Meghan in Mix of Old & New for University of Johannesburg Engagement

The Duchess arrived at the University of Johannesburg early this morning wearing Banana Republic.

This was the first of her solo engagements today. Prince Harry is wrapping up his last day of engagements in Malawi and will be flying back to Johannesburg later; we’ll see the couple at joint engagements tomorrow.

Meghan was at the university in her role as patron of the Association of Commonwealth Universities. The ACU is a network of more than 500 universities in 50 commonwealth countries. The Duchess has been patron of the organization since January.
A quick video of Meghan’s arrival at the University.

Below you see Meghan being welcomed by Tshilidzi Marwala, Vice-Chancellor and Principal at the University, and Dr. Joanna Newman, the first female Secretary General of the ACU.

There was a large group of students eager to see the Duchess.

The group waves to those cheering Meghan’s arrival. 

In this video you’ll see the Duchess walking to the building where the event was taking place.

The Duchess joined a roundtable discussion.

The primary focus: gender equity and broadening access to education. From the Evening Standard’s piece:

She was hailed an “inspiration” to the university’s students by its vice chancellor Professor Tshilidzi Marwala. 

The duchess, a strong advocate of accessible education for all, said ­women’s education was key to gender quality.

Some of Meghan’s comments via the Sussex Royal Instagram page:

“Sometimes access to education can seem so big, you wonder where to even begin? So you begin with one student, or one school, you simply begin. And that’s when we see change.”

She continued by referencing a Martin Luther King Jr quote: “Take the first step… you don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

This 1:45 video is almost entirely Meghan speaking at the event.

Meghan met with students and educators for to announce a number of new ACU Gender Grants for the University of Johannesburg, Stellenbosch University and University of Western Cape.

The Duchess announced he newest group of recipients of the ACU’s Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships, including students from Tanzania, Zambia & Nigeria.

Below, more fans waiting to see the Duchess.

You can hear the loud screams from the students in this video from Victoria Murphy.

Now for our look at what Meghan wore for this morning’s engagement.

She was in a dress by Banana Republic. It is the brand’s Double-Breasted Trench Dress in Khaki ($139, now $83.40 with the 40% off sale, no code needed).

A style Meghan is fond of, the dress features classic trench styling with a double-breasted front, notched lapels, slanted welt pockets and belt. It is 100% triacetate with a polyester lining. Our thanks go to Caroline Parr for another fabulous ID!

Her shoes are the Stuart Weitzman Legend Pump in Haze Beige ($375). The shoe is no longer available. The retailer offers a similar style, ‘The Leigh’, $398.

The Duchess wore her hair down and did not have earrings on this morning.

Meghan brought back her Alemdara Didem Bracelet in yellow gold with a turquoise enamel eye ($338).

Don’t miss our post on Meghan’s second engagement; click here to read The Duchess in Ethical Label for Visit to Action Aid & Meghan’s Interview”.

Are you following us on Instagram?! Our latest What Meghan Wore Instagram posts are below:

Banana Republic dress / Stuart Weitzman shoes / Alemdara bracelet

This Royal Family Channel piece runs about 4:30.

Here is 14 minutes+ of the University visit from the UK’s 5NEWS.



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  1. This dress was a big miss for me, the tie belt makes Meghan look square and thick-waisted, which she is not. I like the lapels, which are a unique look that add some interest and structure to the dress, but other than that this dress is just “meh”.

    I also think that sleeveless clothing is unprofessional, especially in the context of a meeting that will be televised and photographed internationally. She stands out amongst the other women, and when in doubt, it’s always better to dress MORE conservatively than your hosts. Many of the other women are wearing suits, blazers and their best clothes. Dressing down in a sleeveless, ill-fitting inexpensive dress does not look professional or respectful.

    I’m not sure the “dressing down” strategy works while on a royal tour, even in a poor country. People meeting Meghan and Harry will be wearing their best, so dressing down on tour, especially when Meghan wore very expensive dresses all summer, like the black Valentino to a private event, custom Dior to Archie’s christening, Stella McCartney to a baseball game and Jason Wu, could be seen as patronizing. To me, it would be more respectful of the women Meghan is meeting, who are dressed in their best, to dress professionally and in high-quality (not necessarily expensive) clothing. Meghan could have found a nice middle ground between Valentino or Givenchy and cheap, rumpled-looking clothes or “recycles” from previous tours.

