Meghan Markle, 42, Makes a Public Appearance in ‘Wrinkled’ $2000 Suit, Sparking Online Criticism

Meghan Markle’s appearance at SXSW set the internet ablaze with polarized opinions. Her attire became the center of criticism on social media, with some comparing the outfit to bedsheets and pajamas.

Meghan Markle at the "Breaking Barriers, Shaping Narratives: How Women Lead On and Off the Screen" panel during the 2024 SXSW Conference and Festival at Austin Convention Center on March 8, 2024 in Austin, Texas. | Source: Getty Images

Meghan Markle illuminated the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, with her presence, marking International Women’s Day with a significant appearance.

Gracing a keynote panel alongside media titans Katie Couric and Brooke Shields on Friday, Meghan dove into deep discussions on women’s representation in media, an issue close to her heart.

However, it was the type of attire the Duchess chose for the event quickly became a focal point of online discourse. She opted for a sublime ensemble embodying breezy business casual with a silky pinstripe skirt set. The internet’s reaction to Meghan’s fashion statement was sharply divided.

Critics were quick to voice their opinions, with some disparaging remarks comparing her sophisticated attire to bedsheets. “It looks like wrinkled bedsheets,” one comment read. Others skeptically asked, “Dreamy ensemble = Pyjamas?” and “Dreamy ensemble? Oh, do you mean it looks as though she slept in it?”

Meghan Markle at the "Breaking Barriers, Shaping Narratives: How Women Lead On and Off the Screen" panel during the 2024 SXSW Conference and Festival at Austin Convention Center on March 8, 2024 in Austin, Texas. | Source: Getty Images

The critical commentary didn’t stop there. Some unfavorably compared her to Kate Middleton, Princess of Wales, with one commenter blatantly stating, “She’s a hot mess. Her hair, too casual wrinkled outfit are no match for Catherine, Princess of Wales who is always dressed impeccably with class [sic].”

Others wrote, “The woman, yet again, managed to look like a total mess,” “Did she wake up and decide it was too much effort to put clothes on, so decided on her bed sheets???” and”Who dresses her, doesn’t she have friends?”

Contrasting the wave of criticism, Meghan also received a torrent of support from fans and admirers. Compliments flowed in, praising her choice of dressing and overall demeanor with remarks like, “I so much love her, her dressing and gesture,” and a simple yet powerful, “So pretty.”

Meghan’s attire reveals the craftsmanship and luxury behind the ensemble from Giuliva Heritage. Her “Husband Shirt in Striped Silk” is a testament to tailoring excellence, featuring long sleeves, a tailored fit, and adorned with elegant mother-of-pearl buttons.

Paired with it, the “Lena Skirt in Striped Silk” cascades gracefully to full length, crafted from luminous silk and secured with a side zipper. Both pieces, meticulously hand-made in Italy from 100% silk sourced sustainably, reflect hours of dedicated craftsmanship and techniques.

The shirt and skirt, retailing for about $973 and $1,050 respectively, are not just garments but a showcase of Giuliva Heritage’s commitment to quality and sustainability. Despite her attire’s evident luxury and craftsmanship, the public’s opinion remained polarized.

Errin Haine and Meghan Markle at the "Breaking Barriers, Shaping Narratives: How Women Lead On and Off the Screen" panel during the 2024 SXSW Conference and Festival at Austin Convention Center on March 8, 2024 in Austin, Texas. | Source: Getty Images

The discussion surrounding her outfit did not reflect the substantive issues she addressed at the SXSW event, titled “Breaking Barriers, Shaping Narratives: How Women Lead On and Off the Screen.” The event tackled various pressing issues, including the pervasive toxicity of social media.

SXSW proudly invited Meghan to be a speaker, calling her a champion for feminist causes, human rights, and gender equity. During the discussion, Meghan shared her ordeals with social media, recounting the abuse she faced, particularly during her pregnancies and as a new mother.

“The bulk of the bullying and abuse that I was experiencing in social media and online was when I was pregnant with Archie and with Lily and with a newborn with each of them,” Meghan shared, highlighting the cruelty instead of the catty nature of the attacks.

“You know us as moms, it’s such a tender and sacred time. You can either succumb to it or nearly succumb to how painful that is,” she added.

She emphasized the necessity for a safer online environment, especially for women and children, and pointed out the tragic irony of women being the ones to perpetrate hate towards other women. “We have forgotten about our humanity, and that has got to change,” she said. Her heartfelt message underscored a broader call to action for humanity to embrace kindness and empathy.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in New York in 2022 | Source: Getty Images

The panel also boasted other distinguished speakers, including Emmy Award-winning journalist Katie Couric; acclaimed actress, model, and author Brooke Shields; and Nancy Wang Yuen, a sociologist and diversity, equity, and inclusion consultant.

Within this vibrant atmosphere, Prince Harry, seated among the audience, supported his wife. Being in the spotlight, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are often the subject of criticism and backlash. Previously, they went on a Valentine’s date that sparked online hate.

Meghan donned a striking ensemble of red, celebrating Valentine’s Day with Harry in Whistler, British Columbia. The royal couple, momentarily stepping away from their Invictus Games commitments, were seen exiting an upscale Italian eatery, Il Caminetto, following an intimate dinner.

The venue for their romantic dinner stands as one of Whistler’s premier dining establishments, known for its exquisite Italian cuisine. Dishes range from $21 to $55, while bottles of wine range from $5,758 to $10,334. People from the online community shared their sentiments on the dinner online.

“Secret?” one Facebook user wrote. “Cameras and summoned Paps everywhere.” Another person concluded through a tweet that the couple’s dinner was “paid for by Invictus, donated funds for wounded veterans,” adding that their action was “grossly inappropriate.”

A second person on Twitter echoed, “Who paid i wonder [sic].” Another social media user also wrote, “How nice of BC taxpayers to be paying for this.”

One person particularly emphasized that Meghan’s “outfit looked a mess.” Meanwhile, another looked for the kids, writing, “No children… hmmm… wonder where they are… not seen them…”

Harry’s dedication to the Invictus Games and its athletes remains unwavering. Mike Bourgeois, a former participant, highlighted the royal’s genuine interest in the competitors’ journeys, from their training and coaching to their well-being.

His focus is on understanding the athletes. It’s about recognizing those embarking on a journey of recovery. That’s what drives him,” Bourgeois said. “He sees you and hears you. That’s what it was like for me. And I know that’s what it was like for a lot of my teammates.”

Reflecting on her childhood, Meghan has spoken about the complexities of identity and the challenges of fitting into categories. She described that when she was younger, she had curly hair, a freckled face, and pale skin. Her appearance was due to being mixed race, which made it difficult for her to fit in.

Today, as a mother, Meghan sees reflections of her own childhood in her son, Archie. A photo that was shared of her at the age of five, cozy in a black hoodie, bears a striking resemblance to Archie at the same age, illustrating the striking resemblance her son bears to her.

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