Jun 032016
 

We are back with your feedback and reviews of Kate-related items you have purchased, and some of the retailers selling that merchandise. First, a very fast glance at Kate’s time at Houghton Hall with George and Charlotte over the weekend.

The threesome went to watch the Houghton Hall Horse Trials, officially called the Houghton International Horse Trials. Only about a half-hour’s drive from Anmer Hall, the Hall, stables, church and other outbuildings are surrounded by 1000+ acres of land; the estate is also adjacent to Sandringham, the Queen’s private residence. It is an extraordinary country home built in the 1700s for Sir Robert Walpole, a country squire who served as Britain’s Prime minister for more than 20 years. Its collection of art, furniture, textiles and other items were showcased last year at Nashville’s Frist Center, in an exhibition titled Houghton Hall: Portrait of an English Country House.

Houghton Hall Facebook

Houghton Hall Facebook

It is an excellent location for events like the Horse Trials and other functions. This is where Kate is rumored to be hosting a black tie fundraiser for EACH (East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices) on the 22nd of this month. Below, Kate with Charlotte. 

© Helen Mathias / Splash News

© Helen Mathias / Splash News

A closer look at Charlotte, who looked just darling. 

© Helen Mathias / Splash News

© Helen Mathias / Splash News

Here we see Kate and George with family friend James Meade shown on the right.   

Prince William joined Kate, the children, and friends for lunch on Saturday before leaving to play in a charity polo tournament with Prince Harry. The Duchess wore her Tori Breton stripe top by Ralph Lauren, skinny jeans that look much like the UFO pair worn in India, and her Le Chameau Vierzon boots. The boot style is also available at Harrods.

Kate Houghton Hall Horse Trials Ralph Lauren Tori Grey Gray Jeans Le Chameau Headband Montage Updated May 31 2016

Kate wore a headband, aka an “Alice Band’, that is prompting all manner of discussion. From a Daily Mail piece:

…surely not even the lovely Kate can bring back the wretched Alice band after she was pictured wearing one at the Houghton horse trials in Norfolk last weekend?

And from a Telegraph column:

Why the aversion to this one adornment? It’s because no other accessory or garment screamed “Sloane Ranger” as loudly as this tribal headdress.

Who knew there was such debate about this accessory? On Sunday it was not an issue, Kate wore her hair up.

The Duchess wore her Barbour Belford jacket, skinny jeans and Le Chameau boots. The Belford was long ago discontinued; below, a better look at some of the garment’s details.

Barbour Belford Jacket in Brown

One recommendation for a similar Barbour look comes from Kate Johnson on the WKW Facebook page; she owns Barbour’s Cotterdale style and is very pleased with it. We show it at Ladds, where it is on sale for £305.

Ladds

Ladds

For all of the specifics on what George and Charlotte were wearing, visit sister site What Kate’s Kids Wore.

It was a treat seeing the Cambridges out and about last weekend. Tomorrow (Saturday, June 4) is the Epsom Derby. There has been some chatter that Kate and William might attend in recognition of the Queen’s 90th birthday. In honor of that milestone, this year the Derby’s Coronation Cup has been renamed The Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Cup. The only time we have seen the Duke and Duchess at the Derby was 2011, when Kate wore her Peacock dress by Reiss; the Nessie tweed jacket by Joseph; and the Natalie clutch and Sledge heels, both by LK Bennett. 

© Splash News

© Splash News

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I consider myself fortunate to be part of such a wonderful community here, the information and background and support WKWers share is phenomenal. While we enjoy a fair amount of input on products and purchases on the Facebook page, and even on Twitter, not everyone uses those forums. That is why I asked for feedback recently from those who purchased items from retailers offering Kate-related merchandise; your input was outstanding. We’ll begin with an item the majority of shoppers have been thrilled with, the Anita Dongre Gulrukh Tunic dress worn the first day of the India/Bhutan tour.

©

©Polaris/Nunn Syndication-Polaris/i-Images

Most who purchased the dress shared very favorable input about Anita Dongre’s customer service. The following comes via “Love to Shop Kim”:

I want to mention the communication with Anita Dongre was stellar!!! My initial contact was with the Manager Merchandise E-Commerce at 8:00pm their time!! I went back and forth with the size several times. I ordered one size and ended up changing the size. All communication was handled extremely professional and courteous–even with the size changes. 

