By Linsy Hilton
Meghan Markle, The Duchess of Sussex, launched her workwear line “The Smart Set” on the 12th of September 2019. The capsule collection was created by the Duchess in collaboration with Smart Works, a UK charity supplying quality interview attire and interview skills training to long term unemployed and vulnerable women in need.
Smart Works is on a mission to arm women with the confidence to succeed at job interviews and ultimately change their lives, and the gorgeous Duchess of Sussex is just the lady to help them.
The Duchess has partnered with Britain’s major fashion designers and brands: John Lewis & Partners, Jigsaw, Marks & Spencer, and Misha Nonoo to produce a stunning workwear range with the clients of Smart Works in mind. For each item purchased from the collection, one will be donated to Smart Works to dress a woman needing support to enter the workplace.
The capsule collection was carefully put together by the Duchess and the brands’ designers, to produce the perfect workwear wardrobe for the corporate woman. The collection was designed with accessibility in mind, in a range of different prices, sizes, and colours so women of all demographics can enjoy the gorgeous line. At the Smart Set Capsule launch, the Duchess of Sussex said:
“Since moving to the UK, it has been deeply important to me to meet with communities and organisations on the ground doing meaningful work and to try to do whatever I can to help them amplify their impact. It was just last September that we launched the ‘Together’ cookbook with the women of the Hubb Kitchen in Grenfell. Now, one year later, I am excited to celebrate the launch of another initiative of women supporting women, and communities working together for the greater good. When you buy any item in the Smart Set Capsule Collection for Smart Works, the same item will be given to a Smart Works client, and with it, the confidence and support she needs to enter the workforce and take an important step in building a career. Thank you to the four brands who came together in supporting Smart Works on this special project – placing purpose over profit and community over competition. In convening several companies rather than one, we’ve demonstrated how we can work collectively to empower each other – another layer to this communal success story, that I am so proud to be a part of.”
The Smart Set is made up of classic staple items that a woman often needs to dress for an interview or in the workplace: a classic white shirt, tapered black pants, striking black jacket, and a dress for every shape. Here’s a look at the full range:
Priced at £19.50 STG, the Smart Set Dress was a collaboration between the Royal patron and Marks and Spencer. The shift dress is available in vibrant blue or black and slips nicely into any woman’s wardrobe as a comfortable, yet classy staple. The easy-care dress is made from polyester and available in UK sizes 6-24, as well as in a petite size range.
London designer Misha Nonoo joined Meghan Markle on the creation of this chic and stylish classic workwear shirt. The semi-slim fit, white collared button-up is made of 97% cotton, and available in sizes US 0-20. The luxury shirt was priced at £125 STG and is made to order.
The Duchess called on luxury British fashion label Jigsaw to create this striking black blazer. The tailored one-button jacket is fully lined and available in UK sizes 6-16. With detailed welt pockets and a single pleat in the centre back, this feminine fitting piece can be paired with the Smart Set Pant or a pair of slim-fit jeans. The jacket is priced at £199 STG.
These rich European wool-blend trousers were launched alongside the Smart Set Blazer by Jigsaw. The slim fit pants sit just below the natural waistline and feature a hidden hook-and-bar zip closure. Fully lined with slant pockets, the trousers are true to size, available in UK 6-16 and priced at £120 STG.
The Tote Bag
John Lewis and Partners teamed with Markle on the accessory side of the collection. Together the two created a lightweight, generously sized tote that combines practicality with class. The Smart Set Tote Bag is made from soft leather, features an open top with two shoulder straps and is available in black or tan. The tote is priced at £109 STG.
The Smart Set Collection became available for at least two weeks from the 12th September 2019, with some items already selling out online, fans are hoping this will be the first of many releases, though any news on this ongoing venture has yet to be confirmed.