From an eight-year courtship that started at university, to a six-month engagement, and now married for four years and with two children, the Duchess of Cambridge – the former Catherine Elizabeth “Kate” Middleton – continues to turn heads especially when it comes to her sartorial choices.
Kate has made such a big impact on fashion that any item of clothing she wears is guaranteed to be sold out within minutes or days – a phenomenon that’s been termed the “Kate Middleton effect.” I’m not surprised that the clothing worn by her children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, are also proving to be such hits.
Here’s a look into some of the Duchess’ outfits and why we think she sets the fashion world on its head.
She wears her clothes and accessories more than once. Kate has turned the concept of celebrityhood around by throwing out the idea that celebrities never want to be caught wearing the same outfit twice. Among the pieces that are in heavy rotation are her beloved Breton shirts in blue and white, recently seen last June while she sat with Prince George as dad William, the Prince of Wales, participated in a charity polo match. Others include her favorite skinny jeans in navy blue (with the occasional black and indigo versions), a matching blazer, and her very trusty LK Bennett pumps and Stuart Weitzman wedges – all extremely wearable, neutral and stylish.
Some of the Duchess’ favorites (L to R): Her Smythe blazer, classic Breton top and blue skinny jeans; Sledge LK Bennett pumps in taupe with an Erdem coat; and in a Diane Von Furstenberg dress and Stuart Wetizman wedges.
Photos from InStyle.com.
She’s not afraid to mix high-end and affordable pieces. The Duchess is fearless when it comes to mixing high street and fast fashion brands. While she dresses in designer frocks such as those from Prabal Gurung, Alexander McQueen, Temperley London and Jimmy Choo for more formal events, she is more often seen in her Zara blazer, Gap jeans and Sebago shoes, pairing them with pretty dresses when she’s visiting schools and hospitals. The result is a subdued yet elegant mix that stands out for its simplicity.
Kate shops jeans from Gap, Topshop and J Brand; collared Topshop dress; her Sebago loafers.
Photos from Hello Magazine, The Huffington Post and Marie Claire UK.
She knows her best features and when to display them. As the spouse of the future King, the Duchess has opted for a low-key aesthetic in her sartorial choices, as a sign of respect for her new role. More often than not, she opts for fit-and-flare knee-length dresses that show off her enviable legs, and she pairs them with simple pumps. Duchess Catherine is all for shoe sensibility and comfort, especially if she has to do a lot of walking and standing up. Her long, brunette tresses are always styled in a simple blowout and then slightly curled at the tips, with earrings or the occasional hat as the only accessories.
Kate’s sapphire-blue Issa London engagement dress became an instant bestseller; a custom-made dress by British designer Jenny Packham worn during a visit to Singapore; a lovely teal gown by the same designer.
Photos from InStyle.com
She makes sure to ground her outfit with neutral pieces but is also fearless about color. Whether she’s wearing a fresh emerald green coatdress, a tomato red dress, coral skinny jeans or a hot pink floral maxi dress, there’s sure to be a neutral element in Kate’s outfit. Most often, it’s her shoes and a matching clutch, ensuring that her dress is well emphasized while keeping everything else tastefully minimalist. Among her favorite neutral pieces, the LK Bennett pumps are the most famous. The Duchess also has several pairs of cork wedges and modest low-heeled pumps in black and navy blue that make it really easy for her to mix and match with anything in her royal wardrobe.
Stuart Weitzman cork wedge sandals match the tropical vibe of Kate’s island print floral dress; a red Alexander McQueen clutch is a bright spot against her lace Temperley London dress; a silk hunter green floor-length Alexander McQueen gown shows off her legs; her tartan Alexander McQueen coat and Aquatalia Rhumba boots.
Photos from InStyle.com.