Dec 032011

There has been a significant amount of chatter this week about items Kate is said to have purchased in advance of the holidays, we thought it would be fun to share some of them with you. The buzz primarily surrounds this story in Grazia magazine.

Grazia Magazine

The article talks about the upcoming holidays, emphasizing the clothing Kate will need for her first Christmas at SandringhamGrazia‘s story offers a list of things that store employees say Kate bought on a recent shopping trip.  With thanks to intrepid WKW Facebook contributors Jo Baldwin and Bella Hayward for sharing links to the merchandise, we have images of some items.

Oddly, Kate purchased two pieces that we blogged about back on November 8 (that post is here), the LK Bennett Jude Jacket, although we showed it in teal, Kate is said to have bought the jacket in black.

LK Bennett ‘Jude’ Jacket in Teal

Here we show the Jacket in black, (£295/$460, available in all sizes) along with a look at the neck detailing and the Jude Skirt (£145/$225, available in all sizes), the two pieces together would make an elegant suit. Kate is not reported to have purchased the skirt, we merely add that to show the versatility of the jacket.  And because we want the skirt, heh-heh-heh.

LK Bennett ‘Jude’ Jacket & Skirt

Evidently the Duchess also bought the Davina dress in teal, in our previous post we showed the dress in bright pinks and red.  The dress is a poly blend, the asymmetrical neckline is ‘very Kate’ in my opinion, as is the ruching down the left side of the garment.  Kate also enjoys cap sleeves and fitted lines, the dress is £195 (about $305 at today’s exchange rates), currently it is available online in all sizes.

LK Benett ‘Davina’ Dress in teal

The Grazia story also says Kate purchased the Long Cashmere Cardigan at Zara, available online in Ecru, Black and Camel for £69.99 (roughly $110).

Zara Long Cashmere Cardigan (style #3887/232)

The other Zara item Kate hypothetically bought is the regular Cashmere Cardigan, also £69.99/$110. This piece is available online in Beige (looks more camel), Ecru, Magenta and Deep Blue.

Zara Cashmere Cardigan Style #0367/210

Obviously neither sweater is made with high grade cashmere, but both will certainly help ward off the chill from the cold, damp air.

The Duchess is also said to have been shopping at The White Company, buying a navy waterfall cardigan.

The White Company

The styles shown above include the Merino Wool Waterfall Cardigan, it is now sold out, not a surprise since this issue of Grazia came out a few days ago. Below we show other styles, but they do not come in navy.

The White Company

Thanks also to Gemma and Princess Diana Remembered for their assistance with information.

Both the Grazia story and this story in The Daily Mail reference five wardrobe changes on Christmas Day. From the Mail’s article:

The Duchess of Cambridge faces the ultimate wardrobe dilemma for her upcoming stay at Sandringham – where she could be expected to change outfits several times in one day.

Royal etiquette expert Jean Broke-Smith told Grazia magazine that the Duchess could be expected to change outfits up to five times in a single day.

‘Kate will need a casual outfit for breakfast, a smart outfit – and a hat – for the morning church service, a dress for lunch, a cocktail dress for early evening drinks and a full-length dress for the evening meal.

Ahem. Having spent a little time in formal house guest situations, we’ve not heard of guests coming down dressed for cocktails only to disappear again so they might change into another ensemble for dinner. We’ve no doubt Ms. Broke-Smith knows her stuff, but our friend Janet suggests perhaps they are thinking of a high tea as opposed to cocktails, with a new outfit for drinks/dinner, that makes more sense.  We welcome any insight readers may be able to share on the topic as we’ve yet to receive our invite from HM, sadly it must be lost somewhere over the Atlantic.


Also today, a look at what is being offered by “Kate-favored retailers” in the first-ever Online Fashion Week. The event is sponsored by British Vogue, it is a promotional effort combining new merchandise showings and launches, special discounts on merchandise and shipping, contests and prize drawings, as well as charitable contributions. Here is more from British Vogue:

Every single company is offering special online events, prizes, discounts or free gifts – and with every single purchase you’ll be helping a charity of your choice.

Keep in mind this does not appear to be a promotion with deep discounts, and many of the offers, like free shipping, will only apply in the UK.  It all begins at 9am GMT Monday, that’s 4am EST and 1am on the west coast. Following is our listing of some special offers and events, many of the offers will require a discount code you will be able to get at British Vogue’s OFW site.

