Apr 112014

Kate and William spent much of the day in Auckland, starting with a stop at Whenuapai Air Force Base. The RNZAF (Royal New Zealand Air Force) plane carrying the couple from Wellington to Auckland landed at the Base, where the Duke and Duchess spent time chatting with Base personnel and their families.

Photography by Woolf/Crown Copyright

Photography by Woolf/Crown Copyright

Then it was time to head over to the Harbour, crowds lined the streets on the route from the Base to the Harbour.

New Zealand Governor General Instagram

New Zealand Governor General Instagram

After changing into seagoing clothes and shoes, it was time for a scene reminiscent of the 2011 dragon boat race in Canada, as William and Kate squared off against each other in races on the Harbour. This time the watercraft were a little bigger and faster, Emirates Team New Zealand Americas Cup yachts.

Jonathan Samuels, Sky News

Jonathan Samuels, Sky News

More on the races from Gordon Rayner’s story in the Telegraph:

The couple were in Auckland to visit the home of New Zealand’s America’s Cup team, and took to the sea with young sailors from a local yachting club.

Once they reached open water, the Duke and Duchess were invited to take the helm of their two yachts, and race around a series of buoys.

Stephen Lock / i-Images /www.i-Images.co

Stephen Lock / i-Images /www.i-Images.co

William looks very intense.

Stephen Lock / i-Images / www.i-Images.co

Stephen Lock / i-Images / www.i-Images.co

A better view of what Kate was wearing.

Andrew Parsons/i-Images/i-IUmages

Andrew Parsons/i-Images/i-Images

The competition was fierce, but Kate prevailed and her team won both races.

Photography by Woolf/Crown Copyright

Photography by Woolf/Crown Copyright

The Duchess avenged her dragon boat loss in Canada 3 years ago.

Photography by Woolf/CrownCopyright

Photography by Woolf/CrownCopyright

It was a stunning day on the water, as seen in this picture from CNN’s David Wilkinson.

David Wilkinson, CNN

David Wilkinson, CNN


Now, to what Kate wore, starting with the Zara jacket.



The jacket has more of a military feel than most navy blazers, due in large part to the additional buttons, as well as the way they are spaced more closely together. It is a poly/rayon blend with a touch of Elastane to provide some stretch and give. The jacket sells for $139 in the US.

UPDATED 4/11: ME + EM says they will have the top back in stock in May.

Kate’s Breton Top in cobalt/white is from a British company, ME+EM.



From the product description:

The top has a scoop neckline, ¾ length sleeves and ruched detailing to the bottom hem are flattering design features.

The top sells for £38, about $68 at today’s exchange rates.  ME+EM is an online only retailer, offering basic pieces made in Britain and Europe.

There is debate about whether Kate was wearing skinny jeans from J Brand, or whether they were from Zara. I will update in the morning as soon as I get some sleep and can look at things with a clearer head.

UPDATE: The jeans are definitely from Zara, I should have recognized their tag on the back pocket in the photo below.

When looking at one of the photos showing Kate’s jeans I noticed there was something in her back pocket; I queried some fashion savvy friends who told me they thought it was the case for a pair of foldable sunglasses. After seeing the Ray-Ban logo on Kate’s sunglasses they suggested it was a pair of the Ray-Ban Folding Classics in dark tortoise.



I think they are right on both counts: that is a folding sunglass case in Kate’s pocket, and it could be the pair shown above, the tortoise.

The Duchess’s look today is one she favors; I don’t think anyone who follows her fashion was surprised to see the skinny jeans or the Corkswoon wedges. We show her wearing almost identical outfits below: on the left she plays volleyball at a SportsAid function, on the right she enjoys the London 2012 Games with William.

Splash News

Splash News

Kate’s wearing the Corkswoon wedge at Stuart Weitzman, where the shoes retail for $398.

Stuart Weitzman

Stuart Weitzman

Zappos also carries the shoes, their price is $385. Both retailers offer free shipping, I believe Zappos also offers free shipping for customer who return merchandise.

When it was time to step aboard the yachts Kate changed out of the Corkswoon, opting for another familiar pair of shoes, the Sebago Balas.

