Feb 142014

For her Valentine’s Day Art Room engagement the Duchess chose a new LK Bennett dress.

James Whatling/Splash News

James Whatling/Splash News

Kate was at Northolt High School in London to officially open The ICAP Art Room.

The dress is LK Bennett’s ‘Detroit style’ in ‘snorkel blue,’ it is almost sold out in the US ($395),  but still available in limited sizing at LK Bennett in the UK (£225), as well as John Lewis ($375) and House of Fraser.

LK Bennett

LK Bennett

The dress is that blend LK Bennett does so well, polyester & rayon (aka viscose) with a touch of elastene for stretch and comfort. The knee-length dress has a silhouette Kate is fond of, along with other elements: a cinched waist, additional darts at waist and shoulders, notched sleeves and collar.

Detroit is offered in two other colorways, red violet and light cream.

LK Bennett 'Detroit' Dress

LK Bennett ‘Detroit’ Dress

It is fun to see Kate in this dress, I pinned it to my “I Could See Kate Wearing _____” Pinterest board in the cream color a month ago. The blue is a very wise choice, it is always a flattering color on the Duchess.



Kate wears this blue with some frequency; above we compare today’s LK Bennett frock with the blue Stella McCartney ‘Ridley Stretch Dress’ we’ve seen previously. Coincidentally, Kate also wore a notable piece of Cartier jewelry with the Stella McCartney dress.

Andrew Parsons/i-Images/Polaris

Andrew Parsons/i-Images/Polaris

Most readers will recall that the Art Room provides art therapy as a means of helping children and teens cope with challenges and issues in their lives. Below, Kate speaks with head teacher Gloria Lowe.

Nunn Syndication/Polaris

Nunn Syndication/Polaris

Clarence House tweeted this picture of Kate joining in on a session.

Clarence House Twitter Feed

Clarence House Twitter Feed

The Telegraph’s Gordon Rayner shared this photo of Kate taking part in an actual Art Room workshop.

Gordon Rayner, The Telegraph

Gordon Rayner, The Telegraph

Kate and the students seemed to be enjoying a good time together.

Weir Photos/Splash News

Weir Photos/Splash News

More from Rebecca English in her story about today’s events

The Duchess was greeted by raucous applause by the school’s 1,000 pupils when she arrived in the school hall, before moving on to the Art Room itself, where she sat with children attending an art therapy session and chatted to each one in turn.

Northolt’s Art Room was funded with £105,000 raised by the City firm ICAP, which holds a charity day every year at which guests including the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry have in the past stood in as traders to raise money on the phones..

Kate was also wearing a new watch from Cartier, part of the jeweler’s Ballon de Bleu collection, the Stainless Steel version ($4550)

Andrew Parsons/i-Images/Polaris

Andrew Parsons/i-Images/Polaris

Described by Cartier this way:

Floating like a balloon and as blue as the sapphire safely nestled in its side, the Ballon Bleu watch by Cartier adds a dash of elegance to male and female wrists alike. Roman numerals are guided on their path by a sapphire cabochon winding mechanism protected by an arc of precious metal. With the convex curves of the case, guilloché dial, sword-shaped hands, and polished or satin-finish links of the bracelet… the Ballon Bleu watch by Cartier floats through the world of Cartier watchmaking.



This is a fairly new collection for the jeweler, offering a broad array of sizes, styles and metals; the timepieces are available at Cartier and a limited group of other retailers.  Our thanks to the Kate Middleton Style blog and photographer Chris Jackson for the info on Kate’s watch. Ayvee of Diana’s Jewels for helping on the size Kate wears, 28mm.
UPDATE: Commentors have left helpful info on the size of the watch, indicating it might be the medium size after all.

  1. From Annfee: “As far as I can see, it seems there is guilloché on her watch. Or the 28mm doesn’t have the guilloché (too small). So it looks rather to be the 36 mm, which is kind of confirm by the size on teh wrist. The 28 is really small while worn (I’m lucky enough to have one, so I kinda noticed).”
  2. From Ramfi: “For those interested, here’s the scoop on this watch from a local retailer I checked with. It IS a 36 mm Quartz with Sunburst dial. If you look close enough then you’ll see the difference in the 36 mm and the smaller version which does not have the sunburst dial. Automatic movement has Automatic written on the dial. Also it’s not Sapphire but a blue “synthetic spinel cabochon”, the lady said. She is pretty sure it’s 36 mm but will find out more from her buyer so I shall update you later.”

Cartier carries the medium size, it is also available at Saks.

Kate also wore her Mappin & Webb Fortune White Gold Drop Pendant.
Andrew Parsns i-Images/Polaris

Andrew Parsons, i-Images/Polaris

There has been discussion about Kate’s new ring, first noted by many readers at the National Portrait Gala earlier this week. I apologize to everyone who was kind enough to email and message about the ring, I have been buried with work this week and just couldn’t make the time to get back to everyone. At any rate, the ring looks like a classic diamond eternity band. PLEASE NOTE: there has been no identification of the ring. The photo was used to illustrate Anna’s observations that it looked like the Tiffany or Mappin & Webb.

Polaris Images (top)/Splash News (bottom)Tiffany & Co.

Polaris Images (top)/Splash News (bottom)/Tiffany & Co.

Anna of My Small Obsessions initially thought it might be by Mappin and Webb or Tffany; Mappin & Webb have told Anna it is not a piece from their store.

We also saw a new pair of earrings today from Kiki McDonough. They look very much like the Green Amethyst and Diamond Cushion Drops. (The Duchess already owns the diamond hoops, the drop portion of the earrings can be changed out at any time.) The earrings are £1200 (about $2000 at today’s exchange rate), but that price is for both the diamond hoops and drops; we are fortunate because Lynn left a comment explaining that the drops by themselves are $1100.

Polaris Images/Kiki McDonough

Polaris Images/Kiki McDonough

This was a splendid look for Kate: an elegant dress in a flattering color, pretty earrings, a new watch and simple accessories. (We saw the UFO black suede bag again, and her black pumps.)

Andrew Parsons/i-Images/Polaris

Andrew Parsons/i-Images/Polaris

An ancillary note (that has nothing to do with what Kate wore). As some may know, England is dealing with record-breaking rain, wind and floods. The Army, Royal Navy and RAF have been called in to assist; below you see soldiers from C Company Royal Ghurka Rifles, they are working to build a dam to save farmland from the flooding.

Cpl Richard Cave; Crown copyright

Cpl Richard Cave; Crown copyright MOD

Prince William and Harry joined soldiers today from the Household Cavalry to assist in creating a sandbag dam.

Richard Watt; Crown Copyright MOD

Richard Watt; Crown Copyright MOD

The Guardian has posted video of the two helping out today.

NEXT ENGAGEMENT: Monday Kate joins HM at Buckingham Palace for a reception honoring the dramatic arts. Among those expected to attend: Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch (perhaps best known in the US as Sherlock Holmes), Dame Helen Mirren and Sir David Attenborough. The Queen is Patron of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA).


  126 Responses to “It’s Royal Blue LK Bennett & a New Cartier Watch for Art Room Opening”

  1. Hi all, I have finally found exactly which Cartier Ballon Bleu she has on. I have previously not been able to find a precise answer, a lot of the sites differ. It is definitely not the ’28 due to the guilloché that the 28 mm does not have. It was either the Cartier Ballon Bleu Steel Quartz 33 mm or 36 mm (also called the medium model). I have been comparing photos and have finally found a distinctive difference between models that has helped me distinguish which one it is exactly.

    There are a lot of small differences that you can see from various photos but the one feature that is clear as day is the number 4 ‘IIII’, it is completely featured on the 36 mm, yet the number ‘IIII’ is not quite complete on the 33 mm model. Have a look on the Cartier site for yourself and on the photos of close-ups that the Duchess wears, it is clearly the 33mm model as the number ‘IIII’ is not quite complete.

    And there you are, you’re welcome, enjoy!

  2. Just a thought on the watch–could it also be the 33mm version? It has the sunburst dial as well.

  3. Yes! Finally someone writes about light and the human eye.

  4. I like Kate a lot, so this is not meant to be a put-down in any way. But I was surprised with the blue dress. Very “would you like coffee or tea, Ma’am?” Good thing Kate has such a fantastic figure. The dress is bordering on … frumpy.

  5. I through it was a great choice for the duchesses and the colour and style suited her very well.
    I’ve bought the dress from the notting hill LKB boutique in London.
    It’s a lovely feminine dress with smart details.
    The colour is slightly darker than what it appears on line and compared to the Stella McCartney she owns.
    It really doesn’t resemble at all a flight attendant look if one sees it in the flesh.
    And even thought it might be pricy for some it’s also reasonably priced for a dress of this kind compared to other designers.

  6. If I had to guess on the band, I’d guess Cartier, possibly. It looks like bead set within channels, so my top pick would be this D’Amour band:

    But they have this which could work as well, with the fishtail style pave prongs helping form that line.

