Back when she was simply "Suits" star Meghan Markle, only devoted fans of the USA drama series followed what she wore. But since her romance with Prince Harry came to light in late 2016, the world has been watching what the actress and activist-turned-royal wears every time she steps out. Duchess Meghan's style has long run the gamut, from clean-cut and preppy to glam and trendy, though since she moved to Britain to be with her love, the royal wardrobe has certainly been elevated and enjoyed an influx of new items including hats, coats and designer maternity wear. To celebrate the Duchess of Sussex's 38th birthday on Aug. 4, 2019, Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at her evolving style through the years, starting with this dark blue sundress and peep-toe pumps ensemble she donned for a Coach party in the Hamptons in August 2006 — when she was working as a briefcase girl on the gameshow "Deal or No Deal." Keep reading for more…
This was Meghan Markle's take on casual sophistication — boot-cut jeans topped with a cropped black jacket and accessorized with black pumps, a white bag and multiple strands of pearls — when she attended a George Lopez/Great Chefs of L.A. charity event benefiting the National Kidney Foundation in November 2006. My, how things have changed!
"Deal or No Deal" briefcase model Meghan Markle posed in what could have passed for a prom dress — which she paired with silver pumps — while attending a Golden Globes gifting suite in Los Angeles in January 2007. Though she still loves black and white looks, could you imagine her wearing this today?!
Meghan Markle sported much lighter hair along with a belted salmon pink sundress, a Louis Vuitton Speedy bag and very on-trend (at the time) sandals when she hit up the Some Kind-a Gorgeous Style and Beauty Lounge at Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood in August 2010 just a year before she made her debut on "Suits."
Meghan Markle often attended fashion shows during her long run on "Suits." This colorful floral-print dress she wore to the Tracy Reese show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City in September 2013 would look just as stylish on her today.
Meghan Markle knows that a black-and-white ensemble never disappoints. She looked fresh in a classic white button-down — which remains one of her go-to separates today — paired with a striking yet modest high-waisted skirt featuring a pop of green during an appearance at the TCA Winter Press Tour in January 2014.
By accessorizing her ladylike white Herve Leger dress with a rocker-chic studded leather jacket, Meghan Markle transformed her look from prim to edgy during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City in February 2014.
A crop top and high-waisted skirt combo did the trick for Meghan Markle — who chose a discreet way to show some skin — at the Peter Som show during New York Fashion Week in September 2014.
Meghan Markle attended the Elton John AIDS Foundation's 13th Annual "An Enduring Vision" benefit in New York City in October 2014 wearing this elegant dark teal Roland Mouret mermaid-style dress in a classic silhouette that would still suit her today.
Meghan Markle experimented with her style by mixing stripes and plaid at Prada's New York City Iconoclasts event in February 2015. The top and trousers might not have been a flattering choice but those brown satin flats were a nice touch.
Meghan Markle brought a whole lot of playfulness to this ensemble — a furry Miu Miu coat with a Wes Gordon skirt — which she wore to the Wes Gordon runway show during MADE Fashion Week in New York City in February 2015.
"Suits" star Meghan Markle was photographed leaving the "Today" show studios in New York City in August 2015 wearing a metallic brown textile-patterned sheath with wide box pleats accessorized with simple strappy heels and a bold black belt. It's a silhouette she's since revisited as a royal.
Meghan Markle shimmered in a deep-V metallic Misha Nonoo dress during an appearance at the CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund Awards in New York City in November 2015.
At the 2016 ELLE Women in Television Dinner in Los Angeles, Meghan Markle stunned in a short red Dolce & Gabbana brocade-patterned dress. Paired with a red lip and strappy black heels, this was a look to remember!
We're loving this incredibly chic black-on-black ensemble Meghan Markle wore to the Season 5 premiere of "Suits" in Los Angeles in January 2016 — just six months before she met Prince Harry. She toyed with different textures, pairing a knitted turtleneck with a matte skirt and cage heels.
Meghan Markle looked sexy and confident in black leather leggings, a peplum-style top, strappy nude pumps and a red lip at an AOL Build talk in New York City in March 2016.
Meghan Markle took a successful fashion risk in this chambray short suit designed by Veronica Beard. She rocked the separates with a tucked-in white button-down and completed her outfit with metallic shoes and a gorgeous bag during a March 2016 appearance on "Today."
Nude is definitely Meghan Markle's color. At a World Vision event in Toronto in March 2016, Meghan stunned in this soft, refined sheath and matching heels.
