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Fashion brands loved and worn by royals over years

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Fashion brands loved and worn by royals over years

Royals have long been the fashion icons but over the years their looks have reached the pinnacle of style and grace, causing quite a stir.

Some of the looks even made history and their extravagant hats, head-turning looks at the events and effortless coordination of statement accessories with the overall outfit leaving us in awe.

Royals love their fashion brands and stick to the ones that amalgamate tradition and practicality. From Queen Elizabeth II to Queen Rania and Meghan Markle, here are some of the designers and fashion brands that make the most iconic outfits for royals.

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II has been a constant fashion icon with her era-defining outfits. Today, the monarch loves her custom colourful ensembles by designer Angela Kelly to stand out in the crowd. She is always pairing them with her signature black Launer handbags and Anello & Davide loafers.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge

The Duchess is known for her elegant style. Be it gorgeous midi dresses, classic work attires or preppy casual outfits, she carries everything with grace. She has long been an ardent lover of Alexander McQueen dresses but she loves her Zara and H&M pieces as well. She is also famous for recycling her outfits and repeating her favourite coats and dresses among others. Here are some of her iconic fashion moments where she is not anything less than flawless.

Duchess of Cambridge in Alexander McQueen outfits.

Apart from the designer labels, she loves wearing Zara outfits.

Here are some of her other go-to brands for casual outfits.

Another favourite of Catherine is the London-based brand Catherine Walker & Co.

Fashion brands royals
(Left) Wearing a blue dress during the Royal Train Tour in Edinburgh, 2020; (Right) Looking stunning in a Catherine Walker light blue coat dress. (Image credit: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge/Instagram)

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex

Meghan Markle has ushered in a new wave of modernity with chic street style and is not afraid of dressing up in bold colours. She loves her navies, greens and reds, though green is reportedly her favourite amongst all. She dons everything effortlessly making her one of the most stylish royals. Let us take a look at some of her favourite fashion brands.

Meghan has been wearing the Canadian knitwear brand Line the Label for years amongst other A-listers.

Fashion brands royals
(Left) She wore Line the Label trench coat to Invictus Games in September 2017 (Image credit: Geoff Robins/AFP); (Right) Meghan announced her engagement to Prince Harry wearing a Line the Label white trench coat. (Image credit: Sussex Royal/ Instagram)

Meghan made headlines when she wore an emerald green custom dress by the British designer which reportedly cost US$ 2,000 and paired the look with nude Manolo Blahnik pumps.

Fashion brands royal
Wearing an emerald green Emilia Wickstead cape dress paired with a matching hat. (Image credit: Tolga Akmen/AFP)

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall

The Duchess of Cornwall has evolved her signature fashion style from exquisite lace outfits to custom suits with bright colours paired with Chanel pumps and pearls. Hats are one of her signature accessories that always matching her outfits.

Though she has many favourite fashion brands, she loves her custom-made suit sets from ace London designer Anna Valentine.

Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan

Queen Rania’s royal wardrobe has all the designer numbers from leading fashion houses including Valentino, Michael Kors and Elie Saab. Her public fashion looks lean towards diplomatic and conservative codes yet classy and sophisticated at the same time.

She is a lover of trench coats and long-flowy dresses. Here are some of her favourites.

Princess Mary of Denmark

The Aussie-turned-Danish royal has long been known as a style muse and just like the Duchess of Cambridge, she shares the same love for designer brands like Alexander McQueen and midi skirt as well as dresses.

Fashion brands royals
(Left) In 2017, she stunned in a black Alexander McQueen dress to join Japan’s Crown Prince Naruhito at a concert of traditional Japanese music in Copenhagen. (Image credit: Martin Sylvest/Scanpix Denmark /Scanpix /AFP); (Right) On her Royal Tour to France in 2019, she looked chic in an Alexander McQueen tweed midi skirt with a white knit top. (Image credit: Ludovic Marin /Pool /AFP)

Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana, Thailand

Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana of Thailand is an emerging style icon known for her eclectic style and designer wardrobe comprising pieces from luxe brands like Chanel, Balmain, Dior and Thai couturier such as Tirapan.