More praise for the service from Susan:

I must say this company was wonderful to work with. I ordered a size small,but after thinking about it for a day or two,I emailed customer service to see if I could change to an XS. No problem;they emailed me back to let me know. They also let me know it could be three or four weeks before it was shipped. I ordered it beginning of April. It left New Delhi May 7 and was at my home in Virginia,USA the morning of May 10th. I couldn’t believe how fast it as! And I was able to track its progress.

The feedback wasn’t 100% positive; this is from WKW Reader in London:

…at the time I ordered, the website said the dress would be shipped in two weeks. Three weeks later, having heard nothing, I called the shop and was told everything was on track and I would receive shipping confirmation soon. About a week later, still having not heard anything, I called back and was told the dress had been shipped and that I should have received confirmation, which I hadn’t. The lady I spoke to promised I’d get an email that day, which I didn’t, which prompted me to email the shop, who replied saying I’d receive the shipping confirmation soon and then I got it the next day.
I’d really like to stress that everyone I spoke to and emailed were unfailing polite and helpful but it was annoying not having proper shipping confirmation details, as was the fact that the dress didn’t actually ship in two weeks.
When it did arrive, the dress was very nicely boxed. I do find the size of the dress a little funny – I ordered it in a size 8 (UK) and it’s very loose but the belt is a bit tight.

Comments on the packaging and product quality were almost all complimentary.

/Anita Dongre

Courtesy Kendra Baisinger / Anita Dongre

Some were surprised by how sheer the fabric is; there was a discussion on Twitter about the need to wear a camisole and/or slip underneath the dress.  This is from Emily Baker.

It fits perfectly, the colors are bright and gorgeous……there’s just one thing: it’s entirely sheer! I found a nude colored cotton dress in the back of my closet to go underneath it and it’s setting new records for “fastest number of compliments in a day”.

One shopper who planned to have her dress lined said that she is sure Kate’s was lined, or made out of material that was heavier. The following is from WKW Reader in London, referenced above;

I’m actually familiar with her line as my family is from Bombay and I own one of her dresses. There is no question that the fabric used in this dress is much more sheer than a typical Anita Dongre dress. My guess is that they went with a fabric that was easy to produce in bulk and at a reasonable price point. 

But Susan (also quoted above) was fine with the fabric:

I do not feel the weave or weight of the dress too sheer. It was as I expected. The fit was perfect,however the belt is a snug fit and it is longer on me then on the Duchess,but then I am just a little over 5 feet 3 inches. 

Love to Shop Kim thinks the fabric weight is fine:

I did not notice the fabric weight of the Anita Dongre dress. I live in Florida–almost the same climate as India so it is perfect for me.

In talking about how the garment fit most everyone mentioned the belt being snug or tight, but this seems to have been a positive experience for most shoppers.

The Zara Biker Trousers Kate wore for the safari at Kaziranga National Park were very popular.

©Splash News/Nunn Syndication, Polaris

©Splash News/Nunn Syndication, Polaris

This input is from Christine Frazier, the artist behind the popular Instagram and Twitter accounts known as The Royal Hamster:

  • The packaging was acceptable- arrived in a box
  • Ordering process was easy– grabbed my size before they sold out!
  • Quality surpasses expectations. Very flattering and comfortable!
  • I was surprised at how stretchy the trousers were. I imagined them being colored denim or twill pants, but they are thinner and more body-hugging. The detail at the knees helps with making them comfortable by providing more material where you need it to bend!
  • Communication with Zara customer was service was very good. I made a typo in my shipping address which I noticed on the confirmation receipt. I contacted them by the chat feature and they fixed it right away, and the pants arrived on time to the correct address.

Here’s a refresher on the trousers, a blend of 67% cotton/29% polyester/4% elastene. They are priced at $49.90 on the US Zara site and appear to still be available in every size.

Zara

Zara

The following is via a reader who prefers anonymity:

Speedy delivery, nicely boxed, absolutely perfect. I bought two sizes and sent back the smaller ones, no problem with refund. Fit like a glove, great quality for the price, nice neutral colour so go with loads of different options already in my wardrobe.

And from a WKWer in Ohio:

I wear them all the time! Comfortable and true to size. Again Zara website is great to use. The pants were nicely folded in tissue paper and the box packaging was nice and not damaged. 

Arguably the most challenging item for shoppers: the Glamorous Border Print Maxi Dress, worn when Kate and William visited the Salaam Baalak Trust at the Delhi train station.

