When it comes to the coat, and all its variations, you would be hard tasked to find a public figure—or even a fashion-forward member of the public—who has amassed a greater collection of said style than Meghan Markle.
And while the duchess has often opted for the double-breasted buttoned variety, the style which has clearly caught her sartorial fancy is the belted coat.
Stepping out at a number of official engagements, many of which demand a mode of modest dress, the belted coat has become Markle’s secret weapon when it comes to infusing style and creativity into an otherwise conservative item of clothing. How exactly does she do this, you may ask? Through a single styling detail which has, until now, gone unnoticed to many.
In fact, it was one of the duchess’s most recent appearances which enlightened us all on her discreet wardrobe weapon. To observe the annual Remembrance Sunday memorial in London on November 10, a day which brings with it a sombre atmosphere, Markle reached for an occasion-appropriate navy Stella McCartney wool felt coat, topping it with one of the most creative belt tying techniques we’ve ever seen.
Since that moment of wardrobe enlightenment, we underwent some deep belted garment-specific research, only to discover that Markle has undergone somewhat of a belt-tying evolution that’s passed under the radar over the last couple of years, a technique which has even expanded beyond outerwear.
Whether it’s a thicker woollen coat paired with a broad waist tie, the classic trench—in both its coat and dress iterations—or even just a waist-tied dress, the royal looks to have mastered each and every belt tying technique possible, abandoning all together the lazy loop-through method many fall victim to.
To track the duchess’s tying technique evolution, from the relaxed tuck, to the upgraded butterfly bow, scroll on.
The relaxed tuck
Most would agree that the relaxed tuck is the default trench belt tying technique many fall back on. Involving nothing more than looping the tail of the belt through the part that’s already fastened around the waste, Markle proved to be somewhat of a coat-tying novice when stepping out in a checked Karen Walker trench at the National War Memorial on October 28, 2018 in Wellington, New Zealand.
The simple knot
Rarely spotted embracing this technique, Markle adopted the simple knot style of tying when stepping out for her official engagement photo call on November 27, 2017.
The single loop
Arguably Markle’s most frequent belt tying style is the single loop. A streamlined take on the classic bow, the belting technique is characterised by a slip knot-style tie that has been looped through the fastened waist once more for additional security.
The reverse downward knot
For a more relaxed take on belt tying for occasions that don’t demand a high level of formality, Markle has been seen to select a back-tied belt in lieu of leaving the coat’s ties free, securing them in a neat knot in the back of the garment and leaving her outfit under her outwear in clear view.
The reverse downward knot
The lopsided bow
Perhaps Markle’s most classic take on belt tying is her lopsided bow. A unique variation on the sash tie, this technique simply calls for a simple bow shape tied on its side, with the tails of the strap often hanging asymmetrically as a result.
The upgraded tuck
The upgraded tuck marks the peak of Markle’s coat tying abilities, having only been seen executed once before at the earlier mentioned Remembrance Sunday memorial. Not dissimilar to the relaxed tuck, this tying style sees the coat’s strap looped under the already secure section of the belt, rather than being pulled all the way through.