  7. Appreciate the ongoing dialogue and suggestions re the “modesty control” issue.

    I think the slip shorts Brenda suggests look girdle-like and Spanx-like, which wouldn’t otherwise be a problem for rest of us. However,because Kate’s weight is constant focus of attention and speculation/criticism, I fear if wind blew up and revealed this garment, it would prompt undesired attention wondering why this slim woman is wearing a girdle, why all of a sudden has she felt need for this, etc.

    A half-slip, if revealed by the wind, would only look like a much-needed addition that is doing what it’s supposed to do: a light, skirt-like garment protecting modesty of her upper legs and undergarments, with no weight control overtones.

    • What defeats me is how the line of present argument seems to be that it is less embarrassing to reveal the anti-vpl thong than, well, knickers or any description. As I’ve said, all skirts can ride up or blow up, so it really is best to be prepared.

      • Didn’t get that from the thread. I think most of the posters think revealing any type of knickers is embarrassing. For me personally, I would rather, if that were the choice to be made, reveal regular knickers than a thong, which has effect of also revealing most of your rear end (which I like to choose specifically to whom I show this to, not the public at large) — but perhaps I’m old-fashioned, or something.

        As I’d said, I would make this blown-up skirt mistake once and once only, and then I would deploy under slips, hem weights, longer skirts with darts and heavy lining, a light stylish jacket to get on/off plane, etc., whatever it took, outfit by outfit.

        No need, then, to worry about which are the best knickers to show in public!

  8. Gosh, what a kerfuffle! I’m going to suggest a compromise between a no-slip look and a slip. They’re called slipshorts. I discovered them last summer, when I was looking for something to wear under skirts so that I could go bare legged, but avoid skirt fly-ups. The anti-static version is fantastic.


    They’re lighter than bike shorts, more comfortable than Spanx. and a little longer than yoga shorts. I’ve bought about five pairs in various colors. This isn’t to market them, just to say that there’s an alternative to wearing a slip.

    • And they are, in effect, French knickers, like a lot of the stretch lace shorts you can now find to wear under the narrower leg jeans. And also like the little shorts which Marilyn Munro herself displays in the oft-referred to upskirt shot!

      • Someone commented that they look like a girdle. They don’t fit like one, they’re super comfortable and soft. Anyway, it’s probably better to be covered up in case of wind than risk imitating the latest Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover.

  9. For those interested, here’s the scoop on this watch from a local retailer I checked with. It IS a 36 mm Quartz with Sunburst dial. If you look close enough then you’ll see the difference in the 36 mm and the smaller version which does not have the sunburst dial. Automatic movement has Automatic written on the dial. Also it’s not Sapphire but a blue “synthetic spinel cabochon”, the lady said. She is pretty sure it’s 36 mm but will find out more from her buyer so I shall update you later.

    • Hello Rashmi, and thanks so much for the input, that is very helpful! You are wonderful to let us know what the retailer told you, I will note the possibility it’s the medium size on the post. :)

  10. PS–I say “Amen!” to ElizaMo and others in favor of slips! I never wear a skirt with out one!
    One quick note on static cling–here in FL with the humidity we get that a lot. If you spray a little hairspray on your nylons, and then some more on the outside of your slip, it works like magic. :D

  11. HI girls! I’d like to ponit out that The Duchess is a human being so I find some of these comments humorous. Waterlines? Rumpeld? Hair flying away and out of control?
    The Duchess sure does live under scrutiny–almost 24/7! I mean, when was the last time you had a blog of your clothes? :)
    As for the open toed shoes, I can sympathise. I am a native born Floridian! But some people don’t like their toes to freeze. :)
    Let’s just keep it in prespective: she’s a young woman who went to spend the day volinteering with children/teens. Things are going to get rumpeld. Hair is going to get messed up! This wasn’t a photo shoot…life happens, even to classy Kate. And I thought that the effect of an elegant and compassionate woman living her life was stunning–quibbles aside!

    • I think the perspective missing in what you say, Miss Maddox, is that her profession is now making appearances like this regularly, and she is both intelligent and has the means and the resources to have a fully polished, appropriate look for all she does (because we see this from her, most of the time). Her events schedule is planned well in advance for her to make whatever hair and wardrobe adjustments would be most suitable for each one.

      If she’s going to play with kids, then perhaps have a hairdo more suited to this — pony tail, half-chignon, French braid, something, that is both attractive and geared toward keep it from being wildly tangled into her face seems a fair request to make of her, doesn’t it?

      Same thing if the day is windy (a simple check of the weather, which assistants can do for her, should help manage that).

      The over-heavy use of eyeliner is also something a few hours with a professional should curtail. But, she may like this heavily-defined eye look — it was clear a few others commenting below do, also, and this blog is all about people exchanging different views and perspectives on fashion and appearance, and everyone being entitled to different tastes and opinions. So I welcome being part of this free exchange.

      But I would hope no has the view that the constant upskirt issue resulting in her showing all of her legs, underwear, etc., is possibly a good thing!

      I may not have a blog about me or photographers constantly following me — but I have never been told at any of the many public appearance I make for work or social/community events as a speaker or organizer that my hair was inappropriate or distracting for the occasion, nor has my dress blown up and exposed my underwear or bare legs, nor have I ever been criticized for fiddling with my hair during a public event where I was in a front and center place.

      I remember having a suit blouse button at the chest pop off at an event and was told this discreetly by someone, when my bra became visible. So I repaired it with a safety pin in the ladies’ room that day, and had all the buttons tightened on that blouse, and several others, and never had this problem again! I’ve had zippers break while out, and had awkward moments of trying to disguise this and keep going, but then had those garments repaired, altered or retired from my wardrobe.

      At some point, you just don’t keep making the same mistakes, do you?

      I think those of us making these comments feel as though, if these things are manageable by other professional women who make appearance where our looking well-groomed and professional are important — why is this such an ongoing challenge for Kate? Particularly when she has ample resources and professional designer at her disposal to make customize or modify special details to meet the wardrobe demands of her career.

      She’s had two year of this intense scrutiny, and frankly, 8 or more years that preceded this, and she seemed to do a better job with modesty and controlled hair before her marriage, which is both ironic and counter-intuitive.

      No one is unforgiving of a mistake or two, and in fact, you’ll see the sympathetic threads running through much of what many of us have said that this is a high-visibility, high pressure role that she normally carried the demands off for very well,

      But after countless immodest upskirt events and many events marked by windblown, flying hair — it would seem more than appropriate for her to take some action to address these. Her prior hairdresser’s ability to curl her hair more tightly and smoothly seemed to partially take care of the windblown hair problems. And an underslip, weights, and all of the other suggestions would help with the upskirt problem.

      Is that really asking too much of this public figure? To have the most polished, event-specific and appropriate looks that she can?

      • Amen!

      • Tracey, I agree with you that any woman working in public wouldn’t make the same mistakes several times… but I’m not sure Kate thinks it’s a kind of “work” (it’s more a role or duty), and maybe that’s why she’s not as professional as you are as a working woman.
        Also, you have to consider that every little mistake she makes will be photographed. Every time her hair flies, every time the wind blows in her skirt, there will be a picture. No chance to be unnoticed. Hopefully no one noticed your button problem, or at least they were discreet and didn’t mention it. Would have it been Kate, it would have been in all the newspapers…
        As a non professional girl, I think she feels more like looking pretty and feminine than professional. She likes to wear skirts and to have her hair down, in spite of the wind. And as a non professional girl, a non star, a non actress and a non model, she doesn’t want to have a dresser or a professional make-up. So yes she does make mistakes sometimes, but she’s natural, and people love her the way she is. They wouldn’t love someone sophisticated and fake.
        (sorry for my English mistakes, I’m French and English is not my native language)

  12. I don’t think she looks like a flight attendant. The outfit is more like a restaurant hostess. Maybe it’s the baby blahs but she hasn’t looked really well put together since last year. Maybe she’ll get it together in time for Australia.

  13. While I agree with a lot of comments on here a lot of times, I really feel that this girl is under enormous pressure every time she goes out publicly. Yes, a lot of times her outfits are way too “old” for someone her age, but she obviously wears what she feels comfortable in. Fortunately, she is tall, slim and gorgeous and looks good in almost anything. She can’t please all the people all the time, and for the most part, she always brings her “A” game. My only quibble, is her hair. It looked so much better during her engagement and the Canada tour, I find it hard to believe she actually likes the way it looks. She should really try a half up/half down style during engagements so her hair is not flying all over the place.

  14. I think Kate looks beautiful. The dress flatters her graceful figure and the vibrant blue is lovely with her rich brunette coloring. My only suggestion would be to add a slip — not for old fashioned modesty but to prevent the horizontal wrinkles from forming on the skirt. Otherwise, Kate looks picture perfect.