©Splash News/ /

©Splash News/ /

Within hours of a WKWer identifying the garment the dress sold out. Later that day (April 12th) Glamorous announced the dress would be reissued and started taking pre-orders for another run of dresses, with shipping expected May 12th. Many found the design appealing, as well as the £50 price point; if I recall correctly the US price was around $75. The garment became even more attractive to shoppers when Glamorous ran a promotion offering 20% off the original price, bringing the cost down to about $50. It wasn’t long before the online-only retailer soon learned about The Kate Effect; more from The Mirror:

As soon as the news broke that the Duchess of Cambridge was wearing one of their dresses, the website experienced a huge surge in interest, with an increase of 438% in web traffic and a staggering 1,000 customers per minute browsed the dress online.

Social media has been filled with comments about about communication difficulties many customers say they encountered after ordering. The company was clearly overwhelmed by the volume of orders it received. A number of customers used the Glamorous Twitter account designated for customer service to get in touch about their orders.

Twitter

Twitter

A look at the Glamorous Facebook page demonstrates the scope of the customer service issue the company faced. Below, a Glamorous response to a complaint posted on the page.

Glamorous Facebook

Glamorous Facebook

As of this writing it appears the volume of concerns posted on the page has diminished; to its credit, Glamorous appears to be responding to each and every post.

Glamorous Facebook

Glamorous Facebook

(Even though these were public posts on Facebook & Twitter I blurred out the names as a courtesy, I don’t believe writing on a company’s wall or tweeting necessarily translate to tacit permission for republication.) Not all input about Glamorous was negative, the following was shared by Erika from Texas.

 I was happy with the ordering process for the Glamorous dress, it was easy and they shipped faster than I expected. The dress was back-ordered, but it came within 7 business days of ordering it. 

Some ordered the dress from other sites; Long Time Follower purchased her dress at the website for Boem Boutique in North Carolina and says it was “a lovely experience.” Many were quite pleased once they received their dresses. This feedback is via WKWer in Ohio:

I can’t wait to wear it, it’s true to size and extremely comfortable. I was pleasantly surprised with the fit!

Anna of My Small Obsessions ultimately resorted to Facebook to find out the status of her order. She just received her dress this week and likes the product.

The dress is nice, in nice colour and fabric feels nice. I got XS and it’s true to size, it’s very comfortable. 

Anna did find the dress quite long; below you can see the fabric puddled at her feet. She is 158cm in height, about 5′ 2″, and reports her dress measures almost 151 in length.

Courtesy Anna/My Small Obsessions

Courtesy Anna/My Small Obsessions

The length was mentioned by almost every shopper who responded here and it featured heavily in conversations about the frock on social media. Erika from Texas also offered this insight:

The Glamorous dress is a nice, light fabric. I think it would breathe even in warmer weather. Even though it’s petite, the dress is a bit long. I plan to look into what I can do to shorten it, which could be tough because it would have to be at the waist (due to the pattern at the bottom of the skirt) and the side zipper. It’s a beautiful red color and pattern, and I am very happy to have purchased it.

Labinota, a Viennese WKWer shortened her dress, but also noted she is much shorter than Kate. She says she absolutely loves it. 

 

Courtesy Labinota, a Viennese WKWer

Courtesy Labinota, a Viennese WKWer

Patricia Watts of A Petite Princess is used to checking dress lengths carefully; when seeing the specs for this item she opted for ordering the tunic instead of a dress. Unfortunately she received the dress, not the tunic. She returned the dress, only to receive yet another dress. She says she hasn’t received responses to her email inquiries, and that she’s been unable to connect by phone with someone in person, as opposed to voice mail. 

Not everyone ordered directly from Glamorous; Long Time Follower purchased her dress at Boem Boutique in North Carolina and says it was “a lovely experience.” Glamorous is still stocking the dress in regular and also petite sizes, as well as the border print tunic.

Those buying the Petit Bateau striped tee worn in the Vogue photo shoot have been complimentary about that item, although there were mixed comments in terms of customer service, with some readers noting customer service reps were abrupt, or uninformed. When it comes to the actual tee Jane F. reports hers was shipped promptly, arrived quickly and “fit perfectly…it is a nice quality fabric.” Anna, mentioned just above, shared a photo of her top; she is another happy customer. (Hmm…it seems someone is photobombing Anna!)

Courtesy Anna/My Small Obsessions

Courtesy Anna/My Small Obsessions

Comments about the newly reissued Cezanne dress from Great Plains have also been positive.

Great Plains

Great Plains

Trisha at A Petite Princess also bought this dress. She is very pleased with her purchase:

I ordered this dress in a Medium and received an order confirmation … on Tuesday the 24th.  I settled in for what I thought would be a 6 business day wait thanks to the information that is so easy to find on the site (have I mentioned that I love Great Plains and their Customer Service? I really, really do!).  I knew that with a federal holiday here in the US that it might be the first part of June before I got to add this piece to my closet.

