands out amongst her other jewelry.

Kate Middleton Received Something Blue

Kate Middleton shows off her wedding ring while touching her hair.Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

In 2010, Prince William asked for Kate’s hand in marriage. He proposed with a ring that belonged to his late mother, Lady Diana. The ring has a large sapphire gem surrounded by 14 tiny diamonds.

The 12-carat sapphire is cut into facets, and the 14 diamonds are set in 18K while gold. When Princess Diana got engaged, she initially chose the ring herself. The Duchess of Cambridge received a ring that has significant meaning for the royal family.

Meghan’s Handbags Often Fall Under The Radar

A close-up shows Meghan Markle's purse while she and Prince Harry hold hands.Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Although Meghan Markle’s handbags often go unnoticed, they still deserve a mention. She carries a variety of purses, some with cross-body straps and others that are small clutches. All of her bags blend seamlessly with her outfits.

In spring 2020, Meghan wore a dark green cross-body bag by Rejina Pyo. It matched her plaid blue and green coat. She doesn’t mind colored purses, but you will rarely see her with patterned handbags. The closest would be a speckled leather purse by Cuyana that she carried in 2018.

Kate Middleton’s Purses Are As Bright As Her Outfits

Kate Middleton carries a bright green clutch that goes with her outfit.Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage

While Meghan’s purses are dark and neutral, Kate often carries bright, noticeable handbags. A great example is a bright red Alexander McQueen clutch with a bow that the Duchess carried with her red outfit.

Kate will occasionally carry patterned bags, such as Joules’ women’s floral overnight bag. But she also can’t go wrong with a neutral clutch. You’ll often see her with beige and grey clutches from brands such as Prada, Mulberry, Anya Hindmarch, and Stuart Weitzman.

Continue reading to see Kate and Meghan’s dashing Christmas outfits.

Meghan’s Equally Modern Reception Dress

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry leave their wedding to attend the celebrations.Steve Parsons – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Since the first bridal gown steals all of the attention, many forget that Meghan wore a second dress for the reception. The evening gown, by designer Stella McCartney, looked just as modern as her wedding dress. It had a high neckline, no sleeves, no bling or lace, and a slightly frilled skirt.

The reception dress alone cost $157,000. That’s not including her up-do hairstyle done by George Northwood. Her baby blue and silk shoes were by one of her favorite brands, Aquazurra.

Kate Went Much More Simple For Her Reception Dress

Kate Middleton heads to her wedding celebrations in her reception dress.John Stillwell – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Like most royal brides, Kate Middleton wore a second wedding dress to the reception. This one did not have lace-like her ceremony gown, but it had a striking fur jacket and bling belt. It seems that Kate cannot stay away from bling or statement pieces, even with her simpler looks.

Like the first dress, the reception gown was designed by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen. It had a flared A-line skirt that Kate frequently wears, along with a crop top fur coat.

Even During The Holidays, Meghan Stays Neutral

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry walk to the Christmas Day Church service in 2017.Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Every Christmas, the royal family attends a morning mass at St. Mary Magdalene. Royals often dress up for the occasion, and Meghan maintains her neutral style. For instance, in 2017, she wore a beige Sentaler coat with brown Stuart Weitzman boots and a matching cap.

The next year, she dressed from head to toe in navy blue. The dress and coat were both designed by Victoria Beckham. However, she tends to shake things up with a beret, such as her navy feathered beret by Awon Golding Millinery.

Kate Shows Off Her Christmas Spirit

In 2019 Christmas, Kate Middleton kneels down to speak to Princess Charlotte.Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage

Kate Middleton has no problem dressing “Christmas-y” in red and green. For the 2019 Christmas lunch, she wore a tartan plaid dress. The red dress was from one of her favorite designers, Emilia Wickstead, and cost $2,762.

That same morning, Kate went more neutral by wearing a grey fur-lined coat by Catherine Walker over an emerald green dress. The Michael Kors dress had a festive pattern, and she got her pop of color with a matching green hat.

Coming up: how the two Royals dress when they exercise.

Meghan Markle’s Baby Announcement Outfit

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle introduce their newborn son Archie to the public.Dominic Lipinski – WPA Pool/Getty Images

In May 2018, the Duchess of Sussex gave birth to her first child, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. When she and Prince Harry first revealed their child to the press, she wore a modest white dress and nude heels. Instead of her outfit, all attention went to the baby.

Her sleeveless trench dress was from designer Wales Bonner. She paired it with easy-to-walk-in nude pumps by Manolo Blahnik–remember, she just gave birth three days prior! She also donned a minimalist turquoise necklace by Jennifer Meyer.

Kate Middleton Introduced Her Children With Colorful Dresses

Kate Middleton newbornsMike Marsland/Anwar Hussein/WireImage & Zak Hussein/Corbis via Getty Images

While Meghan wore white for her baby announcement, Kate Middleton wore colors after the births of her three children. When Prince George was born in 2013, Kate wore a polka-dotted Jenny Packham dress in baby blue. She would return to that designer for her next two children.

In 2015, Princess Charlotte came. While introducing her, Kate wore another Jenny Packham dress that was white with yellow flowers. After the birth of her third child, Louis, she returned to the same designer. This dress was red with a white lace collar.

You Can Barely Tell When Meghan Wears Workout Clothes

Meghan Markle wears casual exercise clothes for the UK Team Trials in 2018.Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Even the royals need comfy, casual workout clothes. Because Meghan Markle often wears neutral and dark colors, you can barely tell when she’s wearing leggings. Some of her favorite black leggings are from Lululemon and Under Armour HeatGear.

She’ll also wear black raincoats, puffer jackets, and army coats. Her fitness clothes are often black, white, or a darker color like navy. You may also see her in Ray-Ban aviators with a gold rim, similar to what she would wear on a day-to-day outfit.

Kate Middleton Wears Color To The Gym

Kate Middleton wears a red puffer jacket while shopping for a Christmas tree.Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Just like the rest of her style, Kate Middleton embraces color in her activewear. Some of her clothes have pops of color, such as navy Bogen leggings with a rainbow design on the bottom. Other times, she’ll wear a bright red puffer jacket.

To remain stylish, Kate doesn’t choose all color. She combines neutral colors like black and white with accents of color. For instance, her Montreal London track pants have a lime green waistline and a stripe of white running down the leg.