Dec 212011

Kate returned to a favorite US designer for today’s visit to Centrepoint’s Camberwell Foyer facility, she wore Ralph Lauren Blue Label, the brand’s most mainstream collection (not the more upscale purple or black labels).


The Duchess wears a Long Sleeved Turtleneck Dress in the olive melange colorway, also referred to in some locations as the ‘Khaki Jersey Dress’.

Ralph Lauren

The garment is a wool/cashmere blend, with ribbed cuffs and collar, here are two more views of the piece.

Shop Style UK

The original price for this piece was $399, it is now on sale at $159 online on the US website, available in sizes M-XL as of this writing.  The turtleneck dress also is available in Charcoal and Black.

Ralph Lauren

The dress is a good choice, offering a casual yet elegant style that is more appropriate than the jeans some expected her to wear, and the shade is ideal for Kate’s coloring. Once again we saw the Duchess’s Aquatalia Rumba boots, as well as her Kiki McDonough Grace earrings.

Kate and William were at the shelter to take part in a cooking class and to watch a talent show. Centrepoint shared photos on its Facebook page.

Photo by Harriet Armstrong/Centrepoint Facebook Page

Kate clearly enjoyed meeting and speaking with the young people.

Photo: Harriet Armstrong via Centrepoint Facebook Page

The cooking class was part of the centre’s ‘Healthy Living’ education program.

PHOTO: Harriet Armstrong via Centrepoint Facebook Page

The couple worked alongside residents and staff making lowfat mince pies and cookies.

Harriet Armstrong via Centrepoint Facebook Page

A few treats were decorated just for the Duke and Duchess, there are reports Kate also decorated several cookies especially for some of the young women taking part in the class.

PHOTO: Harriet Armstrong via Centrepoint Facebook Page

Below we see a picture of William’s now-famous ‘swag dance’ with 18-year-old Vanessa Boateng.

The British Monarchy

It sounds like everyone enjoyed themselves, more on the visit from the Suffolk Free Press:

The Duke of Cambridge has proved to the world he has got street credibility by creating a new dance.

William was labelled “cool” by style conscious teenagers from a south London centre for homeless youngsters after coming up with the “Swag Dance”.

The new moves involve brushing imaginary dust off your shoulders as your partner copies you – signalling you have trendy threads.

It is unknown if this photo was taken before or after the dance.

PHOTO:Harriet Armstrong via Centrepoint Facebook Page

“Centrepoint’s Got Talent” showcased several residents and staff.

PHOT: Harriet Armstrong via Centrepoint Facebook Page

The visit looked like a success, nice to see as Centrepoint was William’s first patronage, he started in that role in 2005.

PHOTO: Harriet Armstrong via Centrepoint Facebook Page

The shelter for homeless young people has long been close to the Duke’s heart, his mother was also a longtime patron. Centrepoint was also the focus of William’s very first public speech, given at a reception for the group.  Below we show William in 2009, he spent the night sleeping outside with Centrepoint CEO Seyi Obakin as part of an effort to better understand what homeless people face.


Below we see Prince William speaking about the organization’s 40th anniversary in 2009.

You can learn more about the charity on its Facebook page or website, or visit the group’s ‘More Than a Gift’ page to see how far a small donation really goes.

The BBC has a great story on today’s visit.


There is also an excellent Sky News story about the day’s events.

Sky News

We next expect to see Kate and William as they and other Royals walk to church on Christmas Day.

  70 Responses to “Kate Wears Ralph Lauren for Centrepoint Visit”

  1. Does anyone know where that belt is from? It looks like it might be elastic because it fits so snugly.

  2. I think she dressed soberly and properly.

  3. Very nice outfit for this kind of outgoing, elegant enough for Kate to be a credit to these charitable institution.
    I would have preferred she wears a belt low on the hips, it would have done a final class-touch (in my opinion)

  4. would love to see kate is something a bit more sparkly and fun (but still tasteful)! something like this dress:

  5. I own this dress in black. Also own turtleneck dress from a “cheaper” line. No comparison. This dress feels like it was made for me as soon as I put it on! She looks fantastic!

