How Kate Middleton’s $ 29 Zara Dress Highlights Meghan Markle Spending
The Duchess of Cambridge made a very astute strategic move and in doing so highlighted where her sister-in-law was going wrong.
Here’s what you can buy for $ 29: Five Pret-A-Manger Ham Baguettes. A Queen Victoria Christmas decoration from the Royal Collections Trust gift shop tucked away inside Kensington Palace. About half a bottle of Buckingham Palace brand gin. (Vale Princess Margaret – bet she would always have been willing to halve.)
Or, for that same relatively unimportant sum, you can pick up the exact same Zara dress that Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, wore for an outing at University College London this week. Is it any surprise that her choice of a surprisingly budget-friendly outfit immediately made headlines?
Here, the future Queen of England cleverly pointed at the slides as she was surrounded by boffins, exuding regal flair, while sporting a look that cost only a strand more than a box of the official commemorative shortbread from the queen elizabeth. (A flight for only $ 29.)
Not only that, Kate’s houndstooth number was the one she had worn before. In fact, her entire outfit, including the gray embossed Hugo Boss heels and Mappin and Webb diamond hoop earrings, were pieces she had donned before.
While the look may not have met the approval of reigning fashion queen Anna Wintour (all that polyester! Her eyes!), It did give the ensemble a big parsimonious checkmark.
What’s fascinating about Kate’s choice isn’t just a movie’s budget, but the fact that it all comes right after Harry and Meghan, the proto-royal New York takeover by the Duke and the Duchess of Sussex who saw the old Suit star is rolling out a wardrobe of extravagant and luxurious outfits with jaw-dropping price tags.
From cashmere to Italian leather, the actress-turned-brief HRH worker has roamed the city in a series of cashless arrangements that would have seen Jackie Onassis turn green with jealousy.
In fact, while Kate has repeatedly rolled out clothes, jewelry and shoes that she has worn before over the past year, over the pond, Meghan has taken a very divergent approach and has launched for over $ 60,000 worth of clothing (not counting jewelry) within 12 months through October.
Aside from a few slogan t-shirts, since October 10, 2020, on 14 occasions she’s appeared in some sort of public capacity (including their trip to the Big Apple, video calls, official photos, and their ridiculous coverage. and photoshopée from Time magazine) the Duchess wore 15 different clothes that cost four figures, including six items that cost over $ 4,000 each.
Marie-Antoinette’s jokes write themselves here.
This ultra high-end armor is a far cry from the attitude of the 40-year-old when she was an active member of the Royal Household who saw her pair more designer goodies with high-end brands such as H&M. , as well as its regular highlighting. -and-labels to come. (His choice to wear a bag from the little Strathberry label for one of his very first official engagements literally made the mark.)
On a purely feminist, you-go-girl level, I’m all for Meghan’s current extravagant turn. Since arriving on American soil, she and her husband Harry have turned their status as royal dissidents into a host of highly lucrative deals that could see the couple building up a personal fortune like the Windsor house has never seen before. . (Not everyone has wealthy German relatives hidden in their family tree.)
This is his (not yet) hard-earned money. If she wants to spend it on a list of clean, ultra-minimalist pieces like The Row that cater to paid social x-rays, then she should take her breath away. Have Black Amex, go shopping.
But Meghan isn’t just a self-taught woman with a hefty bank account and a Rhode Island-sized closet (I guess); she and Harry are currently trying to establish themselves as serious philanthropic forces, you know, the kind of people who spend a lot of time walking into very important meetings with very important issues.
That is, after escaping the tweed gulag that was The Firm, they now fend for themselves and work very hard to sell the world on Sussex 2.0, a reimagined and repackaged version of their palace double act. .
However, pursuing this genuinely noble goal while wearing clothing and jewelry that on occasion is worth more than the median US real estate price makes the optics appalling and makes you feel like you are deeply deaf.
For example, the Duchess wore jewelry estimated at $ 528,000, including a gold watch for $ 31,000, a Cartier bracelet for $ 9,400 and a mysterious pinky diamond ring, for this absurd Time blanket. Meanwhile, in June of this year, the median home price in the United States was $ 406,000.
Trying to uplift the lives of the less fortunate while being finished.
Perhaps more importantly, all of those designer hiccups are a distraction. The more dazzling the Brilliant Sussex Circus, the more it distracts attention from anything really worthwhile that Harry and Meghan are trying to do. (Their hearts are in the right place and… They. Have. Files!)
When Kate arrived in London this week wearing the sartorial equivalent of a sleeping pill, she was denying the media and media coverage of being able to focus on anything other than why she was there.
Trust Kate to turn boredom into something that looks like a skillful power move.
Imagine if Meghan had been just as crafty with her New York wardrobe, replaying a number of her biggest fashion hits of the past five years. The message would have been clear: we are here to work, not to create 101 style stories; what matters most are the causes that we are here to highlight and not to aggressively polish our image.
Or imagine if she had only worn pieces from sustainable brands at affordable prices.
Or if she had chosen to focus on promising color designers for whom even a moment of global exposure would have been life-changing.
Instead, the Duchess chose to wield the couple’s wealth like a cashmere club.
What is inexplicable is that this lesson is one that Meghan has apparently understood perfectly well in the past. During the couple’s hugely successful 2019 tour of southern Africa (aside from their appearance in an ill-fated documentary), she chose a series of fabulous dresses and looks that were testament to her fashion talents but far from extravagant.
By sticking scrupulously to affordable brands like Banana Republic and J Crew, she ensured that the camera lenses and media coverage remained firmly on the people, charities and organizations she was there to. to support.
So what should we do with Meghan around 2021?
Looking back, her New York outfits exude a certain status anxiety, like an urgent piece to assert themselves as Very Important power actors. What is so deeply frustrating is that this futile gesture comes to their own detriment.
Because there is a world between enjoying the fruits of his success and flaunting his wealth like Croeseus after a Rodeo Drive rodeo. (Bet he would have appreciated a nice cashmere sweater on The Steppes.)
At least during this initial period of strengthening their brand in the United States and their public identity, the Sussexes have to choose where they want the world to focus. In short, what does Meghan want to be known for? Her impeccable style or what she and Harry stand for?
The potential for the Duke and Duchess to be dynamic forces for good is immense, but at times like these, they feel like they can be their own worst enemies.
So put down the titanium credit card. Stay away from the Moda Operandi app. The world has 99 problems right now, but finding another $ 4,000 dress to buy isn’t one of them.
Daniela Elser is a royal expert and writer with over 15 years of experience working with a number of major Australian media titles.