Turns out I would not have to wait long at all. I was shocked to see that they estimated arrival by End of Day on May 26!! Oh my goodness that is fast!

The dress is made of a fabric that makes it silky and light to the touch. I feel like I would wear this everywhere if I wanted to feel dressy.

One of the most popular items Kate wore was the Breton stripe Tippi sweater from J Crew, seen in the Heads Together launch video that debuted April 24th.

Heads Together

Heads Together

The feedback for this item was very positive, including the ordering process, communication and shipping time. The following is from a reader named Alise.

The purchase experience was extremely similar to other US-based online shopping I have done. I’ve purchased two other Kate pieces (the grey checked Hobbs dress and the tan Reiss bandage dress) and both came with fancier packaging typically of a higher end establishment. I wasn’t expecting that of J Crew, though I was a little surprised when the packaging was closer to Old Navy orders than anything else; the sweater was folded in a clear plastic bag inside a plastic bag mailer. I got the order quickly and had no problems at all with the company or ordering.

Many were delighted to be able to purchase the product at a substantial savings, although several found the fabric thinner than anticipated. Erika from Texas shared this about the material’s weight:

I was surprised how sheer the shoulders were on the Breton stripe sweater, the Ivory seems a little thin, and it showed the nude bra that I wore with it. 

And from our WKW Reader in London:

The quality is great, as per all J Crew clothing, although the weight of this tippi is much lighter than several other tippi sweaters I have.

Alise shared more feedback on the sweater:

It’s a bit thinner than I had expected, but I don’t have to wear something under it. I did pair it with a navy tank top underneath last weekend to ensure my bra wouldn’t be seen under stage lighting for an event, but I’ve also worn it with just a nude bra underneath and it’s been great – not too sheer by any means. It’s a perfect weight for these weeks that fall in between seasons. The best aspect in my mind is the softness. When wearing it, I feel polished and professional while also very comfortable – the perfect combination for my job as a professor. 

Beth was very pleased with her purchase and even shared a photo taken when she was wearing the Tippi. (Doesn’t it look great?)

Courtesy of Beth

Courtesy of Beth

Believe it or not, the sweater remains available in XXSmall & XLarge sizes, it is priced at $59.99, using promo code GETSHOPPING brings the price down to about $42.

The pink and black Topshop dress worn at Kaziranga National Park was also popular.

The UK in India

The UK in India

This feedback is from Shopper in Massachusetts.

I ordered from nordstroms (which is always great). It was shipped in plastic and arrived quickly and fine. It is adorable and looks better than expected.  Great buy!

The Zara jacket Kate wore for the Queen’s birthday spectacular brought some interesting comments. A little memory aid for anyone forgetting what the jacket looked like.

Chris Jackson/WPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

Chris Jackson/WPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

The name for the piece used on the Zara website is Blazer with Back Pleat. Love to Shop Kim had some very detailed comments about the garment.

I am a little disappointed in the Zara red cape, but for the price….. 
I ordered a small and a medium because I wasn’t quite sure of the sizing. First thing, the Zara website pictures the cape much shorter than it really is–not a problem for me because I am tall. Other tidbits to mention about the cape… the ‘small’ cape does not align properly in the front–one side is longer than the other. The ‘medium’ lining in the back is not sewn correctly so the pleat in the back is a little off. Also, with both jackets it does not really stay closed as worn by HRH. She probably had it tacked down somehow. It opens in the shape of an upside down V. Maybe it needs a snap–not quite sure what can be done.

Another look at the item.

Zara

Zara

WKWer from Ohio had a different reaction, she is quite happy with her purchase.  

The red Zara jacket– great fit. Bought from website and it was a breeze to buy. Packaging was a little beat up (ups shipping) but I love opening items from Zara because it’s always nicely wrapped in tissue paper. Impressed by quality of jacket. It is a short jacket but It will look great with a pair of flared jeans. I love the collar with the two buttons on the jacket. 

Emma Avelar was lucky enough to find the Banana Republic skirt for just $35 and says she loves the colors of the skirt, as well as the fabric it is made of. She shared a photo with us on the Facebook page. (Anyone see any other repliKating going on here…?!)

