Meghan in Black Halo’s Renowned Jackie O Dress for Evening Reception

Meghan chose a dress by Black Halo for a Women’s Empowerment reception this evening.

The event was part of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings in London. It was held at the Royal Aeronautical Society. Richard Palmer of The Express shared this video of the duo arriving.

The reception was hosted by Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary. Guests represented organizations working for global gender equality; many of the charities and other entities in attendance focus on achieving equality through girls’ education. Organizations at the reception included the Malala Fund, the Code Camp, along with Plan International and the Varkey Foundation. In this video from Victoria Murphy of The Daily Mirror you see Meghan and Harry  speaking with guests.

More about tonight’s reception from Simon Perry’s People story:

They met representatives from charities and organizations that work to promote global gender equality through girls’ education, including the Malala Fund, Plan International, the Varkey Foundation and Code Camp. KP ‘Platform for Girls Education’, is an integrated campaign between the , and . Tonight connects a group of 12 influential figures from across the Commonwealth, who will drive forward the political momentum on girls’ education.

We move now to our look at what Meghan wore for the reception.

She was in a frock by Black Halo called the Jackie O Belted Dress. Black Halo was founded in 2002 by Laurel Berman, who remains as designer and creative director. The dress is a key element in Black Halo collections and it has quite a reputation. More from a 2013 Wall Street Journal story:

When Laurel Berman’s blouse wouldn’t stay tucked into her high-waisted pencil skirt, the fashion designer fixed the problem by stitching the two together. Several tweaks later, the “Jackie O” dress was born.

The Jackie O has since been worn by Tyra Banks, Scarlett Johansson, Kim Kardashian, Kelly Ripa and many other celebrities whose wardrobes inspire women to shop.

The dress is a blend of polyester, rayon and spandex and it is fully lined. The sheath-style piece has a high-waisted top with a draped asymmetrical neckline. (I digitally lightened this photo to better show the detail on the bodice.)

And from Black Halo’s Laurel Berman: 

The Jackie O Dress made her debut in our Fall 2006 collection. The dress was an instant hit! “Jackie” could be worn to work, cocktails and dinner afterwards! From everyday working women to Hollywood celebrities, everyone loved the flattering fit. My design philosophy has always been to make women feel 2” taller and 5lbs thinner when slipping into a Black Halo dress.

In her piece for The Telegraph Olivia Buxton Smith wrote about the high temps in London.

If yesterday’s weather provided Duchess-to-be Meghan Markle with a sartorial challenge, then today’s rising mercury levels saw this challenge made greater still. How does a royal-in-the-making look polished and appropriate in temperatures reaching 28 degrees celsius? 

…Markle has opted for a black midi dress by affordable American brand Black Halo, taking a comparable approach to yesterday’s spin on heatwave dressing by way of a simple, mid-length dress (a wise choice given that minimal fuss generally means maximum comfort).

Below you see the Jackie O in red and blue, as well as in black with the longer sleeves

Meghan carried a clutch by Gucci.

The bag is called the Dionysus Velvet Mini Bag. It’s name comes from the “textured tiger head spur closure – a unique detail referencing the Greek god Dionysus, who in myth is said to have crossed the river Tigris on a tiger sent to him by Zeus.” The bag measures 6.5″ x 4″ by 1.5″ and has a removable chain shoulder strap. It is available at Saks ($830).

We saw Meghan in a new pair of shoes this evening. The Aquazzura Milano Cut Out Suede pumps feature a pointed toe, wraparound ties at the ankle, and a 4″ stiletto heel. The style is available at Net-a-Porter ($750) and at Aquazzura ($750).

Meghan wore earrings we’d not seen previously, another pair by Birks. The style is called the Plaisirs De Birks Diamond Swirl earrings. They are made in 18K white gold and retail at $1595 CAD, about $1260 USD and £900 at today’s exchange rates.

Meghan wore her hair up tonight.

Our thanks to Michelle of Perth’s Fashion, the gang at UFO No More and Laura for their terrific ID skills.

We’ll leave you with this image of Meghan and Harry, it is almost good enough for a caption contest.


Also today, news that both Meghan and Harry are both included in Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people of 2018.    The essay about Meghan was written by friend and actress Priyanka Chopra.

