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Style

Meghan Markle Is PEOPLE's Best Dressed Star of 2018 – Here's Why

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The Meghan Markle effect is real.

Since the American-born actress turned Duchess of Sussex became engaged to Prince Harry, Meghan quickly became one of the most influential style icons in the world — and she’s proven time and time again that everything she wears turns to sold.

From a $328 Club Monaco dress that sold out within hours of wearing it to a wedding or a $740 Strathberry handbag that flew off shelves just 11 minutes after she was photographed carrying it, Meghan’s choices have instant influence. And it’s easy to understand why; both when she’s dressed up in designer dresses and when she’s more casual in jeans, Meghan is a master at looking both regal and relatable.

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“Her clothes are beautifully cut. There’s nothing bold or brash or too extreme. They are really just beautiful clothes on a beautiful woman,” says Hilary Alexander, former fashion director of The Telegraph.

With the help of close friend Jessica Mulroney, Meghan’s style has evolved from trendy television star to polished royal. Favoring a neutral color palette, boatneck silhouettes and simple accessories, Meghan’s a loyal wearer of high-fashion designers like Carolina Herrera as well as contemporary brands like Mother Denim and Club Monaco.

Meghan’s also known to wear pieces from smaller companies, like Canadian womenswear label Nonie, and propelling them into the international style spotlight.

“The demand has been incredible,” a brand rep for Nonie says of the $825 sleeveless trench dress Meghan wore this summer, which now has a “large waitlist.”

RELATED PHOTOS: Meghan Markle’s Perfectly Polished Outfit Formula is the Only Look You’ll Ever Need

Nonie founder Nina Kharey tells PEOPLE, “It’s refreshing that she’s able to confidently wear what she wants. Princess Diana paved the way for that.”

As Meghan and Prince Harry prepare to embark on their tour of Australia, Fiji, the Kingdom of Tonga and New Zealand in October, royals watchers are already speculating what she will wear next — and brands are getting prepared.

David Hieatt, co-founder of Welsh brand Hiut Denim Co., whose black skinny jeans worn by Meghan in January brought the label worldwide recognition overnight, told PEOPLE earlier this summer, “In the next four weeks we are moving into a factory that’s three times the size!”

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