Jun 182012

The sun shone on Windsor Castle for Garter Day, many arrived early to have a good view of the Knights walking to St. George’s Chapel.

The British Monarchy

The Order of the Garter is the UK’s oldest and highest order of chivalry.  Prince William was appointed in 2008, below we see him with Prince Charles as they walk into St. George’s Chapel today.

Via Rebecca English/Daily Mail Twitter Feed

The honor is determined solely by the Queen, input from Ministers and others is not required. It is HM who decided in 1987 that women should also be included in the Knighthood, Lady Margaret Thatcher is one of those so honored.

Many Kate fashion followers were smiling today when they learned the Duchess recycled her Alexander McQueen coat. Below we show Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, Kate and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall as they watch their husbands go by entering the Chapel.

Paul Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Kate wore this piece to last year’s Trooping the Colour.

UK Press Association/Net-a-Porter

The cotton and wool-blend pique coat showcases several signature McQueen elements, including those sculptural lines, technically the lower portion is called a “tiered Samurai skirt”. Originally sold at $3845 at Net-a-Porter, more recently it was discounted to $2691; the item is no longer available.

We believe Kate was wearing her Reiss Peacock dress underneath the coat, previously seen at Epsom just a year ago, below we show it as seen last spring at Reiss. The always-on-top-of-things Carly from Kate Middleton Style and WKW FB friend Rebecca Anne made an early call on this being the dress, I concur.


Kate’s choice is sure to delight fashion fans, in last year’s poll WKW readers chose this coat as their favorite.

©What Kate Wore 2011

The Duchess brought back her LK Bennett Sledge pumps and Natalie box bag.

LK Bennett

Kate wore another lovely piece by milliner Jane Corbett, the creamy sisal confection showcased an elaborate bow.

Paul Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The hat is Ms. Corbett’s Style #31, WKW Facebook friends Katherine, Carolin and Anna of My Small Obsessions, they shared that information.

Jane Corbett Look

Our thanks to WKW Facebook friends Misty & Katherine, they noted early on, as did Anna, that Kate wore the Kiki McDonough diamond and green amethyst earrings many believe to have been a Christmas gift from William.

Here is another look at Sophie, Kate and Camilla, with thanks to Chris O’Neill on Twitter.

Via Chris O’Neill Twitter Feed (@ChrisBelfast)

The color coordination among the three ladies is obvious, something Lilting Limes on Twitter has been pointing out for some time now. More from the Evening Standard:

It was the order of the pastels for the Duchess of Cambridge and other members of the royal family today at Windsor.

Kate, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Countess of Wessex appeared to have co-ordinated their cream and pink outfits as they stood on the steps of St George’s Chapel, Windsor, during the Order of the Garter service.

Many expressed surprise at seeing how the coat looked on Kate now that a full length view is visible, at Trooping the Colour Kate was seen sitting in a carriage and then standing on the Palace balcony, precluding almost any meaningful photos of Kate in this coat last year.  Some thought the piece would be more fitted, others expected it to be longer, some like it more now that they have seen it on Kate full length.

If interested in reading or viewing more, here are some links:

  • Learn more about the Order of the Garter here, and the service at St. George’s Chapel here
  • Pop Sugar’s story (with 17 photos) is here
  • The Wales Online story is here
  • The Daily Mail’s story is here
  • Watch ITN’s story here, below you see the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh

    ITN News


  77 Responses to “Kate Brings Back Much-Loved McQueen Coat for Garter Day”

  1. Look up Kates first fashion faux pas at Calgary airport that explains alot about her choice in the length..
    .everything is calculated with Kates choice in style even the length of her outfits.She won’t make that mistake again of wearing a light weight fabric and short and she chose a coat to wear in the summer for a reason as well. Diana never wore anything short on a windy day or when she was outside that could potentially be an embarrassing situation. Kate is learning about style selection and potential wardrobe mishaps when outdoors. Example when Kate is getting out of a car wearing something short and light weight could be dangerous for her. She’s getting smart very fast.

  2. She needs help. Making too many bad choices from top to bottom.

  3. I just wanted to share this marvellous news I came across on another site: Hector Sants, the chief executive of the (UK) Financial Services Authority has donated his entire bonus (£143,750) to The Art Room, one of Kate’s charities. – Only last weekend she’s been to the theatre with 150 children to watch Nardia, an event organised by this charity. Well done Mr Sants!! ……Another exampe of the Duchess Effect!?