  6. I would love to see this dress on her.

    Its pretty reasonably priced, and its a color we’ve never really seen her in (although the shape is very Kate).

  7. Kate looks better in the dress than the model.

  8. A few thoughts:

    As someone else mentioned, we have no idea how much Kate actually paid for the dress. I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s getting stuff for free, or at very reduced prices. And even if she paid full price, I don’t mind – if you want a dress that fits fantastically (like this one does!), you won’t get quite the same fit with something from The Gap.

    I love William’s swag dance! That’s so cool. He looks like a normal person when he does things like this, and I think that’s cool. Some of the royal family look so stand-offish, but he doesn’t, and I really like him for that quality.

    About Kate and William dressing up – I think they’re dressed perfectly. You know what this reminds me of? When they visited that homeless shelter in Canada. They were both dressed to the nines, and actually, I felt it was the appropriate outfit for them. I mean, imagine if they’d worn old jeans and sloppy plaid shirts? How disrespectful. The quote from the Queen Mother also sums up how I feel about them dressing up – the teens would have dressed up to see Kate and William, so of course they’d do the same.

    • It’s my understanding that the royals are not allowed to accept free clothing. A designer certainly might offer a substantial discount on something very expensive, in return for the valuable publicity, but this dress is a not-particularly-costly off-the-rack item. She could have gotten a pre-Christmas sale price on it, just as any shopper could have.

  9. The more pictures I have seen them together, the more it makes me believe that this marriage will last! What a lovely couple they make!

  10. I love the swag dance, and WOW Kate and William both look lovely!

  11. Kate is so perfect. Love the dress – the whole look. Thought she looked very appropriate.

  12. Lovely, lovely, lovely. Just right for the occasion although I think the waist is a tad too tightly cinched in.
    I doubt whether Kate’s dress will suffer from sag with her svelte figure.
    Can’t wait to see what she’ll be wearing Christmas day!

  13. lovely, lovely Kate!

    between the gorgeous black velvet and this beautiful green&black suede look- in my eyes, the young Duchess’ choices only get better and better!

    no criticism from me.. just enjoying watching her blossom in public appearances and her beaming smile. I love her poise- she always appears to be balanced gracefully between self-confidence and becoming modesty- or lack of arrogance?
    in other words, she looks dignified and appropriate.
    in challenging situations.. not an easy feat.

    • Absolutely! She always appears happy to be where she is and with the people that she encounters. It is obvious that she and WIlliam enjoy each other’s company without the “adoration” that one sometimes sees in the spouses of those in the public eye.

      One cannot say it often enough, they appear to be good role models both in behavior and dress. A credit to both sets of parents.

  14. We don’t really know what she pays for a dress… I liked this dress.

  15. Ahem, hallo? We are talking about our future queen here, if she had worn some cheap Primark dress everyone would have been up in arms. As for wearing expensive jewellery… surely people must realise that the jewellery has been in the family for hundreds of years. I am a bit stunned at these comments.

    Furthermore, I thought we were here to talk about Kate’s fashion choices… not how much she spends on clothes. Because that’s actually none of our business.

    • I think the issue about cost is because the Royal Family while having tons of their own money are subsidized by the ordinary folk. So it is fair to talk about how much they spend, on stuff like helicopters to visit friends, or girlfriends.

      If they were living solely off their own wealth, it would not be an issue, but they do not. They cost every British subject a great deal and there are a lot of lesser royals on the Royal Dole if you will…

      • yes i agree its fair to assess how someone is spending taxpayer money, and i think she should really stick to a stricter budget and show women one can look like royalty even if each item is under 100 pounds… when she pulls together great outfits from inexpensive pieces, thats when we love her the most!

      • In reality the cost to the Crown every year about 40 million British pounds (45 million), or 65 pence for every subject.