Meghan Markle appeared laid back but polished in a ruched black dress with tan sandals when she hit the Polo Ralph Lauren VIP suite at the Wimbledon tennis championships in July 2016 — which was right around the time she met Prince Harry.
Meghan Markle looked bright-eyed and ladylike in this navy blue dress accessorized with a black leather handbag and animal-print pumps as she left a "Today" show taping in July 2016.
Siren alert! Meghan Markle made quite the entrance at the "Today" show studios in New York City in July 2016 in this flirty red dress paired with nude heels.
For the opening ceremonies of Prince Harry's beloved Invictus Games in Toronto in September 2017, Meghan Markle looked incredibly cool in a monochromatic outfit — a pleated Wilfred Beaune dress by Aritzia in a color the brand dubbed "truffle" topped with a Mackage leather moto jacket in a near-matching bordeaux shade.
Newly engaged Meghan Markle chose an outfit that was stylish yet conservative when she attended a charity fair with Prince Harry in Nottingham, England, in December 2017: a tight black Wolford turtleneck bodysuit paired with a tan fit-and-flare midi skirt by Joseph and Kurt Geiger over-the-knee boots.
Meghan Markle dressed in shades of brown for Christmas Day 2017 church services with her future in-laws on the queen's Sandringham estate. At the time, it was strange to see the American former actress in a hat — an accessory that's much more commonly worn in Britain — but she still looked chic in the Philip Treacy piece that she matched to her brown Chloe bag and Stuart Weitzman boots, which all complemented her cozy tan Sentaler coat.
Meghan Markle raised eyebrows when she chose to wear a beautifully tailored black Alexander McQueen suit instead of a more traditional gown when she attended the Endeavor Fund Awards in London in February 2018. It was a statement that made it clear she was playing by her own fashion rules.
Meghan Markle picked a gorgeous color palette — a cream Victoria Beckham sweater, a tan Mackage coat, a deep green Greta Constantine midi skirt and bronze velvet Jimmy Choo pumps — for a stop in Belfast during an official royal visit to Northern Ireland in March 2018.
Meghan Markle brought a little business-casual flair to her spring-ready green Self-Portrait dress by adding a black Alexander McQueen blazer as she headed to an Invictus Games reception in London in April 2018.
Meghan Markle looked like a fashion superhero in a dark blue caped Stella McCartney dress, which she wore a month before her wedding as she stepped out for a star-studded concert (just like her gold Naeem Khan zodiac clutch!) to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's 92nd birthday in London in April 2018.
A storm gray double-breasted Smythe coat and a vintage-inspired felt wide-brim floppy hat were chic fashion choices for Meghan Markle's first Anzac Day Dawn Service in London in April 2018.
No one knew which designer or what silhouette Meghan Markle would choose for her wedding day in Windsor, England, in May 2018. The world sighed when she stepped out of the queen's 1950 Rolls-Royce Phantom IV and onto the steps of St. George's Chapel wearing a clean-lined haute couture wedding dress with an open bateau neckline crafted by Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy, a five-meter-long silk tulle veil embroidered with the flora of all 53 Commonwealth countries, and Queen Mary's diamond and platinum bandeau tiara.
Meghan Markle gave fashion-watchers another clean-lined and elegant bridal look when she slipped into a bespoke Stella McCartney lily-white high-neck gown crafted from silk crepe for her and Prince Harry's evening wedding reception in May 2018.
Newlywed Duchess Meghan flirted with controversy when she arrived for her first Trooping the Colour in June 2018 wearing an off-the-shoulder pink Carolina Herrera ensemble. Her Philip Treacy disc hat was deemed modern and chic, but critics thought she showed too much skin at the queen's annual birthday celebration.
Some speculated that after being criticized for showing off her bare shoulders at Trooping the Colour, Duchess Meghan purposely covered up — way up — for her first official outing with Queen Elizabeth II. All we know for sure is that she expertly pulled off modest and modern in a haute couture cape-style frock by her wedding dress designer, Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy, for the June 2018 outing in Cheshire, England.
Duchess Meghan made another appearance in bridal white, again in Givenchy, in a buttoned-up shirtdress-style frock at her first Royal Ascot in June 2018. She scored points with fashion critics for her bold and modern black-and-white Philip Treacy hat.
