Sophie, Countess Of Wessex's Best Fashion Moments Ever

You may know her as just another British royal, but Sophie, Countess of Wessex is also a fashion lover — and enjoys experimental fashion too! The stylish royal is the wife of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, the queen's youngest son. Before becoming a member of the royal family, Sophie owned her own PR agency. She met her husband-to-be in 1993 at a sporting event, and after six years of dating, the two announced their engagement to the world and got married within the year (via The Royal Family). Since she was made countess, Sophie has become a familiar face in the royal circuit through her patronages and fashion-forward appearances. 

Like Kate Middleton, Sophie is known for showcasing the best royal fashion trends and always has a beaming smile wherever she goes. She's frequently made headlines for her memorable outfits, larger-than-life hats, and experimental accessories. In 2022, she even sported a tiara that doubled as a necklace (via People), which is pretty unconventional for royal jewels. From regally elegant to whimsically wonderous, we've put together a list of Sophie's top outfits over the years. 

When she got married

By all accounts, Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex's wedding in 1999 was a smaller affair in comparison to the weddings of Prince William and Kate Middleton or Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. However, it was just as regally stunning and crowd-awing as any other royal wedding. According to CNN, the guest list of 550 was primarily family and the dress code was mixed elegance. Throngs of people gathered in the streets to see the prince and his new wife, who looked like a dream in her silk and organza wedding dress.

The V-neck, hand-dyed gown was designed by Samantha Shaw and was detailed with 325,000 pearl beads (via the BBC). Even Elizabeth Emanuel — the designer who created Princess Diana's wedding dress — had something to say about the stunning gown: "The dress was a bit of a surprise for me, I thought she would go for something more tailored or A-line but it was very flowing and soft" (via the BBC). "It was very much a personal choice of dress."

Sophie accompanied the dress with a diamond tiara borrowed from the monarch, pearl jewelry designed by her husband as a gift, and a cathedral-length silk train (via the BBC). And her cascading white bouquet was really the cherry on top of the whole look!

When she wears fabulous hats

Sophie, Countess of Wessex wore a stunning pink hat with ostrich feathers to the 2018 Royal Ascot, and again in 2021 for the same event (per Express). The second time, she paired it with a purple floral skirt designed by Suzannah, a pale pink top, and matching Prada shoes for a free-flowing, feminine look (per Hello!). The fluffy mauve beauty in question was designed by Jane Taylor, a popular hat designer based in London. 

Sophie has been known to show off dramatic feather hats from this designer, as she did on Commonwealth Day in 2012 (per Daily Mail) and again for Queen Elizabeth II's funeral in 2022. Jane Taylor's millinery even posted about the hat for the monarch's funeral and described how Sophie had it specially made to honor the queen which resembled her wedding bouquet in 1947: "A very special piece being made for HRH The Countess of Wessex for the funeral of HRH Elizabeth II" (Instagram).

In June 2022, Sophie showed up to day two of the Royal Ascot sporting yet another product of milliner magic with a stunning blue hat. The dramatic design is exactly what one imagines when we think of royal fashion at the races. The decorative fascinator was complemented by blue roses under the brim — a dramatic yet modest look.

When she wears blue

During the second day of the 2016 Royal Ascot, Sophie, Countess of Wessex wore a bright cyan dress and an eye-catching, geometric-patterned hat that we simply can't forget. In 2018, the countess donned the same shade of blue when she wore a head scarf and matching dress on a visit to a Sikh temple in London.

Blue is definitely one of her best colors. From stunning royal blue coats to navy blue velvet hats, every shade pairs perfectly with her fair complexion and blue eyes. Apparently, there's a reason that bright blue always catches our eye too. "When wearing blue, you're seen to be loyal, trustworthy, confident, and wise," explained fashion and psychology content creator Ellie Richards (via TikTok). "Wearing light blue, as opposed to dark blue, creates the same emotional response, but it includes the attributes of the color white, representing friendliness and approachability," she said.