She has also been a cover girl for Vogue Thailand, Prestige and Harper’s Bazaar. She is a designer herself under the SIRIVANNAVARI label.

Prince harry

Prince Harry has demonstrated classic royal style with military gear, classic suits and top-hat for a touch of sophistication. He has a penchant for elegant and unconventional suit colours and he has served some of his best fashion moments alongside her wife Meghan Markle.

Prince Harry has managed to look crisp yet incredibly cool with custom-made Gives & Hawkes suits who also dressed Prince Charles, George VI, George V and Prince Williams.

fashion brands royals
(Left) Prince Harry sporting a blue custom suit by Gives & Hawkes suit; (Right) Looking sharp in a blue suit at the annual Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey. (Image credit: Sussex Royal/ Instagram)

Princess Madeleine of Sweden

Princess Madeleine is all about neutral ensembles and classy, figure-flattering silhouettes. She has been wowing the fans with her off-white, beige and summery outfits setting her own fashion statements.

Princess Eugenie

Princess Eugenie loves her floral prints and flowy silhouettes to complement her fashion-forward style. She has been spotted wearing Erdem floral dresses with matching headbands. And she is also a proud outfit repeater.

Princess Beatrice

Princess Beatrice’s show-stopping style includes everything from Chanel pumps to Angela Kelly suit sets, royal gowns and head-turning hats. She loves her floral outfits and matching headgears. Here are some of her favourite fashion brands for florals and more.

Hero and Featured Image credits: (L-R) Martin Sylvest/Scanpix Denmark /Scanpix /AFP; Tolga Akmen/ AFP; Duke and Duchess of Cambridge/Instagram

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The truth about fast fashion: can you tell how ethical your clothing is by its price?

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What is the true cost of a Zara hoodie? In April 2019, David Hachfeld of the Swiss NGO Public Eye, along with a team of researchers and the Clean Clothes Campaign, attempted to find out. They chose to analyse a black, oversized top from Zara’s flagship Join Life sustainability line, which was printed with lyrics made famous by Aretha Franklin: “R-E-S-P-E-C-T: find out what it means to me”. It was an apt choice, because the idea was to work out whether any respect had been paid to the workers involved in the garment’s production, and how much of the hoodie’s average retail price, €26.66 (£22.70), went into their pockets.

This was no simple assignment. It took several people six months, involved badgering Zara’s parent company, Inditex, over email, slowly getting limited information in return, and interviewing dozens of sources on the ground in Izmir, Turkey, where the garment was made. The researchers analysed financial results and trading data, and consulted with experts in pricing and production. It was, Hachfeld says on the phone, with dry understatement, “quite a huge project”.

Their research suggested that the biggest chunk of the hoodie’s retail price – an estimated €10.26 – went back into Zara, to cover retail space and staff wages. The next biggest slice, after VAT at €4.44, was profit for Inditex/Zara, at €4.20. Their research suggested that the textile factory in Izmir received just €1.53 for cutting the material, sewing, packing and attaching the labels, with €1.10 of that being paid to the garment workers for the 30-minute job of putting the hoodie together. The report concluded that workers could not have received anything like a living wage, which the Clean Clothes Campaign defined, at the time the report was released, as a gross hourly wage of €6.19.

When the research was covered by the media at the time, Zara said the report was “based on erroneous premises and inaccurate reporting”, that the €7.76 sourcing price was wrong and that the workers were “paid more than the amounts mentioned in Public Eye’s report”. But at the time and when I contacted Zara for this article, the company declined to set out in greater detail where the research was inaccurate.

Workers in a small garment factory in Istanbul
Workers in a small garment factory in Istanbul. Photograph: NurPhoto/Getty Images

What is clear is that trying to find out the true production cost of a garment is a tortuous and potentially fruitless process – even when assessing a major high street retailer’s flagship “sustainability” line.