Sebago Bala

Sebago Bala

With apologies, I forgot to include jewelry in the post. Kate was also wearing her Grace earrings from Kiki McDonough.

Kiki McDonough 'Grace' Earrings

Kiki McDonough ‘Grace’ Earrings

When leaving the Marina Kate stopped to chat with some youngsters who had been waiting in hopes of seeing one of the royals.

New Zealand Governor-General

New Zealand Governor-General

William, Kate and Rebecca Deacon as they head back to the plane for the flight back to Wellington.

New Zealand Governor-General Instagram

New Zealand Governor-General Instagram



  • Kate and William begin the day with separate engagements in the town of Hamilton. Hamilton is located in the country’s Waikato region, on the North Island.
    • The Duke spends time at Pacific Aerospace, visiting the company’s factory
    • Kate will spend her time at Rainbow Place, a children’s hospice. She will meet children taking part in art therapy, as well as volunteers, nurses and family members.
  • After reconnecting, the couple journeys to Cambridge, a town located in the center of New Zealand’s agricultural heartland
    • The first stop will be at the Cambridge Memorial where they will pay their respects, and the Duke and Duchess enjoy the town’s central district
    • Travel to New Zealand’s brand new velodrome, William and Kate officially open the facility, known as the Avantidrome, meet some of New Zealand’s Olympic medalists, watch races and see a BMX exhibit


  56 Responses to “A Day at the Races for the Cambridges (Kinda’ Sorta’) UPDATED”

  1. http://www.joules.com/Women/Tops/Harbour/Womens-Cotton-Top/Navy-Breton-Stripe?id=Q_HARBOUR|NAVSTRP

    A slightly more budget option of the Breton stripe tshirt from joules and they seem to have lots of stock!

  2. Is the Zara blazer part of the current collection? I cannot seem to find it on the Canadian Zara site…..

  3. Does anyone know if the Zara blazer is a current season piece, I cannot find it on the canadian website

  4. Can you please provide a link to the Zara Jeans if possible? Thanks :)

  5. Love, love, love. Classic Kate.

  6. I love Kate, and yet the jeans she wears always look so trashy. They are so tight that they’re barely even jeans- they’re jeggings. If she wants to wear them like that on her personal time, that’s cool, but for official functions your pants should not be spray painted….

    NOTE: Edited minimally by editor.

  7. I love that she wore a hair elastic around her wrist for later. That’s such a ‘normal’ thing to do (at least for me it is)

  8. Just found an Almost the exact stripped shirt at Zara. $16.

  9. Love this look. She looks so youthful and beautiful, and I find it commendable that she is once again sporting attire that mere mortals can afford-she is relaying her now trademark comradery with the common man that made people admire her to begin with. I hope she never loses it. As for the jeans, they are skinny jeans, aptly named because they are tight. Women of all ages sport them as they are on trend now, so I see no problem with it, especially with her enviable figure.

    • Skinny jeans are called such because they have a close fit (“close”, not “second skin”) and a small ankle opening. She wears hers tighter than most.

  10. The shirt, jeans and deck shoes are adorable. The blazer, jeans and wedges I don’t care for as much. The blazer seems really boxy in that picture above especially compared with the jeans which are awfully snug, and I don’t really like all the contrasting shades of navy.
    That being said, I’m amazed at how good her hair looks after being in a ponytail, under a hat and on the open water! Gorgeous. And I love getting to see Kate and William having fun together.

  11. Do you know the exact lens on those Ray-Bans? Its hard to tell. They come in a greenish brownish tint and a reddish brownish tint and a bit of a yellow/brown tint.

  12. I think the jeans are too tight…..how does she move?…..and the shoes look silly with these jeans. Why not wear the boating shoes all day with those jeans?

  13. I think the jeans are too tight…..how does she move?…..and the shoes look silly with these jeans. Why not wear the beating shoes all day with those jeans?

  14. I love the wealth of fashion that comes with a tour like this, but I know it’s a lot of work for you to keep up. Just wanted to say you’re doing a great job, and I look forward to every new post that comes into my reader.

