The first look at Duchess Meghan’s Smart Works collection is coming through!


Julia Stiles at arrivals for HUSTLERS Pr...

I literally had a nightmare a few nights ago that the Duchess of Sussex’s SmartWorks collection was a disaster and that everyone was yelling at her for being out of touch. It’s such a specific nightmare, right? In my nightmare, Meghan had designed a bunch of trendy hipster sh-t that would only work on women who were tall and thin. Thankfully, it doesn’t look like my nightmare is going to become a reality. The first pieces from Meghan’s collection look versatile in every sense – trousers which are flattering on many body types, a slouchy dress which can be accessorized many different ways, a blazer which will go with anything, a simple, professional blouse. I’m breathing a huge sigh of relief!!

The actual launch is happening in another hour or two, and I don’t know when we’ll get photos and a really good look at the collection Meghan designed. Emily Andrews tweeted that the location of the launch has been embargoed, and that when Meghan arrives, she’ll make a speech, take part in a SmartWorks panel discussion and meet “clients & reps who will take her through a woman’s journey.” Here are two pieces of the collection which are already on sale online:

That dress is sort of cute? The bag is just a nice, plain-looking work purse, which is fine. I have no idea why my subconscious was so concerned about this launch. Unlike other members of the royal family, Meghan waits until she’s gotten everything locked down and finished and she actually puts a lot of time and effort into getting it right. The Hubb Community cookbook. British Vogue guest-editorship. And now a clothing line which will hugely benefit her patronage.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex at the US Open Tennis

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Spotlight on: Smart Works We are proud to be supporting a very special initiative this autumn for @SmartWorksCharity! After quiet visits to Smartworks over the last year, The Duchess was moved by the impactful work being done by this non profit organisation that helps women into the workforce, equipping them with both the skills and clothes they need to feel job-ready. Throughout her visits she noticed that while the donations were plentiful, they were also notably a combination of mismatched items and colours which weren’t always the right stylistic choices or sizes that didn’t necessarily “suit” the job at hand: to make a woman feel confident and inspired as she walked into her job interview. As a result, launching this autumn, The Duchess will be supporting a collective to help equip the women of Smart Works with the key workwear essentials they need as they enter into the workplace. This initiative is supported by four generous brands who share the vision to empower the women of Smart Works to look and feel 💯 as they bravely venture in to what can often be a daunting environment for those who have been out of the job market. The brands have come together to work towards this united force for good, “[reframing] the idea of charity as community,” as The Duchess writes in a piece for this month’s British Vogue. They will follow the 1:1 model where an item from the collection purchased is an item shared with a woman of Smart Works because “not only does this allow us to be part of each other’s story; it reminds us we are in it together.” For more information on how you can be part of another woman’s success story visit @smartworkscharity. Special thanks to: @JohnLewisandPartners, @MarksandSpencer, @MishaNonoo, @InsideJigsaw for supporting this very special organisation. And to find out more, read the September issue of @BritishVogue and stay tuned for more exciting updates this autumn. Photo©️SussexRoyal

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Photos courtesy of the Evening Standard, Instagram, Backgrid and Avalon Red.

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190 Responses to “The first look at Duchess Meghan’s Smart Works collection is coming through!”

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  1. Nev says:

    Yayyyy Duchess!!!
    Twirl on dem haters!!!

  2. Rogue says:

    The tote bag is already sold out online in both colours.

  3. lily says:

    Prediction Time: I think she is going to write a children’s book in the next year or so and the proceedings will go to Mayhew, her animal patronage.

  4. Pixelated says:

    It’s cute…basic but that’s the point. It’s a great cause.
    My only sarcastic remark is that I don’t know if the items are made ethically, like not in sweatshops or with recycled materials? That extra bonus would’ve made this even more progressive.

    • Enn says:

      I’ve been shifting my attitude towards fast fashion over the past year or so, and am making a conscious effort to either not purchase things or purchase pre-owned/consignment items. I make an exception for quality, ethically produced lines like ABLE and Amour Vert.

      I think this is a great initiative, truly, but I’m also looking at it through that particular lens that I’ve been using for myself for a while now and feel conflicted.

      • Snappyfish says:

        @Enn take a look at Everlane. They are great and the quality is superb

      • Enn says:

        Thanks Snappyfish, I’ll check them out!

      • Erin says:

        Enn, I’m with you. I have been trying to eliminate fast fashion from my wardrobe, mostly due to polyester pollution. I try to avoid synthetic fabrics, and mostly thrift my clothes. I checked out the composition of a couple of piece and am disappointed by the polyester.

    • Rhys says:

      I just read an article on the way fast fashion is affecting our plant. It’s horrendous. The clothing from this collection already looks like anything you can buy (on sale) at the GAP or Old Navy. Why create a whole new clothing line and a whole new pile of clothes, when all of these dark pants and white shirts already exist and can be used? This whole “we are doing something positive with this” is clueless. There are plenty of more urgent cases and ways to help people. Making clothes in today’s world is such a consumerist’s thinking.

      • Taneesha says:

        Oh here we go again, crapping on and dissing everything Meghan, I just can’t. How many gardens has Kate Middleton created just this year alone?? 🙄🙄

      • Rhys says:

        Oh, yes, now that you brought it. Great point, @Taneesha! Gardens is a great initiative to be involved with. Helping to plant green instead of growing piles of clothes is actually helpful.

      • DD says:

        So I think your comment is great. Instead of producing more goods, why not employ personal assistants to shop with the women and find quality budget or thrift clothing already in circulation?

      • MsIam says:

        @Rhys way to show compassion to these women who are struggling to restart their lives. “Go buy something at the GAP or Old Navy”. Typical. If they could buy stuff they would not be working with this charity to build a wardrobe. And having something new when you are stepping out into an unforgiving world is priceless in terms of building confidence. I have nothing against thrift stores by the way. But the reason why people donate to thrift stores is because the buy new stuff to replace it. These purchases have the added benefit of helping women get ahead.

