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The Surprising Reason Meghan Markle's Shoes Are Always Too Big

Plus: our insider offers a fashion fix for the newly minted duchess.

There's no question that Meghan Markle's style has evolved since her marriage to Prince Harry. For her first appearance earlier this week at Royal Ascot, the new Duchess of Sussex stunned in a white silk shirtdress by Givenchy and an eye-catching black and white custom Philip Treacy hat.

But the black leather pumps she wore with the stunning look revealed there is still something oddly off about most of her outfits—her shoes are always too big.

In close-up photographs of the duchess's footwear, there's usually a noticeable gap between the back of her shoe and her heel. Given that Meghan has access to the very best of everything—not to mention the ready-24/7 advice of the world's most-sought after stylists—this fashion faux pas seems particularly strange, to say the least.

What gives?

It turns out that the Duchess of Sussex is just employing a style hack she learned in Hollywood. "Meghan usually wears very high heels and celebrities often go up an size in shoes they wear them on the red carpet to avoid developing bunions or getting blisters," a palace insider told me. "Standing around for hours in heels can make feet swell, which is very uncomfortable, so many women often wear slightly bigger shoes. The problem for Meghan is her foot and ankles are so slim, it's much more noticeable on her."

Another time Meghan appeared to be wearing ill-fitting shoes much in March when she visited Ireland with Harry and her orange velvet Jimmy Choo heels looked a tad large. So how does she keep her shoes on?

"Meghan used to get around it by wearing a lot of lace up styles as she did for her engagement photo call," said my source. But the much-too-big beige suede stilettos she wore that day made her appear wobbly in front of the camera for her first official appearance as duchess-to-be. "Those are not really appropriate for a royal wardrobe, so now she usually stuffs the toe with some cotton padding."

Last weekend, Meghan's choice of an ill-fitting shoe nearly caused her to lose her footing as she walked to church to attend Princess Diana's niece, Celia McCorquodale's, wedding with Harry, who caught his wife before she could fall.

Luckily, there's another fashion hack that Meghan can borrow from her sister-in-law, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, who literally never puts a foot wrong. Catherine is a fan of Barely There Tights by John Lewis ($5) with a "non-slip grip." The hosiery, which is available in nude, tan, and black, has invisible silicone strips that wrap around the foot and help shoes stay on.

"The Duchess of Cambridge always looks flawless," said my source. "Meghan would do well to follow her lead."

And for more style from the duchess's wardrobe, learn the Meghan Markle's 10 Favorite Brands That Became Instant Bestsellers.

Diane Clehane is a New York-based journalist and author of Imagining Diana and Diana: The Secrets of Her Style.

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