      • I’m not sure but I don’t think William receives anything from the civil list. He and Harry have their inheritance from Diana and I read also that they received an inheritance from the Queen Mother. I think they may receive reimbursement for expenses they incur in performing official duties I’m not positive aout how the civil list works so I could be wrong. I’m just pointing out what I’ve read.

  16. They are rich celebrities and nothing more. Who gives a rip how expensive their clothing is? They obviously have a ton of money and can afford anything they want.

    I do agree with the poster about sweater dresses and how they bag in the back. Maybe with the more expensive ones, that doesn’t happen as much. Ralph Lauren is a great designer, love his line. I do prefer how the models styled that dress more than the way Duchess did. Some different boots would look more hip and youthful. That said though, I think wearing the belt at the true waist is more becoming than the runway version of belting. Maybe Duchess will pull this frock out again sometime and try some more imaginative footgear. For as much money as she has at her disposal, she could do better in the boot and shoe area of her wardrobe.

    • Really? I thought Kate’s version with the black was way better than the models. I also bet that Ralph is wishing he could get Kate to model for his line. She always looks great in his clothes!

  17. Frankly, I fail to understand the sniping that seems to have taken hold over the cost of the clothes worn by the duchess. Sure, she could go to the Gap or Target and purchase clothes – but, those would need to be tried on (sizes at such places tend to be dicey) and checked over to make certain that they are stitched well, buttons fastened securely, etc. – these are the details that one finds lacking in lower end merchandise far too often. Think of the hue and cry that would be raised should she be out in something that was snagged, gapped, or any of the other many fashion disasters that could occur.

    The quote from Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, says it all – there is the expectation that when royalty comes a-calling they will be dressed in such a way that shows respect. That can be in the outfit chosen, the quality of the workmanship of said item, etc. The people at the Centrepoint (from the photographs, had dressed ip for the visit of William and Catherine. They, in turn, were dressed up in such a way that their hosts felt honored but still comfortable (not underdressed). Keep in mind, the royal couple did some baking (calls for a somewhat casual attire). To my mind, the dress she wore was appropriate, she looked comfortable (as did the prince). Given that the duchess seems to get a lot of mileage out of the clothes that she wears, I am sure that she will wear that dress a number of times in the future.

    Yes, they are a couple who are fortunate to have the funds to spend on high end clothing. They also, as a large part of the “job” that they do as royals (and it is a job whether those who are anti-royalist like it or not) need to make many appearances. If they wore the same clothes over and over they would be criticised – particularly Catherine. I believe that she is setting a good example for young women – she is stylishly and appropriately dressed. She does not look uncomfortable at any time in what she wears. I think that she is helping out the fashion indsutry as a whole as well. While there are many who can not afford the high end prices of those items that she wears, the designers and manufacturerers of less pricey items can and do replicate the items that she wears – hopefully one will see as a result a general rise in the level of dressing among the population as a whole – something that is (to my mind) generally needed. I am tired of seeing young women dressed like tarts.

  18. It’s the curse of the sweater dress — it either bags or sags, and we have some signs of the drooping hemline at the back here. Have always thought it’s a dodgy sartorial choice for anyone.

    Having said which, this one makes a gorgeous outfit (if there were any way of controlling the sag/bag factor) and a savvy choice — so neatly between casual in the cosy pullover department, and smart in the sleek dress style. She still manages to find curves in an outfit where she needs them on the hips, and the colour is great on her — minimum jewellery a great plus.

    Just right for royalty mingling with the rest of us hoi-polloi without being intimidatingly posh.

  19. To be frank, it’s not as if William is wearing clothes from Primark, or even BHS. Why do we only call out Catherine for being overdressed- expense-wise- for these occassions? His crisp white shirt, fine-gauge jumper, shoes, and watch all look nice and tailored and are undoubtedly expensive. So why are we nitpicking Kate? Is it because she’s a commoner and wasn’t born into quite the same inordinate privilege that Wills was, and we feel on some level that she shouldn’t forget her roots or something? I’m quite lost in these comments- if she is overdressed, in terms of cost of outfit, I’m sure he is too.