  4. The Genteel had a great piece about the Duchess’ style today calling her “fit to be Queen,” and quieting the naysayers.


  5. I’m commenting again. Kate would have nailed the look if her coat/dress was a bit longer or just above or on the knee. This dress calls for a longer hemline since it’s a fit and flare dress of a thick material. This does not mean that Kate cannot wear shorter hemlines. The blue peplum LK Bennett set she wore with the Queen was a shorter hemline but was visually perfect. Every dress (depending on its structure and style) has a different hemline which is appropriate to it without making it look imbalanced.

    • I agree with you 100%. This outfit looks, to me, strange because the hem seems strangely too short. It would have been better balanced with a longer to the knee hem.

  6. LOVE LOVE this look!! Just absolutely stunning!! …showing clever use of the Reiss dress as an underskirt/petticoat and a tremendous sense of Style! I think the hemline length is spot-on, and essential to create the desired effect (within the rules): jovial, youthful, quirky, understated and very chic. I Loved this coat/jacket when Kate first wore it and even more now!! The hat is fabulous – one of my favourites! Only Kate can pull this off – can’t really think of anyone else!? …It also denotes she’s changed, she’s a new woman – strong, confident and happy.

  7. I love this outfit! and the coat is just marvelous. The hem I think was just right, and the peacock dress underneath really helped define and give the coat more shape on the bottom. Simply lovely! All three ladies looked great.

  8. This is a stunning look on the Dutchess! All three ladies in the picture look beautiful. If only I could get my hands on that gorgeous coat!

  9. absolutely lovely Kate, as always!

    I hear the hemline reservations from many.. but feel Kate was caught between a rock and a hard place, this time (uh, many times!):

    a scoche shorter would have worked wonders, in my opinion- Ã¥ la sunshine bright yellow Jenny Packham dress (Canada).. but a bit shorter would have invited ‘inappropriate’-length comments.

    a bit longer might have worked, too- but it would have cost/lost ‘the look’ the Duchess created, i.e. the bouncy, youthful effervescence of a ‘petticoat’ effect.

    (I don’t know of any figure that can pull of this length, ‘perfectly’.. unless it’s a 14 year old girl!)

  10. This has to be one of my favorite Kate looks now, added to a long list! The perfect coat, the perfect dress, together … sigh. :) She looks like a cupcake! haha I mean that in a good way. All that white fluff. I love those three together; and look at their feet. Copy-Kates? I think so.

    I never realized I didn’t see the coat in its entirety last year. I imagined it being just like this, maybe a tiny bit shorter but I like it this way. I would LOVE to own that coat; it’s so unique.

    • I love your cupcake compliment…my thoughts exactly! The three of them togther are like fashion confectionery!

    • A cute cupcake, and yes very youthful! And TOTALLY agree about the copy-kate shoes comment- that is literally the FIRST thing I noticed! :-) Just wondering, but have the other two ladies ever worn nude heels before the Kate-mania?

      • Unlikely anyone will see this comment, but yes many royal woman have worn nude shoes before Kate. As far as I can recall Kate first wore her LK Bennett’s durning her NA tour. Sophie wore her Jimmy Choo Cosmic in nude to Will and Kate’s wedding, Chelsey Davy also wore the same shoes. The nude Jimmy Choo Cosmic have proved popular among royalty, Princess B also has a pair, she wore them to the Chelsea Flower Show with a Roland Mourant dress last year. Also wearing nude shoes to Will and Kate’s wedding were, Princess Anne and the Duchess of Kent. There were many more that I can’t recall at this moment. I believe the DM blew the whole effect Kate had on nude shoes completely out of proportion. Many people wore nude pumps to the royal wedding before anyone saw Kate’s, so when many people wore them to a wedding a few months latter it shouldn’t have warranted an article, but the DM uses selective facts to write stories.

  11. This is AWESOME!!!! The Peacock with the McQueen coat?! It’s a match made in heaven. I think that the shortness and fullness of the ensemble make everything look very young and fresh. Absolutely one of my favorites. Sexy Kate is back!

  12. oups … and personally I love this Reiss dress far more than the coat.

  13. I am glad as well to see the coat in full length, and now I can say that it needs few inches more. Kate has beautiful legs but some times legs are better enhanced with up-to-knee skirts than short skirts. Something between Sophie’s and Kate’s lenght would have been good.
    And as others said to, Kate has a nice smile.