  15. Predictable outfit but a classic and very nautical. The wedges just don’t look good but the Sebago boat shoes go well with the jeans and so appropriate. Kate is not as tall as we think she is – in the lovely picture where she is talking to the youngsters you can see her height in comparison to the young children. I think the Duchess wears very high heels and wedges to appear as tall as Prince William or to be noticed in crowds – this is not necessary and I wish she would wear flat shoes more often when appropriate. The jeans with the boat shoes are an example. She looks great and in proportion.

    • I so agree. I have thought all along that she is about 5’7″ or 5’8″ but she wants to appear taller, that is why she always wears 4-5 inch heels. I think that is why she didn’t wear the Sebago shoes all day, because she does want to appear taller than she is. I agree, I think she should have worn the Sebago shoes all day. They fit better than the wedges which I have always thought looked like blocks on her legs. There is nothing wrong with being shorter, William is tall. Not to mention wearing 4-5 inch heels all day have to kill your feet after awhile. I wish she would embrace her natural height.

      • I forgot to add that 5’8″ is still tall, the average woman is 5’4″, so I’m not sure why she wants to appear 6 feet tall? So there is nothing wrong with her natural height IMO:)

        • We’ve had this discussion before on the WKW boards, and I really do not think she is wearing heels because she feels insecure about her height. Many women, including myself, simply feel more at home in heels. My only “flats” are tennis shoes and riding boots, and I would never think to attend a formal event in anything other than heels. Of course, I do not mean to imply that other women should do the same (and I certainly chuckled with empathy when Emma Thompson took off her Louboutins at the Golden Globes while saying that the red was from her blood); I’m just suggesting that the Duchess likes the look of heels, quite aside from whatever they add to her height.

          • I am 5’9″ naturally, and I consistently wear 3.5″-4.5″ heels. I enjoy being tall, and maybe Kate does, too ;)

            Plus, if you’ve worn heels for a very long time, your calf muscles can become shortened and it’s actually painful to wear flats.

  16. Gosh, that photo of the harbor is just amazing!! And such a beautiful day for sailing. Kate and William look so happy to be in that setting.

    When I was working (I’m retired) I must have had at least a dozen navy blazers in different styles. I don’t think you can have too many and navy is so much better looking than black, in my opinion. Some of mine were expensive and some were fairly cheap but I loved wearing them because I always felt professional and appropriate. Kate looks great in the one worn for the sailing. I also love her wedges. She probably loves them because they are comfortable and that’s all that matters when you are on your feet for hours meeting people. All around, very nice outfit.

  17. I know it feels like the striped shirt and blue blazer are Kate’s “uniform” when she is wearing jeans, and thus pretty predictable. But I still think it was perfect choice for today as it is very nautical and perfect for the occasion. She looked splendid. I especially love the shoes she changed into. I’m glad she and Wills were able to have a fun competition!

  18. You have truly surpassed yourself on the coverage of this tour. Susan, as one of your most loyal readers, you have blown me away with your creativity and intrepid pursuit of ID’ing what Kate wore! You are operating on a PhD-level, as evidenced by honing in on Kate’s foldable Ray-Ban sunglasses by analyzing the shape of hidden things in her pockets. When can we buy your book??

  19. Those are definitely the folding Ray-Bans. You can just see the break in the plastic where the ear piece folds in in this pic: http://markcuthbert.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/14-04-07-25-NZ-Australia-William-Kate/G0000VVrUnrm6D3Y/I0000CJUuWX0xh5E/C00005NkIg5nCHms

    Why did I not know these existed? I think I need them!

  20. I had a feeling we would see those ugly wedges on this tour. They are probably my least favorite item in all the Duchess’ wardrobe. The Sebago Balas shoes are so cute, why didn’t she just wear those the whole time? Oh well, she looks cute and I’m glad she beat Wills.

  21. I saw that jacket in our store a few weeks back. The cutting looks very nice and I really like the details on the back. Funny when I saw it, I was thinking”this could be a nice alternative to one of the Kate’s navy blazers”. LOL

  22. This is what I assumed she would wear, and the outfit was completely appropriate for the day. I do wish she would mix it up a little because we have seen this so often for these types of engagements. Slightly different pieces, maybe, but essentially the same look. I don’t mind the wedges, but I don’t like them with the skinny jeans.

