Style & Beauty

11 Boatneck Dresses To Help You Channel Your Inner Meghan Markle

The Duchess of Sussex has found her signature style.

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?

So many boatneck dresses! The Duchess has definitely found her signature style.
So many boatneck dresses! The Duchess has definitely found her signature style.

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 dressthat 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.)

La Femme Beaded Lace Sheath Dress
Smak Parlour Jukebox Jams Short Sleeve Dress
Nai Lu-na Fitted Sheath Dress
H&M Dress With Tie Sleeves
Gap Modern Boatneck Dress
Lauren Ralph Lauren Floral Sheath Dress
Allsaints Lavine Bandeau Dress
J.Crew Fit And Flare Sheath Dress
Fabulous Fit And Flare Dress With Pockets
Storets Emily Corset Garden Dress
Club Monaco Aoiffe Dress
Club Monaco
Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle