All eyes have been on Meghan Markle this year as she becomes accustomed to her new royal life, and she’s been exceeding our expectations every step of the way. Each time the Duchess of Sussex steps out with Prince Harry, she gives us a major case of outfit envy by sporting the loveliest dress and most versatile heels. Though Meghan’s ensembles have ranged from floral dresses to black pantsuits, we’re already seeing the newlywed develop a signature style, and it all boils down to bateau necklines.
Bateau is the fancy French word for “boat,” and it’s used to describe wide, high necklines that cut straight across the top along the collarbone without plunging. The silhouette is flattering, modest, and downright regal, aka the perfect fit for a duchess. Meghan has worn boat-neck dresses for multiple occasions this year, including Prince Louis’s christening, her visit to Ireland, and, most notably, her wedding day, when she wowed us by slipping into an understated yet gorgeous Givenchy gown that showed the subtlest bit of shoulder.
Considering the power of the so-called “Meghan Markle effect,” we would hardly be surprised if there’s an uptick in the popularity of boat-neck dresses as Meghan continues to wear them. Ahead, take a chronological look at all the times the former Suits star has put her bateau obsession on display this year – so far.