Courtesy Emma Avelar

Courtesy Emma Avelar

Many thanks to everyone who shared their thoughts about the varying items they purchased. The feedback has been so constructive I have actually considered doing a page with continued input from people about product purchases, with a little tab up in the header like the other tabs. If this seems like a good idea let me know in a comment or an email.

  54 Responses to “Your Experiences Shopping Kate Items Online”

  1. Last year I purchased the Kiki McDonough “Grace” diamond and white topaz earrings from Neiman Marcus-their customer service is wonderful, as usual, and so are the earrings! They are beautifully made and very versatile-they can be worn with anything, dressy to casual.

  2. As I was reading this thread yesterday, my doorbell rang to alert me that my new LK Bennett shoes had arrived! I ordered the Clemmie in the cyan print – I have been stalking these shoes for a couple of years and they finally had them on sale in my size!

    http://us.lkbennett.com/Shoes/Heels/Clemmie-Patent-Leather-Slingback-Heel/p/SCCLEMMIEPATENTPrintedCyan

    I wore them last night to an event and they were super-comfortable! The slingback strap didn’t fall down, and the toe box was wide enough for my chubby feet.

    I love LK Bennett shoes – this is my third pair. Shipping is fast, they run true to size, and luckily I haven’t had to deal with any issues, so I can’t speak to customer service.

    I also have several pieces from Zara that I purchased at the stores. They are holding up well, but I don’t wear them every day.

  3. I received the Endless Knot necklace I ordered in silver and CZ’s from Sonam Rabgye today and am very pleased. It is beautiful and the craftsmanship is excellent. This is the necklace, albeit hers is gold and diamonds, The Duchess of Cambridge received as a gift from the Queen of Bhutan upon her visit there recently. The service is excellent and the necklace is gorgeous so I highly recommend purchasing this item from Sonam Rabgye.

    I just ordered the mini version of the double leaf earrings from Catherine Zoraida.

  4. I’m too late to come in on this one except to say I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s retail experiences.

    I managed to pick up one of the Glamorous tunic tops as soon as it was mentioned on WKW fb. I may have beaten the rush as it came very promptly, within 48 hours I think, before the tour was even over. I’m very sorry to hear of the woes of others with the same company, it may be a mixed blessing for some of these labels to be hit by a tsunami-size Kate-effect.

    It remains unworn as I need to shorten the sleeves and am playing around with the pattern so as to minimise impact. Not being a label I’d even heard of before I had no idea about sizing. I took a medium, but the small would probably have been better as it’s very roomy and to my mind the measurements they give are smaller than the actual garment. This would fit a bigger chest than 36 inch, but I’m not troubled as it’s fine for a loose summer top.

    The fabric is better quality than I expected, synthetics have come a long way in my lifetime, and the pattern is really good, especially at that price. A clever pick by our Duchess.

  5. Susan, will we ever know if you purchase any Kate items??? :) I’m just curious.

  6. Please Susan could you help on having Dune bring back the Imperia D made in Spain not the Karley made in China which is stiff, smells chemicals etc’..
    I’d love to get a pair in black or neutral.
    I’ve always postponed buying these as I didn’t have the money at the right time and thought they would keep on producing them…
    Unfortunately they have stopped.
    I’ve been in touch several times but it didn’t change anything.
    heeeeeelp ! Many thanks!
    Xxx

  7. I’m a jewellery lover and have several KIki Mcdonagh pieces, silver versions of Kate’s Catherine Zoraida earrings and on Monica Vinader jewellery inspired by Kate too.

    • Jenny, do you have the Catherine Zoraida Fern Hoops? If so, I was wondering how you like them? I have them and think they are beautiful but they are smaller than I expected.

      • I do have them Faith but in silver as most of my jewellery is silver coloured. They are very pretty but indeed smaller than i had anticipated. Being silver and so intricate they are also quite tricky to keep clean as the metal tarnishes around all the detail. The service from Catherine Zoraida is very good though and i would order again. I had my eye on the hoops before Kate wore them but after she had i couldn’t resit!!