Hachfeld points out that Zara is by no means uniquely opaque. It is doing more than many clothing brands and has long-term commitments in place to work towards living wages. “They are launching initiatives and consultations with trade unions. But the question remains: when will they deliver on it?” he says. Vanishingly few retailers guarantee living wages across their vast, complex supply chains. According to the not-for-profit group Fashion Revolution, only two of the world’s 250 largest fashion brands (OVS and Patagonia) disclose how many of their workers are paid a living wage – despite the kind of resources that make billionaires of founders. Forbes estimates that Zara’s founder, Amancio Ortega, is worth $77bn (£55bn) and that H&M’s founder, Stefan Persson, is worth $21.3bn; the Sunday Times puts the wealth of Boohoo’s co-founder, Mahmud Kamani, at £1.4bn.

Throughout fashion, the numbers just don’t add up. High-street clothing has been getting cheaper and cheaper for decades. A major reason why, according to Gordon Renouf, the CEO of the fashion ethics comparison app Good on You, is that so many western brands have “moved from onshore production 40 years ago to larger offshore production”. Often, the countries they have chosen have “much lower wage costs, weaker labour movements and laxer environmental regulations”. Of course, we know all this, but we have also become accustomed to reaping the benefits. Our perception of what clothing should cost – and how much of it we need – has shifted.

In 1970, for example, the average British household spent 7% of its annual income on clothing. This had fallen to 5.9% by 2020. Even though we are spending less proportionally, we tend to own more clothes. According to the UN, the average consumer buys 60% more pieces of clothing – with half the lifespan – than they did 15 years ago. Meanwhile, fashion is getting cheaper: super-fast brands such as Shein (which sells tie-dye crop tops for £1.49) and Alibaba (vest tops for $2.20), have boomed online, making high-street brands look slow-moving and expensive by comparison.

But the correlation between price and ethics is knotty, to say the least. The conversation about sustainable fashion tends to be dominated by expensive designer brands: at Stella McCartney, for example, a wool-cotton jumper costs £925; at Another Tomorrow, each $520 sustainable viscose carbon-offset scarf neck blouse features a QR code in the label that outlines every stage of its “provenance journey”.

On the high street, many who proudly opt out of shopping at Primark or Boohoo for ethical reasons may be unaware that most reassuringly mid-priced brands don’t guarantee workers living wages or produce clothing without using environmentally harmful materials. A garment’s price is often more about aspiration and customer expectation than the cost of production. Hachfeld points out that the Zara hoodie was priced higher in Switzerland (CHF 45.90; €39.57), where Zara is positioned as a mid-range brand, than in Spain (€25.95), where it is perceived as more mainstream and affordable.

Another Tomorrow scar-neck blouse.
‘Provenance journey’ … Another Tomorrow scarf neck blouse.

Online, debates about the price of clothing can get heated. The sustainable-fashion writer Aja Barber, for example, uses the phrase “exploitation prices” to refer to very cheap clothes, such as the 8p bikini offered by the Boohoo brand Pretty Little Thing last autumn. “Either the company or the garment worker is taking the hit, and most likely it’s not the company, because that wouldn’t be a profitable business model,” she says.

Barber has a personal threshold in mind when she buys an item. “Any time a dress is under £50, you really need to break down the labour on it,” she says. “Think about what you get paid hourly – think, could a person make this dress in three hours?” She doesn’t base this calculation on local wages in the global south, either, which are so much lower “because of years of colonialism and oppression”. She buys new clothes infrequently and tries to avoid polyester, which is made with fossil fuels and generally used in garments to make them cheaper.

Barber gets annoyed by the accusations of snobbery that ripple through social media when anyone criticises super-cheap brands. Largely, she says, these comments come from middle-class people “who want to participate in the system and not feel bad about it”. In her view, fast fashion is propped up not by those with very low disposable incomes, but by middle-class overconsumption.

The only way to tell if a garment has been ethically produced is by combing through the details on the manufacturer’s website (although many brands give little or no information) and checking out its rating on Good on You, which compares fashion brands on the basis of their impact on the planet, people and animals. Even among brands that have launched with sustainability as their USP, greenwashing is rife. Renouf warns against those that talk vaguely about being “natural” and “fair”, or bang on about recycled packaging, without giving details about, say, the materials they use or whether they engage with unions in their factories.