TIME, Inc. (Click photo to visit site)

Prince Harry’s profile was written by Sir Elton John.

TIME Inc. (click photo to visit site)

A reminder we will be here to cover Saturday’s engagements!



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  1. Can’t believe i missed this look the first time around she looks amazing from head to toe and i can fully get behind THIS messy up-do.

  2. Meghan oozes glamour and still looks like someone you’d want to hang out with. Such a winning combination and I think her clothing styles reflect this.

    Fantastic look from head to toe. I love her variations on ‘black heels’ – strappy with buckles yesterday and ribbon-y ties here. Such feminine details!

    Agreeing with Susan that this is not a messy bun. It’s her hair up, but not a formal and stiff updo. There is a happy medium and I think she’s wearing it.

  3. Loves the heels and stylish frock. Another stunning winner. Clean simple lines with a bit of pizazz on the foot.

  4. This is the perfect look for this occasion, and I love it! In fact, I purchased the dress – it will arrive next week. I like the twists on this little black dress. I also seriously debated buying the shoes. This seems like an outfit that could be worn well to many different occasions. The wisps of Meghan’s hair also go well with the ties on the shoes. A very well-executed look!

  5. I LOVED Meghan’s LBD look right down to the accessories! The shoes are fab – I only wish I could wear 4-inch heels, well, I can, however, it’s just that I’m always walking on hills, uneven surfaces, etc. I can wear platforms. As a matter of fact I own the Stuart Weitzman Corkswoon and Minx shoes that Kate has worn. I love them and they are really comfortable! Particularly the Minx.
    I believe what throws off Meghan’s shoes looking like they may not fit quite right (I’ve often wondered this actually) is that her feet may be two different sizes just slightly. I have this same issue – most everyone does. I can also vouch for ankle strap shoes with the back not fitting right up against my heel because my foot slides forward. I can’t go down a size as the shoe would be too small. I have narrow feet – and I wear a 6.5! I just wanted to throw that out there as food for thought.
    The “MaryJane” look of her shoes on Thursday were super stylish, cute and I felt they complimented the pinstriped dress well. Can we talk about the jacket for a minute? I NEED THAT JACKET! If you ladies saw the top rack of my closet… all jackets, so my closet doesn’t really need it, lol, but I really want it. I see gold on black or navy and my hand automatically reaches around for my wallet. (My wallet runs off screaming!)
    I did order the Oroton bag – I’m happy to support a company such as Oroton. Super excited to get the bag and do a review on it for all of you. I also received another bag recently from another Australian brand, Sancia. I am wondering if we might see Meghan carry one of their bags during the tour later in the year. Their bags are very much “Meghan”. 🙂
    I have not figured out the ID of the bracelets yet worn on Wednesday. I have a few ideas and a few suggestions have been made.
    The Jackie ‘O dress looks so comfy and flattering as well, I was tempted to get one, however I don’t have anything coming up to wear it for. I’ve seen the dress before and have always admired it. The classic LBD never goes out of style. I may grab one at some point as this is their signature line.
    I loved the Aquazzura shoes more so than the Tamara Mellon. I have been eyeing a pair for myself, not these, but another pair. They make fabulous shoes!
    Gucci has been creating these really funky designs in the past few seasons – nature/space/snakes. The Dionysus design is representational of the Greek mythology. It may not be the most attractive of clasps on a bag, but with the jeweled crystals it’s much more beautiful than the one without the crystals. Personally, I’d take this over the McQueen skulls any day!
    If you haven’t seen the latest Gucci runway show from the recent Fashion Weeks in February, I suggest checking it out. A lot of 80’s influences in the designs coming off the runways from some of the designers. The show itself however, was a big of a head-tilt – or head in hand in the case of one model.
    For those that noticed Meghan holding the bag in a rather “display model” way, we were chatting about how it seemed as if she was saying “Ok girls, here’s the bag so you can get a good look for IDing purposes!” – She was actually switching the bag from her right to left hand as she was about to start introductions and shaking hands. It’s all in the timing of those amazing photographers. 🙂
    I would like to wrap up and say, I didn’t think her hair looked like a “messy bun” for the reception. IMO, her hair was just “up” – in a twist or however. The two falling pieces, framing her face – loved that. If she went all super sleek, hair slicked with product, it would’ve been as if she were walking into a “red carpet” event which this was not.
    I do a messy up-do most days as I have very fine/thin hair. It’s what works for me. I have wisps that fall, it is what it is and I don’t worry about it. Everyone has their own way of doing their hair that works best for them. Kate has had her share of messy looks and fly-aways, the loose pony-tail look (which was not my favorite) and when she had it really long after having George – as I recall, it was just as long as Meghan’s. I think she’s fine – she is blending in with those around her and keeping it a more relaxed comfortable feeling for all. If a hair is out of place, looks a bit tousled, “messy bun”, it just is – I don’t think it takes away from the fact that this a strong, confident, intelligent woman who really wants to make a difference and help others. This is how I see it.
    Looking forward to the outfit(s) for Saturday evening and Monday! – SAC