    Plus, when people point out how expensive her earrings or boots are, she has worn each of these items loads of times (as others point out, making her a target for her frugality at times), so she certainly seems to be getting her money’s worth!

    • well this is a blog about catherine not william so we dont ever really talk about him lol… and yea i think the people were saying it was more about the expensive jewels than the clothing… as a homeless person i would imagine it doesn’t sit too well to see someone draped in diamonds (whether at the shelter or a couple of nights before at the awards)… of course they know about the wealth but i think sometimes (speaking a bit from personal experience) it can hurt when its sort of flaunted in front of you (not that she was trying to flaunt it, but she also doesn’t try to hide the expensive jewelry she wears all the time)

  20. She will definitely re-wear this over and over again, so I don’t see the problem with the price.

    • This dress will totally go with her “smythe” sleek jacket with gold buttons or that ralph lauren black number she wore to the concert recently. :)

  21. You can bet that sometime in the future she will donate her $6000 black velvet dress to some auction and it will sell for $200,000 and she will donate all of that to charity :). So why send $5,000 now when she can send $195,000 down the road??

  22. I agree with the gist of the comments here. Kate looked so pretty, and appropriate as always. Dressing well and tailored is not cheap, but because she has simple tastes, sometimes I’ve been alarmed by how expensive her choices are. She IS a royal (and so must dress the part, I know…), but she’d look equally stunning in a less expensive version of the same. And she’d still impress for sure. Michelle Obama’s been cheered for wearing Target, and the Gap turtleneck that Sharon Stone wore to the Oscars all those years ago is STILL epic! Anyway, thank you for this post! Your blog is my favorite.

    • “she’d look equally stunning in a less expensive version of the same”
      I completely agree. Thanks!

      • i agree with this too. i hope she spends a bit less all the time (not just when she’s visiting the homeless) because the average girl needs inspiration for putting together fashionable outfits on a modest budget. what happened to those topshop items she bought? i was hoping to see those!! hopefully we’ll see more low-budget items from her soon, and put together fantastically as always i’m sure!

  23. Honestly, pants are not appropriate for that function so she was spot on. Not over dressed and minimal jewels accessories. Did not overshadow william with her outfit and that would be a problem if she did. Good job! I like the color and everything.. People who are complaining about price need to be realistic, she needs to get something in advance, suitable and cheap? not going to happen. The price was very reasonable for her role and the fact that she does all her own shopping no stylist.

  24. she looks gorgeous love this dress and belt on her!

  25. I can not understand the comments about the value of clothing or jewelry. She is the Duchess of Cambridge, who attends the center knows who is wealthy, pretend otherwise might seem like a joke.
    Certainly not a gaudy dress, but well-cut it seems to me appropriate.

  26. I never said she should dress down, I just said she should wear less expensive clothes. Can you not still look professional and put together in an outfit totaling $150 rather than over $1000?

    • haha i did say dress down but thats not what i meant. i just meant pick something less expensive.

      • I hope this does not sound harsh, but I am not following your logic for wearing less expensive clothing. Catherine is the Dutchess of Cambridge; when she wore the less expensive Zara tulip dress she was scolded for wearing something so cheap! When she wears something twice, many in the media go goofy because they think she is being too frugal. In the end, it is her decision alone on what to wear. I think she is doing a great job of selecting!!

        • I actually dont have a problem with the dress or the boots really, its just the giant diamond earrings that I feel like are a bit unnecessary for a venue such as a homeless shelter. I understand she probably feels pressure to live up to the royal name, but I hope she sees that most of the public loves her for being like us and sensible.

          • The Kiki earrrings are not giant diamonds but white topazes–still very nice and expensive for everyday folk but modest for the wife of the heir to the heir on an official engagement, especially when compared to what the Queen or Camilla wears on similar engagements, IMHO.

          • I can barely see her earrings. I see nothing at all inappropriate about this outfit. If she dresses down, she gets criticized. If she dresses up, she gets criticized. Don’t change a thing Kate!