For the fashion retailer Sam Mabley, the idea that fashion can be ethical only if it is expensive is a myth. Mabley runs a sustainable fashion store in Bristol; he thought it was a shame that he was selling so many ethical T-shirts at around the £30 price point. Usually, he says, such T-shirts are created in small batches, by “cool indie brands who do printed designs – a lot of the work is in the design”. He decided to invert that business model, ramping up the scale in order to get bigger discounts from suppliers and creating plain, organic cotton, ethically produced Ts in black and white for £7.99. With just a month of social media promotion, he secured 4,000 orders.

A model wears a Yes Friends T-shirt by Sam Mabley
‘Buying power’ … a Yes Friends T-shirt by Sam Mabley.

He believes it would be fairly easy for fast-fashion brands to use their buying power to “drive change for millions of workers around the world” and guarantee their factories paid living wages, without drastically affecting their margins. He is not alone in this view: Jenny Hulme, the head of buying at the sustainable fashion mainstay People Tree, believes ethical production is necessary and possible in every part of the market. “If you order in big volumes, it does reduce price – if a company really wants to improve, it can,” she says.

The reality of high-street clothes shopping is still very far from this ideal. Apart from a few “sustainable” lines produced by the big fast-fashion brands – which I am loath to recommend, because of so many accusations of greenwashing – it is almost impossible to find new, ethical clothing at rock-bottom prices, because the business models that have enabled clothing to get this cheap rely on inexpensive, environmentally damaging fabrics and very low wages.

That may leave anyone wanting to dress ethically on a high-street purse feeling out of options, although Renouf points out that buying better is possible at every budget. That is why, he says, Good on You aims to “provide ratings for as many brands as possible, rather than simply promoting the most sustainable brands”. You could, for example, move from an ultra-rapid fashion brand to a more engaged high-street fast-fashion brand, which might not cost much more, but still could constitute progress.

Buying fewer, but better-quality, items might save you money overall and is the most consistent advice you will hear from fashion campaigners. “Buy the best quality that you can afford, perhaps in end-of-season sales or by buying a thick jumper in the middle of summer to wear the next winter,” says Hulme.

Stepping out of the trend cycle, and avoiding brands that trade on planned obsolescence, is another avenue to explore. For example, Patrick Grant, a judge on the BBC’s The Great British Sewing Bee, explains that his Community Clothing brand aims to give shoppers more bang for their buck by stocking basics rather than continually designing new collections (it also does without retail space and marketing). Working to slimmer margins means he can invest in good fabric, but keep prices fairly low: his £49 hoodies are made from 470g 100% loopback cotton, a thicker, more durable fabric than you might find for a similar price on the high street.

A blazer from ethical brand Lora Gene
A blazer from the ethical brand Lora Gene. Photograph: Lora Gene

For those who can afford mid-high street prices, researching small, sustainable brands might glean results. A quick look at the Zara website today shows silk dresses selling for as much as £199, with plenty of others at £49.99, while H&M-owned &OtherStories sells blazers for about £120; Barber points out that at these prices, shoppers could switch to ethical brands including Lora Gene, for which she has designed a collection, and Ninety Percent. (There is a dress I like the look of for £64 in the Ninety Percent sale; a mustard Lora Gene blazer is £139.)

If those prices are out of reach, swapping clothes, shopping secondhand, repairing and rethinking what you already have, and occasionally renting for special occasions can all be cheaper – even free – alternatives.

Voting with your wallet will only go so far, however, and won’t be possible for many people who are struggling, as the number of people in poverty in the UK soars to 15 million. Questioning the magical thinking of rock-bottom prices is not about blaming the consumer. Instead, you could write to MPs and CEOs and demand that they do something about living wages and the environmental cost of fashion. The responsibility lies with brands, and with the government, which should be held to account for a broken system.