  23. Please can you id the watch Kate is wearing here? Thank you!

  24. I love Kate’s watch. Does anybody know what size it is, as I believe Cartier do this watch in a variety of sizes of watch face?

  25. I think the Vogue article predicted this exact outfit for the boating day, which of course wasn’t a difficult prediction to make, as we all know the Duchess is fond of striped shirts and skinny jeans. It is a look that works very well for her, and the nautical overtones are particularly appropriate considering the venue.

    I assumed she was wearing her Smythe blazer, but it appears that, like me, the Duchess thinks one navy blazer isn’t enough! (They are very addictive. It’s hard to say no.) I really appreciate this Zara blazer, especially the buttons, which deliver a nod to the nautical theme.

    I know many don’t particularly care for the wedges, but they’ve never bothered me. I like that shade of navy, and wedges can be so comfortable.

    The Duchess looks so beautiful and at home is casual wear. This event looked like such fun! And the views of the harbor are SPECTACULAR.

    • Agree with you about those views. Auckland is a fabulous spot and lucky them to get such a hands-on boating event laid on!

      I share your problem with navy blazers. Although, now I come to look at this one again, it does seem a little short of the kind of quality I associate with Kate — would I be pushing the boat out here (punning aside) — to suggest that it might even be a little, well, cheap?

      Perhaps that question alone reveals a terrible weak spot and a constant threat to the state of my finances. I’m not fond of airing labels and items purchased in public here, please for give me, but it seems just a very little bit …vulgar???!! You may tell me I’m being a shade Lady Mary here, or even Dowager Grantham herself, I don’t mind. I’ve been called worse.

      But this jacket doesn’t just quite manage to sit right, I think it may be waisted, and brought in at the point where Kate’s waist is not, she being long in the torso, as Lili has often pointed out –and where is she when we need her? I remember a post she wrote on aspects of an Armani jacket that was close to poetic!

      And with the buttons done up it seems to pull the garment awkwardly so that it doesn’t quite pull off that perfect combo with jeans where the best-constructed jacket looks edgy, and jeans suddenly acquire an interesting gloss of class. Just tell me I’m daft. Please.

      • And then there is also the small problem of where the positioning of the two top buttons end up as she’s walking. But I must forbear, time for my afternoon nap, dears.

        • Well, retailing at $139 USD it would not be inaccurate to term this blazer “cheap” in relation to the rest of the Duchess’s wardrobe, though of course the majority of people (including myself) would not consider a +$100 jacket “cheap” but rather an investment piece. This Zara blazer can’t help but compare poorly to the Smythe (retailing at $400-$500) and really does not fare well when viewed alongside the exquisite Emilio Pucci blazer. (I was wrong when I wrote in my original post that I was thinking she had worn the Smythe… I was recalling to mind the Emilio Pucci, but messed up the label names.) Although there are exceptions to every rule, a higher price tag generally means better tailoring, higher quality fabric, and more accomplished detailing. I’m slightly perplexed as to why the Duchess would choose this Zara blazer when she has a nearly identical, but much better quality blazer in the Emilio Pucci (unless the Pucci was borrowed from her mother… I don’t know if this speculation is credible and cannot even begin to recall where I read it, but I seem to remember there was some proof that the blazer was actually Carole’s). Of course, the possibility exists that the Duchess did not want to wear an almost $2,000 blazer on a boat where mishaps could occur and ruin the garment; thus, like many of us, she chose to purchase a less expensive piece so that if something did happen, it would be less tragic.

          Zara is well-known for copying high-end designer looks and translating them into more affordable pieces for peons like me (see this post: http://www.manrepeller.com/2014/03/zara-spring.html). I haven’t quite determined how I feel about celebrities and individuals like the Duchess who can purchase the actual designer pieces choosing to buy the cheaper alternatives instead. I know that many appreciate the move: generally, the individual is applauded for being down-to-earth or something (see the accolades Michelle Obama garners every time she steps out in J Crew). However, it has always felt vaguely reminiscent of pandering to me. If I were given the option between filet mignon and a McDonald’s hamburger, I would obviously go for the filet. I find it hard to believe that the Duchess actually prefers Zara to the Pucci blazer. And this is not to mention the fact of sweat shop labor that often goes into creating fast fashion, as well as the blatant copying from high-end designers that mass retailers enact. I’m tempted to say that if you can afford the real deal instead of the knock-off, you really should give your money to the artist who is behind the design. Yet I’m well aware that this is an intensely complicated issue. In these times of austerity, the Duchess simply cannot be stepping out in McQueen exclusively, though she still has to maintain the allure which is supposed to accompany royalty.