  • French Sole will unveil its Christmas collection, with a 20% discount each day on the style unveiled, 10% of sales go to charity
  • Selfridges: “…unveiling never-seen-before products from the most covetable brands, including Roksanda Ilincic, DVF and Raoul. Plus, it’s back: they have an exclusive reissue of that Kate Middleton ISSA dress, but you’ll have to be quick, it won’t be around for long. Keep your eye on the Online Fashion Week blog to be sure you’ll have the first chance to buy it.”
  • Bastyan: will have a flash sale with a 30% discount on all items, including sale merchandise (although I do not know if this will run all week, or only during a certain time, so check the site or the OFW blog) & it will also do a charitable auction. (Our thanks to Get What Kate Wore for letting us know about this brand, it is tres Kate.)
  • Alexander McQueen: revealing a new collection of holiday gifts every day for the five days, each set will be available at a special discount from the time of reveal until midnight.
  • Penelope Chilvers: will be offering an exclusive Christmas stocking worth £1,000, and 10% of all proceeds will also be donated to the Child Bereavement Charity, Prince William is a patron of this charity
  • Aspinal of London: Monday 5th December for one day only, 20% for readers across the entire line, from Tuesday 6th December to Friday 9th December Aspinal will be offering 10 per cent off to readers plus a free gift with purchase for orders over £100.
  • Harvey Nichols: discounts of up to 30%, competitions, 10% of proceeds to charity
  • Browns: will take 15% off a special item each day
  • Harrods: exclusive Fashion Sale Preview will be available offering 30 per cent off top luxury brands, plus “huge daily beauty prizes” and 10% of proceeds to charity
  • Jenny Packham: will do a Flash Sale for one day only where VOGUE.COM readers will be offered an exclusive discount of 20 percent, the rest of the week a 10% discount will be offered, use discount code VOGUEJP01, 5% of proceeds to charity
  • LK Bennett: complimentary postage & packaging, a showing of next season’s styles
  • Jigsaw: 10% off all orders on one day only from 9am until midnight, look out on the OFW blog to see how and when you can redeem it
  • Burberry: unveils its Christmas Collection & gives away samples of Burberry Body, the OFW blog will explain how to get the samples
  • Mulberry: Twitter and Facebook contests to win handbags
  • Temperley London: offering an exclusive product package to Online Fashion Week shoppers which will include a signed copy of its debut book True British
  • Austique: a 15% discount and half-price delivery in the UK
  • Links of London: launching 3 limited edition Christmas friendship bracelets, 10% of sales will go to charity
  • Rupert Sanderson: reveals his Resort and Spring/Summer 2012 collections online over the five days of OFW, 10% of proceeds to charity

If a company is not listed it is either because they are not offering any specials, or it is merely for something they may already do, such as complimentary shipping.

Again, this is not really the event for those seeking big bargains, although there will clearly be some discounts; it is more about creating excitement online and raising money for good causes. The primary charity receiving donations is the Neuroblastoma Society, although other organizations have also been designated, such as Penelope Chilvers’ selection of the Child Bereavement Society.

  32 Responses to “What Kate *Might* Wear & Online Fashion Week Specials”

  1. I love the sweaters

  2. There is no such thing as HIGH tea…it’s just tea.

    My first visit here…enjoyed it very much.

  3. According to this Daily Mail article, Kate’s wedding gown is featured in the book “100 Unforgettable Dresses” by Hal Rubenstein: The book is available from

  4. Kate is expected to be with the Queen EVERy Christmas right? and with William of course. Does anyone else think that is a little selfish of the Queen to make her children and grandchildren spend every christmas with her and are not able to spend it or at least have the option to spend it with their in-laws. I understand she wants to be around her family but what about Kates family and Camiella and everyone else who married into the royal family. Im sure they’re family want they with them. I would think the Queen would have the whole family together for wither Christmas Day Eve or day but not both. Or let the ones who are married spend every other Christmas with their in-laws if they choose to do so. I know there are other hoildays throughout the year but I just find it a bit selfish.

    • In later years in-laws might be invited. Sophies’ father has joined them many times.

    • I don’t think it’s selfish, as long as Kate and William have the option to celebrate other major holidays with her family, just themselves, etc. I think it’s a bit different when your grandma is the queen – and you’re the second in line – and she makes demands as to which holidays you will spend with her.

      While it is a time for private, family time, the press are also involved and they’re expected to make an appearance, like at church.

      • I do know they are able to spend other Holidays with their families but im sure they might want to spend Christmas specifically, with their families and not the royal family. I don’t know that Sopies father was invited which was thoughtful of the Queen. I don’t know the complete history of this tradition that is why I wrote the comment and thought maybe some others on here could offer some insight that know more than I do. I know if I were Queen though, I would feel bad asking my family to spend every Christmas with me. I know she is the Queen but that doesn’t mean she should makes them spend every Christmas with her. I just feel its unrealistic.

  5. Just curious: do the royal family members have any type of “paid” jobs besides just being the royal image? Where does the money come from? tax payers?

    • waywewere, this is a complex subject, probably not best discussed on a fashion site. However, to put it as briefly as possible, the Queen’s children, and Prince Charles’s and Prince Edward’s wives, all represent the monarchy and the country via patronage of charities and the carrying out of royal engagements. Prince Charles receives substantial income from his Duchy of Cornwall, but the others receive Parliamentary annuities, which are reimbursed to the state by the Queen from her great personal wealth. The Queen herself, and Prince Philip, receive an annual Civil List payment to fund the monarchy that does come from taxpayer funds, in return for turning over the considerably larger income from the Crown Estates to the state. Since that Civil List payment is not really adequate for its purpose and hasn’t been for some time, the arrangement regarding the Crown Estates income is soon to undergo some changes.

