After giving birth to baby Archie in May, Meghan Markle is back from maternity leave and already attending to her royal duties. On September 12, the Duchess of Sussex launched a clothing line with her patron charity, Smart Works. The Smart Set Capsule Collection brought together four different British fashion brands for a stylish cause.
Markle’s new clothing line shouldn’t be a surprise to the public. After all, ever since her relationship with Prince Harry was revealed to the public, she was thrust into the spotlight and quickly became a global fashion icon. From the Finlay & Co. sunglasses she wore at the 2017 Invictus Games, to the beige MACKAGE coat she donned on her first official engagement in Belfast in 2018, the brands that Markle wore all saw their sales skyrocket.
And when she and Harry got married in May at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor, she further solidified her status as a style sensation when she wore her simple yet sophisticated Givenchy wedding gown. With all eyes on her, it’s clear that not only the fashion industry but the whole world was taken aback by “The Meghan Effect” as well.
However, now the Duchess wants to contribute to the fashion industry in her own special way. Her charity clothing line features five pieces of women’s workwear, which range from £19.50 to £199, and was created to help unemployed women dress for success. As a long-time champion of women’s empowerment, her collection is a testament to both her love for fashion and passion for the cause.
The Smart Set showcases five style staples suitable for any type of job interview, such as a white button-down, slim-fit trousers, a blazer, a shift dress, and a tote bag. Markle was inspired to create the collection after noticing that the clothing donations that Smart Works — a charity that supports unemployed women trying to find work — receives weren’t suitable for the workforce. This is compounded by the fact that researchers from the Royal Statistical Society have found that women still face a “massive” gender bias in the UK workforce.
While conceptualising the collection, a crucial component for Markle was the convenience of clothes. She notes, “We have key pieces and we can mix and match and really maximise what you have, we all know that, in your closet, right? You have certain pieces that you can take from four items of clothing and suddenly you have 10 outfits.”
This is why it is essential for women to have a practical wardrobe that will boost their confidence when going to job interviews. And wearing a classic outfit for that occasion can do a world of good for any woman applying for a job, especially in male-dominated fields. Woman Within’s perfect button down shirt highlights the importance of combining both coverage and comfort in professional attire. After all, being comfortable can help people exude confidence. On that note, this trouser suit from Arket is another great example of relaxed yet refined workwear.
Fans of Markle and of fashion in general will be delighted to know that for every item that is sold, an identical one will be donated to Smart Works. In a speech during the launch, Markle told the press, “Community is going through your closet and saying, ‘This is the blazer I wore when I nailed my first job interview and got my dream job… But if I’m able to share that blazer and be part of another woman’s success story, then that’s community.'”