          I would add, on a personal note, that I do like this jacket (or did, before you astutely pointed out the unfortunate positioning of the top buttons when the jacket is done up. I would take it to a tailor and get those altered in some way. I suspect this is why the jacket is left unbuttoned on the model…). I think it looks far more polished than the Topshop Polka Dot dress or the Contrast Collar Dress (I absolutely loathed the latter). However, when I was in the UK I found both Zara and Topshop stores felt so cheap that I was turned off; I got the same feeling from them as Forever 21 in the US.

          This is all to say that if you are a shade Lady Mary, then I’m a shade Lady Mary, too. Perhaps we should schedule a tea together? (Favorite line of all time: “What on earth is a weekend?”)

          • Hi Ashley! Thanks you for such a kind and thoughtful reply. These are busy times what with keeping up with Kate plus private family matters — and trying to find time to fix supper! — and I’m sorry if I can’t reply as carefully as I’d like. You’re quite right — I’m talking investment pieces here, too. I like to hunt down the blazer that can take the place of five (and free up hanging space) and then gets worn to bits for work, leisure et al.

            The ones that catch my eye these days are usually in the £400-£500 mark, and having established that, I then set to work to find the best bargain replacement I can! I have no shame, why pay more? These days reasonable navy jackets seem to be weighing in at about £200. I haven’t looked too recently, as the last one I got is doing fine, and I may well have tracked it down at sale price. The internet was invented so I don’t have to pay full price?? Anyway, it’s pennies spent to last so I probably think of it as no more than about £50 a year over the jacket’s working life!

            I think your boating point is very valid — it would be a daft place to take a £2K blazer, although Kate may be wearing jewellery — including that engagement ring — which would eclipse even that price tag.

            I like your comments about High Street and public figures who wear it, and the point about paying the artist is valid. Mostly I like the mix, I think it can look street-wise and in a way points up ideas that the fashionistas may not have thought of. If the piece chosen does the job and can be carried off well — and the Duchess and Mrs O are both skilled at this — then I say bring it on But like you my only experience of Top Shop is of that uncomfortably cheap feel and you’re absolutely right, the Zara jacket is nowhere near as odd-looking as the polka-dot dress and the contrast collar — I didn’t like that one bit either.

            In fact I’m probably just grumbling because I simply don’t like short waisted jackets coming into fashion and don ‘t want to have to change my ways and buy one!

            BTW, have you seen that Lili is back in town? She has resurfaced on the next green Erdem coat post, just to let us know that a problem with one eye heavily restricts her use of computer at the moment. I’ve left her my best wishes!

          • Thanks, as always, for the interesting exchange! Personally, I have to shop much lower down on the price scale: as a graduate student living off a stipend, very little exists in terms of a disposable income. What Kate Wore and other blogs feed my taste for fashion, thankfully. However, I will add that I do think it is able to be fashionable on a budget. I shop very carefully and invest in quality over quantity; it sounds like you do the same, as all fashion mavens should, whatever their respective budgets!

            Your observation about the costly jewelry the Duchess almost always has on her person is valid (case in point: the Kiki McDonough earrings she wore to go white water rafting today!). Better her than me, I say. I would hate to be responsible for the sapphire engagement ring. It is exquisite, but the sentimental value alone of such a piece would weigh so heavily on me, I believe I would just be petrified every time I stepped out of my house with it on.

            I did see that the priceless Lili has returned to the foray in the Erdem post… I’ve missed her measured and erudite commentary. I too hope she recovers soon!