      • Maria says:

        So apparently with this collection Meghan is helping to destroy the planet. Please.

      • Jaded says:

        These women are trying to get jobs Rhys. They don’t have the money to buy anything but food, pay rent and utilities. They get FREE, professional-looking outfits that help them start a new life and get out of the cycle of poverty. It must be nice for you never to have to worry how you’re going to pay the bills while sh*tting all over those who struggle.

      • Powermoonchrystal says:

        Oh. Go troll away somewhere else. Making personal choices to go green is great. Crapping on an initative that is already using an established supply chain and raw materials that the company was going to use anyways is trolling by nitpiking.

      • Megan says:

        Fast fashion is a major environmental issue, but this is a tiny collection compared to the mass manufacturing of celebrity banded clothes that line the racks of discount retailers. Let’s throw the shade where it belongs.

      • In a perfect world, your solution would make sense. In your vision, every Smart Works donation would provide an ideal suit in the right size without tailoring for every client. But we aren’t in a perfect world. In this life, people do still buy new suits for job interviews. Also, the problem the collection is meant to resolve is to provide foundational wardrobe options for women looking to reenter the workforce. The best part? Hopefully the Smart Works clients will one day donate their capsule collection pieces to Smart Works to help another client.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      In the USA buying clothes at a resale shop if you are a size 0-10 is not a problem. I shop low, middle, high thrift and high-end consignment all the time. If you are a USA size 12-22 you are going to have some problems because the clothes for work are not out there in the thrift shops & consignment shops in these sizes.

      Per Meghan, one of the reason she did this capsule collection and joint venture with Jigsaw, John Lewis and M&S was do the size availability problem.

      @Rhys, to solve the sustainability problem of clothing we need to change the dictates of the employers as to how we are required to dress for work.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        Wrong Place

      • Jaded says:

        Same in Canada. I just bought a top Canadian designer formal dress at a consignment shop for an event and it only cost me $35 – it’s in perfect condition, I think it was probably worn once.

      • Nikki* says:

        Jaded, I have never paid $35 for a dress in my life, except my mother-of-the-bride dress. When we are saying these women don’t have money for nice clothes, we really mean they don’t have any extra money. Poor women are well acquainted with thrift shops, believe me.

      • Rhys says:

        @Baytampabay, agree with your last point. The problem is more than just adding to the garbage the rich countries don’t want, and the poor get destroyed by. Charity in the West is not about the common good, but about the profit. Making people think that they have to spend time and money on new clothes if they want to “fit in” and be successful (because success is all about looks, money and social status) is one of the jarring signs of just how backwards is the whole system.

    • MarcelMarcel says:

      So I thrift, save up for ethical clothing and also try to own what i need ie two boots and two jeans instead of ten jeans I won’t wear.

      HOWEVER when I was chronically unemployed I went to a charity like this. I was given a brand new outfits complete with comfortable, stylish shoes. (I think that stores donated end stock to that charity). I felt so much better going into an interview in new clothes. I only wore that outfit to interviews because I was scared of it getting torn or stained. I ended up with a job! (Thank the Goddess).

      I think fair trade & sustainably sourced clothing is important. There is no ethical consumption under capitalism though! In this particular circumstance I’m glad Meghan has a created a source of income for this charity. Especially one that can be repeated by her or another famous person releasing a different collection in a few years.

    • Shannon says:

      OMG this is some Elizabeth Gilbert shit right here. I have the answer for you: thrift shops. I’ll let you know when I get to the point where I’m able to worry about that. In the meantime, I will splurge on some pieces here because I love this cause and I have been there in the situation of being too broke to buy clothes for interviews. I hope to never be there again. Right now, I buy new clothes ONLY if there’s a related cause, as right here. Still employed.

  5. Millennial says:

    I would totally buy that bag. I’m sure the collection will sell out quickly. I wonder if there will be an incentive for the women to keep the items they are given? They will probably be able to sell them on eBay for quite the markup and buy even more work clothes.

  6. Becks1 says:

    Tote bag is sold out (109 seems reasonable to me for a nice quality work bag, I have seen some saying they think its pricey) and the dress is selling out too.

    The dress looks nice but I know my body and it would not work at all for me, but maybe with a belt? IDK. I wonder if they will re-stock things.

    But from this point, it looks like she went for classic pieces that can be accessorized to be trendier, which is exactly what I was expecting to see, so that’s great.

    • Becks1 says:

      Also, would love to see her wear something from the collection to the launch today!

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      For a decent quality leather bag £109 is a good price and is affordable, John Lewis’s own brand leather bags are a little bit more expensive.

    • Erinn says:

      I’m super impressed – this is what I was expecting from the collection. I also think the whole initiative is a really really great one.

      It also occurred to me that I used to shop at a store that I believe was Smart Set in the city. But I remember being REALLY disappointed when it closed down because they had some great work appropriate sweaters and things like that. They were never stuffy looking, but always looked really sharp and fit really well. And now that I’ve been reminded, I really miss it.

      • LNG says:

        Smart Set was a sister company to Reitmans. I’m not sure if the Smart Set brand completely folded in Canada or not – all of the stores I am aware of (I’m from NS too) are gone.

        I wondered earlier if the Smart Set involved in this initiative is the same company or just coincidentally has the same name. Meghan was a brand ambassador for Reitmans before she married Harry.

      • Amanduh says:

        Greetings from Ottawa…hope neither of you were too affected by Dorian. Positive vibes to you tough Maritimers!!
        It was in a Reitman’s commercial where I first noticed Meghan: I couldn’t get over how gorgeous the girl was, so I searched for her name and voila!!

