Meghan Markle. Photo: Samir Hussein

Bridal Party & Guests

Wedding guest dresses: Get the Kate and Meghan look with these 20 perfect pieces

Whether you prefer Meghan's modern elegance or Kate's classic style, add a royal flourish to your occasionwear, writes Meadhbh McGrath

Did your invite to Harry and Meghan's big day get lost in the post? Ours too… but wedding season is about to kick off, and the two modern princesses provide plenty of ideas on how to be the best-dressed guest.

Kate Middleton has been an occasionwear inspiration for as long as she's been in the public eye, with her belted coat-dresses, floral prints and coordinating fascinators. Kate favours a pastel palette, and it's one that is particularly on-trend this season.

While Kate has a tendency to choose shapes and patterns that can make her appear older than her 36 years, be smart about your silhouette. Avoid looking staid by choosing an asymmetric neckline, like Fee G's beautiful ice-blue number - the modern detailing keeps the look fresh. A matching coat is fine, but steer clear of twee patterns: colour block your pastels for a savvy styling trick that nods to the tonal dressing trend.

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We love when Kate surprises us with her wardrobe, and she did just that in Berlin last summer in a red Alexander McQueen off-the-shoulder dress for an evening engagement. Preen's collection for Debenhams includes a similar Bardot style, or take your cue from Kate's youthful monochrome Wimbledon dress with some springtime polka dots by Joseph Ribkoff.

For accessories, she is rarely seen without a box clutch (all the better for keeping the hands busy). Patent styles and plain nudes look dated - try yours in satin with an elegant gold chain. It's instantly more luxe, while the pinkish hue goes with everything.

Meghan's style tends to be a little younger, trendier and more sultry than Kate's, and she's already shown herself to be a fan of Self-Portrait, the go-to occasionwear label for many Irish women. When Meghan wore the green floral-printed midi dress, women all over social media gleefully cried out, "I have that dress!". You can find similar options online, in Brown Thomas and Harvey Nichols, and the green complements Irish colourings. For a moody, laid-back take on the look, opt for Whistles' dark florals.

Meghan set herself apart from the royals by wearing trousers for her first official evening engagement. A sleek suit is a great contemporary alternative to the usual dresses, especially when paired with a cool bag like Zara's geometric print minaudiere, which echoes the Naaem Khan zodiac clutch Meghan wore to the Queen's birthday concert.

Delicate, understated jewellery is hugely popular at the moment, from Meghan's mismatched studs to stacked rings and thin pendants. This summer, sandals and open-toed shoes have taken a back seat to closed-toe styles, particularly mules and sharp courts. Follow in Meghan's footsteps and opt for a strappy, lace-up style to add that perfect final touch to your big day look.