Meghan, Duchess of Sussex may be the newest inductee into the British Royal Family, but that doesn't mean there isn't a fashion playbook she must abide by.
The rules on the newest Duchess may be more lax than those imposed on her sister-in-law, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, but they're an important part of royal tradition.
As much as we adore Meghan's refreshing, chic take on royal dressing, her outfits have outstepped certain royal boundaries on a handful of occasions — however constraining (and sometimes unfair) those boundaries may be.
Scroll down for the ELLE investigation into all the times the Duchess of Sussex has strayed from the royal outfit guide.
1. Suits should be worn sparingly
While this rule has relaxed in recent years — as can be seen by Kate Middleton's penchant for suits — royal women are often encouraged to wear skirts and dresses over a blazer and trousers.
The Duchess of Sussex's Givenchy suit, while chic, is a departure from royal outfit expectations (whether official or unspoken).
2. Black should be kept to a minimum
According to InStyle, black shouldn't be worn by royals unless they're in mourning — most are aware of the famous rule that royals need to bring a black ensemble with them wherever they travel, in case of a family death.
The Duchess of Sussex's gorgeous Emilia Wickstead gown unfortunately went against the age-old sartorial tradition.
3. Outfits must always be tailored
The Duchess of Sussex shocked royal fashion fans when she wore this Oscar de la Renta bohemian-inspired gown in July. Aside from dividing social media and fashion critics, the AU$7,000 dress undoubtedly strayed from royal tailoring expectations.
4. British designers should be favoured
The Duchess of Sussex surprised many with this mango-yellow dress by American designer Brandon Maxwell, after wearing a string of pale-toned and neutral-coloured garments.
However, her admiration for American and French designers (à la Givenchy, who designed her wedding gown) goes against the rule of favouring British designers. Foreign designers aren't banned — they just should be kept to a minimal level.
5. Stockings should always be donned
While this one seems especially misogynistic, it's been reported that royal women must always wear stockings when showcasing their legs in an outfit. Despite this, Meghan (and recently Kate Middleton) often step out sans stockings, just like when she stepped out in a Christian Dior dress, stockingless, to the RAF centenary event in July.
This story first appeared on ELLE.com.au.
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