      • LNG says:

        Thank you for the good vibes! It was a scary storm. We lost power for more than 2 days and had some minor property damage, but nothing too serious. We were very lucky. Downtown Halifax is a mess. My parents live about 90 minutes away and they still don’t have power almost 5 days later! I can’t even imagine what it was like in the Bahamas with Dorian as a category 5 sitting on top of them for almost 2 days.

        I loved Meghan’s Reitmans ads. I had never thought to shop there for work clothes (it had a very “old lady” reputation when I was a kid), but she does work wear so well that she changed my mind. I still pop in to have a look now and then.

    • fifee says:

      £109 for a leather bag of any sort is a decent price, never mind it being from John Lewis. If the straps were a wee bit longer and they still had it in stock, I would be buying it.

      • Evil Owl says:

        @Fifee: I totally agree. I frequently shop at John Lewis and this leather bag is slightly below their usual price point for similarly sized leather bags.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        Talking about price because we have been talking about it. The approximately $400.00 USA for the Jigsaw suit I would pay because this suit will be good for at least 10 years, The $138.00 USD for a leather tote I would spend because $138.00 USD it is a fair price for an all leather bag.

        However, I would not spend $175.00 USD for the white shirt to wear to work as I would have pen ink stains all over the cuffs and down the front in less than two weeks. LOL! LOL!

      • Jan says:

        @Bay, the shirt is $125 USD on the US Misha Nonoo site.

    • PrincessK says:

      Just went out and bought one of the Marks and Spencer dresses for my daughter, it looked really good on her. I checked my local Jigsaw for the other pieces but the delivery had not been unpacked. The tote bag looks good and since it’s soft leather is reasonably priced.

  7. Toot says:

    Love that Meghan works hard and you can actually see the results that will benefit people.

  8. Digital Unicorn says:

    I don’t know what people were expecting but the products so far look like they are designed to be classic, basic and easily reused for different occasions (smart, smart cas etc..) which will work well for the intended market. Esp if the clothes are designed to flatter all body types.

    Either way it will be a success and congrats to all involved esp SmartWorks!!!

  9. Peg says:

    Before Meghan get to Smart Works, most of the collection will be sold out.
    The tote bag is waitlisted.

  10. Bren says:

    The price of the tote bag is more than reasonable for the high level of use buyers will get out of it. When I used to work in the office, especially on days when I took public transportation, my tote bag was my everything and a good quality made one will go the distance.

  11. Allison says:

    Wow! She is amazing and never stops working!!

    • Pineapple says:

      Allison, yah, this is what I think also. She has a practical newborn. I know she has tons of help, but all the stuff she did while pregnant? I flat out could never. Just never. I truly admire her for her ideas and work ethic.

  12. Beli says:

    This is a really good initiative. If this is a success, maybe it can be repeated! And it looks like it will be a success – The tote is already sold out online and the dress seems to be selling quickly!

    Does anyone know whether the blazer’s available yet? I need a new one and it’s for a good cause!

    • bamaborn says:

      Managed to get the shift dress and blouse to be delivered here in the states. So far, pantsuit being sold in UK and European countries. Will keep checking though.

  13. Snap Happy says:

    In the description of the dress they quote her saying, “not a handout, a hand held.” This woman is killing it. If they want to put the fight rumors to rest with the Cambridge’s, Kate should wear a piece of the collection to her next event. That would show some major support.

    • Becks1 says:

      I was thinking that re: Kate. Her wearing a dress or the trousers from this collection would be a great way for her to show support for Meghan and this initiative.

    • Janey says:

      She is killing it and I’m so happy! This is what they should be doing, getting involved in an appropriate way and helping, helping, helping others not just themselves (Andrew).
      I doubt Kate would do any such thing but it would be a nice thought. They are separate now so I suppose from Kate’s POV she doesn’t need to have anything to do with it. And of course Meghan didn’t visit her garden!!!!

      • BayTampaBay says:

        Bill Normal would not want Kate involved with a project like this.

        Normal Bill would not want Meghan at Cathy’s garden launch.

        The real killer photo-op and project support would be if Rose Hanbury Cholmondeley bought one of the Smart Works dresses and was photographed in at an EACH event.

      • Becks1 says:

        Edited – I misunderstood your comment at first @Bay.

        I agree that I don’t think William would want Kate to be involved with one of Meghan’s projects like this, but like many of his ideas, that’s a misstep IMO.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        @Becks1, Almost everything Normal Bill Normal does (which is very little) is a misstep.

        Cathy could do this without stealing any spotlight from Meghan. Cathy would not have to be directly involved as in showing up at the launch party, she could just buy one of the dresses and be photographed in it.

    • Pineapple says:

      OOOOOh Snap Happy what an amazing idea. The women supporting each other. That would be fantastic … man, I would LOVE to see that. Are you in PR Snap Happy? Cuz, you should be!!

    • Jaded says:

      @Snap Happy – great idea, in fact Cathy should be actively promoting this amongst her friends (if she has any left after TurnipToffgate).

  14. LW says:

    It looks good so far and great price points! Looking forward to the whole thing!

  15. Evil Owl says:

    I just did a double take at the picture of the shift dress as it looked exactly like a red dress I had seen while browsing the M&S website a few weeks ago. Went back to verify, you can see there are reviews from buyers dated 18th August. What is going on? Was there a pre-launch? Or did Meghan borrow a design that already existed in the M&S collection?

    • Taneesha says:

      This is my understanding: they create a capsule collection, ,it doesn’t necessarily mean every single item was newly made. I don’t know what some people’s expectations are but I never expected new designs etc, Meghan is not a fashion designer. She collaborated with these organizations to create a capsule collection, of course in that they’ll include some clothes and bags already in their stores but sold at discount prices to benefit this charity, no? It’s a win win for everyone, they sell their Stoke and donate an outfit from their stock, non?

