It’s no secret that Meghan Markle is a master of the middle part. At her May 2018 wedding, she stunned in a symmetrical updo (complete with a tiara, of course), and anyone in the middle of their Suits rewatch has seen the style brilliantly executed countless times. Honestly, it’s the signature Meghan Markle look: shiny, middle parted brunette locks and that bright, warm smile.
Nevertheless, the Duchess of Sussex recently decided to change things up—which is great news for those of us who didn’t prescribe to the Gen-Z helmed middle part resurgence of the last few years. Halfway through her Invictus Games 2023 hosting duties on September 14, Meghan opted for a deep side part and loose curls to meet with NATO representatives alongside Prince Harry in Dusseldorf, Germany. Going with a monochromatic look (another of her signatures, as of late), she complimented the hairstyle with bronzy makeup, the perfect brown silk L’Agence blouse, khaki-colored Gabriela Hearst trousers, and Manolo Blahnik pumps.
Later in the day, Meghan changed into a cable knit vest with white jeans and flats to watch a volleyball game, eventually throwing her hair into a mid-height ponytail with the side part still secure. While middle parts are definitely sticking around (even Meghan went back to her signature by the week’s end), it should be noted that the side part switch-up is part of a larger hairstyle resurgence. At New York Fashion Week, the early aughts look was spotted at both Proenza Schoeler and Jason Wu, not to mention on the heads of many chic attendees.
And while Meghan’s other looks for the week came complete with a middle part (I should mention all were masterful, you can see them here), the slight differentiation caught us off guard in the very best of ways—perhaps because it’s so easy to emulate. Meghan reportedly handled her own hair and makeup for the entirety of the Games, just one encouraging story in a sea of inspiration from the event.
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Sophia Vilensky is a freelance beauty writer at Marie Claire, where she writes about the latest and greatest skincare launches, hair colors, and Cardi B manicures. Her work can also be found at Byrdie, Bravo, and Us Weekly. You can find her on Instagram @sophiavilensky.
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