          • Lovely to hear back from you. If you’re living off a stipend then please accept apologies — I would hate to try to be acting the swank in front of those operating on a fixed budget. I knew I wouldn’t manage a careful reply — my own means are relatively fixed now I’m on a pension. My social activities are necessarily limited too, for health reasons, hence items bought in a previous life are still being dusted off and recycled — that last bit is what I have in common with Kate!

            Agree with you entirely it is possible to be fashionable on a budget — especially given that a classic navy blazer never really goes out of fashion. Back in my early days in London I remember discovering that affordable items from a good label often worked better than going to the likes of Top Shop — which of course serves its purpose in its own way.

            And then of course, there’s eBay…I have a little Planet jacket much admired here which came in at a mighty 99p! Fine for the supermarket?

            I’ve also remembered that the problem I have with waisted jackets is the way they often land on the hips and are not kind to the female form. Kate of course is more than happy to expand her narrow hips wherever possible. Also, in her case, I’m more than happy for her to spend squillions on outfits because they serve such an important diplomatic purpose, if she’s too downmarket she’d look out of place among all those assorted bigwigs.

        • Just a quick postscript AshleyOlivia, I keep wondering if I might ask — without being too intrusive, Dowager Lady Grantham might disapprove! — what is your line of study? I have a friend who recently — and deservedly — won her doctorate in Shakespeare studies some 40 years after we left university!

    • Thank you for addressing “how many navy blazers does one woman need???” Soooo true. I love the button detail on this selection too. Just a side note, LOVE the photo shot of the Duchess wearing her hair elastic around her wrist while her hair was down – yep, that is indeed where it should go when not in use, ha! They both seem very keen to convey a desire to be as much like “normal folks” as their positions allow and accessible to other “normals”, however much others want them to be regal/royal/”different”. Repeated uses of casual clothes, favorite shoes (or William’s belt), etc. are habits that all of us have, and I like that they indulge those habits too. Including the habit of purchasing multiple navy blazers… :)

  26. I’m surprised she would purchase yet another navy blazer, particularly one that is so similar to the Emilio Pucci. Regardless, she looks perfect :)

  27. A matelot top — of course, what else? Great with a smart jacket though my own private preference is for single breasted on navy jackets, I tend to think of double rows of gold buttons as looking a tad “bossy”. I suppose it would be wishful thinking to try imagining that those jeans are a fraction less tight than usual, it appears the bid for modesty has stopped short in one quarter at least.

    And the Corkswoons — again. I’ll never reconcile to their general clunkiness — but, alas, a private view once again. The Duchess looks wonderful and full of life as ever, a sight for sore eyes as always!

    So glad she got a beefy male crew this time, I never felt it was an even match in Canada, all-male vs all female. Yay, Kate!!

  28. I don’t think those are the same jeans from the Sportsaid function or the 2012 Olympics. The ones she wore today have a distinct designer’s tag/label on the right back pocket that is missing from the previously worn pair. That rules out Zara and J Brand, at least in my investigative work. Eager to see what you think!

  29. Kate looks lovely but I am a bit tired of those wedges and jeans.

    • I saw what Kate wore today a few hours ago and thought I must comment about it when I get home, but you beat me to it Melissa! I couldn’t agree more. I cringe every time I see Kate in those jeans and wedges. I don’t quite know how to articulate it, but to put it simply I think it looks a little ridiculous. Maybe she is trying to achieve a casual yet “dressed up” look by wearing heels, I don’t know, but it looks silly and not quite right. Nothing against her dressing casually in jeans, but surely a pair of 1 inch high strappy sandals would look better.

      • I’m glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t like those wedges with the skinny jeans.

        The jacket and top are good though.

      • Regardless of the level of dissatisfaction people may express with the skinny jeans/wedge heels combination (personally I think she looks just fine), I think we can all agree that the Duchess’s “fashion disasters” are nowhere close to Royal Fashion Disasters of years gone by! And frankly – most of those resulted from Royals trying too hard. There’s something to be said for the Duchess being herself.

  30. It was a stunning day on the water, and this is another stunning post – many thanks ♥
    I was wondering about the ear-rings Kate wears while at the helm of the racing yacht. They are appropriately quiet but nonetheless elegant.

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