    • BeanieBean says:

      I just saw a dress like that on a woman on TV, only in bright pink. There’s a reason things are basics and classics.

  16. JanetFerber says:

    Great to see her doing good works, looking great doing it. Love her in the jeans dress. Wonderful woman and role model.

  17. Jb says:

    $134 for a leather tote sounds reasonable to y’all? Where do you guys shop and what exactly is your budget? I’ve bought bags for under $60 that lasted years. I guess I’m more of a frugal shopper than I thought…

    • BayTampaBay says:

      $134.00 USD is lower than John Lewis normal full price non-sale retail on this type of bag.

      I have bought tote bags for $60.00 that lasted years and I have bought tote bags for $200.00 that tote up in 6 months. You never know.

      • Le4Frimaire says:

        That price is not bad for a good leather bag. At my office I see people toting around Goyard and Luis Vuitton bags?! And I work in a fairly casual work environment. Price wise, it’s doable for a professional or a splurge. Everything is under $150. It conveys that this is an investment piece, not a throwaway garment, which is a good thing.I so want that Jigsaw blazer.Also, lots of retail shops are struggling so this is good for these brands business. Great initiative and good way for Meghan to get back to work. She looked really good and happy she wore pants.

    • gingersnaps says:

      It’s for charity, I recently bought a rucksack for £80 which is made of recycled pet bottles so £109 for a leather tote where one will also be donated to charity is a win.

    • lawyergal says:

      Nothing wrong with being a frugal shopper, but a lot of us who work long hours easily spend hundreds if not thousands on quality work bags. I think there’s definitely a market for this. I mean if people are throwing money away on Kylie lipkits like crazy…

    • Carol says:

      I still remember the day I saw a Dooney & Bourke bag and thought it was so cute I might be willing to spend up to $50 on it. Then I turned over the price tag and started laughing after I gasped so loudly a salesclerk asked if I needed help. From that photo I cannot tell if these clothes would look good in different sizes, but they are certainly pretty. I guess I don’t quite know the point of all this, though: she talked about how donations give people mismatched clothes not suitable for interviews. So is this collection supposed to be affordable (in which case the bag is too expensive), or is it for everyone but proceeds are donated to the cause?

      • BayTampaBay says:

        If you buy an item from the capsule collection, the point-of-purchase retailer donates an identical item to Smart Works in what ever size Smart Works requests. The donated items are then given as needed free-of-charge to the Smart Works participants.

      • Becks1 says:

        what Bay said.

        Meghan noticed that SmartWorks had a great deal of clothes, but if you were trying to build a wardrobe or get an interview outfit with some basic, classic pieces, you would have trouble finding it there. Which makes sense – when I donate clothes, I’m not giving away my nice classic black pants, bc I will wear them for 5 years (and then by the time I donate them, they probably don’t make it to the rack bc they are so worn out.) So with this, women can find those classics, that are of nice quality, and then go from there. The companies will donate new clothes to charity for every item that is purchased while this is going on (which is part of the reason why its temporary, its not meant to be the companies do this forever.)

      • Carol says:

        Thanks, Baytampabay! That is the part I was missing. The clothes work perfectly for all parties involved, then.

        I appreciate how personally involved Meghan gets with her charities and with the people involved with and benefitting from those organizations. She doesn’t just cut ribbons; you know she has talked with and listened to everyone to figure out a novel way to approach the problem at hand.

  18. Loretta says:

    The dress and the bag are already sold out! I can’t wait to see all the collection.

  19. DD says:

    If you buy the bag, they donate a bag to a woman in need? Is this how it works? Because $138 is more than I have ever paid for a handbag.

    • Becks1 says:

      @DD – they donate it to SmartWorks, I think, not to a specific woman, and then women who go to SmartWorks could select it and I think gets to keep it, to help give her some good foundational pieces for a work wardrobe. I think that’s how its going to work. That bag is meant to hold a CV, so great for interviews.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      @DD, This is a tote bag not a handbag. This bag is designed to be carried every day to hold ones laptop, lunch. purse, work files and etc…etc…

      I have a zillion handbags so I can match to each outfit. I would put my handbag into this tote and make my way to work. I rarely spend more than $50.00 for my handbags as I do not need a work horse as my tote bag is the work horse. However, women who like very large purses could you this as a shoulder bag.

      • Becks1 says:

        Also, this is a nice size bc you can probably fit shoes in it. So if you commute to work via public transportation, you can wear practical shoes for that and switch into something more work-appropriate at the office.

    • lawyergal says:

      I understand if you personally haven’t bought a bag for $140 (we all decide what it is we value, and I totally respect not spending that much on a bag), but let’s not kid ourselves that a ton of people don’t regularly spend around $500 – thousands on a similar bag. I personally have never purchased a regular-use bag for work for less than $140. It’s VERY cheap for what it is.

    • MeghanNotMarkle says:

      I’ve never paid that much, either, but I’m saving up for this bag. It’s a classic piece that can hold any number of things a woman might need for interviewing and work. I carry my handbag, lunch, Blender Bottle, and snacks to work every day. If it’s a day when I have class, then I add my laptop and books to the load. If I were smart I would’ve already bought a tote like this instead of lugging it all in hand every morning.

      I can see myself carrying this for years, unlike most handbags I buy that last at most two seasons before I move on. And the purchase is for a good cause, so I’m all in. If you don’t feel like it would be a good purchase for you, then that’s totally a-ok. :)

  20. Cidy says:

    These are really cute items! I love that work bag, it looks study which is nice. I have to carry around a laptop and I want something big like that to carry my mini laptop and tiny little port lol

  21. AprilMay says:

    Meghan didnt design any of the pieces of the collection, they are all existing pieces that the companies were selling. She just looked through their catalogues and picked a couple of pieces, no design necessary.

