Kate, Sophie, Even Camilla Love This British Brand—I Test Drove 5 of Their Most Royal Styles

The fit is a dream for petites

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me and em review universal
Dasha Burobina/Rachel Bowie

I am the first to admit that I am Royally Obsessed. As part of this interest, I keep close tabs on what Kate Middleton, Sophie Wessex, even Queen Camilla tend to wear. A royally-approved brand that’s been on my radar for years? The U.K.-based ME+EM. (The aforementioned royals have all worn it on repeat over the years.) Just this month, the contemporary brand opened stateside in NYC with a location on the Upper East Side and two more boutiques (one in Soho and one in East Hampton) set to open by mid-May. I stopped by the UES store to test drive the fit of several royal-feeling styles—including this floral dress that I had to take home.

First, a Bit More About ME+EM

When Clare Hornby first founded the brand in 2009, her intention was to create what she defined as “intelligent style”—in other words, she wanted each piece to be flattering and functional, but also something that would withstand the test of time. (She calls this “wear-forever” appeal.)

It was what I noticed immediately when I first entered the brand-new Upper East Side boutique: Yes, the collection includes poppy colors and seasonal showstoppers, but there’s a capsule wardrobe feel to it all. In other words, you can mix and match, but also find recurring—and reliable—silhouettes that get updated with each and every product drop. (It’s worth noting that ME+EM releases 10+ collections each year, something that’s made possible by their direct-to-consumer business model.)

All About My Shopping Experience & the Styles I Tested

Reader, this is something I need to shout from the rooftops: I didn’t know how petite-friendly the styles designed by ME+EM are. In fact, when I browsed the website ahead of my visit researching for this story—and seeking out styles that I felt confident Kate Middleton, her sister Pippa, even Princess Beatrice would all approve—I made the assumption that a tailor would be required to make the pieces I tried work for my 5’2” frame. I was wrong.

I can’t overstate how seamlessly everything fit. Barring one of their flowier dress styles (see below, in pink), everything hit right where it should. In conversation with the salesperson at the boutique, I learned that ME+EM designs all their pieces to accommodate both petite and taller women. They do this by including extra fabric—I noticed two to three inches—in the hems that can easily be let out so their styles work on a range of heights.

Now, onto the royally-inspired styles I tried. For reference, Kate, Carole and Pippa Middleton have all been spotted wearing ME+EM. So have Princess Beatrice, Sophie Wessex and Queen Camilla, more than once. I cherry-picked the styles below by drawing inspo from the royals themselves.

1. Something Green me and em
Dasha Burobina/Rachel Bowie

1. Something Green

When I first got to ME+EM, I tried on a smocked style that was quite similar to Pippa’s choice. While lovely, it wasn’t as flattering on my bigger bust, so I switched to a more classic button-down (and belted) A-line silhouette, also offered in a bright and bold Kelly green. Even with the maxi length, it didn’t drown me out. The structure and pockets also speak to the functionality that ME+EM promises with their designs. Pippa wore her green dress to the Platinum Party at the Palace in 2022, but I could see myself wearing this to a big meeting—or brunch.

something floral me and em

2. Something Floral

A floral aesthetic is definitely a signature look for ME+EM. Also, proof their styles are versatile across generations: Quite recently, Sophie, the Duchess of Edinburgh and Queen Camilla, stepped out wearing the same floral dress (to separate royal occasions, of course). To mirror Sophie and the queen’s florals, I was immediately drawn to this purple, pink and cream number, which features a pattern described on the site as “layered violets.” I ended up taking this dress home and when I tell you I’ve since comfortably worn it to a work event, afternoon tea and to chase my six-year-old at the playground (that sartorial decision was accidental), it’s the truth.

3. Something Pink me ad em
Dasha Burobina/Rachel Bowie

3. Something Pink

It was a mic drop royal moment when Kate wore this bubblegum pink midi style on two separate occasions—first in Scotland, next to the Chelsea Flower Show—from ME+EM. But then her mother Carole stepped out in it for Royal Ascot in 2022. Did she borrow from her daughter’s closet? Buy her own? Regardless, it only served as more proof of the brand’s versatility. (They both wore it so well!) While at the Upper East Side boutique, I aimed to try a style in a similar pink. Enter this full-length gown in “perfect pink” with a corsage. It was on the longer side, but—again—I was shocked that it fit me at all. (Also, how elegant is the detachable corsage?)

4. Something Purple me and em

4. Something Purple

Is there a hue that feels more regal than purple? Duchess Sophie recently chose a ME+EM style in this particular jewel tone for a royal tour. While at the store, I was also drawn to purple—but a lighter shade of it. Also, instead of a dress, it was a suit (in dusted lilac) that caught my eye. I was stunned by the flattering ankle-length fit of the pant. (Yes, there was plenty of fabric for the hem to be let out.) A quick word about sizing: I found ME+EM to run true to size.

5. Something Formal me and em

5. Something Formal

When in Rome at ME+EM... No, this final style doesn’t exactly replicate a royal ‘fit, but I was drawn to it as something more formal (and fun!) and had to give it a whirl. I could easily see Beatrice—who has been pictured wearing ME+EM for a fancier occasion—choosing a style like this. In my case, I’d absolutely wear it to a summer wedding. After all, I can attest: It’s as comfortable as it is chic.

Rachel Bowie Headshot

Royal family expert, a cappella alum, mom

Rachel Bowie is Senior Director of Special Projects & Royals at PureWow, where she covers parenting, fashion, wellness and money in addition to overseeing initiatives within...