Whether or not her title remains “Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Sussex,” Meghan Markle will always be the queen of stylish packing. Her whirlwind schedule—jetting off for an appearance on The Today Show one day, touring South Africa as part of a royal visit the next—would leave even the most frequent traveler fatigued and worn. But not Markle, who always looks pristine and put together with a collection of tasteful sheath dresses, belted coats, and darling hats ready to be called into service. (Who else can make a Philip Treacy fascinator look modern and fresh?)
Now that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are dividing their time between the United Kingdom and North America, you can bet she’ll be jetsetting with even more frequency. It’s a charmed life, one that can sound as unfeasible as finding a glass slipper. But even a commoner in coach such as ourselves can borrow some tips and tricks from Markle’s travel wardrobe and arrive looking like royalty.
Where Does Meghan Markle Travel?
Long before she had a royal title or a prince by her side, Meghan Markle was a globetrotter splitting her time between two countries: the United States, where she grew up, and Canada, where her TV show Suits was filmed. But that travel went into hyper-drive once she was pulled into royal duties. Dizzying itineraries of royal trips were added to her calendar, including a multi-stop tour of Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and the Kingdom of Tonga. More recently, she traveled to South Africa on a 10-day trip as an ambassador of Buckingham Palace.
In between all that, Markle and Prince Harry have occasionally managed to slip away on trips like their three-day jaunt to Morocco, although their honeymoon was such enticing tabloid bait that they had to duck out of the country to an undisclosed location once the press got hip to their plans of heading to Namibia. But that’s exactly what you’d expect of a couple whose second date was followed up by a trip to Botswana.
Meghan Markle’s Travel Style
Don’t be fooled by the open smile, the tousled hair, or the hugging—Markle may be the picture of warmth and approachability, but her travel wardrobe is polished, composed, and well considered. Markle doesn’t go for girly embellishments; you can forget about frilly collars, ruffles, or applique. Her staples tend to be serious, adult, and womanly. Picture belted sheath dresses, camel coats, navy blazers, black skinny jeans, and classic nude pumps. It’s a chic, no-nonsense look that lands somewhere between Hitchcock heroine and CEO.
Markle also avoids anything too clingy or low-cut, opting instead for structured pencil skirts, silk blouses, and sharp collars with a bit of architecture. Even at her most casual—sitting sideline at sports matches or traipsing through the countryside—Markle is always presentable in white button-up shirts, skinny jeans, or shirtwaist dresses. After all, being a royal role model is a 24/7 gig.
Three Words to Describe Meghan Markle’s Travel Style
View this post on Instagram
On this day, two years ago: 27th of November 2017, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced the news of their engagement, later becoming Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex! They have since celebrated their wedding anniversary and welcomed their son, Archie, into the world ❤️ • Photo © PA / Alexi Lubomirski / Chris Allerton © SussexRoyal
Streamlined: Busy prints? Embroidery? Lace overlays or big bows? No, thank you. Ever the modern royal, Markle is all about clean, tailored lines with no flouncy distractions. A sharp shift dress and a pointed heel are her default setting, and she loves throwing on a belted jacket or navy blazer to add a top coat of polish. Even her jewelry is kept to a minimum—typically just a thin gold bracelet, delicate drop earrings or studs, or a small pendant on a chain—proving what light packers have known all along: A tiny dose of sparkle is all you need.
Preppy: Don’t be fooled by articles that pigeonhole Markle as “avant-garde.” If you study her style, she’s a lock for the classic prepster. The trenchcoat dresses, denim jackets, striped shirts, and Le Spec sunglasses seem like a collegiate wardrobe that’s graduated to adulthood. We bet she learned to rock a white button-up and bun back in her Northwestern University days. And who else could pull off mini striped shorts with a white T-shirt and a matching blazer?
Ladylike: Clearly, Markle believes in the power of a form-fitting dress and towering heels to command a room. When she makes an entrance, it’s often in a belted sheath dress and nude pumps, a combo that she continued into her pregnancy, just relaxing the waist a bit to make room for England’s newest royal. Even her outerwear gets a feminine spin, with a belted silhouette. If Markle has a tomboy side, we have yet to see it.
Three Colors That Meghan Markle Rocks
Navy: Navy gets a bad rap for being matronly, lacking the edginess of black or the boldness of royal blue. But on Markle, it’s polished perfection, complementing her dark hair and adding a hint of color without being flashy. As an evening dress, like the halter number she wore to the Auckland War Memorial Museum, it’s fresh and unexpected. Markle also isn’t afraid to mix black and navy, a color combo that was once considered a fashion faux pas. But as Markle proves, it’s worth rethinking stodgy old rules.
Cream and Camel: From the belted trench dress she wore to present baby Archie to the world to the camel coat she donned on her first royal Christmas service, Markle can’t resist anything in a beige or toffee hue. It’s a classic choice, and unsurprisingly, it goes well with navy. But Markle gives it a modern twist, whether that’s wearing it head to toe in one monochromatic shot or blending textures and shades, like the silky mocha-colored slip-skirt paired with a taupe turtleneck.
Emerald Green: Like many savvy travelers, Markle has built up a wardrobe full of goes-with-everything neutrals (beige, navy, black). Smart move, given that they can be worn and reworn in countless ways. But even Markle can’t resist busting out a bold hue, especially when the occasion calls for a splash of color. She usually opts for jewel tones like ruby red or bright sapphire blue, but we’re partial to her emerald green outfits, especially when she put together a deep green leather skirt with a fluttery green blouse, a look that’s pure money.
How to Dress Like Meghan Markle on a Business Trip
A belted navy shift is straight out of Markle’s playbook, especially when it’s paired with nude heels. Keep the bling to a minimum with these delicate pearl-drop earrings, accented with teensy diamonds. A blush-colored pocketbook on a chain strap is both ladylike and practical. It’s a good dupe for the Stella McCartney clutch Markle carried around on International Women’s Day, but about an eighth of the price. If you’re stepping out for a power lunch, do as Meghan would do and throw on this belted camel coat to dash out in style.
How to Dress Like Meghan Markle While Sightseeing
Even a duchess needs some easy-breezy outfits. A tie-waist shirtdress was Markle’s default look while touring South Africa, a climate that demanded cool, comfortable clothing that still looked pulled together. And she frequently paired her dresses with red Everlane flats, a notable departure from her usual heels, but all the better to tour Johannesburg comfortably. A sweet, sentimental necklace (maybe holding a photo of your sweetheart) helps with any homesickness. And a crossbody bag keeps your hands free, ideal to meet and greet locals.
How to Dress Like Meghan Markle for a Night Out
Time to bump up the drama. Ditch the sensible neutrals and go for green. This floor-length emerald number has the Markle wow factor. But even though it’s eveningwear, it’s not entirely impractical: The wrap bodice lets you wear it in a variety of ways (V-neck, one-shoulder, strapless), increasing its mileage. We’d opt for halter straps—a Markle favorite. Nude sandals keep the focus on the dress, as do white topaz studs. With a swipe of lipstick and a metallic clutch, you’re ready to own the room.
Three Meghan Markle-Inspired Accessories to Amp Up Any Outfit
More from SmarterTravel:
- Ridiculously Comfortable Travel Clothes That Don’t Sacrifice Style
- The 7 Most Beautiful Castles Outside of Europe
- The Best Layering Clothes for Travel
Maria Teresa Hart is the Executive Editor of What to Pack (a TripAdvisor company). Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Vox, The Washington Post, Marie Claire, and other outlets.