    Personally i think she should have gone for cheaper things. 3 out of the 4 pieces revealed are over £100. The only piece left to be revelaed is the shirt by Misha- if its the one many are expecting based on her site its closing in on £200 before shipping costs. I know this for a good cause (one which i would love to support) but it is far to expensive. And the whole release of it seems very sloppy too. Not the usual precision we see with the Sussex launches.

    • Evil Owl says:

      @AprilMay: you’re right. It doesn’t look like Meghan personally designed the pieces in this collection. As I mentioned upthread, M&S was already selling the shift dress a month ago at least. Meghan probably just picked out some existing pieces and added her name to drive sales.

      • DD says:

        It is not being marketed that way though…it certainly is being billed though as if Meghan designed these pieces

      • Lady D says:

        No it’s not. Where/how are you picking up that assumption?

      • MsIam says:

        I don’t think she said she designed the pieces, she designed the collection. I interpret that to mean that people came to her with clothes and she said yes, I want that in it or no, I don’t. That is how it works with all these celebrity collections for the most part. Unless they have training in design, most are not sitting at a sketch pad drawing away.

    • Bren says:

      Stop nitpicking. The price range may not be in your budget but it won’t stop women who can afford the moderately priced pieces from buying and supporting the cause. The collection is far from designer brand pricing. I think it’s great that the women at Smartworks will have access to choose pieces they like from the collection.

      • Evil Owl says:

        Sure, not taking away from the initiative which I think is really impactful. Why claim that the DoS personally designed the pieces though? It doesn’t make sense when it’s easy to see that some of the items were already existing in the M&S collection way before the launch.

      • wisdomheaven says:

        Meghan nor SmartWorks ever claimed Meghan was designing anything. They have always been clear about it being a capsule wardrobe Meghan helped compile from stock at these places.

        The MEDIA is the one who, per usual, ran with headlines that were not representative of what Sussex Royal or Smart Works said.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      I thought the Smart Works dress was £19 BPS which would be about $23.50 USD.

      I also thought is was stated that Nonoo was helping Meghan with design.

      ETA: £199 for a blazer is spot on price point for Jigsaw.

  22. Oh No says:

    I’m not sure why people are complaining about price. It’s moderately priced when compared to similar items around that price point.

    When I cant afford something, I can still just acknowledge that it’s nice or a nice gesture and keep it pushing.

    • Hope says:

      One of the weirdest criticisms of the Vogue issue was complaining that someone who was not goodlooking should have been selected. Could you not be a force for change if you weren’t goodlooking.

      And it was like how did you look at that and assume those women were picked because they were pretty or someone was left out because they weren’t pretty. People were struggling for ways to feel excluded so they could reject the whole thing. It was mindboggling.

      The same here. They want to find a way to reduce what Meghan did. They can’t just let her shine because in some bizarre way, that takes something away from them. They want to feel left out because they don’t want to join in.

    • bamaborn says:

      What would this world be like without the complainers? It would have been so easy to say the pieces look practical for it’s intended purpose and move on. No, it’s “she didn’t design it”, “the cost is too much”, on and on. smh

      • BayTampaBay says:

        @bamaborn, we are just having a discussion about every aspect of Meghan’s success as if we were all together sipping tea and eating cucumber sandwiches while wearing Ascot hats or hanging out on my patio chugging wine and gorging on fine cheese with Italian crackers watching the sunset.

    • Moneypenny says:

      Seriously, from the complaints you’d think she paired up with Burberry and Givenchy or something.

  23. Pequitas says:

    I really really want everything to sell out immediately. The best answer to her critics is being flawless on the work front, and I believe this is such a great initiative for a great cause.

  24. Mego says:

    Kudos to the Duchess of Sussex and SmartWorks! 👏🏼💕

    • Giddy says:

      Absolutely! I’m so happy for her to have this super success because there have to be overwhelmingly bad days also. But, her personality seems to be that she just picks herself and charges again, making her own reality.

  25. Jessica says:

    The pieces are pricey for many people, especially in these uncertain economic times in the UK. John Lewis (and their sister supermarket, Waitrose) are great brands, but anyone who’s lived in the UK knows they primarily cater to solidly middle class people with disposable income. I also love M&S, but it’s on the pricier end for a high street chain. These are not budget stores. That said, the quality of their clothes and other products is markedly better than budget chains. I think the kind of person who avidly follows the royals and/or Meghan can generally afford to shop at these places, but the prices of these items are definitely out of reach for some. I think she partnered with the best brands possible for good quality stuff that’s not completely out of reach. Going further up or down market would have opened her up to different sets of criticisms.

    I am excited for this venture so I really hope she didn’t just pick some already existing items from their catalogues and put her name on them. A “capsule collection” tends to indicate new items specific to that collection.

    The idea for this is a good one and I do love that for every piece purchased, the same is donated. It’s a great way to actually help SmartWorks. This & the cookbook are great ways for Meghan to use her huge profile and star power to substantively aid her patronages and raise their profile.

    • Debbydoo says:

      I’ve commented below but it hasn’t shown up yet. The M&S dresses are really good value – £19.50 – which Google is showing equates to $23.96. I’ve paid similar for dresses in Primark (Penneys?) and Next. I’ll just have to see what the material is like as the material on M&S clothes is getting thinner and thinner now. I’ve got dresses from the early 90s that are in better condition then some of the stuff I’ve bought in the last two to three years.

