Dec 122015

We have a very brief post to share with a look at what Kate wore when out shopping at one of her favorite retailers today, Peter Jones.

Daily Mail Twitter

Daily Mail Twitter

I am unable to license the photos, but you can see them in this Daily Mail story.

Everyone will recognize Kate’s coat, it is the Reiss Rubik Houndstooth Coat, worn for yesterday’s engagements at the Action for Addiction Centre for Addiction Treatment Studies. 



Updating the coat’s availability since yesterday’s post was published shows the coat is becoming scarce:

Mary Smith, a WKW Facebook friend shared that she stopped at Bloomingdale’s to have a look at the coat in person; she tells us it is “gorgeous & the fit is amazing.”  Mary saw it at the Bridgewater, NJ store in sizes 0, 6 & 8; there were also quite a few at the Short Hills Bloomies.  

The Duchess was wearing black tights, and had on a black turtleneck dress, or it might have been a top she would have paired with a skirt.

Kate’s boots are a style first noticed when she attended a SportsAid workshop in November of 2014.



She is wearing the “HalfNHalf Stretch Rider” by Stuart Weitzman for Russell and Bromley . The boots have a stretch panel on the back and suede on the front; the photo lower right is digitally lightened to better show the difference between front and back.

BOTH: Nunn Syndication/POLARIS

BOTH: Nunn Syndication/POLARIS

The HalfnHalf is still offered at Russell and Bromley (£395).

Russell & Bromley

Russell & Bromley

In the US Stuart Weitzman carries a similar style called the 50/50. The biggest difference is the front of the boot, with that front panel reaching to the knee; the heel is also a bit shorter. A comment from Tara notes the 50 50 has come in two heel heights; below right you see the higher heel on a gray and black pair at Lane Crawford.

Stuart Weitzman/Lane Crawford

Stuart Weitzman/Lane Crawford

With thanks to Brenda for the tip, we have a great repliKate to share: the Lands’ End Women’s Stretch Suede Tall Boots, also carried under the name School Uniform Suede Tall Stretch Boots

POLARIS/Lands' End

POLARIS/Lands’ End

You can read more about the boot on our repliKate Footwear page or pop over to Lands’ End and have a look at the boots.

Kate carried her Tod’s D Style bag in grey leather, a piece she has had for a long time. We show the contemporary version of the bag at Farfetch ($1609) in the medium size.



Tod’s has the glossy grey in small ($1995), as well as several other colors.



The D-bag is actually named in honor of Diana, Princess of Wales; she carried the original tote and the Italian leather goods firm renamed if for her.



More from The Handbag Concept:

Though it has been updated in style since its launch, with rounded corners and a zip, the style hallmarks are still there – quality leather, exposed stitching and a clean, classic design that screams luxury without flaunting an obvious designer label.

The Daily Mail’s story may be seen in its entirety here.

A quick retail update: the John Lewis cashmere cardigan Kate wore when out shopping in 2012 is back in stock in ‘toast,’ that is the color name. The ribbed band at the waist on this version of the cardigan is thinner than Kate’s, our thanks to Rochelle for pointing out this distinction.

John Lewis

John Lewis

This eBay auction has an image of Kate wearing the sweater. Our thanks to Jennifer and Sandra on the WKW Facebook page for the info on the sweater.

Our final tidbit this evening is related to Kate’s shorter hair. People has an interview with Richard Ward, who does Kate’s hair, offering possible reasons why she opted for the new length. From Monique Jessen’s story:

“It’s much easier to look after and takes half the time to blow dry,” says Ward…

“It’s a practical style and a great option for a mom who has had long hair, who has a busy life and is short on time,” the royal mom’s longtime hair dresser … tells PEOPLE. “It’s slightly more sophisticated but with all the benefits of long hair.”  

We will see you Tuesday when Kate returns to the Anna Freud Centre for the organization’s annual Christmas party. 


