- It was recently estimated that Meghan Markle spent $US630,000 on her maternity wardrobe throughout her pregnancy.
- While many fans admire the duchess’ designer looks, not everyone can afford to dress like her.
- However, one fashion blogger, Sharon Joan, has found a way to dress just like Markle – apparently, all you need is Ebay and a little creative flare.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
There’s no denying that Meghan Markle has become a global style icon – even Vogue editor Anna Wintour called her fashion choices “inspiring.”
And it’s easy to see why. Her pregnancy wardrobe alone cost an estimated $US630,000 thanks to looks from designers like Gucci and Oscar de la Renta.
It’s unlikely the average person can afford Markle’s pricier pieces, but one creative fan, Sharon Joan, has found a way to replicate her outfits for a fraction of the price.
Joan, 37, started her Instagram account, @royallyinspired, to help other Markle and Kate Middleton fans find designer outfits worn by the duchesses, or at least close replicas.
Joan spoke to INSIDER about how to achieve “The Meghan Markle Effect” without breaking the bank.
This is Sharon Joan, the face behind the @royallyinspired Instagram account. By day, she works as a finance director in New York City. By night, she’s scouring the internet and department store sale racks for a royal fashion find…
… such as this $US790 Mackage coat, which Meghan Markle wore for her first ever royal walkabout with Prince Harry in Nottingham. While the coat originally retailed for $US790 at Bloomingdales, Joan got the same coat on sale for $US632.
“You need to be both patient and persistent in the pursuit of royal clothes,” Joan told INSIDER.
“Sometimes it can take years before you find the actual piece you want, but you shouldn’t give up hope.
“If there is something you want, don’t stop looking for it. Keep searching online, keep popping into stores, just keep your eyes open. Don’t forget to check for sales – sometimes super expensive designer pieces are dramatically discounted,” she added.
She says you should try online discount stores before even looking at the designer retailers. Joan got this $US297 Equipment sweater, worn by Markle during her visit to Morocco earlier this year, for just $US59.99 on Ebay.
“Given the proliferation of social media and all the images that are shared there, this is now harder and harder to come by.
“It happened to me recently, when Meghan wore a striped Equipment Femme sweater in Morocco. I found the exact one on Ebay for $US59.99, which was pretty exciting!”
The blogger also got her hands on this J Crew Field Jacket, another item Markle wore during her time in Morocco. The jacket costs $US198 from J Crew — but Joan found it second-hand from Poshmark for just $US60.
It’s been less than a year since she started her Instagram account, but already Joan has become a beloved member of the royal fashion community.
“I started @royallyinspired in September 2018. I already had an Instagram account, but it was a general fashion one, focusing on what I wore on a daily basis,” Joan told INSIDER.
“I have always been interested in fashion, and this was a fun outlet for me. However, since I had friends and some colleagues following me who don’t know about this hobby, I didn’t really want to use that account to focus on it,” she added.
“Through this experience, I have met so many wonderful women from all over the world who enjoy this hobby and it’s really fun to communicate with them when Kate or Meghan have an engagement or about specifics regarding finding a coveted item on Ebay. I am now in contact with some women almost daily and they have become good friends of mine.”
Already, she has become an expert at finding near replicas of Markle and Middleton’s most famous outfits, including this cream The Label coat that Markle wore for her engagement photo call with Prince Harry in 2017…
“Another trick is to try and re-create the look you like using similar, but lower priced items,” said Joan. “It’s actually fun to do this as it calls for some creativity and gives you a goal to aim for while shopping.”
… and this cream sweater, found at a consignment store in NYC. Kate Middleton wore the dress version of the See by Chloe design to a garden party back in 2017.
Middleton was recently spotted wearing this $US129 floral dress during her visit to the Chelsea Flower Show with her family.
Joan was one of the lucky few who got her hands on the & Other Stories design before it sold out online.
“If either duchess is wearing something you like from a high street store, you should buy it as quickly as you can,” Joan told INSIDER. “These items tend to be more affordable, and therefore sell out quickly, so speed is of the essence.
If a full outfit isn’t in your budget, Joan says Amazon is always a good option when trying to replicate the duchesses’ royal accessories.
“If you are interested in replicating but aren’t sure where to start or don’t want to invest a lot of money in it, there are a lot of good accessories you can find on Amazon,” she explained.
“Amazon has a large collection of jewellery that closely resembles royal pieces, and you can buy a fun pair of earrings or a Duchess of Cambridge-inspired engagement ring without investing a lot of money.”
She added that one good low-cost way to replicate royal style is with sunglasses.
“Kate has a pair of folding Ray Ban Wayfarers and Meghan recently sported a reasonably priced pair of Le Specs in NYC,” she added.
“If you enjoy royal watching and want to incorporate some of their glam into your life, there are ways to do it that are subtle and low cost.”
Joan feels inspired by dressing like “articulate and passionate” Markle on a regular basis. “Dressing like her reminds me that I too, can be strong and confident and stand up for what I believe in,” she told INSIDER.
Although Joan admits she started her Instagram blog as a “fun pastime,” the hobby has grown to be much more meaningful.
“I find Meghan’s example very compelling. Despite being a successful actress, she has also focused on social issues which matter to her and has tried to make a difference her whole life,” Joan said.
“As a person, she seems really strong, focused, and committed to the ideals she believes in. I love how confident and vocal she is about her beliefs and how she continues to prioritise girl’s and women’s issues, something she has supported long before she met Harry.”
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