      • Jessica says:

        I didn’t realize the dresses were so cheap. I was just looking at the comments where people were talking about the price for the handbag etc. In that case, you’re absolutely right and I stand corrected. The prices you’ve quoted are definitely closer to Primark or H&M prices, but with better quality I would expect.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        The suit (jacket & trousers) is more expensive than the dresses as it is Jigsaw. The complete suit retails for around a total of $400.00 USD including tax.

        I am almost 1005 sure that Jigsaw ships to the USA as they have stores in the USA.

  26. RoyalBlue says:

    Just like their wedding song ‘this little light of mine’ she is shining!!

  27. Sofia says:

    The bag and dress looks good! I understand criticisms but I feel people are just nitpicking because they want to find something wrong with the project. If the project itself isn’t to your taste just say that instead of trying to twist things and telling others that they need to not like the project just cause you don’t like it.

  28. Debbydoo says:

    I’ve bought the set of dresses from M&S for work – black, blue and pink (£58.50 for the three which is a bargain). Am picking them up tomorrow so will report back. Not sure if M&S deliver abroad but there were loads left on the site when I had a look. They go up to a size 24 (which I think is a size 20 in the US).

    As has already been mentioned the bag is out of stock.

    The shirt is £125 and goes up to a size 24 (US20). I’ve looked at the sizing and it’s a generous fit. Oh dear, my mouse finger slipped and I accidentally bought one… Bad Debbydoo!

    Just leaves the Jigsaw stuff which looks like they’ve just renamed a couple of existing items that are £199 each. Meh. Go up to size 16 UK (US 12).

  29. Godwina says:

    Yep, go ahead, monetize that fame!

    • Jan says:

      How is this even remotely monetizing her fame? Come on now.

    • Sofia says:

      Some of you are so bitter sometimes.

      She’s doing a nice thing for a patronage that is aiming to last a year in terms of donations (maybe more) but I suppose some of us don’t like having a duchess that actually works and cares for her patronage

    • Becks1 says:

      You realize she’s not profiting off this, right? This is actually exactly what a royal should be doing. She’s raising money for her charity and bringing attention to it.

    • joanne says:

      Please explain how working for a charity and bringing attention to it is monetizing her fame? i don’t understand how anyone could not support the good attention the Duchess of Sussex is bringing to this wonderful cause.

      • PrincessK says:

        DM people are claiming she makes too much noise about her activities. But why should charity be quiet, why shouldn’t it make a big impact?

    • BayTampaBay says:

      @Godwina, Monetizing Fame……is this not what the Prince of Wales did with his line of products called Duchy Originals which are high priced organic foodstuff carrying the Ducky of Cornwall Warrant to aid funding of The Prince’s Trust?

      • lanne says:

        it’s only merching when black duchesses do it, didn’t you know?

      • BayTampaBay says:

        @Ianne, I am so sick of all these accusation (all over the internet & tabloid media) accusing Meghan of “merching”. Some of the stories are so bizarre that one cannot believe a troll even took time to type them up and and hit the post button.

        Meghan is not perfect and she done some things that made me shake my head. However, “merching” is not one of them.

        If somebody has a receipt for Meghan’s “merching” please post. Otherwise, STFDASTFU.

      • lanne says:

        I’m sick of it, too! That’s why I made my sarcastic remark. I don’t know what merching is, either, other than an excuse to be nasty to Meghan

      • BayTampaBay says:

        @lanne,

        Merching:

        1.) I have a contract with a designer and get paid to wear their clothes to specific events. I may or may not be able to keep the clothes depending on terms of contract.

        2.) Designers give me free stuff (swag). I can wear it and/or sell it then pocket the money.

        3.) I do a capsule collection for a brand (bebe, M&S, TopShop…etc…etc.) and I receive a percent of the gross sales price from each item sold in my capsule collection.

        4.) My Father-in-laws pays for all my clothes. After I wear the designer outfit once, I sell my designer duds at a high-end consignment shop and I personally pocket all the money.

        Meghan is NOT merching.

      • lanne says:

        BTB I’m on your side! I KNOW she’s not merching! I thought the accusation was RIDICULOUS! I was pointing out that the only only RF family member who gets that accusation is Meghan! What I think is disgusting is the way that the haters will contort ANYTHING she does into something bad because they hate that she’s a duchess!

      • PrincessK says:

        Great post BayTampaBay

    • Jaded says:

      Yep, go ahead and help needy women get into the workplace.

      You are a bitter person if you can’t see the good in this.

    • Olenna says:

      Another ignorant hit-and-run jab at the Duchess of Success. Stay mad, Godwina. Stay mad.

  30. Bookie says:

    Go, Meghan!

  31. Americano says:

    Why should the items be cheaper? I don’t understand. Doesn’t that mean that the clothes being donated to Smart Works would be of lower quality, as well? Please correct me if I have it wrong. I haven’t really looked into this whole initiative that closely. I think it’s fine if some people can’t afford these pieces, but many people obviously can. So, let them but it all up since it’s for a good cause. I’m hardly a Meghan fan at all since I don’t really care for royals, in general, but the pricing critique is one that I just don’t understand.

    • M. says:

      Some people just enjoy nitpicking anything Meghan does. Not only is Meghan helping women and her Smart Works charity, but she’s also helping to stimulate the economy. A lot of those British brands have been suffering financially. I’m not a fan of the royals, but I will give credit where it’s due.

  32. bamaborn says:

    Looks like she’s wearing the trousers and blouse to the opening. You go, Duchess!!👏👏👏

  33. Rogue says:

    It’s never been said she designed it. She’s just done (a great) speech at the collections launch about how the collection came together& SmartWorks have posted on their social media about it too

    • Evil Owl says:

      But this very article claims that these are Meghan’s designs. Hence the dissonance

      • MsIam says:

        Again, @Evil Owl, you are misinterpreting what is said. She designed the collection, meaning she approved what is in it. People brought her things and she said yes or no. She may have said,”I like it with this collar or with those buttons”, etc. That is how it works with these collections. Here in the US, every celebrity and their mother has a collection, from Wendy Williams to JoJo Sewa to football players, etc. Their names are on everything but they are not the designers. But they still say, “it’s my collection”. And they are not doing it for charity but for the dollars.