        • Also, most of the time, expensive clothing (designer brands at least) are well made and therefore you can wear them much longer. It’s more of, do I want this classic knit RL sweater for $100 and wear it for years or do I want the knock off version for $50 that already has a hole in it after wearing it for only a couple of months? I know it sounds snotty, but there is some truth in it!

          • I dont really agree with that. I have very modestly priced clothes and I take good care of them so they have lasted me years (if not decades). I was raised in a family where I was taught “if you feel the urge to spend $1000 on yourself, spend $100 instead and give $900 to charity”. Its all about bargain-hunting, and I think its nice when royals show that they value the money they have and want to spread each taxpayer dollar as far as it can be spread.

            Please understand that some people who have never known wealth really could feel a bit put down when they see others wearing a pair of earrings that cost as much as the money that could feed their family for a month. I know most people don’t understand what its like to be in that position of not having anything and seeing everyone else with all these amazing things, but I’ve been in that position briefly, and its not a very good feeling to see that.

            So I think what some commenters are trying to say is that the royals really need to walk the walk if they are going to talk the talk. They do really great things, but the splendor in which they live (which I’m sure we’ll see more of in their Christmas festivities) is not something that is always viewed positively by people who are in dire situations.

            Obviously these people in the photos enjoyed their company, but I think there were also some people there who were wondering how sincere these two are if they spend more money on one outfit than they have ever had in their whole lives.

            Please don’t attack me saying I’m bashing Kate, I’m really not. I actually love her fashion sense A LOT and she obviously looks great here as always. I’m just giving a thoughtful response and standing up for some of the other people being disrespectfully (IMO) dismissed for their opinions.

  27. Love her in this dress! I think it is a completely appropriate dress for this outing and she looks fantastic in it.

    William seems so protective of her, doesn’t he? Nice to see it.

  28. I’ve loved sweater dresses since my mother bought me one that I remember fondly when I was 10, and this is a nice one. I noticed in a couple of pictures that the olive shade brings out her hazel-green eyes.

    I currently own a very similar sweater dress in heather-brown cashmere that I like to wear belted and with black suede boots. However, I occasionally wear it over slim-cut jeans for a change of pace. These dresses are very versatile.

    As for whether she should have “dressed down,” I might point out that when she wore just a sweater and jeans to visit an art project at an elementary school school, people complained that she hadn’t dressed up enough, that she had insulted the students and teachers by being dressed so casually. She can’t win. No matter what she does, someone won’t like it.

    Perhaps we might remember the exchange that occurred when the late Queen Mother, dressed to the nines, visited the bombed-out (and largely poor) East End during World War II. One of the residents commented that she was wearing “her best”. “Well,” she replied, “You’d wear your best if you were coming to visit me, wouldn’t you?”

    • That quote perfectly sums up this appearance! I don think dressing appropriately should equate to dressing in the same style or price range as your hosts since in the car of visiting a charity it can be viewed as dressing down to them. She looks put together yet casual in this dress; I think that over jeans is best for this ad similar appearance. She always accessories sovi don’t think no warring is an option and she doesn’t own anything cheap, but I’d I was to say one piece of the outfit was inappropriate that’s it. Otherwise, the kids picked up on the difference in the image she projected when she wore jeans to the Art organization she visited (sorry can’t recall the name) so is think teens would see the significance more clearly/ higher level.

      The dress looks great on her. Is that by any chance the same belt she wore with the Zara dress? Can’t look back at pics to compare at the moment so may be way off base.

    • Gosh I have to admit I never heard the Queen {Mother} quote about wearing her best. I had always thought it was pretty pretentious for her to dress up in furs to visit the bombed out people during WWII. I have changed my opinion. Thanks for providing the quote.

      As for Catherine, I bet that she puts a lot of thought into what is appropriate for her to wear and her character is such that she would NEVER dress in a manner that she thought would be an insult to anyone.