  14. The three royal ladies really cover a wide span of years — Camilla in her late sixties, Sophie latish forties and Catherine 30. So really, I thought her skirt length, while I agree, was on the youngish-looking side, was fine. When I consider how many folks say she looks frumpy and older than her years (I don’t agree, by the way), is she now to be criticized for dressing too youthfully?

    I hope she never changes the approach she seems to be following, which is to dress for the occasion and not worry about what people say. It seems to work fine and even if some outfits aren’t quite perfect (Trooping the Colour *cough cough*), oh well.

  15. Really happy to see Kate recycling again, especially with such a pricey piece, but I do wish she’d lengthen her skirts a bit, knee-length would be great. She’s got great legs but she is 30 and these are formal events so maybe a bit longer would be desirable. I too was unsure when I first saw this coat that it was a recycle since we didn’t see much of the bottom of it last year. Not a fan of the hat and although I like Kate’s long hair, I do wish she’d pull it back for some of these more formal events. IMHO, today it was Sophie who looked the most classy, stylish and pulled-together.

  16. I was hoping this coat would be recycled. It is chic, regal and just gorgeous on her. I am rather sick of the Jane Corbett hats. I can spot it a mile away. Would love to see her wear a more chic hat. She

  17. Are we certain there is no one at the palace who makes sure no one’s outfit clashes with the Queen’s? This person could also ensure that the other royals are well coordinated. If such a person exists, (1) it would be great to get an interview on this blog, and (2) how do I get that job after them?!

  18. Wow, I thought the coat was white and not cream. I guess it looked that way with the black hat. :) Personally, I didn’t see a problem with the hem. The day didn’t call for bending to talk to children. Besides, Kate is younger and has better looking legs. Sorry! ;)

  19. All the ladies look great and this is a lovely picture. Kate’s coat/dress should have been longer (a bit above the knee) and she would have nailed it.

  20. I agree with the comments about the coat and dress being just a smidge too short for my liking. However, I L-O-V-E this coat!! So excited to finally see a better view of it- gorgeous! Love that the royal ladies were all coordinated too

  21. Yes!!! Love this coat! It was great to finally see it in full form :-)

  22. Why is she wearing a big old coat in the summer? I am so confused.

    It looks like everyone else is just wearing a jacket, and people in the crowd have no jackets at all.

    • It’s not really a “coat”: just an elaborate jacket with a longish skirt. The fabric is a cotton and summer-weight wool blend. It’s meant to be worn in Spring-like weather

  23. Have no objection to the style but the coat is too short! While Kate is often criticized in this blog for wearing to mature clothes this outfit is too little girlish, especially when set against the outfits of Camilla and Sophie. Kate has good legs but the short full skirt does nothing for them

    • I was thinking about this too.
      On the side note, I came to conclusion that british women have thin legs. Just look at all three ladies at different age and height, but legs are all thin. LOL

      • No, they aren’t, believe me. The Countess of Wessex has always had, er, healthy legs, and so does the Duchess of Cornwall. Not “thin”.

        And while the Duchess of Cambridge’s legs were looking pretty spindly last summer in Canada and through the fall of 2011, she has put on a significant amount of weight since then. Her legs are now looking much, much healthier than they were a year ago.

    • Agree! Love the coat, but would have been totally perfect if just a tad bit longer… Sophie & Camilla got the length right, but I suppose Kate is younger so its not too strange that her hemline is a little higher. All three ladies looked lovely. Sophie is quite the style queen in her own right, just last week she was rocking a white silk jumpsuit to an official engagement abroad, and she sometimes wears pantsuits. I would love to see Kate be a little more unexpected, but I doubt she’ll be donning a jumpsuit or pantsuit anytime soon.

  24. This is one of my favorite looks for Kate. I thought the Corbett hat worked beautifully with the McQueen coat. The coat was shorter than I expected, and it wouldn’t have worked on someone older, but it is beautiful on Kate.

    I would love to see the Reiss Peacock dress on its own.

    As others have said, Kate’s best accessory is her beautiful smile.

    All three ladies looked lovely.