    • Evil Owl says:

      @MSIAM: thanks for explaining without attacking, appreciate it. I agree, I misunderstood. I genuinely didn’t understand what designing the collection implied, hence the questions. DoS ‘curated’ the capsule collection would have been more aptly worded and could have allayed some of the confusion. Nomenclature aside, it’s still a great initiative, so props to her.

  34. kerwood says:

    I’m very proud of the Duchess of Sussex. From what i’ve seen these are basic clothes that can take a woman from work to a casual dinner.

    I’m LOVING the bag. I dont where people are getting good quality LEATHER totes for less than $200 but let me know because I need one.

    Good for the Duchess. Between the two of them, the Sussexes have managed to raise a lot of money for charity. You’re up next, Archie!

  35. MA says:

    Ten times better for half the praise.

    • lanne says:

      story of our lives as black women, right? And meanwhile someone’s praising Kate for taking a meeting for a project she’s shown exactly zero work on and saying, “these initiatives take time.” I get so sick of this sometimes! All of the nitpickers on here whining about the price, or the design isn’t something you’d like, or that YOU would have done something differently, and why didn’t she do what I would have done, remember this:

      She worked on this collection through a) having a baby b) dealing with the royal media egging on her nasty father, who released her pleas for privacy to the public c) dealing with the RRs bitching because she wouldn’t show them her dialated cervix while giving birth d) RRs complaining that money was spent on their new home to make it livable (upgrades to the writing and plumbing that WOULD HAVE HAPPENED ANYWAY) e) racist society snark magazines calling her by the same nicknames as the racists f) RRs complaining that they can’t inspect her child to see how black he is with calipers or whatever g) complaining that she used a private jet the way royals OFTEN do h)RRs ignoring a PEDOPHILE PRINCE to rag on her again and again and again and I can keep going but I won’t. And she STILL SHOWS UP AND KILLS IT!!! Give a Duchess some CREDIT already! Very few people could put up with everything she’s put up with (and I’m not talking about just the criticism, but the EXPLICIT desire that she FAIL) and keep going. Shame on the Royal Family for not giving her an ounce of public support.

    • ProfPlum says:

      What @MA said. All the WOC nod knowingly. The bar is so low for log benches and gardens.

  36. katriona m bowman says:

    “After quiet visits” – oh that is some delicious shade :-)

  37. OriginalLala says:

    The collection looks like good solid classics for work – Ì could use a new blazer lol

  38. Sarah says:

    Argh! I had the blue shift dress in my basket and as I was trying to check out it went out of stock. I have the black one in two sizes so I’ll see which fits best. Hopefully some blue ones will be returned.

  39. Petty Patty says:

    Fantastic job once again. Meghan, Charles and Harry are literally the only members of the BRF that are delivering consistent tangible benefits for their charities. All the others get paid good money to faff about with science fairs and other useless “events”. Thank goodness for Meghan. It’s ironic that it took an American to make the boring BRF relevant again. Lol.

    • zilin says:

      I see you haven’t done a lot of research in the royal charities…You do realize that the Prince’s Trust is one of the leading national youth charities in the UK, or Save the Children, an international children’s charity.

      • Londontown says:

        @zillin clearly you have done enough research to know that the Prince’s Trust is Charles’ charity. You’re just hating and nitpicking lol

    • Olenna says:

      @Petty Patty, ITA. Meghan has done a fantastic job in such a short time. People who are used to the status quo are really struggling with this and, in some cases, very angry and resentful. Oh, well. Keep on shining, DoS!
      @zilin, there must be a misunderstanding here. Not that it needed to be spelled out, but most people who follow the BRF know Charles founded The Prince’s Trust. He is clearly given credit for his charity work in Petty Patty’s comments.

      • Petty Patty says:

        Thanks Olenna. Yes of course I’m aware of Charles’ work with the Prince’s Trust which is why I mentioned him and Harry in my comment. The 3 of them seem to work on practical useful projects. Maybe some of the others like Cams do too, but if they do they need more publicity.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        Cams’ pet project is Osteoporosis awareness as her mother died of complications from this disease I think. Anne also does tons of work with Save the Children. IMHO, neither Anne or Cammie receive proper credit for all that they do.

  40. Sophie says:

    The trousers are dry-clean only. Unless you are an executive, dry cleaning is way too expensive for everyday work wear. I think they should have gone for machine-washable. Banana Republic has a line of machine-washable suiting now.

  41. zilin says:

    Having referred quite a few women to Smart Works, it’s the employability skills, confidence and barriers that need to be overcome…I’ve never heard of the outfits being the issue. Most of the women who have had to say no to a potential job/interview did so because they didn’t think they had the skills required, couldn’t afford childcare or didn’t have the confidence to appear at interview. This collection is a lovely gesture, truly…I just wish the first move with Smart Works had been something more substantial.

    • Lurkmode says:

      Maybe if they had a nice outfit, they would feel confident so they can get the job to pay for the childcare and education? Having a nice quality outfit visually puts these women on the same playing field as others.

    • MeghanNotMarkle says:

      What lurkmode said. A nice outfit can be a huge confidence booster. Especially when you know that someone bought the same thing just to ensure that you were able to have said nice outfit. I would feel like the Hulk if I had that kind of support.

  42. IlsaLund says:

    This was an excellent and well done project the DoS did in support of Smart Works. And haters still want to nitpick and find fault. It’s so tiresome. She can never be left alone and have one single accomplishment without haters finding some imaginary thing to hate on. Pathetic.