  6. This is just beautiful, Meghan at her best! Flattering, a little quirky, and completely appropriate. Love the whole look!

  7. I love Meghan’s earrings and couldn’t help but notice how she wore them differently in each ear. It’s interesting how it gives the earrings a different look. If it wasn’t for the messy bun, I’d have thought this was her one thing undone.

  8. I think Megan looks gorgeous. I really don’t like her hair in a messy bun but tonight I’m going to ignore it because I totally love her outfit!!!

  9. Hooray! I think Meghan nailed it. She looks beautiful and has maintained her unique sense of style. I’m drooling over those shoes…

  10. Channelling Jackie O at a women’s empowerment engagement is just cool – another woman who reinvented herself several times over and in more than one country. Nice touch.

    The dress is a home run, perfect fit, cut and length. I really appreciate having the highlight version of the fascinating neckline which I’m slowly working out has both gathered fabric as well as little cap sleeves which are attached separately. It’s been fun seeing the dress in other colours elsewhere which also help out with the tailoring details.

    I see Meghan has her hair styled as shown in studio shots but I’m tempted to wonder when/if she will decide to go for an all-over smooth updo one day. This is her smoothest yet I think, so maybe she’s exploring product options without going the full hairnet like Kate.

    I was interested to see that she tucked one of the strands behind her ears which made it all look that bit more glamorous. I also think that this whole look bears resemblance to the grey Ilincic sheath Kate has worn a couple of times, so Meghan has helped make the Black Halo LBD distinctive to herself by having her side hair strands loose.

    The shoes are sensational and completely appropriate to cocktail hour. Meghan’s long slim feet I think enable her to cope with vertiginous heels that lesser mortals like myself shy away from. My only small quibble is I’m not fond of the tie backs as it’s more straggly elements on top of the loose hair.

    The clutch is to die for. Gucci already, and we’re not even up the aisle yet. Meghan’s sophistication with leading fashion houses really shows and she’s looking ever more confidently royal with every outing. I’m beginning to believe she can make it.

  11. Fantastic look. She looks very good in black. Yesterday (for amusement of course), I emailed several colleagues in my office that Meghan Markle’s outfit got an A+ in my book today. We comment regularly on her style choices. What fun.

  12. PS I also like the look on that woman who is shaking hands with her–that deep blue dress with flutter sleeves and the chunky gold necklace. She is holding her own beside the gorgeous Meghan.

  13. I mean, this is great. It’s incredibly safe, but in an uber-elegant, classy way. Basically exactly what a member of the Royal Family should be doing. And I love that she’s still showing her personality with the shoes and her modern, understated jewelry.

    I can’t believe people are complaining about her shoes, today or yesterday. They are objectively divine, and boy howdy, does she have the beautiful, slim feet and ankles to pull them off. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen anyone look better in a pair of sky-high stilettos.

    I haven’t necessarily been a fan of the messy bun, but here it looks intentional, and I like it a lot with the dress. She looks just beautiful, head to toe.

    • Jessica–
      I’m the “complainer” about her shoes.
      It has nothing to do with the height of the heel, or the stiletto style, per se. It’s too many straps, ties, buckles, fuss, on top of the height and the stilettos.
      We’ll just have to agree to disagree, since when it comes to fashion, nothing is “objectively divine.”