When she wears classic country flare

Though she is known for experimenting with new, high-end fashion choices, Sophie, Countess of Wessex has also had fun with classic British staples. In the picture above, she and her eldest daughter Lady Louise show off some country flare during their carriage ride at the 2018 Royal Windsor Horse Show (per Getty Images). Fun fact: Sophie and Kate Middleton apparently have the same Hicks & Brown fedora, though Kate's is a deep royal blue and Sophie's is more of a sand color. "Sophie bought her hat from us a couple of years ago. ... We were at a horse show in Windsor when she came to the stand and bought it herself," said the brand's founder Alice Leet-Cook (via People). "We are thrilled that she clearly loves it so much."

Second to tweed, this fit is as British as you can get. This hunting-inspired aesthetic often features pheasant feathers, hats, boots, earthy colors, and layers such as gloves and overcoats. According to the Gentleman's Gazette, the style has been a popular choice since the Victorian era but is no longer used for actual hunting — thanks to modern-day camouflage.

When she's pretty in pink

Sophie, Countess of Wessex wore this cute coral dress and matching hat on the second day of the 2017 Royal Ascot. Like her other Ascot fits, this one was flawless — we're sure she turned many heads that day! Fashion blog Royal Hats described the flower-topped hat as a bergère; "a large straw hat with a flexible brim and low crown" (per The Dictionary of Fashion History). 

Originally a staple of working-class country fashion, this hat style became an elegant go-to for many royals over time; even Marie Antoinette enjoyed this style among close friends (per Palace of Versailles). The dress itself is perfectly modest, with one surprising twist: an unexpected cutout back. Cutouts really took off in 2022 (via StyleCaster) — thanks, in part, to Maddie's baddie look in Season 2 of "Euphoria" — so Sophie was really ahead of the curve with this outfit. Being the fashion queen she is, this isn't too shocking!

When she nails modern trends

We don't see bomber jackets very often in the royal fashion circuit, so you may be surprised to learn that Sophie, Countess of Wessex has a few choice leather pieces in her closet! She wore the jacket pictured above to the 2017 Royal Windsor Horse Show, looking cool and casual. With leather styles trending for fall 2022 and winter 2023 (via Forbes), don't be surprised if you see her in this piece again.

Sophie also rocked a leather dress when she visited the Brainwave charity in 2022, which was absolutely on-trend with the dark, academia aesthetic. Despite the care she put into the layered autumnal look, she apparently slipped up when she removed her coat to show off the outfit. According to royal protocol expert Daena Borrowman, female figures of the royal family are "expected to keep their coats on at social events" as "disrobing in public is perceived as distasteful according to royal protocol" (per Express).

When she wears activewear

When she's not dressed up in fluffy hats, elegant gowns, or sparkling tiaras, Sophie, Countess of Wessex wears street clothes and gets her hands dirty like the rest of us. In June of 2022, she took a shovel in hand to plant a rose bush on behalf of the late Duke of Edinburgh (via Twitter). She's also fed lambs and helped children learn to garden, so she's proven she's not afraid to exert herself in muddy surroundings. Her involvement in potentially messy activities extends beyond brief appearances in gardens too. The countess is apparently very active and enjoys participating in physical challenges, including biking and hockey. When asked by BBC Radio 5 Live about how the coronavirus lockdowns impacted her activities, she said: "I'm in better shape. I OD'd on online exercise classes through my gym. They went completely online" (per Yahoo! Life).

In 2016, she joined a 450-mile biking event to raise money for charity. She was perfectly stylish in a neon blue windbreaker and told BBC she had the time of her life: "If you told me that I would feel like this at the end of seven days cycling I would never have believed you. I do feel good and it has been a lovely, lovely experience."

When she's on the red carpet

Sophie, Countess of Wessex's red carpet look is one of our favorite outfits on this list. When it comes to formal attire, she is apparently a fan of statement dresses. She wore this form-fitting emerald dress to the premiere of "Sulphur and White" in 2020, along with a stunning pair of nude Jimmy Choos. All in all, the outfit reportedly cost her over $1,600 (per Daily Mail). She wore the dress again in 2022 while attending the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony (via Express), so at least she's getting her money's worth! The dress, made by designer Galvan London, was perfectly on trend for its emerald green color and elegant minimalism — both of which were big in 2022. 