  15. I love it when the Duchess laughs. It is good for the soul to see her so joyful. She could be wearing a paper sack and still light up the room with her exuberance.

  16. Hello,

    Just a note on the Cartier watch.
    As far as I can see, it seems there is guilloché on her watch. Or the 28mm doesn’t have the guilloché (too small). So it looks rather to be the 36 mm, which is kind of confirm by the size on teh wrist. The 28 is really small while worn (I’m lucky enough to have one, so I kinda noticed).
    Thanks for the posts though, always like them!

    • Thanks so much for the input, it’s very helpful. I pulled up the largest photo I had of the watch and couldn’t see the guilloché; however, I do not have a trained eye and am not terribly good at this sort of detail. We have another comment about the size, I am amending the post to reflect the possibility/likelihood it’s the medium size on the post. :)

  17. Yes. Kate always looks stunning. I reposted this on http://www.motownsavvy.com

  18. Don’t young ladies wear slips anymore? I don’t understand all this talk about the wind, exiting cars, exiting planes, blah, blah, blah. It’s called a slip or tap pants. They are beautiful little accessories and can cover a multitude of problems, without showing underwear lines.

    Practice exiting a car with your knees HELD TOGETHER, then scoot your butt to the end of the seat and place one foot on the ground (knees still together) then stand. What could be more simple? It just takes practice and THOUGHT!

    In the 60′s and 70′s we wore mini’s and micro mini’s and would NEVER go without something on underneath. I think you call it commando. That’s just gross and unsanitary. Do everyone a favor and keep that part of yourself to yourself.

    • I’m so grateful to you for saying this, I sometimes feel maybe I imagined growing up in the 60s and 70s and having these simple rules become a fact of life. Remember when tights first came in, and saved us from the hell of suspender belts and, er, short skirts??!!! Phew!

      • If by tights, you are talking about what we call panty hose. Yes, when they were first created it was unbelievably freeing. Except for “crotch static”. Remember that? It made your dress creep up between your legs. We still needed the slip or whatever.

        Those suspender belt things are viewed as sexy nowadays (if you go for the Victoria’s Secret look in underwear). They were awful and your nylons never felt like they were straight on your legs.

        Then there’s the subject of where your undies go. Well, unlike I see in ads too often, where the model obviously has never HAD to wear them, the undies go on top. If you put them on under the “garter belt/suspender belt” how do you remove your panties to go to the loo?

        I wonder if they were designed by a man.

        • Oh, thank you so much, that’s really funny!! Lol, as they say! Sorry, yes, that was panty hose, though I’d never heard that description for why skirts creep up your legs! But, yes, that hardy standby, a slip takes care of so much.

          I am aware how they’re seen as sexy now. That’s part of what I find so bizarre about the present impasse — now it seems it’s fashionable/respectable to wear thong underwear to the point where royals do it and are photographed doing it and no one can complain. It’s the complaining that’s improper.

          Time to go and hide my head in a paper bag.

    • I had the same thought re underslips, I think they are considered “old school” but clearly the right garment for her, given these numerous upskirt incidents. She could create a comeback for them, like she’s credited with bringing back pantyhose. My slips, almost never worn anymore, are all in ivory or beige sort of colors, but couldn’t they be made in an array of flattering colors and textures, finished with pretty touches, and customized for each outfit with fly-away skirt potential?

      I agree with the articles saying, how many times does this happen to her before she takes serious remedial action — weights or heavy tape in the hems, heavier linings, half-slips, skirts slightly longer in length –whatever it takes. The one time in Canada would have been enough for me.

      It sort of makes me impatient that she doesn’t get this fixed, once and for all — she can certainly hire the most celebrated designers in England (you know, the ones who already make her wardrobe most of the time?) to work around the clock until they create a solution that is both effective and attractive for her.

      That is what I would be saying to them was a prerequisite before I wore the next outfit of theirs — “Call me when you get this worked out, Ms. Packham!!”

      • Thank you for your response. Quite frankly I am surprised that her clothes don’t have a little something built in, say a lining. Honestly, don’t the designers think of these things? And how much additional work would it be to add one.

        If not that, how about “I’m the Duchess of Cambridge and I would like some beautiful, lacy undergarments in a variety of pastels.”

        You are correct when you say she could bring them back, just as she did pantyhose. I can just imagine a beautiful blue slip, with a touch of lace peeking out from under her skirt. They would sell like mad. Maybe we should start a business.

        • TWO other WKW posters commenting with sense and reason on this topic?! – I can’t tell you how relieved I am. I was afraid of becoming a maverick troublemaker. I’m simply non-plussed by Kate apparently being so hooked up on “fashion” dictates that there can be no retreat from, first, wearing thong underwear, and second, from then trying to go out in so-called “demure” knee-length full-skirted shirtwaister dresses.

          Agree with you both entirely about using delicious pieces of lacy lingerie – half the fun of wearing some of these things is when they peek out. Kate could, as you say, lead the way back to lacy undies! French knickers anyone? They have always been the secret weapon of choice for women wearing form-fitting dresses. Items of clothing so tight you can’t even wear those underneath without showing are too tight for anyone of taste to be wearing in public, and in my own clearly fuddy-duddy view, that includes the stretch jeans Kate favours.

          At the end of the day, the thong is the province of the stripper and the prostitute and is of course admirably well designed to show off their assets. Both professions are as time-honoured, and in their own domain, as respected as monarchy: all three undoubtedly aim to serve society.

          But I remain convinced that there are no heads of state or other dignitary who want their moment of royal glory upstaged by what is going on with Kate’s skirts in front of the cameras. These are not paparazzi we are talking about, but the assembled mainstream press at advertised events.

          I know of ranks of die-hard royalists who no longer wish to so much as mention Kate’s name, or who, if pushed, put her in the same class as the other professions mentioned; these are people who wouldn’t go near the labels she favours and have even cancelled orders already placed for fear of being linked with someone who can put on public displays like this. I fear she is costing high-end labels money and her country loss of prestige, which is why I have described her previously as becoming a diplomatic liability.

          She should indeed have back-up staff – I’m afraid there is an attempt here to create a “modern” streamlined monarchy, which is at odds with the need to stage the polished performance which makes monarchy work, given its non-governing role. At the moment I think we are to believe that Kate is sorting all these outfits out single-handed, which is quite impossible for one person to do, especially on tour. They may not have someone called a dresser on hand, but she needs proper staff, especially to avert disaster where possible.

          I came to this blog in the first place to escape the grim postures of publicity-hungry celebrity and more disappointed than I can say that the good lady whose wardrobe fascinates us should be heading more in the direction of a Beyonce or Miley Cyrus than of royal decorum.

          As I say, I can’t thank you both enough for your posts, it’s been scary to protest about this in the hallowed sanctum of WKW and I hope now to finish with it, to go away and quietly keep my peace. If there’s one thing I like about this blog it’s the general standard of civilised behaviour it displays and I have no desire to spoil that.

          Would also like to add an apology to admin’s friend, author Megan Mulry, as I didn’t want to drop any of these comments into her earlier post, I was just trying to slip them quietly under the radar before a fresh Kate appearance took the attention, as I hope it will tonight with these, my final, words on the matter.

          • It is very unfair, and simply incorrect, to categorize thong-wearers as exclusively strippers and prostitutes. Many of us wear that type of underwear to eliminate “vpl”–visible panty line–and to avoid the unfortunate bunching and scrunching that occurs when you wear full coverage underwear beneath slacks. The goal is modesty, not titillation. Even my mother wears thong underwear.

          • I’m sorry, but are you kidding?? In your 19 responses on this ONE posting, you range from complimenting her look to lumping her in with Beyonce and Miley Cyrus?? Clearly the debate has gone off the rails – good grief, most people grouse that she’s a boring dresser who needs to pull her sleeves off her shoulders (evening gown), bring out far more bling, do something with her dull hair, etc. – yet somehow she also manages to be compared to the women above, as well as strippers or prostitutes? Well, if so that is quite the hat trick. Ironically, all of these comments are linked to an entry detailing an outfit without a hint of skirt flying up, etc. As the de facto doyenne of this site, one would hope that you can revert to les inflammatory commentary, as I’ve never seen your feedback run quite so negative before. Perhaps everyone can move on from the Canada tour THREE YEARS AGO, can also forgive this woman for not being a pro out of the starting gate or even thus far, and really – dial it down.

          • I was so offended by your comment that I had to wait a couple hours in order to craft a response that was respectful and appropriate for this venue; So now all of us who wear a thong to make our trousers look nice or to prevent VPL are either strippers or prostitutes?!—unbelievable.
            Also, we are literally talking about ONE time that her underwear was visible–the yellow dress in Canada three years ago. Since then, we have seen nothing more than her tennis shorts would show, so I have no idea why you continue to act as though this happens to the Duchess all the time??
            Furthermore, I am incredulous at your assertion that labels suffer when she wears their clothes, as every week there is a story of her selling one or more items out when she wears them.
            I have zero problem with constructive an intelligent debate (for example I think it is high time she went back to her old hairdresser or got a new one) but to state as fact things that don’t appear to be true, is not an opinion.