    For example, the Club Monaco dress, dresses by Mayamiko (not sure if that’s the right name), Hannah Lavery, Aritzia, local jewelry and ethical labels were thoughtful, beautiful and suitable for the occasion without being too expensive. Maybe fewer expensive accessories (like the shoes!), and instead, bespoke dresses by South African or British designers, to honor her host country and fly the flag for Britain? Bespoke would cost more, but would have the benefit of not having a price tag made public. Dressing in local labels, or having a dress custom made by a South African dressmaker would have been affordable, and drawn attention to local talent.

    Anyway, just a thought, and I don’t want to be too critical. Seems like dressing for a tour is a huge balancing act, and I enjoyed many of Meghan’s tour outfits. This dress just made me think about her strategy a bit.

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  2. Another trench dress! This one is okay. I like the color on her but I think the size looks a smidge tight. The sleeveless look doesn’t bother me though a cardigan/blazer might have jazzed the outfit up a bit. She looks so happy here.

    • Thanks Krielie – it figures! Another retailer excluding specific items that Meghan has worn! Although BR does this often. – Susan C.

  3. Meghan you just keep on wowing us with your style and grace. I just love how she is proudly showing how sexy and professional a woman can look post-baby. All her looks are attainable by any one of us. I think that is exactly the point she is trying to make to South Africa and the world. Yes I know some of these basic looks don’t come cheap but some do. If they are expensive there are lots of dupes out there. What an inspiration for young mothers to be their best self!

  4. I love the monochrome – and I think this color looks really nice on her skin tone. The hair and makeup is to die for, I would LOVE to see her makeup artist on camera talking about her techniques – because it’s faultless. Megan is obviously very pretty, but the makeup artist has enhanced everything in a subtle and fresh way.
    I think the dress proportions don’t look so flattering on Megan right now – the dress yesterday in the indigo and the dress she wears later in drab green had much more flattering shapes if I’m honest. But the color is really pretty.

    • Joego – Meghan does her own makeup on tour. On occasion, Daniel Martin will do her makeup for her if he’s in town or if she asks him to come to London for a special event. 🙂 It’s a really easy look to achieve. – Susan C.

      • Thank you Susan. Has the site run a special in this before? If you have can you please direct me to it? I would love to learn how to achieve this look and the products used. I want to glow like Meghan!

      • Wow, I’m very surprised she does her own makeup. I always assumed they have a “beauty team” that travels with them. Is it mentioned somewhere she does her own? Her eyemakeup is really pretty.
        She must have a hairdresser travelling with her?

        • Hi Joego, It’s been mentioned in articles as well as old articles and interviews – plus a video shows Meghan doing her makeup in the back of a cab with Bobbi Brown. 🙂 She uses a lot of Dior makeup (thank you Daniel Martin!) and Chanel. I am a product guru or junkie, depending on how you look at it! (Susan K. can vouch for me! LOL) – so I am always trying new makeup and skincare products. Much of what Meghan has used or is using, I’ve already been using or have tried. Her makeup is very very easy to achieve. Years ago I took a makeup class with international makeup artist Robert Jones. He’s amazing! I learned a great deal from him and have two of his books. I also took a fantastic brush tutorial class years back.
          Meghan’s hair dress is George Northwood. You can spot him in photos when they arrived in Australia for the tour last year. I would also suggest following Daniel Martin on Instagram. Daniel is an ambassador for Dior Beauty. He also posts the latest and greats products he is using and receives. Much of those products he ends up using on or sharing with Meghan. In Vanity Fair, October 2017, the BioSilk line of hair care products were used on Meghan’s hair. Great products – I’ve used them in the past. = Susan C.

  5. This looks a lot like the dress Meghan wore when she introduced Archie and also like the dress she wore at an event in London before the Australia tour. I like today’s look but this is a weird type of dress to have multiples of. Out of the few she’s worn in this style, I think this is probably my favorite. The dress looks great with the suede shoes.

    Also nice to see Meghan visiting one of her patronages on the tour.

  6. I always get stunned by how beautiful Meghan is. You’d think I know it by now but then a new photo makes me think, “Wow. She is so gorgeous!” That’s how she looks today with her hair and makeup. I had hoped for more fun colors on this tour — like oranges and yellows which look so good on her — but alas, no. I’m glad she has a style she comfortable in but agree notching it up a big with a blazer or longer length would have helped in the meeting. Overall though she looks so happy and is so in her element in academia. I’m pondering the name “Gender grant.” It’s sounds so funny to me. I assume it’s to give women equal access to university, but then why not call it that? Perhaps its mission is to equalize education between the genders or something but it seems like such an odd name. Like you’re getting a grant if you have a gender, or they’re bestowing a gender on you 🙂

  7. I thought this was the same dress when the Duchess introduced little Archie, but it isn’t. Not my favourite but she looks fine.