      • Well, agree to disagree, indeed. I find the shoes today and yesterday to have very simple, elegant designs, with just a touch of detail to add distinction: the tied ankle strap today and the double buckle yesterday. There are insanely elaborate, overdone, deliberately provocative shoe designs out there–these are not among them.

        You seem to have gotten your feathers ruffled a little over my defense of Meghan’s shoes, though I took care to say only positive things. You might think about that the next time you are tempted to use words like “cheap,” “classless,” “horrendous,” and “streetwalker” in your critiques.

  14. She looks elegant and chic and understated in a lovely way.
    Until you get to the shoes. I dislike this pair as much as the pair she wore yesterday.
    No matter who designed them, or how much they cost, or how “edgy” they’re supposed to be. They also have a tendency to look as if they don’t quite fit properly, something I noticed in their joint engagement announcement, when I thought her shoes were horrendous, and especially yesterday’s shoes. If this continues, I’m going to start missing Kate’s wedges, which I disliked very much.
    Oh, loved her hair.

  15. Meghan looks great. I love a simple, elegant dress with a few well chosen accessories (love those shoes) and I think her hair being slightly undone makes her look young and approachable rather than stuffy. Beautiful earrings to match her engagement ring too. This is a very good look. I do think this style dress could be worn during the day too and look suitable for many occasions (unlike the stripey horror from the other day).

    I have to say, London is very hot at the moment – 30 degrees C – which is only amplified by being in a busy city so top marks for looking cool and collected too.

  16. 100% on board with the messy bun here, and the wavy strands framing her face, even when tucked behind her ears. This works, no question. I like the dress, though it seems more bunchy than folded, almost as if the bodice is a smidge too long for her torso. Still, I really like the contrast of the asymmetry and folds up top with the minimalist lines of the skirt – this looks very stylish. I have to avert my gaze from the hideous Gucci closure on the clutch, however, and ignore the appearance in some of the photos as if she’s modeling the clutch a la Vanna White (including the close up photo here). I adore the longer-sleeved version of the dress w en more than the sleeveless!

  17. An understated, elegant look. I do think the hair could be a bit more tamed, but it is better than we’ve sometimes seen on Meghan. I like her dress, shoes, purse and earrings.
    FYI: I am in Britain, soon returning home to Canada. It is not a heatwave in the UK, just lovely Spring weather.

  18. Meghan hit it out of the park! I agree with Rachel. This is her best look yet. Interesting that these shoes are so similar to the Tamara Mellon’s that Meghan wore yesterday. I prefer those as I think the double strap with the buckles creates a cleaner simpler look but these Aquazzura pumps are beautiful too. Well done!

  19. Beautiful! It reminds me a little of Catherine’s Roksanda Ilincic dress with a similar neckline. Perfect choice for this event.

  20. Wow, wow, wow, this is my favorite look to date! I love how she can take a basic piece such as an LBD and make it amazing simply with her charisma and panache! I recall reading that she subscribes to the French style of having one thing slightly “undone” or not perfect and tonight her hair was perfectly “undone”!

  21. Meghan absolutely knocked it out of the park with this look, it’s perfection from head to toe. I’ve always loved the Jackie O dress, so elegant and timeless, and it fits her beautifully. The clutch is sleek and easy to manage while mingling, and I like the added interest with the bow detail on the shoes (if I were to nitpick, I’d say I like the way they’re tied on the model better). I think this is by far her best look yet, such a pleasure to see!

    • I too like how the straps cross on the models ankles but having a pair of similar shoes I can tell you that the straps frequently slide down no matter how carefully they’re tied, very frustrating for those of us looking for that cute crossed over look. 🙂

  22. I love this look on her. I also love that her jewelry is really minimalist. Classy style for a classy lady. And the photo at the end is just adorable.

  23. Beautiful look. And London heat is nothing to a gal used to Calif heat. She looked radiant. Just wish she could gently suggest to Harry that his brown brogues don’t work with every suit.

    • Well, tan, brown or cordovan shoes are considered to work better with navy suits than black shoes. A black suit would probably be too formal in this setting. I doubt Harry wants to be more formally dressed than the other men at the event.
      I think he prefers tan because it doesn’t clash with his hair. My red haired relatives prefer tan/brown shoes for that reason.

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