A short guide to the style of Elizabeth II’s beloved (and most daring) daughter-in-law.
Countess Sophie of Wessex, the wife of Elizabeth II’s youngest son Edward, is not as famous as many other members of the royal family (we think you understand who we are talking about). In the gossip columns and news, her name flashes much less often than the names of Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle or even Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie of York. Sophie’s husband is only the tenth in the list of contenders for the throne, which means that the royal duties of Wessex are much less than those of Cambridge and even Sussex. As a result, the press does not follow them so closely, ordinary people are not too interested in the details of their lives.
And here’s a paradox for you: thanks to all of the above, Sophie has much more opportunities for self-expression and fashion experiments than her more famous relatives. In addition, the Countess is the Queen’s favorite daughter—in-law, and this is not a figure of speech, but a real, albeit non-official, status: Sophie is the only one of the wives of Elizabeth II’s sons allowed to accompany Her Majesty in a limousine and represent her at events of foreign monarchs. Perhaps that is why the august mother-in-law tends to turn a blind eye to some fashionable “liberties” of Countess Sophie. As you know, Wessex does not have a stylist, so she makes all fashion decisions alone, while demonstrating remarkable intelligence, tact and sense of style.
Sophie of Wessex at the funeral of Countess Mountbatten
Jacket, Prada, skirt with a heart pattern, Christopher Kane
Being a wise woman, the wife of Prince Edward knows how to keep the right balance. At about half of official events, she appears dressed quite conventionally — in midi dresses and coats of discreet colors (especially Her Highness likes dark blue, gray, beige) and things with a large floral print (in this regard, Sophie’s style is close to Kate Middleton’s style). One of her favorite brands is Suzannah, a brand founded by British designer Suzanne Crabb. In addition to Wessex, her clothes, among others, are worn by Pippa Middleton and Autumn Phillips. Suzanne’s business card is an impeccably tailored and expensive classic of pastel shades. For example, it was Crabb who was the author of the pale blue ensemble in which Sophie appeared at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Sophie at Prince Harry’s wedding…
… in an outfit from Suzannah
Another favorite of the Countess is Emilia Wickstead, a British woman of New Zealand origin, whose clothes are worn by Kate Middleton and the same Megan (there was even a small scandal connected with the name Wickstead, which broke out after the wedding of Megan and Harry). Emilia Wickstead’s collections are less conservative than Suzannah’s creations. Wickstead loves bright colors, color blocking, unusual combinations and styles. It is Emilia who is the author of the pale blue jumpsuit in which the Wessex appeared this year at the Ascot races. I must say that this event was unprecedented: until last year, guests were allowed to wear only dresses and skirts to the event. The jumpsuit was excluded from the “black list” only in 2017, but before Sophie, none of the ladies from the royal sector who attended the races dared to wear it. Becoming the first, the Countess, most likely, set a new trend.
Sophie’s at Ascot…
… in the same Emilia Wickstead jumpsuit and Jane Taylor hat
If you start exploring the wardrobe of Edward’s wife even more scrupulously, you can generally come to the conclusion that she deserves the “title” of fashionista much more than Kate or Megan. In addition to the above-mentioned brands, as well as traditionally loved by the royal family Alexander McQueen, Erdem and L.K. Bennet, in Her Highness’s closet you can find things with the labels Diane Von Furstenberg, Emilio Pucci, Prada, Gucci, Giambattista Valli, Peter Pilotto. No lady from the British royal family allows herself to wear such a number of foreign brands — this once again confirms Sophie’s reputation … the path is not a rebel, but definitely an innovator.
Sophie at the Christmas service in December 2017
Going out in overalls at the Ascot races is not the only bold “fashion act” of the Countess this year. So, in June, Sophie visited the school for children with disabilities Treloar College in Hampshire, where she played curling with the guys. This time Her Highness appeared in public in a dark blue polo sweater by Emilia Wickstead and flared trousers with a bright floral print by Emilio Pucci. It is unlikely that any of Sophie’s august relatives would risk wearing something other than a dress or skirt to such an event, and even a thing created by an Italian designer.
Sophie is at Treloar College…
… in flared trousers by Emilio Pucci
In the same month, Wessex visited the town of Olrevas, where the opening of a memorial to the memory of British nurses who died during the World Wars took place. This time her choice fell on a scarlet jacket from the legendary French fashion house Alaia and a long colorful dress from the British designer of Serbian origin Roksanda Ilinich. As we can see, Sophie’s sense of proportion once again helped her look bright and, as they say, not boring, while quite “within the framework”: after all, she combined the French brand with the English, and the dress, although it is colorful, is quite a classic cut.
Sophie in Olrevas, Jacket, Alaia, dress, Roksanda
Another image that has captured the hearts of fashion editors around the world is the recent appearance of Her Highness in a long shirt dress with a print in the form of multicolored llamas. Not only Kate Middleton would envy such a trendy outfit. Perhaps the most famous fashion bloggers, led by Chiara Ferragni, would line up behind him. The author of the creation is the British brand Galvan, founded a few years ago by four young friends. Their clothes are worn by boho chic style icons, like Sienna Miller. So, by wearing this dress, Sophie demonstrated a breadth of views and an undoubted ability to discover new names in fashion for herself (and for the public).
Sophie at a charity lunch at the Children’s Hospital in Leeds
In this context, it seems quite natural that it was Sophie who in 2013 was the first in history to take patronage of the London College of Fashion, which at one time such celebrities as Jimmy Choo and Jonathan Anderson graduated from. She actively supports young designers, and others, already quite established, like Peter Pilotto, call her their muse.