  43 Responses to “Kate is Casual for a Little Shopping”

  1. I want Kate’s half and halves (American single cream?) and I want to hide them so she never finds them to wear again. They look clumsy and like boots you push onto a Barbie foot. No give, no shape. Purely a boot to conduct one’s foot in. The tired baggy look? Don’t buy it. Lighting less make-up and a sly lens more like it. Reminded me of those awful pics kids take stealthily of adults and have a right giggle over before posting.
    NOTE: Edited by admin

    • Just to comment on Ms. Jesson’s article above. Practical hair! Lol. I have never asked for practical hair in my life. Fabulous yes. Practical..really?

  2. Kate has under eye dark circles and that’s pretty much how one looks without layers of makeup if you have those. I guess everyone voicing how tired she looks must be blessed to not have them. :) This is Kate’s normal look, maybe we are more used to her fully made up face.

    Love her casual up do, its remarkable how beautiful her hair look even on a regular day! :) However, I remember them not looking so great before she got engaged. She had pretty regular looking shoulder length hair, not so voluminous either.

  3. #1 I just dislike this coat so much….
    #2 Also too much eye makeup! This is contributing to the tired look on her face. If she had kept her brows as they are (they do look good) but used liner on just the eyelid with a single light shade like pink or cream it would open up her eyes and make her look more awake. In my opinion, this look is more “night” and without pairing it with all the fancy skin makeup like concealer, etc., it doesn’t look right.
    #3 How fab did Diana look in that purple suit? Love it!
    #4 I LOOOOVE the Tod’s D bag and aspire to own one someday when I win the lottery.

  4. The poor girl – I can think of so many days when I’ve gone out shopping looking a little messy and feeling tired (and a lot less put together than this). I can’t imagine having someone take my picture on those days and then show it to the whole world! She’s human! And she is not out on an engagement or special function – this is her on her personal time. Given all of that, I think the public and this community should give her a little grace and understanding :)

    • I agree, except I don’t even think she looks “a bit messy.” She looks like everyone else looks (including her) when the photo is taken at a distance, in poor lighting, and not retouched. All those lovely licensed photos we see of her and all those photos of celebrities are generally retouched to varying degrees. The press pick and choose how they want you to look. If your star is rising, all your photos are gorgeous, when your star is falling our come all the terrible shots. In Kate’s case, they have discovered there is more money in flipping back and forth between gorgeous and not so much. I suspect it has very little to do with how Kate actually looks – she is probably somewhere in the middle!

      • That’s interesting about the photo retouching. I assume it in magazines and official portraits that are released. But are you suggesting that dailymail, for example, touches up every online photo of Kate that they run in their articles? But if that’s so, dailymail ran this story so why not retouch these? I’m not meaning to be argumentative, I’m just curious. Perhaps her looking less “made up” is part of the story the wanted to sell.

        My thought when I saw these pictures is that she has learned an official event smile face. I think she has learned to be more controlled of her facial expressions and her resting face is often somewhat of a smile or a very interested/engaged/concerned expression when she is at an event. These pictures feature plain old resting face. :) We all have it.

        Less make up, less styling, still such a beauty and a lady, in my opinion.

        • As I said it is to “varying degrees.” There is also just the selection of which photos to print. When Kate is at an official event, yes, she probably wears more make up, but the photographers are also much closer and most likely using flashes which fill in the shadows on the face. The photos are chosen from the thousands that are taken that day and yes, close ups may be touched up. Not every photo, it is really a combination of all the above. These are just Kate and her off duty look. There is money in this look for photographers because we don’t get as many of them as we have with previous royals.
          I agree Kate has developed a work face and she is more aware of her expression when she knows she is being photographed. That is in no way a criticism! It is all part of promoting her causes. She seems to developing her own style at her events and I think it is great to see!

        • Hmmm that’s a lot of self-control while acquiring a vinyl tablecloth and yes papers do indeed touch- up and lay bare depending on who and why.

