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I manifested a lookalike of Meghan Markle’s wedding guest dress & the one I found is a steal

Meghan Markle's Toile de Jouy Oscar de la Renta dress has always lived rent-free in my mind

7 hours ago

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Carla Challis
Commerce Partnerships Editor
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I’m forever shopping online, both personally and professionally, and I almost dropped my laptop when I stumbled across River Island’s new white and blue floral shirt dress. I’ve been dreaming of a lookalike of Meghan Markle’s Oscar de la Renta dress, with its Wedgewood inspired pattern, ever since she wore it to a wedding in 2018 and alas reader, River Island has provided the goods. 

Meghan’s wedding guest dress has been pinned on my own occasion wear inspiration board for years. Wearing it to the wedding of Prince Harry’s cousin, Celia McCorquodale, her designer gown retailed for £4,800 and sold out promptly after the royal wore it. Ever since then, I’ve been searching high and low for my own, affordable version. 

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at the wedding of Celia McCorquodale
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at the wedding of Celia McCorquodale in 2018

Meghan’s worn many stunning dresses, that’s true, but I loved Meghan’s Oscar de la Renta dress for the timeless print, the long sleeves and the transeasonal appeal it had. She looked so fresh walking among the suits at a British church, looking smart but not stiff, even with a cream fascinator atop her loose, undone bun. 

I saw myself wearing it to christenings, weddings, the races and even to the office with cream knee high boots and River Island’s shirt dress ticks off all the things I love about Meghan’s floral dress.

While Meghan’s has a wrap neckline, River Island’s £40 / $74 dress has a collar with a neckline that can be a low-V or buttoned up. I adore the Obi-style belt, for cinching in the waist and adding definition, but you could easily remove it and wear it as a column shirt dress too. What elevates the River Island dress to Meghan-material is, well, the material; the high street version mirrors the mum-of-twos, in a flowy fabric rather than stiff cotton or poplin. Not forgetting its non-typical floral print.  

Yes, it’s floral, but not twee or chintzy, more cool and breezy. The design, echoing the 18th Century French pattern Toile de Jouy, lends a vintage-feel to the dress, a stylish juxtaposition to the more modern cut of the midi shirt dress. Available in sizes 6-18, there’s also a Petite version (shorter length) and a Plus version (sizes 20-26). 

Toile de Jouy print dresses on the high street; All Saints, Abercrombie & John Lewis
Toile de Jouy print dresses on the high street from All Saints, Abercrombie & John Lewis (L-R)

Along with River Island, the high street has leaned into the Toile de Jouy vibe for spring and summer. Search for ‘blue and white floral dresses’ and you’ll find hundreds. The All Saints shirt dress is a close call to Meghan's; Abercrombie’s Poplin Puff Sleeve Midi Dress has a shirred bust and milkmaid silhouette that’s great for summer days both casual and smart; and Yumi’s wrap dress is a popular choice on John Lewis.

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