          • I hear your pain, folks! and would like to apologise if I spoiled your day in any way. I was trying to point out the associations that such a garment can bring, not that I would class the Duchess in the same category. And also to point out that as far as I can see the wardrobe mishap in question has happened on several occasions, and I don’t think the Duchess can afford to let it happen again on the next tour without such as yourselves being faced with some of the things I’ve said — and many worse– being attached to her name for years.
            So, please heaven, it doesn’t happen.

            Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts and for going to the trouble of replying..

          • Just my opinion, but I don’t think ElizaMo meant to say that everyone who currently wears a thong is a stripper/prostitute. I think she meant that thongs were most likely created for/by, and marketed to, such women originally. I’m inclined to agree, as it makes sense. When I was Kate’s age, I didn’t see thong underwear for sale in department stores, high end or low. I’m 52 now, and I’m still waiting for the day when women’s trousers are tailored so that we DON’T have to worry about VPL. You know, just like men never have to worry about underpants showing. But I digress.

            ElizaMo, yes, it is way past time for the Duchess to wear a slip already. I remember more pictures than just the yellow dress in Calgary too. I’m sure plenty of younger women think slips are old-fashioned, etc., but that is irrelevant when the Duchess is getting her picture plastered in publications around the world. Jane Doe can have her skirt fly up on her way to work and the only people who will notice and/or care are those around her in addition to herself.

          • That’s so kind of you to put in a word for me, AnneH. Much more than I deserve, I’m sure! Fashion can be a hard thing to avoid when, as you say, the only trousers available need a full lingerie makeover, and it will be a relief when this one passes. Lots of very big, very baggy pants were on show in New York fashion week!

        • I think Renee and I should go into the custom under slip biz! I now have this robin’s egg blue or ice blue half slip in my head that also needs to be fabricated in multiple other pastels! Especially seeing Liz’s comment.

          I couldn’t resist looking at Bloomies and Macys on line and I note they still sell full and half slips in beige, white, black and saw one in red. They mostly have a slimming girdle effect built in, so Spanx is of course in this business now, but others are just regular slips. I see celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe has one under her name for Jockey, which suggests that her work has demonstrated a need for this. Hers is touting some feature that keeps the hem from riding up. La Perla and Agent Provacateur have beautiful,elegant ones like their other lingerie, and DKNY and others have functional ones.

          ElizaMo,simply fascinating, no idea there was backlash from people who think their clothing choice are devalued by her association with them! Are there articles re this, or this is firsthand anecdotal info?

          I understand that Kate brings a dresser on tour. Kept very discreet. Not picking outfits like a stylist, but readying each plus its accessories for her multiple wardrobe changes every day.

          • Thanks for the optimistic note on having a dresser on tour — don’t some folk in her position get their hairdresser or some other staffer to take on the sorting out of accessories?

            It was largely firsthand anecdotal info I’m talking about, but from several sources over time, which is what upset me.

            I’m sorry to have gone on about the whole thing so much. I didn’t know how much had been stored up inside until I went and started to put some lines together. I’m afraid I’ve had all this lot going round my head ever since that day at Calgary. It’s a great relief to have blown my gasket and I now wish to retire into sensible matters like the cut of fabric and the placing of a seam!

          • So glad you wrote back in to this thread and clarified the thong/stripper comment/controversy, Elizamo! I didn’t think you meant to offend anyone who wears them.

            I think her current hairdresser was doing that function on the day she brought baby George home from the hospital, bringing her clothing along with her hair tools.

            I had heard re the discreet dresser staff person (not her hairstylist, a separate person) on the 2011 No. America one, not as sure what she has done or will do for the more recent ones!

    • I’m about the same age as Kate and I don’t think I’ve ever owned a slip. I wanted one for a slightly sheer bridesmaids dress last year and I couldn’t find one. You can’t buy them at department stores anymore.

      • Amen – one definitely has their work cut out for them in the US when it cones to purchasing a simple slip; I think some of the commenters (including ElizaMo) are on to something – I’d be delighted to purchase a pretty slip if they want to manufacture it! But to be so wide-eyed and incredulous that they aren’t widely worn is rather disingenuous – I well remember the feedback regarding the Duchess wearing tights, as if she was some sort of dinosaur…

        • I agree with you about the feedback on tights — it’s not as if everyone, including public figures, had stopped wearing them. In some parts of the world it’s simply too chilly! If I seem incredulous about the wearing of slips &c it’s not so much that I don’t know they are less popular now, it’s more that I’m surprised someone as much in the public eye would repeat the mistake of being caught out without. Diana was famously embarrassed over the see-through skirt picture, and subsequent wind-assisted mishaps revealed lacy petticoat edges.

  19. I’ve been following below with interest, particularly as relates the “flight attendant look” and the suggestion that this is a mean-spirited dig at Kate’s past, or otherwise a petty criticism.

    Kate has a hard line to walk, and usually, admirably, gets it right. She’s supposed to strike some precarious balance or amalgamation between glamorous celebrity and serious, dignified representative of the monarchy and a female professional. She’s blessed with many features (height, slenderness, long curly hair, pretty face) that can pose challenges for all attractive women in professional settings.

    I’m an American, so have no “classism” or other arrogance about Kate being a “commoner” who rose inappropriately above her “station” (in fact, I admire this). But in US, each generation achieving beyond the prior ones is lauded and admired, whether by profession, education, influence, or earning power.

    When housekeepers, farm workers, blue collar employees of all kinds scrimp/save to send kids to college, grad school, or kids succeed in being elected to public offices — it’s considered realizing The American Dream, as is turning a home business into a lucrative success story, like the Middletons.

    I am always taken aback by the hostile, pejorative cracks about Kate’s working-class roots, parents sent daughters to good-schools-populated-by-aristocracy-to-secure-a rich-husband that pervade every Daily Mail article I read about her.

    I have a different perspective, then, on the “flight attendant look”. I will say that I am 5’9, have long curly dark hair, pay attention to my make-up and accessories, modeled briefly in high school, and now am a practicing lawyer. All this means when I wear a suit, I try very hard to avoid “flight attendant look” or “news anchor look” or “model look”, because that usually means — there is an emphasis on the glamorous parts of my hair, wardrobe, or overall effect that can detract from my professionalism.

    This can, in the wrong professional setting, create a negative impression when I walk in a room filled with male lawyers/business people who may not take me as seriously (which potentially hurts my clients I’m there to represent) as they would if I had a more subdued, less colorful, eye-catching hair/clothing/make-up ensemble. I usually can overcome this by my remarks, obvious preparation, written work product, etc. — but first impressions are important, and that is your appearance.

    There are occasions where bright, jewel-tone suits, eye-catching scarves, and the like are appropriate, and others where dark suits with down-played hair/make-up/accessories are appropriate. My fellow professional women and I walk a sharp line, often, to get this right — because a polished, attractive female professional appearance can wind up being a huge upside in a meeting or court or wherever.

    Flight attendants, news anchors and models are usually considered “glamorous” industries, as I see it, where an emphasis on well-coiffed or “big” hair and heavily-made up faces are the norm, or the stereotype, or both. In fields like law, banking, finance, these can lead to the “taken less seriously” problem for women that I mentioned, where women in these other fields can “get away with it”.

    Sometimes, it can help — if you are the person everyone’s gaze focuses on and stays on when you walk in the meeting, that can be a good thing, but on the other hand, when it’s 8 am and you look like you’ve had a 2 hour hair-make-up routine before the meeting, it can look frivolous.

    I am not saying this is right, nor I am encouraging dowdiness for women professionals (far from it!) — I am saying this is a minefield, double-edged sword for me and many women professionals that I know — a product of the evolution of women from objects of beauty to smart, hard-working people who are professionals in traditionally male-dominated fields.

    “Flight attendant look” to me usually involves a monochromatic suit that is ultra-feminine in cut or tailoring or color (or all), a white starched shirt that is uniform-like, a pert hat, and usually with a scarf that is matchy, flowery, tied in a perfect bow or style mirroring their fellow attendants — and then a heavily made-up face, long sexy hairdo, dramatic upsweep, perfect bob, etc., that goes along with it. This is more the flight attendant of 15+ years ago in US, but some foreign airlines still cultivate this look — I think that is why KLM keeps being mentioned below (found this 2010 link with apparently their “new look” then: http://zeeuwsenzoet.blogspot.com/2010/03/nieuw-klm-uniform.html).

    It isn’t usually a compliment for women professionals in other fields to be told they “look like a flight attendant”, not because the flight attendant’s jobs aren’t as serious or demanding or some unfavorable other comparison to banking, law, accounting, etc. fields, though. I think it’s the juxtaposition of stereotyped heavy glamour with a cookie-cutter suit that is what is not desirable about this look for everyone else (including Kate) — though I welcome other views.

