Every royal has a way of creating a signature style. Meghan Markle, for example, has quickly become known for her protocol-bending dressing approach, opting for shorter hemlines and thigh-high slits that prove she's not afraid to take fashion risks. Kate Middleton, on the other-hand, likes to stick with her elegant, colorful classics, while Queen Letizia of Spain is known for donning trendy pieces that always manage to look timeless. Every now and then, however, royals share an undeniable likeness in their fashion choices, as evident by Queen Letizia's plaid dress. On Mon., the Queen channeled her inner Markle by opting for a design with a flowing, waterfall hemline.
Queen Letizia, looking as elegant as ever, was photographed on her way to celebrate the bicentennial of the Prado Museum on Nov. 19. Though she arrived donning a sleek, neutral-colored wool coat — an essential on any brisk fall day — she eventually removed the top layer to reveal a stunning plaid dress that was perfectly on-trend (note: checked-print pieces are back in a big way this season). And while it felt right in line with her usual styling choices — she loves a midi-length dresses with a belted detail — there was one unexpected design element that was impossible to miss: the hemline.
The checked midi dress Queen Letizia donned for the occasion is by Spanish designer Pedro del Hierro. It features three-quarter length sleeves, a simple neckline, and a synched waist. But ultimately, it was the piece's draped, waterfall hemline that stole the show, not only because it was a welcomed change of pace for the Queen, who typically opts for simple, sleek silhouettes, but because it channeled Markle in the best, most subtle way.
Markle isn't afraid to wear wardrobe staples that challenge royal dressing protocol, like the mini blazer dress she wore to a Hamilton performance back in Aug., but she also knows the makings of the perfect, classic ensemble, many of which feature dresses that are designed with an elegant, draped front.
Back in July, while meeting President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina at Áras an Uachtaráin, Markle opted for a taupe-colored dress by one of her go-to designers: Roland Mouret. It features a boat neckline and eye-catching waterfall-front detailing, and the Duchess styled the piece with simple black heels, a coordinating black handbag, and sparkly earrings.
Most recently, Markle donned a dress with the waterfall-like detailing during her and Prince Harry's 16-day tour of Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Tonga. The piece, by Dion Lee, features an asymmetric-fold detail along the hem and a single lapel fold constructed into the bodice. Unsurprisingly, the Folded Sail Dress, which retails for $990, is currently sold out, though a restock may be on the horizon.
If you're looking to liven up your dress collection, why not takes a few cues from Queen Letizia and Markle? The waterfall hemline is a surefire way to elevate your dress lineup (and just in time for the holiday season). Ahead, shop The Zoe Report's roundup of Queen Letizia and Markle-approved staples, all of which are designed with an elegant, waterfall front.