  8. I’ve always wanted to know exactly what ‘preppy’ means ever since seeing ‘Love Story’ in the early 70s. Kate does have a ‘sloaney’ look; blouses with jeans, not t-shirts, etc. So many comments everywhere about her ‘alice band’, I can’t understand it. I wear them often, usually stretch cloth, to keep my hair off my face in . The rest of the time my hair is in a bun/ponytail (what people here call an up/do) or left half down but with the front a bit more like Princess Anne’s, all down if I have somewhere special to go. There is the risk of damaging my hair if I scrape it back too often in what some call a ‘Council House Facelift’ so the Alice bands are a compromise.
    Kate’s was obviously meant to hold her hair back but I am surprised by her choice of Leopard Print – generally the upper classes think this print is definitely ‘council house’, footballer’s wags, etc. I count 4 Breton tops in Navy so far, including the sleeveless one worn at the London Olympics. At least the Vogue shots were in a different colour. Personally, not a style I like but it is obviously Kate’s uniform (horror of horrors were she to wear a plain tee-shirt being a sloane!) when she knows she will be photographed. (Kate’s pictures were taken by a professional, they tour horsey events & the famous always know they will be extensively photographed. Some come to a private agreement to ensure good pics so that they will be left alone the rest of the day. I think this happened here as there are not lots of Sunday pictures

    • “Preppy” is shorthand for “student at or graduate of an expensive college preparatory boarding school, usually in New England, though a prep school can be located anywhere”.

      Such schools are the American equivalents of the “public schools” in the UK. We call them “private,” since our term “public school” means “state/taxpayer funded”.

      Our prep schools can be very confusing for the British, since their “prep schools” prepare very young students for the “public schools,” which educate students from the age of about 12 to 18. British prep school students are therefore younger than 12.

      But in the US, prep school students (preppys) are being “prepared” for university, and the prep schools comprise only the years of American secondary school, that is, the 9th-12th grades, when students are aged 14-18.

      • The hoopla over the Alice band (I think we just call them headbands on this side of the Atlantic) reminds me that in the early 90s in Bill Clinton’s first run for president, Hilary came under blistering fire for her habitual band use, the meanspirited calling her infantile or -still-in-prep-school, etc. I was in grad school and wore them habitually, not realizing there was any social identification associated with keeping your hair out of your face when you’re writing a dissertation and don’t have time to think about it. So I went to wearing messy knots with a scrunchy, and then when Hilary became secretary of state suddenly she was called out for using scrunchies, now a dreadful product of the late nineties. Really at this point I don’t care what people think of my hair choices, so I’ve just kept them, although I wouldn’t mind seeing a Duchess wear one sometime, doesn’t have to be Kate since she gets enough criticism already.

    • It’s interesting to see the class snobbery in just describing a hairband! That’s a big difference between the States and Britain, apparently. Preppy might have once meant “prep school” but it now means a love of classic fashions. Look out an old copy of The Preppy Handbook for exact definitions on what to wear.

      As for leopard print, it has become a fashion classic in the States, returning season after season. And it’s perfectly acceptable in a small dose, like a hairband or a purse or shoes or one garment (I have a blouse that’s very subdued that I wear with black jeans or trousers). The trick is not to go full animal print, a la Jackie Collins, may she rest in peace. That would be chavvy.

  9. My main issue with buying Kate (aside from all the dry clean only items) is that aUK 16 is not really the equivalent of a US 12. Any Kate item from the UK I have purchased ends up being snug in the bust. My most recent Kate purchase was the Topshop emboridered midi dress which had a sheer top (shocker) and an abundance of fabric in the skirt that gave it an unflattering look. It also ran tight in th top. Had I wanted to wear a cami, making it anything but airy to wear, it would have made it even tighter.

    • Hmm. I wear a US 2 most of the time and buy a UK 6. I haven’t had any fit problems. In fact, the one time I worried that the item might be too snug and bought a UK 8, it turned out to be too big.

      However, I am pretty small-breasted, which may make a difference. Does that mean that US women are, on average, larger in the bust than their British counterparts? Perhaps we suffer from a certain overabundance of enthusiasm for surgical breast augmentation on this side of the pond, but I can’t think of any natural explanations for why we might be more generously endowed in that respect!

      • I don’t know why this could be either. I have what’s referred to as the Classic British Woman’s Shape (i.e. bigger hips than bust) but I’m not sure if this is really statistically more prevalent in the UK. However I do think that UK clothing manufacturers pander to the stereotype. So there’s that.

  10. My headband reference is the Jackie Florrick character on The Good Wife—-so I read it as well-heeled of a certain……mature age–still so wrong! So funny that Kate grabbed a leopard headband. Charlotte got the perfect little bow and cardigan and Kate grabs a two-second-thought item to keep her hair back but remembers THE ring. I just love her sometimes.

  11. This look has grown tired and blah. We all have go-to comfy casual looks but the Duchess needs to give this sweater a rest. You’d think it’s all she has.

    • She clearly owns several of these striped tops, not just one. However, she’s not dressing to please us on these non-official occasions, nor should she have to. She can and should wear whatever she likes, with no concern about what the fashion press or other observers think.

