Meghan models pieces from her Smart Set collection – here’s what we think of the workwear range

12th Sep 19 | Beauty

The Duchess of Sussex appeared at John Lewis to launch the collaboration, which benefits the Smart Works charity.

The Duchess of Sussex launches Smart Works capsule collection

Ever since it was announced in British Vogue’s September issue that the Duchess of Sussex was collaborating with a number of retailers on her first charity fashion collection, fans have been eager to find out what the clothing would look like.

Today, the range was revealed, with Meghan donning two of the garments – a white shirt and black trousers – when she appeared at John Lewis Oxford Street to launch the range.

The Duchess of Sussex launches Smart Works capsule collection
The Duchess of Sussex departs after launching the Smart Works capsule collection at John Lewis in Oxford Street (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Called the Smart Set, the capsule collection comprises four items of clothing and a bag, each one created with one of four fashion retailers – Jigsaw, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, and Misha Nonoo.

Going on sale today, it is available is sizes 6 to 24, with prices starting at £19.50.

For every item bought during the sale of the collection – which will last at least two weeks – one will be donated to charity Smart Works, of which Meghan is patron. The organisation provides training and interview clothes for women in need – and as well as going on sale at the four retailers, the collection will be available in Smart Works Dressing Rooms across the country.

models wearing pieces from the Smart Set capsule collection
(Smart Works/PA)

“Thank you to the four brands who came together in supporting Smart Works on this special project – placing purpose over profit and community over competition,” Meghan said in a statement.

“In convening several companies rather than one, we’ve demonstrated how we can work collectively to empower each other – another layer to this communal success story that I am so proud to be a part of.”

model wearing pieces from the Smart Set capsule collection
(Smart Works/PA)

Whenever Meghan wears high street clothing herself, items have a tendency to fly off the shelves, so will the Smart Set prove as popular?

Here, we’ve got the details on each item, plus our verdict on whether it will be a high street hit or a miss…

The dress

The Smart Set Crepe Shift Dress, £19.50, will be sold at Marks & Spencer. It comes in three colours – black, blue and pink – and is available in regular and petite sizing. It’s described by M&S as an autumn “staple” and “a great choice for all year round too”.

black dress from the Smart Works capsule collection
(Marks & Spencer/PA)

The cheapest item in the collection, we think this will be the most popular too. The shift shape is easy to wear, the hem and sleeve lengths are flattering and the crepe material (which doesn’t need ironing) is a practical choice.

Plus, with three colourways there are versions to suit shoppers who like neutrals and those who prefer brights. In fact, some sizes of the blue and pink have already sold out on the M&S website.

blue dress from the Smart Works capsule collection
(Marks & Spencer/PA)

The jacket

The Smart Set Blazer is part of a two-piece suit by Jigsaw and costs £199. The black one-button style is tailored for a feminine fit and fully lined.

jacket from the Smart Works capsule collection

A black suit jacket is a true workwear staple and this blazer ticks all the tailoring boxes with its slim cut and sleek lines.

At nearly £200 this is the most expensive piece in the collection, so it’s definitely more of an investment piece, but the classic style means it’s one that won’t go out of fashion any time soon.

The trousers

Accompanying the blazer, the black Smart Set Trousers, £120, are also slim cut with tapered leg.

trousers from the Smart Works capsule collection

The perfect black trousers are an essential part of a workwear wardrobe, so if you’re in the market for a new pair, these are ideal.

They may seem a touch on a the pricey side, but when you think about the quality cost per wear, they’re actually really good value.

The shirt

The Smart Set Shirt, £125, is sold by Misha Nonoo – the designer is a friend of Meghan’s (and is rumoured to be the person responsible for her and Prince Harry’s first meeting).

Described as the “perfect crisp white shirt”, the button-down style has long sleeves and is straight cut.

the smart set shirt
(Misha Nonoo/PA)

A white shirt will serve you well (as long as you’re prepared to iron it).

Meghan looked fantastic in this shirt at the launch, worn with an open collar and rolled up sleeves, which we think will help boost sales.

The bag

The Smart Set bag, £109, is sold by John Lewis. The “generously sized” shoulder bag is available in black or tan leather and comes with a variety of internal pockets, plus a detachable cross-body strap.

bags from the Smart Works capsule collection
(John Lewis/PA)

You can’t go wrong with a roomy tote and this one has got a lot going for it.

From the high quality material and practical boxy shape, to the interchangeable straps, we think this piece will be a big hit – not least because it taps into the autumn/winter trend for oversized bags.

© Press Association 2019