  29. What a waist! I wish mine looked like that.

  30. Very nice choice. Low key, classy and comfortable. The people at Centrepoint clearly dressed up a little and I think it would have been a bit insulting to wear jeans. It’s appropriate that she looked nice.

  31. Kate lookd spot on to me. If you look back at pictures of other Royals, maily Diana, doing similar visits they wear the same thing. Diana wore nice slacks, turtlenecks, dress suits, etc. that were custom pieces made by upscale designers and she was wearing much more jewelry than Kate.

  32. I agree with Dash. The Queen Mum’s quote from WWII sums it all up nicely (and clearly explains why dressing “down” for this event would NOT have been appropriate). I don’t know the specific quote, but it’s along the lines of “You would wear your best to come see me wouldn’t you?”

  33. Oh, how nice does William look! I don’t think he gets enough credit sometimes, I wish my husband dressed more like him!

    Kate as always looks amazing…….. perfect colour for her indeed!

  34. Personally thought she looked spot on. Not too fancy; not too rugged. From videos, plenty of these homeless youths also dressed nicely. Just like Her Majesty once explained why she dressed up for a similar occasion decades ago, it shows the people — regardless of situation — respect when you take the effort to dress appropriately. An appearance in jeans would not have been appropriate, IMO.

  35. I think she looks great. Wonderful color on her. Love the flattering shape the belt accenting the tiny little waist. I wish I could get my hands on those boots!

  36. This isn’t a fashion comment but… looking at the sky news video I just love how as they walk he puts his hand at her back. Little gestures like that prove how “together” they are as a couple. I don’t recall ever seeing other members of the royal family share affectionate gestures like that with their spouses.

    • It warms my heart every time I see footage of him doing things like that! True love is a beautiful thing to see!
      Now for my fashion opinion…! ;)
      I think that the Duchess looks perfect from head to toe! She has to maintain a delicate balance of looking like royalty while fitting in in a variety of situations with a variety of people (ie. meeting with school children, volunteering with foreign royalty at UNICEF, meeting with homeless youth, spending Christmas with the in-laws…). It can’t be easy (it’s probably fun fashion-wise but imagine the stress!): one wrong step and someone is offended. She does a fantastic job of maintaining that balance. Her outfit choice for the appearance was perfect. It showed respect for the people she was meeting–it showed that she cared enough to get dressed up, but was sensitive enough to the situation to not go overboard. She was very appropriate.
      Besides, I honestly doubt that, while waiting to meet the Duke and Duchess, anyone was staring at their outfits thinking, “I bet that’s Ralph Lauren…look at her jewelry…HOW DARE SHE?!!” I’m guessing that they were instead simply in the moment and hoping not to say anything silly. I’m an American and, if I ever have the opportunity to meet President and Mrs. Obama, bet you bottom dollar I will be in the moment and willing myself not to say something ridiculous like, “I graduated from the same high school as you but WAAAAY after you, Mrs. Obama!” (I’ll totally check out footage later to see what she had on! LOL!!!)
      I love the blog and I love the fantastic conversations that stem from each post! Happy Holidays everyone, wherever you are!

  37. I think she definitely should have dressed down more for this event. She’s wearing really expensive diamond earrings, pretty pricey boots and although its the most mainstream Ralph Lauren line, its still kind of pricey for the average person, much less a homeless person. I’m surprised she wasn’t more sensible. I really do like Catherine but I wonder if the people of this homeless shelter felt like she was just going through the motions. I mean she could have worn a $1000 dress instead of a $6000 one to the awards the other night and donated the other $5000 to Centrepoint (and still looked just as nice).

    • What I meant to say was that she should have worn less expensive clothing, but I agree she should still look professional. I didn’t mean jeans just something a bit less expensive but still respectful looking.

    • After watching the various news videos and articles, I can only conclude that no one there knew –or cared a whit — as to the cost of his or her clothing or jewelry.

      As for the Cambridges “going through the motions,” they have raised millions of pounds for various charities just since their wedding. Their short trip to Denmark raised over £1 mn for Unicef IN ONE DAY.

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