"Symbolizing harmony and growth, along with royalty and refinement, emerald green is the perfect color to remind us to find balance [in 2022]," trend expert Dayna Isom Johnson said of the color (via Etsy). No matter what decade it is, Sophie has proven she can strike a memorable silhouette.

When she's twinning with Camilla

This photo — taken during the 100th-anniversary celebration of the British Royal Air Force in 2018 — is great for a number of reasons. But we're here to talk about how in sync Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Camilla, Queen Consort are with their outfits. According to fashion blogger Marina Micanovic, "white color inspires courage and confidence" as well as innocence, cleanliness, and new beginnings. Both women also don pearl earrings, pins attached to their left shoulders, and hats with similarly curled ribbon displays.

This wasn't the only time the two ladies showed up with perfectly coordinated styles. The two royals also appeared at the queen's funeral with matching bags (via Hello!). Even at Camilla Parker Bowles and then-Prince Charle's wedding in 2005; the countess wore similar fashion accessories as the bride! At the ceremony, Sophie topped her outfit off with a gray crocodile skin-style hat, which featured a fan of pheasant feathers — similar to Camilla's bridal fascinator (via Town & Country). This level of outfit coordination makes one wonder whether they just get lucky twinning with each other, or whether they actually plan ahead of time!

When she flatters in florals

Sophie, Countess of Wessex showed up to the 2022 Royal Ascot in this whimsical floral outfit (via Harper's Bazaar) — looking like a lovely flower herself. Overall, the look is a great garden party fit, almost "Alice in Wonderland" in essence. Though the dress is very eye-catching, Sophie's headpiece is really what draws the eye the most. On top of her head, a rose-like fascinator is set up as the ideal conversation starter, a piece of art compared to her other hats at the event. So many colors and so much movement — it's hard to tear your gaze away!

According to the Kentucky Derby website, the tradition of fancy gowns and even fancier hats is about as old as the event itself. "Though horseraces were completely typical for European society, American women at the time were a bit more hesitant to attend, potentially because of the gambling and drinking that was associated with the sport. ... They [the organizers] knew that part of creating allure for the event would be positioning it as a fashion event — so the dress code required 'full morning dress' in following the European standard for men and women from the start." Cue the start of a long tradition of almost costume-like dress-up for the races, one which the world still enjoys today.

When she wears standout handbags

Until now, we've spent a lot of time talking about dresses, hats, and other apparel, but Sophie, Countess of Wessex's awesome handbags deserve an entire section of their own. From funny to elegant and everything in between, the countess has a clutch for every occasion and mood. The one pictured above reads "Papa Razzi," "Brittania Rules," and "Flying The Flag For Fashion" (via Getty Images), looking almost like a British magazine cover merged with the nation's flag. Sophie brought the patriotic purse along to the opening of a new special education school in 2010 and brings a striking pop of color on top of her all-black suit.

Apparently, the countess' favorite bag designer is Sophie Habsburg for guaranteed unique styles. "Sophie Habsburg's bags experiment with unusual materials such as straw and raffia and also include elements of ethnic embroidery, leather fringe and ikat fabric," fashion expert Daena Borrowman said (via Express). "These designs may perhaps be too unconventional for other British royal women ... but the kooky prints match the countess of Wessex's unpretentious vibe."

When she slays in pumps

Though Sophie, Countess of Wessex enjoys showing off boots and sandals seasonally, it seems her preferred shoe is the pump. She wears a matching pair to almost every event, so it's safe to assume she probably owns heels in all kinds of fun colors! When she doesn't have the perfect matching shade, she usually turns to coordinate neutrals like beige, grey, white, and nude (via Tatler) to draw attention upward toward whatever statement dress she donned that day. 

You might be wondering how the countess manages to strut around the cobblestoned streets of London in heels all day without collapsing — we're here to spill the tea! According to Kendall Jenner, another celebrity who lives in high heels, the secret to avoiding sore feet in heels is to move continuously. "Yeah, it's kind of painful! I'll be honest," she said (via Elle). "I switch off from one foot to another a lot." With this knowledge — and maybe some comfy gel inserts — there's no reason you can't also rock pumps like a royal too!