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9 Amazon Fashion Brands You Need to Be Shopping

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9 Amazon Fashion Brands You Need to Be Shopping

You’re already well-acquainted with Amazon as your shopping preference for everything from household products to books, tech accessories to groceries. But since 2017 one of the world’s largest retail marketplaces has made a pointed effort to expand past their traditional stock. In less than four years, Amazon has introduced dozens of in-house fashion brands, making their mark on the style world in the process. (And with free speedy shipping on most Amazon Prime items, there’s never been an easier way to do a spot of last-minute shopping).

We’ve gathered the nine standout Amazon fashion brands you need to know below. Whether you’re looking to refresh your underwear drawer, update your closet with some trend-focused finds, or simply add a few wardrobe essentials, the mega-retailer is literally your one-stop destination.

Core 10

What it is: High-quality workout-wear with tons of amazing reviews

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If you’re looking for affordable activewear that performs just as well as brands three times the price, Core 10 is your answer (it comes in extended sizing as well). Sports bras, leggings, shorts, hoodies, and more—it’s got all your workout needs covered.

Highlights include a ’90s-fantastic collaboration with Reebok launched earlier this summer and a “Build your own” legging option. Shoppers can customize their perfect pair with three lengths and three waistband styles, resulting in one shopper saying that they’re the “best leggings [she’s] tried. Hands down.”

Wild Meadow

What it is: Basics with a ’90s feel that all cost less than $30

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Launched this spring, Wild Meadow brings that easy-breezy youthful ’90s vibe and all styles are offered up to a size XXL. The best part? Not a single item costs more than $30, which means you should stock up—ASAP.

In the market for a tie-dye cami dress? A tie-front cropped tee? Still hunting for that perfect slip dress that will take you from day to night with a simple shoe swap? Wild Meadow has you covered with all that and more.

Amazon Essentials

What it is: Non-basic basics that are budget-friendly

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The Amazon Essentials brand includes food, household items—and wardrobe basics. Essentials, yes, but they’re anything but boring. Expect to find everything from floral t-shirt dresses to cozy fleeces, yoga leggings to bathing suits.

It’s affordable—prices are pretty much all under $50, with most under $25—and available in plus sizes. An important-to-know factor that makes this label stand out is how many maternity options there are, should you be in the market. In short, you can curate your entire wardrobe virtually no matter your size, budget, or stage of life.

Goodthreads

What it is: Trend-driven closet essentials

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Goodthreads started as a menswear-only Amazon brand but quickly expanded into the womenswear market. This line has a lot of wardrobe essentials, like button-down shirts, chinos, and sundresses, but they’re a bit more fashion-focused than some of Amazon’s other basics go-tos (like Amazon Essentials).

Here, you’ll find cinched-waist midi dresses, tops with subtly ruffled sleeves, and colorfully striped button-downs. The biggest draw, though, is the denim, which is sold in six different silhouettes, showcasing an impressive number of length and wash options. The size range for Goodthreads is XS-XXL on most pieces.

There is

What it is: Everyday underwear and lingerie, plus great swim options

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Amazon’s own lingerie brand offers everything from underwire bras to slinky slips and lace-trimmed thongs. If you’re looking for underwear or sleepwear of any kind, this is your brand.

For casual everyday wear, Mae offers cotton briefs and bras, lacy bralettes, and future go-to t-shirt bras to name a few. If you’re looking for more of a special lingerie moment, consider their wide selection of sexy, flirty sets and separates. The brand has expanded into swim, shapewear, and pajamas, too.

Daily Ritual

What it is: Comfortable basics that go up to 7X

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Daily Ritual is your go-to for comfortable options that look presentable enough for stepping out with friends or running errands. The brand is known for its selection of casual essentials that are anything but basic, and most items are made of a super soft cotton jersey or fleece.

There’s a bit of everything, including puffer jackets for when temps get chilly, but the majority of the pieces focus on classic cotton tees, joggers, and the like. An impressive amount is offered in plus sizes up to 7X, providing real universal appeal. For the shopper who loves to dress simply, stay comfortable, and look put-together, this is the Amazon fashion brand for you.

The Drop

What it is: Limited-edition collections co-created with some of today’s biggest social stars

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Built on the concept of curated, limited-edition capsule collections that are only promised to be available for a quick 30 hours, The Drop is Amazon’s most coveted line. Each collab is designed and curated by a rotating list of bloggers and influencers uniquely catering to their individual style at affordable prices—it’s either pieces they want for their own wardrobe or have developed a signature look around.