    If, instead, it means looking well-groomed and attractive, it may be a compliment, but I don’t think that is what is usually intended when people say this.

    There have been a few times (like this sky blue dress with faux suit-jacket tailoring), heavy make-up (she needs to ease up on, blend, or smudge her liquid black lower eyelid liner — its harsh and unflattering, always), model-with-wind-blown hair overall feel, or her navy suit jacket, perfect scarf worn to present Special Olympics medals) where I say Kate looks “too flight attendant”, but not as an insult to her mom (or any flight attendant). I mean she’s crossed over from unique, stylish individual with a professional/poised/attractive look to “standard issue uniform suit plus high glamour” look.

    I also occasionally think she strays into “lady lawyer or banker” look (navy tailored dress, navy suit jacket, briefcase-y Mulberry bag and matching navy pumps worn to catch plane to Canada for her 2011 visit comes to mind — looked headed to a boardroom), and I don’t think that’s quite right for her, either!

    But, I admire her for, and am empathetic to, the many variables she is trying to balance in her role, not the least of which is getting her appearance right. And, I think she usually looks confident, interested, and approachable in demeanor — which is probably the ultimate accomplishment for her, and also means that she usually carries off whatever fashion/styling elements she has very well.

    • Thanks so much for such a beautifully written and thoughtful piece. I’m right with you on the minefield for women at work in a male-dominated environment. It’s one reason why I feel women should avoid “little girl” fashions, ie, anything from denim dungarees to too-short gym-slip styles! But it’s so so hard, you can’t deny your femininity at work or men discount you as “not a real woman” but how, oh how to continue to be taken seriously?

      We all have to work out our own codes –or we certainly did back in the 80s’, exactly as you say, without the over-made-up look — something which can scarcely be maintained once the pressure of work begins and it’s all systems go to the end of the day and no time for touching up lipstick — something which would be a major no-no in the middle of an all-male office, due to unspeakable undertones, and male sniggers behind the back.

      I think Kate sometimes dresses like an executive wife, but then that’s part of a global trend to a sort of uber-chic style prevalent with availability of global brands, and yes, it turns out looking a bit like a uniform.

      I think Kate copes superbly given she’s supposed to be doing all this on her own, not like catwalk models with teams of support workers behind her.

      • What kind words, thank you so much. 80′s had its share of big hair, power suits with big shoulders and unconventional colors for women as ok, I think?

        Executive wife — not sure what that look like these days — are there still these ornamental women who wear perfect dresses that are pretty and non-threatening, all plastic smiles and Stepford dutifulness, perfectly coiffed, good hostess? (All women I know married to executives are professionals themselves and what you see on TV are Real Housewives sort of quasi-celebrities, all of whom wear what they normally wear, no?)

        and I think Kate could do with a stylist team behind her — would avoid some of all these wardrobe and hair issues, I would think.

  20. Oh, dear, here we go, found on WKW Facebook and as I have long feared. The mishaps are gelling into a tellable story — and even our own Susan gets quoted??!! Accurately or not, admin?


    Anyway, once one starts others will follow and the story goes mainstream. And as I have long argued what matters is not that skirts can fly or ride up, but that when they do some basic lingerie is in place, and not another eye-watering view of whatever.

    • I’m not surprised that a story like this is being printed, a tagline that incendiary is bound to garner some clicks. However, the whole thesis of the story–that the Duchess is alarmingly prone to wind caused malfunctions–is debunked by the article’s own reference to the Pinterest board, “A Royal Gust of Wind.” In that board, almost every female Windsor is pictured fighting to keep her skirts down in the wind, just as every human being that routinely wears dresses or skirts has done at some point for the inescapable reason that wind happens. Weights obviously do not eliminate the problem; the Queen is pictured holding her skirts down in a number of those pins. The article does answer a long-held query of mine, why the Duchess doesn’t wear trousers when exiting planes, by explaining that the Queen has outlawed female royals from wearing trousers at public events. So there you go: the Duchess has been forbidden from wearing the one item of clothing that would insure fly-ups didn’t happen.

      The article claims that the Duchess could avoid fly ups by wearing straighter-style skirts, which I suppose is true, but as someone who views fashion as an expression of identity, I really hate the idea of her having to forgo her favorite silhouette just because wind and paparazzi exist. Diana had it easier, as longer skirts were in style in the 80s.

      As for underwear, there is no mention of that in the piece that I can recall. And really we have no evidence for what type of undergarment the Duchess prefers. She did appear to be wearing a thong in the yellow Packham dress debacle, but that is only one instance and it is just speculation. In the other pictures, only leg is pictured, so she could be wearing full-coverage underwear (which is prone to its own mishaps, we all know what can happen when wearing them, precisely the reason thongs were invented). I suppose the Duchess could wear Spanks and then we would get no unsightly peeks at body parts we all share. Her organs would be crushed, but what the hey.

      • Thanks for your response — much appreciated as always, AshleyOlivia, calm, measured and balanced! I like the way you say you hate her having to give up something she favours because of wind and paparazzi, but that’s the reality she and we have to live with somehow, sadly neither are about to go away. We can try to turn a blind eye, of course, but reality doesn’t really stop just because we’re on a celebrity website.

        I’m afraid the reason other pictures than the Calgary ones haven’t been shown is because the mainstream press has been willing to draw the line at what they print, especially in the UK. Not all the pictures of the last couple of mishaps have been widely shown, but they were out there, though it’s also interesting to see how they get quietly dropped from easy access.

        Kate will be abroad this time, and the Oz press love a Pom-bashing session. I speak as one who followed the sufferings of the English cricket team down under last winter.

        The problem with these articles appearing is that they are declaring open season on the duchess, especially on the coming tour, and I think that’s dreadful, but inevitable. So Kate is sort of poised on a cliff-edge here. If she gets through the tour without another display and grim pictures all over the place because no-one can keep a lid on them anymore, she will survive ok.

        If not, well, brace yourself for any number of headlines about what Kate wore “down under” and Kate coming home with some lousy tabloid moniker and a reputation it could take her years to live down. These articles are simply sounding the alarm, to the Palace, to Kate, to anyone who can get her to cover her assets, and there is sufficient scope for that without resort either to thong underwear or the dreaded Spanx. I think the other pictures of embarrassed royals show that point exactly, and that’s all I’ve ever argued for.

  21. She looks absolutely stunning. Has she always underlined her eyes with eyeliner? From far away I never noticed, but in the close up shots I notice. She looks beautiful either way.

  22. It appears as if this is one look that has received almost unanimous applause and rightly so: the Duchess looks marvelous! Fashion aside, as many commentators have noted, she just simply looks radiant and, to borrow a term from Prue, animated. I love these photos where she is pictured mid-laugh. It is not difficult to see why she is such a successful patron.

    Moving on, I quite like this outfit, probably even more so because this outing follows the National Portrait Gallery appearance… what a relief to see the Duchess styled again in her signature Kiki McDonough jewelry instead of the imposing and heavy stuff. I love the cut of this dress and how tall it makes the Duchess look. The bodice adds an extra element of interest. I vastly prefer this dress to the blue Stella McCartney; I found the outside darting on the McCartney irritating and thought it drew attention to the bust in an unflattering way. Then again, I’ve never been much of a fan for McCartney’s designs. (Ahem. Olympic uniforms from hell. Cough cough.) On to the color. I sympathize with Lili’s back and forth over the shade. I actually have a pencil pointe skirt in this color in my closet. The color is not the usual for me, as I tend to prefer earth tones, but I was immediately drawn to it and purchased it on a whim. I’ve received compliments for it, but you have to be extremely careful about the tendency for it to appear flight attendant-like. I own a beautiful silk mustard-colored scarf that I paired with the skirt one day, only to arrive at the university realizing I looked so much like a flight attendant the outfit bordered on costume. That being said, I do believe the shade is perfect for an event where the Duchess will be visiting with children. And of course, no one can dispute the fact that she pulls it off well.

    As for the jewelry, I adore all of these pieces, particularly the new Kiki McDonough earrings. I hope we find out more details in the future on the exact gem stone. I have to say that I find the combination of her white gold engagement ring, yellow gold wedding band, and white gold eternity band a bit jarring. I’ve always thought the sapphire ring appeared odd with the yellow gold wedding band, but with the addition of the eternity band the whole grouping really looks strange. Perhaps I am being too nitpicky. Tradition can’t be avoided, of course: the Welsh gold wedding band is customary for Windsor brides since 1923.

    I love the Cartier watch, though I am intrigued at the Duchess’s sudden penchant for wrist watches. I know that she was pictured wearing them prior to the engagement, but then they seemed to magically disappear. A person can simply stop wearing a watch and then decide it’s time to sport one again (ha ha… bad pun on my part), but I do wonder if there is another reason motivating her sudden need for wrist watchery. (I will freely admit that if I had never worn a watch in my life and someone gifted me with a Cartier, that would be reason enough in my book to start wearing a watch.)