  43. Maple says:

    I wish they had made the bag vegan 🙁

    • Le4Frimaire says:

      Hopefully if the collection is a success they’ll do a repeat with a few more pieces or a canvas bag or nylon bag. Surprised her trench style dress wasn’t in the mix but again, early days and stay focused on the basics. I don’t know why I feel so invested in this, but feel so proud of her. She’s been through a huge adjustment the past year and definitely going through some hazing, to put it mildly. What a way to come back from maternity leave!

  44. Soupie says:

    I am a big fan of Meghan and support this charity but I have never spent the equivalent of BP109 on a work bag, even when I was working (I am retired). Still, there must be a way that financially compromised women can obtain these items, no? Would be interesting to know whether there are “scholarships” or other types of assistance to obtain these items.

  45. Dee Kay says:

    Just bought the dress!! Inexpensive ($37 including shipping) enough for me to make an impulse buy. Hope it looks good on me!!!!!!

  46. Lily says:

    I love the entire concept. Kudos to Duchess Meghan. I stan her work ethic!

  47. Isnotafanofanything says:

    So, In order to have a one-to-one reciprocation, you have just two weeks to buy the clothes? Why not all the time? I think the styles are basic and can be found almost anywhere. In order to make a significant contribution, make a program that lasts a little bit longer than two weeks.

    • Lubbylou says:

      And don’t pick plain white shirts that cost over £100 for women trying to get back into work! Not to mention over £100 for the bag. I know Meghan is a saint here but this collection is not very realistic

      Sorry that was meant for DG below

      • Janey says:

        I must say I agree Lubbylou, this is a fantastic initiative but that plain shirt is far too expensive. If I bought it, which I wouldn’t because I cannot justify that kind of cash on a shirt, it would end up filthy by the end of day with tea and food stains, mucky hand prints and dog hair. I might be more tempted if it were a darker colour, but honestly if I was after a white shirt I’d go to GAP or M&S, both of which would be perfectly fine for someone trying to get back into employment.
        Having said that, if I had masses of disposable income and could justify the money without blinking then I would buy it, simply to support the cause. I come from a white middle class British family but my priorities aren’t on over paying for clothes. £125 could get us a family day out somewhere. I’d sooner have memories of a great day than an expensive shirt.

  48. DG says:

    I’m sure it’s a great initiative but instead of making the public help out – and no issues with that – why can’t she put her money where her mouth is – and actually donate herself – she spent over half a million pounds last year on clothes – why not say I can dress equally well ( which I am sure she could) for quarter of a million pounds and give the balance herself. Practice what you preach?

    • Nobody says:

      DG
      1.She can donate her own money quietly
      -But then smartwork will not have the exposure that they wanted
      2.she and everyone else should donate old clothes and the receiver should be grateful
      -then you did not know it feel living on a donation, using clothes that no one want anymore

    • PrincessK says:

      How do you know that that she has not bought some of the clothes anonymously?

  49. Rogue says:

    How do you know she hasn’t donated money to SmartWorks? She has donated items herself as they said at her first visit when she was announced as patron. Prince Charles’ published expenditure for 2018 only showed something like £90,000 increase so not sure how that figure of what Meghan allegedly spent could be true.

    Interview coaching is part of the set up of SmartWorks already. In fact they said Meghan had helped some clients with interview coaching in her BTS visits. Obviously most of their service users wouldn’t want that done on camera so can see why that isn’t a public focus. SmartWorks have fashion sales and have a big one with Stella McCartney coming up so this fits nicely with their fashion focus. Will be interesting to see what else she does with them. She’s only been their patron since January. Was she expected to have solved everything since then?

    Yes they all deserve scrutiny as public figures but will be interesting to see the analysis next time a royal launches a project. I didn’t see anybody say Kate should open up her gardens to help local children get that outdoor play she says is important. William is patron of Centrepoint. When he slept on the street overnight years ago he wasnt accused of ‘virtue signalling’ & told he should give up one of his homes and house the homeless. He was rightly applauded for seeing what rough sleeping is like directly. Yet Meghan is asked to go above and beyond and her projects demand absolute perfection to get minimum plaudits. Very telling.

    • Pineapple says:

      Yes, I am curious about the people who find fault. When did they last launce an initiative to help countless numbers of other humans? Meghan is wonderful. Period. She is trying and doing substantial work. Period. There will be thrilled women with gorgeous work and interview clothes because of her. XO

    • MeghanNotMarkle says:

      Very well said.

  50. Gingerbee says:

    Job well done, Meghan.

  51. MeghanNotMarkle says:

    I have never paid $100 for a bag in my life (yeah, I’m cheap) but I’m saving up for this one in black. I can carry it for years and it’ll never go out of style.

  52. Bc says:

    Go Meghan! I love her. I do wonder what the Queen thinks though. On the one hand, the Suxxexes have brought with them the peoples favour onto the royals but they are effortlessly outshining the future Kings family, which cannot be allowed. Is it only a matter of time before she is called in and reprimanded? Or will the Queen choose the people over the crown?

    • MeghanNotMarkle says:

      I would hope that HM would welcome all the positive PR the BRF can get, but considering she’s still protecting Pedo Andy… Yeah, there’s a disconnect there. I don’t understand this family at all. If H&M have any sense they’ll break off from this outdated institution and continue doing their thing without having to worry about all the crazy sh*t the rest of the family gets up to.

  53. Molly says:

    It irks me when people complain about someone trying to make a difference for someone else. I think its a lovely idea. For the women to wear something that is new can increase their confidence. The point is, Meghan does things that makes a difference. In comparison Kate garden traveled all around London and did ZERO. The money used to uproot and plant Kate’s garden could have gone to feed children.