      • I don’t believe there is wholesale photoshopping/touching up of photographs being done at the level of daily news sites and/or print media, if for no other reason than there simply isn’t staff available to devote to that sort of thing. Some picture editors definitely approach photo selection with a bias toward the angle of the story they’re attempting to illustrate, just as some publications approach news with an editorial bias. We have certainly seen serious image alteration at some magazines over the years, primarily at magazines, especially for cover images, down to the color of a dress being completely changed. As a few comments have noted, on Saturday Kate wasn’t wearing the same amount of makeup she uses for official engagements. :)

  5. Diana’s casual shopping outfit is something I would absolutely wear. I love how fashion comes around in circles.

  6. I am particularly struck by her less than perfect updo and purchase of a PVC tablecloth. These show how down-to-earth she is – she doesn’t see the need to get a professional stylist to do her hair whenever she heads out. She could easily use starched tablecloths if she wished but opted for practical PVC ones that the average household would use. I’m truly impressed by her.

  7. Just doesn’t look like the Dazzling Duchess we all know and love. The girlish glow seems to have faded and she looks more like my age group now – early/mid 40′s. Just looked at the photos of her in May 2011 when she met the Obamas and was wearing her Reiss Shola dress – what an absolute radiant beauty she looked back then. Really hope that she is enjoying her life, because she looks drained. Hope she looks more like the old Kate at Christmas Sandringham this year.

  8. Love the pics of her out shopping, but can anyone think of a reason why she would be carrying a tablecloth that looks like it’s been removed from its original packaging? Did she just buy it? Why isn’t it in a bag?

    • It looks like an oilcloth to me – all the rage in middle-class kitchens at the moment :) In my experience they’re usually sold without packaging.

  9. It is nice to see that she isn’t always perfect. A little messy hair, less makeup, and swollen eyes.
    I think this shows her real side, she has the same struggles that most of in our 30s face.
    This makes me think that she puts alot of effort into her appearance for events and that she really has to work to look good (like most of us).
    I really like this coat, a black coat is such an easy staple but this has great style. I can’t wait to see it with a black or even a red belt!
    I have a pair of similar boots from Cole Haan many years ago, they are still my favs. The stretch of the suede makes them fit better than all leather.

    • Good comment concerning our 30′s and the effort one has to put into a good appearance. She is just human. And I must admit I go out shopping looking WAY less sophisticated and made up than Kate does on these pictures, dreading running into someone I might know! ;-) She still looks very put together and presentable. However, I do think she looks older than her age.

  10. The style of the John Lewis cardigan is NOT the same as the one worn by Kate. The color is the same but the ribbed hem is shorter than Kate’s. Kate’s ribbed hem has two buttons whereas the new version only has one.

  11. Ouch! I hope no one ever takes my photo while I’m out shopping—people will say I’m dying of a fatal disease! I read an interview with a well-known actress who said that she had eased up on her personal styling as she got older: “I realized that not every trip to the grocery store had to be a major fashion experience.” Let’s give the Duchess a break—she’s just out shopping. I’m sure she’ll pull out the eyeliner and lipstick and blush and four shades of eyeshadow for a more public occasion very soon.

    The coat is elegant, although I would like to see a nice wide black belt over it. As for the famous haircut, I guess I’m in the minority, but I loved her long long hair. It was so romantic and quintessentially feminine, and she always kept it in great condition. The new cut looks good, because how could HRH look any other way, but it’s a popular style so to my eyes, a little less special.

    BTW, I just saw “A Royal Night Out,” a very cute and fluffy movie about the night of VE Day, when Her Majesty (then Princess Elizabeth) and Princess Margaret went outside and mingled with the bourgeois (true story). I’m sure the movie was highly inaccurate, but it was really fun. It’s getting NO publicity stateside—my English friend and I shared the theater with only four other viewers!