  25. I realize that I am going to be in the minority but here goes. Last week I was reading an article in one of the British papers (can’t remember which) where the author was complaining about Catherine’s recycling her outfits. At the time, I thought she doesn’t recycle everything because we haven’t seen the ugly coat from last year’s Trooping the Colour. Then I see the pictures of this year’s Garter Service and there is the return of the ugly coat. I was really hoping she had burned this one. I totally hate the style of this coat though it does look better with the cream accessories rather than the black last year. Oh well, I guess I will have to hope it shrinks at the dry cleaners.

  26. Wonderful to see the McQueen coat back and with a full-length view this time, it’s really gorgeous. I think the short length works well with the fullness of the skirt and the whole effect is delghtfully summery. It’s a lovely hat too — but does Jane Corbett seem to be coming up with more or less the same style of hat each time?

    I loved also that the three royal ladies teamed up their outfits, they all look lovely together and all three outfits are great!

    • Agree on all points!

    • I agree on all points especially the hat. Do you get a discount if you buy hats in bulk? I think it is the same hat just a different color from the gray Trooping the Colour hat. Even the pink hat worn to the garden party had the same feel.

      It seems that Kate can’t win this summer with her hems. First the hem was longer then the coat at a wedding and this was an issue. Now the hem is in line with the coat but now both are too short. Its not like she wore a micro mini to the event which seems to be so popular now adays. She wore a cute dress that is age appropriate for a gorgeous woman of 30.

      I think she looks lovely and I wouldn’t have her change a thing with this outfit. The McQueen coat is gorgeous and a real “Kate” signature piece. As long as her and William are happy with what she wears, why shouldn’t we?

  27. Lolita, that’s what immediately came to mind when I saw this from the hips down. The hem needed an inch or two. Even in the photo taken from a distance, it looks so childlike. Sophie’s hem is just right, grazing the top of the kneecaps, perfect for a woman of any age.

    • I so agree! With Kate being taller than the other two, it looks just as if she’s outgrown her frock. Just a tad more length, maybe slightly above the knee.

      I love that coat, and it goes with a fuller skirt which I think suits Kate. Gives her a little more definition as she’s so slender.

    • I totally agree with you, too!

  28. Looking more and more like family every day! Wonderful on all accounts. I think all three ladies have their own style but they compliment one another. I think Kate and Sophie bring out the best in Camilla. :)

    • haha yes they do..I was going to say that Camilla has been staying close kate I have noticed during public events for attention perhaps. But I think for style wise Kate looked great and didn’t upstage anyone at the same time. Her hair is limp and a little more low key for a reason..

  29. I love this outfit, can’t go wrong with McQueen! great color on Kate love this outfit, big improvement over the floral blue outfit.

  30. Sigh – that McQ is just perfection. Who knew I was a fan of tiered Samurai skirts?!

    (If you’ll forgive me the tangent): This reminds me that Sophie is another royal I wish we saw more. She’s quite pretty too, and while quite not the sharp dresser I think Princess Shinylocks is, she occasionally knocks it out of the park.

    • Check out the Order of Sartorial Splendor blog – I get my Sophie (and Mary of Denmark) fixes there!

      • Ooh, thank you so much! Haven’t heard of that site before, so I’m checking out now.

        (Mary of Denmark is another favorite, by the by – with all the Kate fuss I’m surprised we don’t see more of her brunette regal beauty too.)

  31. I think maybe it’s time for Kate to have her own tailor…This coat and dress are lovely, but standing next to the other 2 ladies, her hemline was obvious too short…It’s still decent but I wonder…for a royal family member like her, the dresscode might be stricter than ours, right? :)

  32. Sorry to be a nitpick but it was 2008 that William was created KG not last year.

  33. I’m Kate’s #1 fan when she recycles. I love the color, but my problem is the same that most people noted when she wore a dress and coat to William’s cousin’s wedding: that the dress underneath is visible below the hem of the coat. The top half of the coat is very sophisticated and haute couture, but the bottom just looks juvenile…school-girlish with it’s over-sized poufiness. Again, I don’t know if that’s the actual coat or the dress she’s wearing underneath. If she had worn red or black shoes, it would have been very glamorous.

    • she doesn’t want to go for glamorous thats the thing! don’t distract from any event the queen or senior inlaws will be attending and she will be set.

    • But it’s the unusual quality of that pleated bottom that gives the coat its great style and edge. Without it, it wouldn’t be anything to write home about.

      A slight reveal when it comes to a half-inch or so just occasionally peeking out from beneath the hem of the coat really isn’t a problem.

      • Agree with you about the slight reveal — personally I thought the hints of the soft full skirt underneath were fine — it seems to be consistent with the style of the whole outfit.

