May 012011

Hello to our new visitors, as well as our old friends, it’s so nice you popped in for a visit!

Our focus today is the ‘going away’ ensemble worn yesterday by Catherine as she and Prince William departed Buckingham Palace.

PA Photo

Going away suits and dresses are not what they were twenty, thirty years ago, with friends and family gathered as a couple made their departure, and in many cases, watched the bride throw her bouquet.

In this case the informality makes perfect sense for a variety of reasons: the couple is getting on a helicopter at Buckingham Palace, they were not leaving any kind of formal sendoff party or gathering of friends, and this is technically not a honeymoon, that has been indefinitely postponed.

Dubbing her the “new people’s princess” (ahem), the Daily Mail writes:

“Eschewing designer labels, Kate stepped out in a cornflower blue £49.99 Zara dress with £129.99 black patent pumps from LK Bennett (the same pair she wore for her King’s Road shopping spree the day before her wedding), paired with a simple black jacket.”


We recognized the shoes immediately when looking at yesterday’s photos.  Those paying attention to detail will recognize the shoes.

We originally thought they were a pair of Lanvin Espadrille Pumps at Net-a-Porter. We have since learned they are by a brand the Duchess is very fond of, LK Bennett.

The Greta Pump is not found on the Bennett site, but several sharp-eyed shoppers have said this is the specific shoe worn by the Duchess.

As for the Zara dress, the most similar style we have found in the Lookbook is simply called “Pleated Dress“.


The sleeveless dress with vertical pleating is made of 100% polyester, certainly a practical fabric. I like the keyhole closure at the upper back of the dress, and the soft way the pleats fall.  The color is more of a Wedgwood blue, not that rich royal blue seen on Kate yesterday, but the cut and detail looks the same.  Here is a closer look at the front of the dress.

Courtesy Zara

Keep in mind that different versions and colors of garments are made for varying parts of the world, what is available at Zara in the UK is not always the same as what is seen at the retailer in the US. The garment seen above and available here in the States retails for $89.90 USD.

One important FYI: Zara does not offer online shopping in the US. Actually, they don’t offer it almost anywhere, they are currently testing it in a handful of countries. We spoke with the Zara on Fifth Avenue, they do not have the dress in stock anymore. If interested in locating the dress our best suggestion is that you contact a store by phone.

As far as the black jacket and belt go, we do not yet have any detail on those items but will jump in to update the post as if/when we learn more.

TRH, the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge look quite happy together, it is lovely to see.


  1. This is the correct Zara dress, please see the comments below for more. Thank you to our readers for letting us know! :)
  2. The LK Bennett shoes are apparently from an earlier season, so finding them will be even more difficult than we thought.

ED. NOTES: Special thanks to our Twitter friends According to Nina and MinnesotaGirl10 for their insight on the shoes.  (We are @WhatKateWore on Twitter.)


  21 Responses to “Kate Middleton’s Going Away Ensemble: a Zara Dress & LK Bennett Shoes”

  1. If you’re like me and want a similar look without being a direct copy, Aerosoles just came out with the Plum Tree dress wedge for fall. They come in black, brown or mink ( leather, patent or suede) and the top part looks very much like Kate’s espadrille, but the heels are leopard, zebra or snake print.

  2. Which store sells this jacket without collar – its beautiful.

  3. For some reason I can’t post to the Facebook page. I think the UFO – the black jacket- is a few years old as seen in these pics of Kate:

    Hope this helps!

  4. While Kate’s away, I’m wondering if you could track down information on Pippa’s jacket and tee as seen in this photo:

    Keep up the great work!!
    Many thanks,

    • Hi Jan, you are so nice to comment, thank you. I wish I could help out on the jacket & tee, the only thing I have been able to sort out thus far is that the jacket looks like a cotton velveteen, and it’s possible the lining is a Liberty print, although it might be a tad too “precious” to be Liberty. (I know, an odd way to describe Liberty.) But I continue to look and will let you know if I can track it down. :)

      • Any more updates on this jacket yet?! I have the Zara dress and the wedges and would love to complete the look!

        • Hello Amy, I’m sorry, I thought you had seen the posts on FB about it. The jacket is a BCBG piece and there are quite a few on eBay usually, there are several links on Facebook, you may have to scroll down a bit, but you will see them.

  5. the jacket is sooo nice, can anybody give me the information that from where the jacket was bought?

  6. I’ve managed to re-create Kate’s blue dress on my blog. I made it from royal blue georgette polyester which made it far cheaper than ebay!

  7. The dress is easier to get in the spanish Ebay ( and some of them offer international shipping.

    Guess it was easier to get it here as we have way more Zara stores, but I was not lucky enough…

  8. Does this dress run true to size? I know it is sized S, M, L, etc. What size would a 6-8 be?

  9. does anyone know who makes the jacket? it’s gorgeous!

  10. I thought the Zara dress Kate wore was just OK, a little boring.
    In my opinion, she could have chosen a much nicer, colourful yet casual frock for the occasion.
    …a bit of a let down. The Chris Eades dress (above) was much prettier.

    but you can’t please everyone all the time. She still looked nice.

  11. I am also unsure if this dress is by Zara. I love the look and am considering purchasing it on eBay (for double the original price :P), but I want to be positive that this dress is the same. The color looks a bit different (but that could all be due to lighting) and the belt is different (but that could have been switched out). Can anyone positively confirm?

    • Hi Ann,
      I can help here! This dress is definitely from Zara (I bought it a few weeks ago!). The colour does look different but it is the image on the store’s website that is inaccurate (I have a few things from Zara which also look different online compared with in reality). The actual colour is a little richer, as seen in the photos of Kate. Also, the brown belt that came with the dress did not have enough holes to do it up tight enough, so I switched it – perhaps a similar story here? Hope this helps.

    • I can confirm that yes the dress is from Zara and is a cornflower blue and comes with a brown skinny belt as I purchased one and will be putting it on ebay

  12. I love that she wears normal, accessible clothing rather than ridiculously overpriced things. She is showing the girls of the world that you can be great without having to be materialistic! Love it!

  13. I went onto the Zara website to take a look at the dress. I love it and would like to purchase, but I can’t seem to find the “add to bag” or “checkout” button. I’m in the US, can I purchase it online?

    • Hi Lia,
      Alas, you can’t make your purchase online. I’m not even sure whether that dress is from Zara. The picture online seems to be of a different blue than the one wore by Kate. Maybe it’s just the screen or that shops around the world sell it in different colors.

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