    • Thank you for mentioning “A Royal Night Out.” I’ve never heard of it. I just looked up the trailer and am calling my husband to see it tonight!! Looks adorable!

  12. Always loved these boots and I’m a sucker for hounds-tooth!

    Kate DOES look rather tired. I’m not sure if its the fact that she isn’t wearing as much makeup or what but she looks completely different then she did a few days ago.

    I feel like she’s lost a lot of her “glow” if you will since having children (I truly don’t mean this in a rude way). I understand raising two young children is a lot of work but she isn’t alone. From what we’ve heard her mother is pretty much around 24/7 to help with them. I just really miss post-wedding Kate. With the well styled glossy hair, tan skin, and pretty dresses (like the JP dress she wore in LA while William played polo). I just feel like royal life has really aged her very fast. And it makes me sad. :(

    • I totally agree. I love her, she is beautiful inside and out but since she had Charlotte, she has lost that glow and bounce. I think it has taken its toll but again, I think she is much thinner than normal. I wonder if it is pressure to look perfect. That’s why I don’t like to really criticize her clothes even if I.don’t like them. Can you imagine living in the constant spotlight. I do love these boots and the coat. I have always loved houndstooth!

    • Her mother still runs a multi-million dollar a year business. I don’t think she is living with them 24/7 to care for their children. Just a press rumor that is typically intended to make Carole look overbearing.

      As many noted on the FB page: personal day, no pro hair or make-up, photographed in the harsh light of day and no photoshopping.

      Frankly, it is nice to know that even royalty doesn’t look perfect at every moment.

    • Royal life has not aged her, being an involved mom of two has :)
      Her beauty will come back, I guarantee. I feel like I went through this kind of “blah” stage with both my children and one does recover one’s “glow” when the children start sleeping better and getting into a more predictable schedule. It’s different for everyone but this is what I suspect. She has lots of help, yes, but it seems like she and William CHOOSE to be really involved which is wonderful but it is a sacrifice for sure….

  13. I think she is wearing the black leggings that age wore at the event in Wales. It doesn’t look like rights. And, I have thought that she looks really tired for quite sometime now and these photos prove it. She almost looks ill. Her colour is off and overall she looks unwell. Personally, I think she has become to thin and that might be the reason. If you compare how she looked at the polo match this summer with how she looks in her latest casual photos, there is a marked difference. I love this coat and her hair. I hope we get a family Christmas photo.

  14. I didn’t know the D-bag was named after Diana. Thank you for letting us know.

    This handbag style is growing on me. Does anyone know of a repliKate for this bag?

  15. I still like the coat very much, but for more casual wear like this, I think it would look better with the self-belt.

    I’m not a fan of that bag, though, and never have been, though I’m sure it’s high- quality craftsmanship. It’s a bit shapeless, whereas I prefer a more structured look in bags.

    The Duchess does look a bit tired, but I think that’s partly a function of the fact that she’s wearing considerably less make-up than she does for official engagements. It’s been remarked by people who’ve seen her in person that she wears quite a lot of make-up on those occasions, knowing she’ll be extensively photographed. Thank God the rest if us don’t have to think about what we’ll look like on camera every time we set foot out the door.

    I own a pale brown cashmere cardigan that’s virtually identical to the John Lewis version. I bought it at J Crew some years ago, and I suspect that it was probably less expensive than the JL cardigan. However, a caveat: while the cashmere of that cardigan is substantial and has held up well, I’ve had major trouble with J Crew’s featherweight cashmere. It develops holes and pills quickly. Don’t buy it.

    • The cashmere cardigan I bought over 20 years ago at that price and also from John Lewis was of vastly different quality from anything you’d get for the same money now.

      I’m afraid I think of that price level as being ‘supermarket’ quality and possibly owing more to the likes of bunny rabbit than 5-star Mongolian sourced goat. To get the real deal I shop at Johnston’s of Elgin who check their sources. I have a lightweight supermarket quality cardi for an extra summer shrug.