      I recall that when I was in early adolescence and just starting to read Vogue and other fashion magazines, I was impressed by the fact that many fashionable women featured in them often commented that they had “uniforms” they wore in their casual, private lives. That’s as it should be, I think, especially as it’s become more and more difficult for well-known people to protect their privacy and to avoid being photographed in those “uniforms”. Refusing to bow to the public’s demand that you trot out new and different outfits every time you might be photographed is one way of maintaining your independence, of protecting your very identity from both the physical and the psychological intrusions that fame, unfortunately and inevitably, comprises.

      The famous normally choose their fame; it’s not forced upon them. But they are not required to be subservient to it every moment of their lives. Like the rest of us, they are entitled to some moments, on a regular basis, when they needn’t worry about their fame, and that should include not worrying about how they are dressed.

    • When she wears them this often, I find myself wondering if it is both a uniform she finds comfortable, AND an active statement to say, “I. Am. Off. Duty.” She’s clearly smart at sending messages with clothes, something I have noticed with new versus repeat choices and with design elements. If she does, then I rather admire her for defining her non-public personal space this with clarity yet classiness.

  12. Great post! I agree with others that an imput page on ourchases would be great.

  13. I purchased the L.K. Bennett Natalie Clutch in a deep red snakeskin print from an Outlet Mall near Chicago and had a very good experience there. I continue to get compliments on the clutch and also use it as a wallet. It’s very heavy duty which is nice.

  14. I recently purchased the Hope Egg White Topaz Earrings from Links of London & where I’m pleased with product, surprised how delicate they are, not pleased with Link of London’s Customer Service. I received a Vogue 100 20% offer for those of us who couldn’t get into store. I was told could not be offered the 20% as my order was already in shipping queue but I could return purchase at my expense and re-purchase item to get item but again pay another shipping fee. They could credit my credit but would take 7-10 days to go back on card and re-purchase. I PM Links of London and person apologized and asked for my phone number & advised someone would get back to me, no one ever did. PM them advising no one got back to me, PM read last Wednesday & no one had the courtesy to respond. I will not purchase from them again.

    • I’ve been obsessed with the Hope Egg White Topaz Earrings since we first saw them on the Duchess, but could never bring myself to pay so much for them since I already own diamond jewelry that cost less, so I recently purchased the Hope Earrings in sterling silver instead. The earrings are beautiful, but surprisingly heavy. I’ve been trying to find different earring backs for them (the kind with the plastic discs that are made to support heavy earrings), but the posts don’t seem to fit standard earring backs. I even called Links of London to see if they sell something similar that’s compatible with their earrings, but they don’t and the earrings can’t be returned because they’re for pierced ears, so they’ve been sitting on my dresser since I received them in early April. I’m just wondering if anyone here has any suggestions; I’d really love to be able to wear these. Thanks!

  15. The reaction to the headband made me laugh. They used to be rather standard preppy items, and of course the Sloanes are/were considered to be the UK equivalent of preppys, but I don’t think I’ve seen anyone outside of my boarding school alma mater wear one since the 80′s. Even there, headbands are no longer popular, judging by photos of the latest commencement ceremony that I just received.

    Those “Alice bands” really are a bit juvenile worn with long hair, a la the famous Tenniel illustrations for “Through the Looking Glass.” Even preppys and Sloanes of yesteryear tended to wear them with more adult chin-length bobs.

    My only purchase of anything the Duchess has worn was the Libelula Dulwich coat, which I bought several years ago now. I had to order it via email, since the company doesn’t normally sell or ship to the US, but I had a good experience. As I recall, the shipping fee was around $25US, and I was not charged anything by Customs. The coat arrived beautifully packed in an elegant box. I was and am very pleased with it.

    I also own a Longchamps bag like the Duchess’s, but that’s easy to order in the US, not only from Longchamps proper but also from the various department stores like Nordstrom that sell those products. I’ve had mine since before the Duchess was pictured carrying hers to various events. I ordered it from the Longchamps site as I recall and had no problems.

  16. I didn’t contribute to this post because I haven’t made a Kate related purchase in the last six months but I have done business several times with Catherine Zoraida and have had wonderful experiences with the company. The customer service is excellent. I was emailed back within hours about a discrepancy. All of my purchases arrived quickly and beautifully packaged in beautiful black jewelry boxes with a handwritten note signed by Catherine thanking me for my business. I was really impressed.

