Kate Middleton’s Royal Tour Style Included a Smocked Dress


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Photo Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty

Middleton and Prince William, who are currently representing Queen Elizabeth on their week-long Caribbean tour, have a busy few days ahead, with stops also planned in Belize, Jamaica, and the Bahamas. The seven-day visit kicked off on Saturday, with Middleton arriving in Belize in style, wearing a lacey blue two-piece with pretty peplum detailing. But alas, the easy-going maxi she wore the day after their arrival is what has all our attention right now. 

For a Sunday visit to Hopkins, a small village on the coast of Belize, Middleton channeled summer style to a T in her floral-print Tory Burch dress that’s currently sold out everywhere (but you can borrow it on Rent the Runway). Aside from the cheery print and stunning blue color, there was one key design detail that’s worth mentioning: that smocked bodice. It’s what made the dress an exceptionally flattering pick for a busy, fun-filled day.

Smocked bodices are nothing new, but Middleton’s dress reminded us about the brilliant design detail, brilliant because smocking — which is an embroidery technique used to gather fabric — gives the garment extra dimension and a whole lot more stretch. And as we know, stretch equals comfort. What’s more, smocking also camouflages, with its body-hugging, ruched design offering a flattering touch.

Middleton paired her dress with Stuart Weitzman wedges, an Anya Hindmarch straw fan clutch, and big blue Sezane earrings, accessories that complemented her summery dress without stealing any attention away. She later slipped out of her heels and into espadrille flats, proving that this dress style goes well with every footwear imaginable. 

Shop smocked bodice dresses inspired by Middleton’s tropical style below.

Buy It! Free People Dahlia Embroidered Maxi Dress, $168; freepeople.com

Buy It! Draper James Deana Smocked Stripe Poplin Midi Dress, $135; nordstrom.com

Buy It! R.Vivimos Puff Sleeve Maxi Dress, $29.99; amazon.com

Buy It! Topshop Smocked Tiered Cotton Maxi Dress, $65; nordstrom.com

Buy It! La Ligne Smock Bodice Cap Sleeve Cotton Dress, $295; nordstrom.com

Buy It! Zesica Square Neck Ruffle Maxi Dress, $35.99–$39.99; amazon.com