      There are a few members of the extended royal family (the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, for example, the Duke being a first cousin of the Queen) who carry out royal engagements and are also patrons of various charities. Others hold down normal jobs. I might remind you that Prince William is a search and rescue helicopter pilot with the RAF and that his brother Prince Harry is in the Army. They are, of course, paid military salaries, but they have considerable personal wealth via inheritance from their late mother.

      • I know but I was sincerely curious too. Thanks for the insight. :)
        I was thinking the other day that the economy stinks everywhere globally so maybe it’s time for the royal family to keep a low key on their spending. I know this is a fashion site and the majoy focus is on what Kate wore or is wearing. But when I hear one of her dresses had a 2000 price tag, I was like…oh my lord…

        • Well, she just wore a Zara dress to a musical performance, and I can guarantee you that it cost far, far less than the green Mulberry dress did. I’m sure our admin will have it available for our discussion soon.

  6. Please note, dear American ladies, ‘high tea’ is a working class meal, sort of early dinner.

  7. “We’ve no doubt Ms. Broke-Smith knows her stuff”
    We have. That was just plain silly of her!

  8. I would love to be a fly on the wall for that Christmas gathering! I wonder what Kate is giving the Queen! What will the Queen give Kate?! Maybe she’ll get some heirloom jewelry or does the Queen give homemade gifts?

    • I heard the Queen and the rest of the royal family favor practical gifts and “gag” gifts. Which makes sense, in a way. They have tons of cash so they could just buy anything, but exchanging something that’s homemade is quite another ballgame. I seem to remember reading somewhere (this site, maybe?) that Kate did canning and preserving over the summer, and she might give the Queen some homemade jelly. That would actually be neat, and it’s my understanding the Queen would appreciate a gift of that nature.

      • Yes, all reports over the years have indicated that the royal family members favor inexpensive practical or joke gifts. Heirloom jewelry would not be on the agenda. For example, one year Prince Charles learned from a staff member that Princess Anne had mentioned wanting a new doormat for her home. That’s what he bought her.

        Not exciting or glamorous, but let’s think about it: when you can buy just about anything, when you have all the expensive things you really want and might need, something practical or just funny might be just the right gift.

  9. The term “high tea” actually refers to the evening meal many Americans would call “supper” or even “dinner,” served at 6 or 6:30. Many Brits just call it “tea”. If you mean a fancy or formal afternoon tea served around 4, it might be called a “cream tea,” depndig on what’s served, but normally just the word “tea” would also be used for that. It does become confusing for Americans.

    I tend not to care for loose cardigans like the “waterfall”; I think they look dowdy, matronly. However, I love more snugly-fitting cashmere cardigans and find it interesting that “twin sets,” which my mother tells me were all the rage when she was a girl, have returned to popularity. I’ve bought several over the past decade.

    • To springboard of this post, check out this link for more on high tea: It was called “high tea” because it was eaten at a high table.

    • Thanks for clarifying! I’ve wondered the difference between the various “types” of tea. Would that mean they’d still require one outfit for lunch, another for a cream team, and then the formal gown for cocktails and dinner? I had a cream tea when I was travelling in London and that kept me filled for quite a time…is that lunch, cream tea, dinner scenario an unrealistic amount of meals/food?

      • While “high tea” is a relatively early evening meal, the upper classes have always dined later — normally no earlier than 8. They also use the word “dinner” to describe their evening meal, not “tea”. (In certain parts of the country and among a certain demographic, dinner was always the midday meal. That was true in parts of the US as well.)

        You don’t have to consume a lot of food at afternoon tea — you don’t have to consume any at all — and at Sandringham, dinner would not be served only a couple of hours after afternoon tea. It would be served much later.

  10. Question: will we get to see the outfits that the Duchess wears on Christmas Day? I’m assuming that the press will take pictures of her on her way to church, but what about the events that take place inside the palace?

    • At most there will a few photographs of those members of the BRF who attend Christmas day services at St. Mary Magdalene Church on the Sandingham estate. Everything else is private.

      • While I’m disappointed that we will not be able to see these outfits about which there has been so much speculation, I’m glad that the Duchess’s Christmas will not be one giant public event.

        Thanks for the info, Kate!

  11. You are correct that it would be a separate dress for high tea.

  12. Awesome – you are awesome – and fun, too!! Thanks for the info throughout the year – clean/crisp entertainment – always brings a smile. Cheers!

  13. I absolutely adore your sight… It is so informative and so professional! It is truly great! Keep up the great work!

  14. Excellent, as always: both entertaining and informative. Thanks!

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