We’re officially in the dog days of summer and, most likely, your wardrobe is bursting at the seams with gingham skirts, flowy feminine blouses and, of course, a floral sundress or two, right? Well, for some of you less inclined to foliage, the latter could be a hard no—and we’re not judging. Despite being quintessentially summer, pretty floral prints are just not everyone’s cup of tea, and this very specific group of individuals could very well include Meghan Markle. In our close observations of the new royal’s style over the past few years, we’ve yet to see her step out in anything with a pastel or vibrant garden print—and we’re not mad about it. In fact, we love that the Duchess of Sussex has carved out a style all her own that includes sleek separates and shifts, as well as comfortable casualwear in chic neutrals and earthy tones (think the hunter-green Ralph Lauren sheath dress she wore to Prince Louis’ christening and the navy blue boatneck midi she wore to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force last week).
That said, Meghan still loves a light and bright summer ensemble now and again, she’s just more understated about it, opting for clean silhouettes with interesting shapes and sleek details. Take, for instance, her most recent frock, which we’re dubbing the antithesis to a floral sundress. The Duchess recently stepped out to visit the Nelson Mandela Centenary Exhibition at Southbank Centre in an achingly chic beige sleeveless trench dress by House of Nonie, and it’s seriously perfect. Paired with a nude clutch and pumps the monochromatic look made for the most sophisticated summer ensemble we’ve seen in a while. (Because the neckline and details of the dress speak for themselves, it’s best to keep the accessories simple and dainty.)And while we understand that the dress might read heavy in terms of fabric and texture, a cotton blend will guarantee to keep things light and fresh.
Although we may not be visiting an iconic exhibition or art gallery event any time soon, we’re shamelessly stealing this look for work, brunch and beyond. And when we say “beyond” we mean it—the beauty of the trench dress is that it translates nicely into fall. You can throw a turtleneck underneath or a coat on top when the weather starts to get chilly and swap the pumps for an equally complementary pair of ankle or knee boots. And, at this point in the season, our brains (and wardrobes) should be planning ahead for the cooler months.
Also, please do not misunderstand our feelings toward the classic sundress—we love it and always will. We just understand that the overtly feminine trend is not for everyone, so it’s nice to have equally beautiful alternatives to consider for the summer season. So if you’ve officially vetoed the floral frock or have simply worn yours ad nauseam at this point, we say pull a Meghan and go for this worthy alternative.
To get you started, we’ve included some options below at a variety of price points (we’ve also included the exact style the Duchess wore!). Enjoy!
In The Trenches
House of Nonie
Derek Lam Sleeveless Trench Dress
Calvin Klein Sleeveless Trench Dress
Saks Fifth Avenue
Hepburn Mini Dress
Linen-Blend Trench Dress