    • So glad you liked this dress too, but sorry to hear Stella gets the thumbs down. I appreciate the Olympic designs were a little off-beat, but I’ve long had an eye on her daywear. She has sometimes seemed like a latter-day Jean Muir to me, for choice of fabric and flow of design, not to mention understated class. In fact, I’ve been sorry Kate hasn’t turned to her more, and was surprised that only that rather plain stretch dress has so far passed muster.

      The bright blue of the Ridley dress of course tallied with being part of a sporting uniform during the Olympics season, and I still find it beautifully cut, maybe even showing up the lovely LK Bennett worn above!

  23. Just a small note- it’s Gurkha, not Ghurka :)

  24. She looked perfect, as always. Her mother must be so proud.

    I am pretty close in age to Mrs. Middleton and in the 70′s we used the Color Wheel Analysis chart to find our best colors. Any thoughts on if Kate uses this simple, but amazing tool? I don’t know any young women that utilize it. Fashion consultants do, but of course they would have to. What about all of the young women that visit this site? Do they know which of these they are: summer, fall, winter, spring.

    There’s no denying that some colors make us look fabulous and others wash us out. Kate never goes wrong in the color category, even when she wears pastels, whites and creams. We may prefer to see her strong, bold colors, but we need to remember that what Kate wears must suit the event. This is a modern, beautifully fitted dress and she looked fabulous in it.

    And to the young woman that commented that Kate looks like a KLM flight attendant. I had NO idea that L.K. Bennett designed for the airlines, but how wonderful for the attendants – to dress like a Duchess, even at work.

  25. In the one good photo of the Duchess’ engagement ring there are at least 3 bent prongs (claws). Jewellery like most everything else needs good care and maintenance. A ring as important as this particular ring should not be allowed to show such lack of care.
    Everyone seems to be in love with the jewellery of Kiki McDonough. Partly because people want to wear what the Duchess wears I presume. Google ” green amethyst”.
    You will probably come up with the proper term “greened amethyst” or prasiolite or heat treated , irradiated amethyst. This is an inexpensive semi- precious (quartz) stone. Priced like many things on what the market will pay.
    Like it or not ladies Catherine does not have sophisticated taste when it comes to jewellery. The Queen has started to try to get her to wear more important statement pieces. Crown princess Mary of Denmark would be a good example in both jewellery and hair styles for which the Duchess could take note .For that matter look at the beautiful jewellery Diana wore. Diana was never far from a pearl choker and looked spectacular wearing one. A multi strand pearl choker is a piece that the Duchess should have in her jewellery wardrobe immediately!
    This is not meant as a ‘put down’ but maybe Catherine needs a ‘bespoke’ course set up for her to learn more about gems and gemmology and the history of many of the pieces she will one day take ownership of.
    There have been several comments about the new blue dress looking like ‘doors to manual’. I’m afraid the jewellery fits right into that same category. The styles are what a young secretary or university student would wear, not at all what we should expect of a future Queen.

    • Just to say that Kate is not a future Queen, anymore than Prince Phillip is our King.

      • The Duchess of Cambridge is the future Queen of England. Aside from the special case of Camilla (and I’m not entirely sure what the protocol will be when Charles is crowned), the wife of the King of England automatically becomes Queen.

        The same is not true when the reigning monarch is female, because the title king trumps queen. In these instances, the highest title the husband of the queen can be awarded is “Prince Consort”, which Victoria awarded Albert, but Elizabeth chose not to give to Philip.

        • Thank you for this AsleyOlivia – my husband explained it to me too. Didn’t realise it was different for a King but not Queen.

    • I disagree with your conclusions about Kate’s jewelry. First, you don’t know if the pieces she wears were gifts from her family, from William, or from William’s family, We don’t know how Kate came to own them. Second, not many secretaries or university students can afford pieces from Tiffany’s, Cartier, and the like. They do not spend $1000 on earrings, semi-precious stones or not. Nor is it even in style for students to look so dressy. Lastly, it is not fruitful to compare Kate to Diana. Diana exemplified the overblown 80s, from her wedding gown to her pouf sleeves. Diana did not always get it right either. But more to the point, they are different women with different tastes. And Kate is not yet the Princess of Wales. Her choices are appropriate to her position.

  26. I like the dress, it’s elegant but stylish. The accessories are perfect, but I think she must change her shoes.. Too boring… Maybe something younger?

  27. A quick follow-up. The word I was striving for was “matronly.” I hope Kate ups the ante in future looks!

  28. I love seeing all these wonderful posts. Thank you so much for taking the time to keep us updated on Kate’s looks. I may be the only one, but I just don’t get “wowed” by Kate’s style although she’s a lovely and beautiful lady. I’m afraid I draw the inevitable comparisons to Diana and although these are different times, the looks are very simple and ordinary. I think she is being “who she is” and I love how she is supporting high street retailers. At the same time, I just loved how Diana would match a color from a suit, for example, to the cap-toe on her Chanel shoe. Remember that stunning red/black houndstooth ensemble? I agree with the observations about the hair style, too. It will be interesting to see how her style evolves over time.

  29. I saw a video of Kate arriving at this event and she did not have her purse in hand when getting out of the car. Than later, she had it. Which brings me to my point. I suspect her assistant was carrying it for her at first. If Rebecca Deacon was with her, she is always so discreet and unobtrusive, never inserting herself into a picture, but always nearby to be of assistance when needed. She seems like a real class act and I hope that Kate and William appreciate her and treat her very well. I’m not sure they could do better than with her.

  30. Love the eternity ring, but please tell me is it definitely the Tiffany ring?

  31. It doesn’t look like Kate is not going to follow the Queens decree for longer hemlines, since this dress is at her usual length. I hope so since I don’t think wearing a dress past the knee is appropriate for someone so young.

  32. Love this dress—the neckline/collar immediately reminded me of the red dress she wore when leaving Canada—very flattering. In fact, I think this is the best she has looked in a long time. The jewelry and bag and shoes were all on point IMO.
    Only small quibble—I really wish she would have worn her hair in a half-updo or perhaps a sleek ponytail–it just seemed out of control.
    I wish the Duchess would go back to her old hairdresser—she just looked more put together hairwise when she was with him.
    Small quibble aside, she looked happy and trim and lovely

  33. I just lost the watch I’ve worn since 2001 and I miss it. I love this Cartier one (but can’t afford it). Maybe I’ll find a similar one for a bit less.

    The dress is very nice and I love the color. I think Kate looks wonderful. She looks so happy and relaxed with the kids.

  34. kate looks great but I wonder why a makeup artist hasn’t told her how to fill in the waterline under her eyes properly.

    • How are you supposed to fill the waterline in properly? I don’t know, so I am curious. Also, how is the Duchess not doing it correctly? Thanks

      • Haven’t heard it referred to as “waterline” before, but I think she means that it is too hard and solid a line for her lower eyelids to be lined with. It is a look you only get with liquid eyeliners, and on the lower lid, particularly in black with a person of fair complexion (women of color can get away with this better), it is harsh look that makes the eyes appear smaller (like a dark frame would make a picture look smaller) and this hardens the face, giving an older appearance which does no one any favors.

        The cure for this is to, if you must use black liquid liner on lower eyelid, then take a charcoal or steel blue or deep gray eye shadow and brush it over the line and make it less harsh, or use an eyelining pencil in a softer shade with a bigger tip applied with a lighter touch in the first place, or use a smudging tool (even a Q-tip works) to lighten and soften the line.

        Kate had actually eased up on this heavy black undereye liner when many commentators (Vivienne Westwood comes to mind) had criticized her about this in the past, so I was surprised to see she’d come back to it in this recent appearance.

        • Also, you don’t usually take the lower lid liner all the way from the outside corner to the inside corner of the eyes like Kate’s done, either, even more creates the “picture frame” effect that makes the eyes smaller.

          (In other words, it’s not usually flattering for it to really be obvious that there is a “line” under your eye.)

          Usually, make-up artists would stop the line well before the inner corner to avoid completely outlining the lower lid, somewhere around the center of the pupil is usually the guideline, but a lot of this has to do with shape of your eye, how heavy the upper lid liner is by contrast, how large your eyes are (in which case, big eyes may need some minimizing) and requires much practice with different looks, and can be helped by a professional make-up artist working with you.

          Lancôme makes my favorite liner, the Artliner, which is liquid-y but easier to control than a liquid (along the lines of a felt-tip marker with a fine point) and sometimes their reps at beauty counters can provide tips on using this, but not all of then are talented with this.

          • Agree with you about the “picture frame” effect. I also grew up learning that was a no-no. But, she’s only human, after all, and still seems to be doing a lot of this herself, so needs must, I guess.

          • Great answers guys! I agree with you all.