  17. I ordered the Glamorous maxi dress. I received it a month after the shipping notification email (delivery to the US is estimated to take 4-6 days). I sent dozens emails for a shipping update with no response. Unfortunately when the dress finally arrived, its too big and too long. No way in hell I am bothering with this company again so returning for the refund is out of the question. So a tailor or selling to someone in the US are my options.

  18. I’m always buying Kate jewelry so I think a specific tab for shopping experiences would be great. I’m saving up for the Annoushka pearl drops, so expect that review in the coming months, Susan. :)

  19. It’s fun, and helpful, to read about experiences of those who have bought Kate’s styles. I enjoyed that part of this post very much.

    I’m very disappointed to see candid shots of the family during private time spent outside the spotlight. It’s sad and disturbing to see these photos bought and sold. And they add nothing to the blog. They are hardly about fashion. It’s not news that the Duchess wears striped tops on the weekends.

    • It is expected that they will be photographed at these events. Zara and Sophie Wessex are always photographed when out with their families at various horse trials. They are out in public after all.

    • I disagree- I’m happy to see these pictures. It’s expected they will be photographed and they look happy and relaxed. Also interesting and fun to see them in a more relaxed setting.

  20. Still haven’t received my Glamorous dress, ordered it on 25th May!!! Emailed and tried phoning to no avail! Got an email last week saying it had been dispatched express delivery still a no show! Really fed up with them! Never known worse customer service!

  21. This is such a great idea, to post on people’s experiences. I am always astonished at what an economic powerhouse Kate Middleton is. The India and Bhutan tour probably contributed significantly to the regions economy, and will continue to do so in the near future.

  22. I thought the DoC looked great in the headband.

    • I thought she looked great too and was surprised by all the criticism. As long as the band itself itself isn’t a juvenile design, I think it is a quick way to add polish h to otherwise unstyled long hair.

  23. Is the headband so bad? I think it is nice with her hair pulled off her face & easy for a mum of two. I think Charlotte’s profile looks like Kate, while George favors William.

    • I am so glad to see someone defending headbands! They’re wonderful for keeping hair out of your face and eyes, especially when growing out layers or bangs. This may simply be one of those style things that I don’t understand, but using clips to keep it back don’t seem any more mature to me, and not nearly as sleek or neat. To each her own, though! And I will likely stop using mine whenever my bangs finally grow out. 8~)

  24. I would like to leave this comment for Anna of My Small Obsessions:

    Find a nice tailor with whom you have a nice relationship with (seriously, make friends!) Taking the dress up at the waist is doable, but more expensive. If you love the dress that much and will wear it quite a bit, it’s worth investing the money. This comes from a fellow shortie (5’2.5″, very, very slim) who might have had to do this more than once. Do not give that garment to a tailor you’re just meeting. Give a simple hem or take in. If you like the work and the tailor’s personality (and prices!), then consider the dress.

    I love the input from all of the readers. I’ve been thinking about a few items.

    • I advise making friends with a good tailor to everyone I know. Mine has made many relatively inexpensive clothing items look like they were custom-made for me, and he’s resolved some really tricky problems. I’m about to drop another one on him soon, and I know he’ll know precisely what to do about it. He’s worth twice his weight in gold. Maybe platinum.

      (Are you reading this, Eric? I’m really NOT trying to get you drop your prices in return for flattery! I mean every word!)

      • Oh goodness, same here. I do tend to spend more just to get something that fits reasonably well (if only I could scream my frustrations about being a natural 0 and petite), but my tailor knows me by name. My bill at the tailor could make a person weep.

        Sadly, you cannot see the equestrian’s show coat here (it’s hidden by the protective vest), but if you could, you could see why I am silently weeping over here. All three of my coats actually need to come in a little (my Pytchley needs the most work.) I am crying in advance at the price it’s going to cost. If you could see how a show coat looked in terms of the seam work…you would too.

  25. Very pleased with Sonam from the endless knot necklace online store in Bhutan. I expect to receive the silver necklace in a few days. The Duchess wore the gold and diamond one which was a gift from the Queen of Bhutan.

  26. I think adding an input page would be great! I like to review the experience of others before making a purchase.

    I have the Zara jeans (purchased in store) & the Glamorous maxi (purchased off a fellow Repli-Kator). I love the Zara jeans – I was concerned they might be too tight at first, but I’ve received constant compliments every time I’ve worn then. As I am only 5’4″, the maxi was much too long. I had to take it to the tailor, and some of the pattern was lost in the process. Quite frankly, it’s still a little too long. It’s okay with wedges, but too long to wear with flats like Kate did.

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