If you, like us, have been following the Duchess of Sussex’s wardrobe choices over the past few months, you may have noticed a pattern emerging. Not only does she love a classic, feminine silhouette, but the former Meghan Markle also has a penchant for wearing boatneck dresses.
For those who aren’t quite sure what a boatneck (also called a bateau neckline) is, Merriam-Webster defines it as “a wide neckline that extends toward the tips of the shoulders.” The Duchess most notably opted for the neckline on her wedding day ― we can’t forget her now-iconic gown designed by Givenchy’s artistic director Clare Waight Keller ― and she’s worn plenty of similar styles in the weeks since.
See what we mean?
The boatneck first gained popularity in the 1930s thanks to Coco Chanel, who took inspiration from sailor suits, according to Refinery 29. The outlet also notes the neckline may have originally been a signature style of French designer Jenny Sacerdote.
In 1954, the boatneck would get another fashion boost thanks to Hubert de Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn. Givenchy designed the black dress “that launched a thousand bateau necklines” for Hepburn’s role in “Sabrina,” as well as the iconic boatneck dress the actress wore in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” (Fun fact: thanks to the popularity of Hepburn and her role in Sabrina, the boatneck is sometimes referred to as the “Sabrina neckline.”)
According to Pinterest (per Glamour), searches for boatneck dresses and tops have skyrocketed over the past few months, increasing 104 percent since 2017, likely thanks to the Duchess. The “Meghan Markle effect” is very real.
Below, we’ve rounded up 11 boatneck dresses you can buy yourself to help you unleash your inner Duchess. (Just note, you may need to invest in a well-fitting strapless bra so your straps don’t show.)