      The real deal of course can set you back some £300 or so, especially if you’re buying it in Bond Street rather than direct from a mill as per above. And look out for the sale of course!

      Good cashmere has to be one of the best investments around, it can pack down in an overnight bag and the creases just shake out. It fits like a second skin and gives the warmth of much thicker jumpers whike still lying flat under jacket or coat. That old John Lewis one only got retired last year – I was trying to darn the darnings together…

      • With cashmere, buy the best you can afford. Or, buy a really good merino wool (not lambswool, it isn’t as durable). There’s a wonderful British company called Glenbrae that is a supporter of the RAF Benevolent Fund. I got one of their merino wool half zip sweaters last Christmas, and it’s gorgeous. I expect it will last for years. Their woolens are made in England, and they come in numerous colors.

        • Agree. I’d have said the £80 ‘cashmere’ wasn’t worth buying, leading to the kind of problems Lili mentions. Far better off with a good quality merino or even a silk/cotton mix for summer. There are synthetic yarns these days which work as well as cashmere for a fraction of the price and can survive a machine wash. Needless to say ALL real cashmere is strictly hand-wash only!

        • Has anyone bought any cashmere from the Pure Collection? They’re based in Yorkshire but sell in the US. I’ve bought a couple of items from them — very good quality — but no cashmere yet. I’m curious as to whether their cashmere offerings are worth purchasing.

        • I haven’t shopped with Pure yet though I get to see their catalogue. They make all the right noises about sourcing their cashmere. I can’t see where they tell you if they’re using 2-ply or 4-ply on individual items but wouldn’t be surprised to be told it’s staring right out the page at me. The lighter one would explain lower prices on the likes of cropped cardis.

          I still prefer to go direct to a mill and escape any premium add-ons especially when I know the Elgin mill supplies Bond Street, Harrods and others. Plus I’m biased in favour of supporting local business where I can! Pure might have the advantage of different colours and styles of course. I shall also be looking out for anyone with direct experience of them.

      • I’m getting itchy just reading this line of comments. :) I like giving my dad a hug when he’s wearing cashmere but smooth as it is, it still irritates my skin like wool or angora.

  16. Nice casual look for shopping. I think Kate should wear these boots more often. The flat heels have to be so much more comfortable, than the much higher ones she wears on official engagements. But then, I suppose, we all opt for comfort when shopping and we tend to dress up when going to an event…shoes included.

    The hair looks a bit dishevelled, in the Daily Mail photos. I’m sure no stylist was involved and it was just “let’s put it up and out of the way,” while going round the shops.

  17. I’m enjoying this coat much more on its second outing which I can only put down to having taken on board comments left here. Thank you friends! The flap collar fastened does indeed work nicely as a funnel style over the long line of the coat and this time it is easier to see the tailoring at the waist. Last time I thought it was straight up-and-down and baggy with it.

    Of course it is being worn differently this time. The black polo neck makes more sense of the coat collar and black boots and tights help define the acres of houndstooth. Kate’s tote looks wonderful and is clearly wearing well.

    As a casual shopping outfit this comes across as very chic. Kate herself looks a little tired, but I guess that’s just the time of year. Such a treat to see her again, and thanks for the prompt post!

  18. Last year they made two heel heights in the 50/50. One was quite flat and the other a little higher. I know this because I looked very carefully at both types before buying the ones with the slightly higher heel.
    Kate’s boots look very similar to mine.
    This year at least in North America they have only made them with one heel height.
    The salesperson at Holts on Bloor street in Toronto confirmed this when my sister was scoping out a pair.

  19. I have a great Repil-kate for her boots at a fraction of the cost: the Lands End Stretch Suede Boot, seen here.

    Although they retail at $229, Land’s End has frequent deals. I got them for 50% off earlier this fall, and they’ve been comfortable from Day One.

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