Another tried-and-true fashion go-to — one color from head to toe — was the order of the day when Duchess Meghan attended nephew Prince Louis's christening in London in July 2018 wearing an olive-green Ralph Lauren dress, a Stephen Jones hat in a nearly identical shade and complementary olive pumps.
Duchess Meghan stuck to one of her favorite styles — another shirtdress-inspired look, albeit one with pockets! — when she attended a polo match wearing a denim Carolina Herrera dress in July 2018.
Another day, another shirtdress! Duchess Meghan chose a feminine but modern black, white, olive and pink colorblocked frock by Club Monaco and topped it with an unobtrusive Philip Treacy fascinator to attend a friend's wedding with Prince Harry in Frensham, England, in August 2018.
For the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's first joint visit to the seat of their title, England's Sussex county, in October 2018, Duchess Meghan donned another green-on-green ensemble made up of figure-flattering separates — a silk blouse by the brand & Other Stories with a leather pencil skirt by Hugo Boss.
Just a few days after announcing her first pregnancy, Duchess Meghan wore a comfy, classy look fashion-watchers have seen on her many a time — skinny jeans with a tailored blazer, heels and a great bag — this time mixing and matching pieces to attend a daytime reception hosted by the prime minister of Australia in Sydney in October 2018 during an official royal tour Down Under.
It's time to see how Duchess Meghan's formalwear looks have evolved! She dressed her small but growing baby bump in a simple but bold Fijian blue caped gown by SAFiYAA for a state banquet in Suva, Fiji, in October 2018 during a royal tour Down Under with Prince Harry.
A crisp white silhouette in the form of a couture gown by Theia was an inspired choice when Duchess Meghan had to get dressed up for a black-tie reception and dinner with Tonga's King Tupou VI and Queen Nanasipau'u at their palace in October 2018 during her royal tour Down Under with Prince Harry.
Duchess Meghan delivered some incredible maternity looks during her first pregnancy — including some bump-celebrating eveningwear — like this stunning figure-hugging navy blue sequined Roland Mouret Sarandon dress she chose for a Sentebale charity benefit in London in January 2019.
More great maternity wear! Pregnancy didn't prevent Duchess Meghan from sticking to a layered look she knows works for her — in this case, a purple dress by Aritzia under a contrasting bold red coat by Sentaler with matching cherry red pumps — for a slate of official appearances with Prince Harry in Birkenhead, England, in January 2019.
Duchess Meghan's royal wardrobe doesn't include too many patterned pieces but she made an exception for an official outing during a royal visit to Morocco in February 2019 when she dressed her baby bump in a beautiful blue printed dress by Carolina Herrera.
We wish protocol allowed Duchess Meghan to dress casually during public appearances more often because her daytime style is always on-point, just as it was when she and Prince Harry paid a visit to the Moroccan Royal Federation of Equitation Sports in Rabat during a royal visit to the African nation in February 2019. Her black-and-white-striped Equipment sweater, Rag & Bone maternity jeans, green J. Crew jacket and black Stuart Weitzman booties looked not only comfy but stylish!
It's a staple of every British duchess's wardrobe: the dress-and-matching coat combo. Duchess Kate does her own sweet and simple version, Duchess Camilla has her own mature take on the style and Duchess Meghan has slowly but surely put her own spin on the look. In this case, a green Erdem coat with black beaded appliques and a matching custom maternity dress, which she wore for a Commonwealth Day Youth Event at Canada House in London in March 2019.
Duchess Meghan broke out another print — this time a Victoria Beckham 1970s-inspired chain-patterned dress — for a Commonwealth Day service in London in March 2019. Her matching pillbox hat showed that nearly a year after becoming royalty, she's still willing to take risks, even if they don't always land.
Two months into her maternity leave after giving birth to son Archie, Duchess Meghan chose a comfortable and stylish tried-and-true look — jeans, a solid top and a statement blazer with heels — when she went to see pal Serena Williams play during the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in July 2019.
Duchess Meghan stepped up her style with some smart separates — a white Givenchy button-down shirt tucked into a white, black and blue midi-length skirt by BOSS — when she joined sister-in-law Duchess Kate in the Royal Box at Wimbledon for the women's tennis final in July 2019.
Leaving her 2-month-old son at home, Duchess Meghan didn't skimp on style during a break from her maternity leave, delivering some serious glam on what she called a "date night" with Prince Harry while wearing designer Jason Wu's black mesh panel fit-and-flare dress at the premiere of "The Lion King" in London in July 2019.