            Dear Mandy to answer your question here goes. To fill in the waterline which is the part of your lower lid that sits between lashes and the eye itself.

            Using your middle finger lightly place it under your lash line and press softly, this will push your lash line down ever so slightly without pulling or tugging on the skin. Always use a pencil liner that has been tested for use on the water line and always use a freshly sharpened pencil that only you have used this way you are kind to your eyes and will avoid infection. Lay the end of the pencil gently on your waterline.Using soft short strokes, gently sweep the side of the tip of the eyeliner from the middle of your eye to the outer corner. Line the pink, watery part of your lower lash line. Take your pencil and set it gently in the inner corner of your eye.Sweep the liner in small strokes from the inner corner of your eye to the middle of your eye.

            If you line your lower lash line with a white or nude pencil this will brighten and open up the eyes. If you want a sexy, smoky look use a black pencil; to enlarge the look of the eye smudge a little of the pencil or a deeper shadow around the outside of the lash line.

            The best pencils for the job are softer pencils that have been tested for use in this specific area of the eye and are not too wide.

            The reason why the duchess does not do it right in my opinion is that she leaves the waterline not filled in and this shows no liner on the underpart of her eye but a defined line creating the picture frame effect which makes her eyes look smaller and don’t show off her beautiful eyes correctly. Lining the waterline removes the appearance of skin between your lashes and your eye. It helps to draw attention to your eyes, and can even make them look whiter. If your eyes are big, lining the waterline can make them look smaller.

          • Wow! Thanks for the updates on eyeliner technology, that’s a magnificent explanation Michelle, I might even call it definitive if it didn’t sound too much like a clumsy pun…

          • Michelle:

            I appreciate your detailed answer re “waterline” — and it takes me back many years to high school. I went to an all-girls high school, so make-up experimentation regularly occurred in our cafeteria at breaks.

            We all got obsessed with black eyeliner as sophomores. The go-to one was Maybelline’s iconic red pencils sold (as they still are) in twin packs at drug stores in Velvet Black. The would be sharpened to a fine point to fill in the waterline, though I didn’t know that term — we would say “inside the eye”.

            We also would (be prepared to wince, laugh, or both) use a cigarette lighter to melt the tip before applying it, and blow on it to cool it first, to make it easier to adhere to this watery surface and also to deepen the intensity of the black! The brush-on liquid liners were too difficult to control especially on lower lid, you’d get black gook coloring the whites of your eye.

            A wave of pinkeye and other eye infections spread through our ranks like the plague, as a result. Not sure if it was improper lining of the inner eye, as you caution, or because girls were sharing pencils between them (probably both — though melting the tip with a lighter would seem to have a sterilizing effect!). and I recall those incidents where it wasn’t cooled properly before applying this melted pencil!

            So, my mom bundled me off to Nordstrom for a consultation for some better options, and this is what led to my discovering the Lancôme Artliner I mentioned before — then called the Eyelining Pen.

            I was also taught by their make-up artists to not pull down the lower lid and line the inner eye area you call the waterline (and my eyes are watery, so that was really a challenge, anyway, with a pencil, especially in allergy season), as being too delicate and too risky but to instead line where the roots of lashes attach to outer edge of lid (i.e., what Kate is doing). The gel, liquid, or pen style liners make these stay on better than pencils, whether inside or outside the eye, I’ve always found.

            But that is where all of my other cautions come in — if the line is going to be more visible in placement that way — I really think it should be smudged or otherwise made subtle to avoid this harsh black line effect under the eyes.

            I usually line the top lids first and without dipping it back in the tube, line the bottom with what’s left on the applicator, so it’s more subtle, then smudge from there.


  35. This is a clever style for a dress, a jacket-look without the fuss of it being a jacket. I really like this shade of blue, if for real it is the same as I see on a computer screen. The jewellery pieces are good choices.

  36. To me the earrings she wore today looked different from the photo of the Kiki. Catherine’s to me looked like they were not curved in a half hoop style and the banding on the top portion looked as though it was different also. Also the large drop stone looked like a different cut. But it is hard to tell from photos as is the blue tone of her dress.

  37. I just noticed something. Does Kate look thinner than she did during the London Olympics? I was looking at a comparison when she wore the evening gown the other night between the two photos of each wearing and her arms looked thinner this time.

    Also, in the above side by side photo of her holdng her hands together — is it my imagination or do her hands/wrists look like they have less flesh on them in today’s photo? I see it very distinctly on her left hand (the one with the watch)… Does anyone else notice this? The right hand/wrist could be the angle she’s holding her hand, but not on the left I don’t think.

    Hate to bring up a weight debate — I actually like her on the thinner side, but don’t want her to get too gaunt either. Was just wondering if anyone else had noticed this…

    • I think weight-wise she looks the same in this dress as in the Stella McCartney – I see what you mean by her wrists, but it looks like in the picture above just caught her a a strange angle.

  38. Windswept and laughing like this the Duchess looks just sensational – I’m overjoyed you were able to get one of those great shots of her for the post.

    The dress looks so chic,styled at the bodice like a ’50s bolero jacket with flattering raised collar at the back of the neck. It’s elegant, practical and above all windproof; the hem so much more grown-up to just above the knee instead of too short as in the past. The second Daily Mail prediction to come “true” in a week, following Wednesday night’s bling-fest?

    Kate wears that colour well although this particular shade is so startling I fear it borders on doors-to-manual, but it does work well for visiting children. And her hair looks way so much better free of its earlier tangled look.

    It’s a skill of sorts I suppose to team a £200 dress with some £10K of jewellery, though Kate can pull it off with her discreet choices. And her shoes are in a reasonable state again, not some ageing scuffed and stretched old pair, though I remain of the view that her footwear is overdue for a serious update.

    Overall, though, she looks fantastic!

    • She wore plenty of longer hemlines like this in the past. The short hemlines that many of us disliked appeared primarily during her pregnancy. Otherwise, with the notable exception of a quite short Zara dress that she wore to a concert, her hemlines have generally been of a decorous length since shortly before her engagement was announced.

      • The navy pleated Orla Kiely skirt from last November was both shorter than this and flyaway. You yourself said then it could have done with being a couple of inches lower.

        • Yes, that skirt could have been longer. I’m simply pointing out that the Daily Mail can’t really be credited with a correct “prediction” given that she’s worn dresses of similar length so many times in the past. Moreover, if you look at the hem lengths of most of the dresses she wore on both the Canada and the Asia-Pacific tours, you’ll note that they tended to be relatively conservative, so I really doubt there’s any concern about what she will choose for the Australia tour. She dresses rather conservatively in general. The fashion press has been complaining about it for years now.

          • I put the word “true” in quotes to hint at a some irony about anyone’s predictions. A week is a long time in royal reporting, as elsewhere, and the Mail has been pretty lucky to have a longer hemline turn up on cue after the chunky neckpiece. The attention span in cyber-space is unlikely to last longer than a week before the next set of predictions range forth.

        • I found the Orla Kiely skirt problematic, though I wonder if the issue is really cut instead of length. Skater skirts look so juvenile whatever the length and color, and of course there is always the flyaway risk with all those voluminous pleats. I stay far, far away. Twelve years of Catholic school pleated skirts was enough for me. (The uniforms, however, did not have a similar effect on my feelings towards plaid. Plaid is still my best friend.)

          Lili, I too remain skeptical about the Daily Mail story. However, I fear that the appearance of the Queen’s Diamond necklace at the event immediately following the story is a sign that points toward it being accurate, however much I wish it were not so. The possibility remains that this was a coincidence though, so I suppose we will not know for sure until we can examine the jewelry and hemlines of the Australia tour.

          • Ah, yes, school uniforms and pleated skirts — tell me about it! Have rarely been able to wear the colour of bottle green again — though no great loss there! And pleated skirts too remain a problem!

          • PS Here’s one prediction that can’t possibly come true — what are the odds on Kate making it a hat trick with the dark blue Packham on Monday, but this time updo & all — just to confound those who say you can’t wear an outfit more than once?!

  39. At first I thought this was the Stella McCartney dress from last year. The color is beautiful. Personally, I would have liked to see her in another color, since she already has such a similar dress. But still a pretty look.

  40. I think the dress is gorgeous, but I think the shoes are taking away from it. I think she needs a bit more “toe cleavage”. LOVE the watch and earrings.

    • The weather in England is not appropriate for open toe shoes at the moment. There are a lot of puddles around.

    • Personally, I really dislike toe cleavage and think it looks cheap. JMHO.

      • I’ve always thought of February as too early in the year for open-toed shoes, and it would definitely be ill-advised in England just because of the weather. I think it is hard for most of us in the States to understand how much the climate in the UK prohibits open-toed shoes. Even in the summer, it is often chilly and the wind factor doesn’t mess around. Added to this is the frequent rain. I definitely would not want to expose my little piggies to the elements!