Past influencers to participate include Charlotte Groeneveld of The Fashion Guitar, Leonie Hanne of Ohh Couture, Quigley Goode of Officially Quigley, and more. Depending on the influencer, The Drop could include everything from wrap dresses to faux leather pants; teddy bear shearling coats or shackets. You have 30 hours to order originally, but some styles (like the below) make a reappearance.

Cable Stitch

What it is: Classic knitwear silhouettes, updated

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The name literally says it all: Cable Stitch is the Amazon brand to go to if you love a good knitwear moment. Cardigans, pullovers, dresses…you name it. The range will appeal to minimalists and maximalists alike, with classic solid colors and brightly colored stripes in the mix.

When Amazon creates an entire line centered around knitwear, you know they’re going to go big or go home. You can shop an array of the more unconventional knits that are trending (like side-slit midis and puff-sleeve pullovers) as well as basics. Most pieces retail between $20 and $60, though some outliers will exist from season to season.

The Fix

What it is: Stand-out shoes and bags that can upgrade everything in your closet

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Accessory obsessed? You need to know about The Fix. Specializing in the little pieces that make or break a look, this is your shop for all the trendiest footwear and handbags you’ve been coveting since you first saw them explode on the street style scene.

At The Fix, you can shop heels, flats, sandals, and sneakers in a range of head-turning styles. There are certainly no basics here, with every style boasting at least one special detail that makes them stand out from the rest. Whether that’s an ankle strap or chunky heels covered in velvet, special details let you transform your look by swapping in a new accessory.

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The 7 Fall 2021 Colors You’re About to See Everywhere

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The 7 Fall 2021 Colors You're About to See Everywhere
fall colors

Courtesy / Susanna Hayward

While editors and fashion enthusiasts are poring over the next ready-to-wear and accessory must-haves, we’re also taking note of Fall’s emerging color trends. As in autumn seasons past, there was a noticeable shift in 2021 to traditionally warmer tones, like clay and army green. Brighter colors, like fuchsia and silver, were also notable color combos. Keep on scrolling to discover what shades we’re forecasting for fall, and get ahead of the game by shopping out our favorite hues right now.


Indigo Child

This distinctive blue tone sauntered down the catwalk in dresses, puffers, and of course denim. The color is said to promote higher levels of concentration, too.

indigo

Tod’s, Salvatore Ferragamo, Schiaparelli

Courtesy / Susanna Hayward


(Army) Green with Envy

Everyday staples are elevated in an army green hue. The shade was reimagined in patent leather jackets, mini dresses, and cool tie-dye prints.

army green

Versace, Balmain, Sportmax

Courtesy / Susanna Hayward


Play with Clay

Warm up your autumn wardrobe with fuzzy bombers, sweater dresses, and overcoats that can be mixed-and-matched with your existing brown accessories.

clay

Zimmermann, Victor Glemaud, Acne Studios

Courtesy / Susanna Hayward


Seeing Red

This maximalist primary color can adapt to minimalist wardrobe collections. Incorporate red into your classically tailored suits or swap your LBD for a slinky red version.

red

Antonio Marras, Adam Lippes, Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello

Courtesy / Susanna Hayward


Fun with Fuchsia

Invigorate any piece with a bold fuchsia color palette. Tone down the ultra bright hue with neutrals in camel, grey, or ivory.

pink

Chanel, Gucci, Stella McCartney

Courtesy / Susanna Hayward


Lean into Lilac

Move over pastel pink. Lilac is taking over the scene in the form of bodycon dresses, outerwear, and serene head-to-toe suiting.

lilac

Jil Sander, Salvatore Ferragamo, Givenchy

Courtesy / Susanna Hayward


Silver Linings

No need to save your silver for special occasions. Parade the invigorating color on everyday staples like pleated skirts, blazers and cable knits.

silver

Balmain, Louis Vuitton, ROKH

Courtesy / Susanna Hayward

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