  8. The Duchess is an excellent public speaker!
    I like the dress and I think it’s a totally appropriate work dress, but I agree that at the table with all the suited-up people, she looked a little underdressed. That might have been hard to anticipate–the dress codes in South Africa seem a little complex. But yes, a black blazer might have looked really sharp with this, especially with the heels and the earrings.

  9. The monochrome is chic and I like that she’s switching things up with skirt length. The lack of earrings is intriguing, but I like it. I’m a firm believer that jewelry is a personal choice. No woman should feel she must wear earrings or any adornment to be “feminine” or “polished.”

    I am not a fan of sleeveless tops in daytime professional settings, and I’m hoping this is not going to become a standard look for Meghan. It’s not about Meghan being a member of the royal family; I would say the same about businesswomen, news anchors and first ladies. I did love the chic black jumpsuit ensemble, which somehow felt right for the two engagement on that day. But when you’re sitting around a table discussing policy issues with other professionals, fully bare arms is not a professional look, IMHO.

  10. It’s a nice dress but looks unprofessional. She needed either a longer length (like the white version when Archie was born) or a blazer over it. The short length combined with the bare arms looks inappropriate for the occasion and too casual.

  11. The Duchess looks happy to be out seeing her charities today. She is doing a wonderful job highlighting the issues she is concerned about. I don’t particularly like this dress on her. The color is boring and doesn’t complement her. At first I thought the dress was pulling in the bust area but then noticed it does the same on the model. Also, I don’t find the trench style flattering on the Dutches but I know she likes them. And it’s her decision what she wants to wear.

  12. This dress is lovely. It’s not a WOW like some others are, but what I love about it is how totally in-sync with Meghan’s “uniform” it is. It took a while for her uniform to become apparent because it’s more varied and less standard than some other royal’s uniforms such as Queen Elizabeth’s brightly colored coats and Kate Middleton’s coat dresses, but it’s still there. Dresses with collars and full-length buttons, classic minimalist designs, and muted natural colors. I really like it!

  13. This is a lovely pick for a working dress and a fresh riff on a key Meghan theme of the trench style. The shirt detailing of the bodice is good for giving a businesslike speech while the warm neutral is peachy and feminine and looks wonderful against Meghan’s skin tone. The dress also fits nicely, skimming over the post-baby curves while accenting her returning figure. I like how she’s streamlined the look by matching up with the nude Stuart Weitzmans. The Alemdara bracelet is exquisite here.

    My only concern is that I wonder when it’s possible to go too far with budget buy outfits. I think it’s fine in the student context of a university campus in general, but I’m not so comfortable when Meghan is meeting senior education staff. The dress is also slightly at odds with the cost of the Weitzmans so the message is in danger of being mixed.

    I’m reminded in part of when Kate wore a pale Reiss bandage dress when meeting a very colourful Michelle Obama right after the wedding. It was as if Kate wanted to fade away while Michelle had the problem of needing a standout outfit for official photos. I thought it a mis-step by Kate at the time and not one she ever repeated. It is of course a very tricky tightrope to walk on diplomatic royal dressing and it’s equally early days for Meghan, who is clearly having a very successful tour. This is just my private musing!

  14. Love her hair and make up. That dress fits her wonderfully! But I do think she needed a blazer on top to make it a little more professional.

  15. She has worn similar dresses before. I liked the pinkish version from last summer in Australia and the dress she wore post Archie’s birth much better. The longer length on both of those was more flattering. The colors were also better. This tan is too close to her skin tone and looks blah. I would have loved to have seen one of those other dresses tailored to fit her now. That would have been a great rewear!

  16. While I find the colour flattering on Meghan and while the shoes coordinate well, I do not care for this outfit. The double breasted feature and wide belt on this dress make for a rather boxy look. Perhaps I just don’t care for trench dresses. Her hair is lovely as is her makeup.

    Meghan has again drawn attention to the good work being done within the Commonwealth. I’m sure she will be happy to see Harry on his return.

  17. The Duchess looked beautiful today, I like her hair down. I am not crazy about these trench dresses she wears. The way she wears the belt just flapping around. The dress looks more polished on the model photo. I noticed she missed (almost) the button. Pops of color might have accented this better. I understand her minimalist look for this tour, but a little too minimalist.
    I love the causes she is representing though.

  18. This looks identical to the dress she wore when they introduced Archie after he was born. I’m shocked it’s not the same one.


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