    • I agree with Joy – assuming by “toe cleavage” she wasn’t referring to peep-toe or open-toe shoes, but instead to a pump that has less material covering up the top of the foot (i.e., revealing the start of the woman’s toes). See the shoes Kate wore in the Olympics outfit for a pair that is more likely to have “toe cleavage.” This pair, with the combination of the platform, high foot coverage, and the suede material, in my opinion weighs down what is otherwise a crisp and stylish look.

  41. I love this color but felt it was a bit ill fitted around the waist and hip area. At first glance, I thought it was a repeat of the Stella McCarthy with a jacket added on or something like that…Love that watch…but this could be biased because I love watches and it’s a Cartier…what can I say. :)

    • You know, upon examination, I think part of my hesitation about this dress is that it really emphasizes the Duchess’s long-waistedness. She is normally at some pains to DEemphasize that, but the cut of this dress really puts it on display.

  42. I like the dress and think it’s a great choice. Well suited for the occasion.

  43. This dress is fine but nothing special IMO. The watch, on the other hand, is a winner. She’ll wear it for years to come.

  44. I am having a weirdly uncertain reaction to this dress. At first I thought,”Yes, I love the sleek and minimalist lines, the body-skimming sheath style. I would wear that.” Then, however, I had second thoughts, and I am not quite sure why. Perhaps it’s because I saw someone on another site make the same remark Hellena has, that the dress looks like a flight attendant’s uniform, and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head.

    The blue color contributes to that impression. The Duchess loves blue, of course, she wears this bright shade well, and bright blues have been trendy for a couple of years now. I’m still not sure what I think of them. Sometimes I think I love them and should buy more items for myself in them; and sometimes I feel put off. Unfortunately, the blue in this particular dress does somehow help communicate that flight attendant effect.

    So, I keep looking at the pictures and thinking in one moment that the Duchess looks terrific, that the dress and shoes and earrings and everything else all work wonderfully together, then thinking in the next that the Duchess looks like she should be greeting passengers at Heathrow.

    I’m not usually driven this crazy by a mere dress.

    • I also saw the flight attendant comparison on other sites, and I don’t really understand it. This is just a sleek, tailored dress in a bright color — nothing about it particularly says flight attendant to me, it looks more like what I see women at my corporate law firm wearing. If it actually looks like a particular flight attendant uniform someone has seen before, then I’d say good on that airline for going with a stylish look. But I suspect most people snidely drawing that comparison (not you!) are doing so to make a classist little dig at Kate’s background/mother.

      • I posted before looking at other comments so hadn’t seen how many picked up on the flight attendant thing. It’s not so much a class thing, just that bright colours are used for uniforms, I’m afraid I could see this for,er, selling ice-cream or serving hamburgers. But only the colour, I hasten to add, the dress I find charming, although it’s odd how, on further inspection it does seem to lose some of its elegance, maybe the fabric rumples up and lacks a lining — there is some small thing a bit odd there.

        That, or I too am conditioned by so many studio shots of models in adverts totally picture perfect, and this is a real live, warm human being!

      • Yes, I think that’s probably the motive in at least some cases. That the job of a flight attendant, perfectly honest and honorable work, should be regarded with such sneering snobbery by some people both bemuses and dispirits me. But then, while we certainly have a class system in the US, it’s rather different from the British version, and I’ve long been aware of our sometimes different attitudes towards the achievement of upward mobility by the not-to-the-manor-born, at least in some circles.

        I forgot to mention that I like the Cartier watch very much but have been leery of Cartier watches since my parents gave me one as one of my high school graduation gifts. I’ve had nothing but trouble with it, so it now lives in a safe deposit box at my bank. Alas.

  45. What a glorious colour of blue (I like the red violet too) and such a lovely design. More than that I just love the way Kate looks animated – not something the Royal Family goes in for – and she looks as if she’s really enjoying herself. It’s so refreshing!

    Thanks for mentioning the flooding. While some areas are not too bad – like the Midlands, in many areas people are really in dire straits, and now there is talk of sacrificing some housing to protect other housing. Inevitably it leads to bad feeling but very understandable as what it’s like to see one’s home devastated by cold, muddy, sewage-ridden water when the people across the road are protected I cannot imagine.

    We’ve been hearing about the terrible polar conditions some places in the States have been subjected to this winter. Please God that things improve soon for everyone.

  46. Wonderful coverage, as always. And I totally agree: Kate looked stunning today.

  47. Very nice look. It immediately reminded me of the Stella McCartney dress she wore previously, only I like this dress better. I also covet that Cartier watch. Tasteful accessories, beautiful hair – but the best part is how happy the Duchess looks.

  48. The dress is awful. She looks like a KLM stewardess.

  49. Thanks for getting this post up so fast! Kate looks beautiful, everything is just right! The dress is perfect on her and for the occasion, and the LENGTH is great — just a smidge longer than most things she wears, and it looks so much more elegant. Personally not a fan of the large watch, but it is a nice piece and certainly the trend now. Well done!

  50. Kate looks great today — so happy she didn’t over-curl her hair again. This is the Kate that I love to see!

    I think her earrings are the yellow gold version of the Kiki earrings, not the white gold version shown in the post. I actually have this pair in white gold — so stoked Kate got the green ones!!

    I was able to purchase these through Neiman Marcus in the US for $1795. The drops alone are $1100. If you purchase directly from Kiki, the amount is a little higher with the conversion, so you get a slight discount when purchasing at NM. In case anyone’s interested!

    One note: when purchasing the yellow gold version hoops, be very careful. I have had to purchase and return 3 pairs to NM because the clasps were not working correctly. I even emailed Kiki in UK to let them know to look into their manufacturing process. Unfortunately, they were not very helpful. UK customer service is not what it is in the US. I currently have a 4th pair with a NM jeweler to try and fix it. Fingers crossed….

    • Hi Lynn, thanks so much for your helpful comment, Anna just pointed that out to me as well. You’re wonderful to let us know how much the drops alone cost, I will update the post with your info. It’s a shame the clasps have been such a problem, no one wants to worry an earring might fall right out of your ear. :)

    • Ah such a shame you have all these issues – coincidentally I got the pair in yellow gold with green amethyst few months back and they work perfectly. On the other hand US$1,100 is better then £800 one has to pay in UK.

      • Hi Magdalena,

        I wonder if Kiki has a different supplier in UK than for US shipments. The person I spoke with at UK customer service said she personally inspects all shipments. I don’t see how that would be possible, but she was probably trying to make me feel better. What really got to me was the NM didn’t bother to contact Kiki with the ongoing problem — they just kept reselling the earrings! So when I notified Kiki, they were dumbfounded and said they had never heard of any such problem. I wonder if NM can’t return items to Kiki because they get them at a wholesale discount or something?

        I was overjoyed when I found out that Neiman Marcus in the US sold Kiki’s designs and they will even order items for you (that are not on their website) and get them to you. At least the ladies that I have had to deal with will — but perhaps that’s because I have had such issues with the clasps. My only issue with NM was that they didn’t go back to Kiki with the issue.

        Either way, I am obsessed with Kiki’s designs — they are gorgeous! I have found that whatever I can afford and get that Kate has purchased, I get the most compliments. Unfortunately, I don’t have her flawless figure, so this limits me to scarves, jewelry and shoes — but never the less, I get compliments on those that I do have. Thank you Kate!

        • Hi Lynn, I’m excited to know that NM will order styles not on their website! Thank you for sharing that. I have recently found out I’m to be a first-time grandmother in August, so naturally, I thought to mark the occasion, I need something Kiki in Peridot; however, I like what’s on her website better than what’s at NM.
          As to the other earrings, I bought some hoops last year at JC Penney almost identical to the Kiki ones. Even the clasp is the same, and sadly, I have the same problem with that clasp. I believe it’s the style. They should really instead be a drop-bar closure as I believe it’s more secure. Anyway, thanks again.
          I thought Catherine looked wonderful. I agree that the dress is similar to the Stella, but the duchess certainly is consistent in her taste. I am too; sometimes, I get home with something only to realize I already have something the same.
          Susan, I love that you put links to the newspapers as they have so many lovely photos. I wish I could stop reading the comments as they are so vitriolic and bitter. I guess I read them in hopes someone will say something nice. Is the royal family that hated in Britain?

          • No, I don’t think the royals are that hated over here — William and Harry got a pretty warm reception when they joined flood relief teams this week. Those who like the royals avoid those comments which I assume are made by those who have a grudge against the whole human race!

        • Hi Lynn,

          Yes, one has to wonder… different supplier, different batch? At the end of the day you want to enjoy this beautiful jewelry without constantly worrying.

          I get your obsession – every time I go to the store I feel like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory. So many exquisite designs….

  51. Very nice day look. Love the color and style, love the watch! I would have gone with a silver or plain diamond earring to coordinate, but it’s a tiny quibble. She would look nice in the pink Detroit dress, too.

  52. Kate looks stunning! This dress is very similar to what she wore at the gallery in 2012.

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