  34. Overall, I’m very pleased with this look. I think it’s just simply adorable that Kate, Camilla, and Sophie coordinated their colors. The McQueen coat is definitely shorter than I expected, but I believe that this is just an example of Kate taking a fashion risk (similar to the slit in the white Roland Mouret dress) . The length only would have been inappropriate if she needed to bend over to talk to children, which thankfully was not the case today. I also enjoyed the fullness of the coat and dress. Usually, the Duchess wears such slim silhouettes and this outfit shows her trying something different.

    I love the Reiss Peacock dress, but I would really like to see it on an outing with the neckline visible! It is so beautiful. Shame to cover it up twice in a row. However, I do think the dress works much better under this McQueen coat than the Joseph jacket. The fabric of the Joseph jacket just looked a little too heavy to be paired with the floaty material (is that chiffon?) of the dress.

    I love the hat. But, I can’t recall ever seeing a hat on the Duchess’s head that I haven’t liked.

    One question: why do we think William gave her the amethyst earrings? I know Kate first debuted them on Christmas Day, but is there any other reason?

    • Agree on all accounts though I would like to see here wear a “real” hat like Camilla always does.

      • And I agree with you! Though I think the Gina Miller hat (unfortunately dubbed the “potato chip”) she wore to Zara Phillips’s wedding almost counts as a “real” hat… What do you think?

  35. All 3 ladies look so lovely in ivory(white)!

  36. I loved this coat so much that I went to great lengths last year to find a coat cut in a very similar fashion. Mine is wool in a dark color; I didn’t find it until Autumn.

    I still love this white coat now that I’ve seen it full length, and I guessed that she was probably wearing the Reiss dress underneath it. However, I think both the coat and the dress are a touch too short. She could wear a very slim-cut, knee-length, skirt or sheath dress beneath the coat. That’s how I wear my coat, and the look is great. Moreover, I believe I saw a picture of Sarah Jessica Parker wearing this McQueen coat in black over a slim knee-length skirt or dress.

    Once again, a great Corbett hat. I like this one even better than the gray hat worn the other day.

    • SJP may have worn it one day with a slim skirt or dress underneath, but she chose to wear it with a *very* full dress or skirt underneath for McQueen’s funeral.


      • Thanks, AshleyOlivia, but that is not the picture I saw. It might not even have been SJP in the black version of the coat, I was just guessing. I actually don’t care for quite that poufy a skirt beneath the coat, but SJP takes a lot of fashion risks.

        • I just noticed that the picture on this very blog post from Net-A-Porter shows the coat with a slim skirt underneath! It looks quite cute; obviously, this is a very versatile piece.

          I’m not crazy about this SJP look either, to tell the truth.

      • With advance apologies to SJP fans, I thought she was a mess with that volumnious white skirt under the black coat. At least Kate’s skirt isn’t billowing out.

    • I can’t help thinking maybe Kate did more of the shorter lengths last year — I think I’m getting an impression that she’s now learning the advisability of longer skirts in order to keep herself better covered.

      • I’ve been thinking much the same myself. I think the longer lengths look much more elegant as well as making it easier to sit/get in and out of cars, and less ‘little girl-ish’. The Countess of Wessex seems to get it about right, in my opinion. (Sophie seems to have really come into her own regarding style and colour these days.)

      • Yes I agree – I think that henceforth she will wear longer hemlines. I adore the coat and dislike the hat intensely. I also wish she would pull her hair back.

    • I agree. Not that I mind the fuller skirt under this coat, I just don’t think the length is the most flattering on Kate, especially with the full skirt–I remember commenting on that the first time she wore this Reiss dress. I still love this gorgeous coat and the hat as well. I also adore Sophie’s repeat from Mike and Zara’s wedding–it’s one of my favorite looks from her–and this is a great coat and hat on the Duchess of Cornwall. Well done, ladies!

  37. Kate for the Peacock dress for Epsom, not Ascot!

  38. Love love love this coat. It’s fresh and fun. I’ve also decided that I like McQueen outfits better with a hat. Somehow always appropriate and very British.

    I also love this hat. Being a neutral colour, she’ll get a lot of use out of this one.

    In short, she looks beautiful (with her smile being her best accessory, as usual)!!

  39. Prince William was invested as a Knight in 2008. He was the 1000th knight to be invested.

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