Unless you were born with the panache of Marilyn Monroe, a gust of wind isn’t exactly a friend when you’re wearing a skirt or dress. But unlike the brief embarrassment you might endure on your morning commute, weather permitting, women of the royal family run the risk of flashing paparazzi every time they step foot on a tarmac. It makes sense, then, that Meghan Markle’s dress hack for windy days is so genius—and, spoiler alert: It rests entirely in her underwear.
According to Myka Meier, the founder of Beaumont Etiquette, the Duchess of Sussex (and other women of the royal family, including Kate Middleton) rely on clingy, static-filled underwear to keep their dresses and skirts from moving around. “Often they wear body suits and clothes that actually increase static so it’s much [harder] for something to fly up,” she explains to The Sun.
In addition to choosing the right underwear, Meier adds that royals enlist the help of hats to protect their hair during less-than-ideal weather (save for the days Markle wears her signature wispy bun, of course). “Just like the dresses fly up, so does your hair,” she explains. “Right when you walk off the [airplane] those are the first photos that go viral, so the hat is often used right when they walk off for that reason.”
The underwear hack has no doubt come in handy for Markle’s first summer of royal engagements—the Duchess of Sussex made it through a solo outing with the Queen, baby Prince Louis’ christening and even an official visit to Ireland without any major fashion slip-ups (other than her “controversial” decision to bare her shoulders at Trooping the Colour in June). Of her most iconic looks of the season, Markle’s 37th birthday dress became an immediate fan favorite (and is shockingly still available at Club Monaco).
Although the hack has worked well for Markle, it isn’t exactly a perfect science (think: Kate Middleton’s infamous yellow-dress moment in 2011), which is why more senior members veer away from silky dresses and opt for heavy materials like wool or linen. Angela Kelly, who has served as Queen Elizabeth II’s personal assistant and dresser since 2002, says she takes ultimate precautions when dressing the matriarch.
“The Queen undertakes a wide range of engagements, many of which take place in the open air, where a sudden breeze could cause embarrassment,” Kelly wrote in her book Dressing the Queen: The Jubilee Wardrobe . “If we think this is a possibility, we will very occasionally use weights, discreetly sewn into the seams of day dresses.”
But for those of us who don’t have access to a royally trained seamstress (or a casual supply of miniature weights), clingy underwear and bodysuits are an easy way to keep your hemline where it belongs. Not sure which fabrics have the most static cling? Look out for pieces made of wool, silk, polyester and rayon—all of which are most likely to stick to your dress. Try out Markle’s trick for yourself with four editor-approved undergarments, below.
Silk Slip in Black
365 Stretch Tank Bodysuit
The All-Day Maternity Bodysuit
Myla Covent Garden Stretch-Silk Satin Briefs
Ginia Basic Silk Boxers in Black