Markle, 37, who became the Duchess of Sussex when she married Britain’s Prince Harry in May, topped People’s annual list ahead of Hollywood actresses including Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock and human rights lawyer Amal Clooney.
Giving top honors to a royal family member marked a departure for the magazine.
“We have never had the list with royals or anyone outside of Hollywood. But when you talk about style and 2018 you cannot have that conversation without mentioning Meghan Markle,” People Style and Beauty editor Andrea Lavinthal told Reuters.
“Her style was the one that really had the spotlight this year so we felt we had to not only put her on the list but make her the best dressed,” Lavinthal said.
California-born Markle, the former star of the TV show “Suits,” has rarely left the front pages of magazines and newspapers since her engagement to Harry in November 2017. Their May wedding was watched by millions around the world.
Yet Markle has won plaudits for mixing outfits from retail fashion stores with designer couture, while flouting traditional British royal protocol by showing her bare legs, wearing off the shoulder outfits and for wearing her hair in a messy bun for her wedding.
“Whether she is wearing a classic button down shirt and ripped jeans, like any other girl, or a couture wedding gown and a tiara, unlike most of us, she always looks effortlessly chic. There is something about her that looks polished without being too perfect,” Lavinthal said.
People also praised Blanchett for consistently pulling off daring but flawless fashion designs, Clooney for a “bold and glamorous style that’s all her own,” and “Ocean’s 8” star Bullock who the magazine said “has never looked more stunning.”
People’s 23-page style issue arrives on U.S. newsstands on Friday.
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