Feb 222017
 

Kate brought back a suit by French label Paule Ka for today’s engagements in Wales.

© Zak Hussein / Splash News

© Zak Hussein / Splash News

Kate’s appointments were her first as royal patron of Action for Children, a charity that helps disadvantaged children across the UK “from before birth…they are born until they are into their twenties.” 

©James Whatling

©James Whatling

This is a patronage the Duchess is taking over from the Queen. You may recall that last year the Duchess visited Action for Children’s Cape Hill Children’s Centre northwest of Birmingham before she was the charity’s patron.

Simon Perry, People Magazine Instagram (@SPerryPeopleMag)

Simon Perry, People Magazine Instagram (@SPerryPeopleMag)

Action for Children runs over 600 services. That means managing a staff of 5000, as well as 2000 volunteers, providing care for 390,000 people in Wales.

Kate’s first stop today was at the MIST program (Multidiscipline Intervention Service Torfaen) in Torfaen, a “mental health project which works specifically with children who are living in care with foster families or birth families.” Below, Kate is greeted by Craig, who uses services offered at the program. On his left (our right, with dark hair) is Jenny, who manages program services.

Kate Wales Action Children Feb 22 2017 Paule Ka Service User 'Craig' Child. Svcs Manager Jennis via KP

Kensington Palace

Torfaen MIST is the only program of its kind in Wales; we learn more from Action for Children:

We help under-fives get ready to start school. Children need social and communication skills to do well when they start school and and early years services are crucial. We provide extra support services such as play sessions, speech therapists, health intervention and parenting programmes.

We partner locally with health visitors, midwives and other professionals to ensure we have a huge pool of resources, knowledge and experience to make sure we provide the best places to help families flourish.

In addition to meeting with staff, families, and volunteers, there was time for a little friendly competition.

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace @KensingtonRoyal

More from The Evening Standard:

Youngster Craig Davies, 15, became the Princess’ teammate in an impromptu game of pool and the pair spoke about their pets including Kate’s dog Lupo and hamster Marvin and his Jack Russell dog Wilf.

People’s Simon Perry shared a quick video of the Duchess playing pool.

 

From People’s story:

The royal took part in an impromptu game of pool during a visit to a youth center in South Wales Wednesday, but she failed to impress her young teammate.

“She was dreadful!” Craig Davies, 15, joked to PEOPLE after the royal tried to sink a yellow ball.

Always the good sport, Kate patted his back and said sorry for her poor attempt.

© Paul Edwards / Pool / Nunn Syndication / Polaris

© Paul Edwards / Pool / Nunn Syndication / Polaris

As Kate was leaving Torfaen, she was presented with a posy.

Action for Children @ActnForChildren

Action for Children @ActnForChildren

Back to the People story: 

As she left the center, two young girls Ypapanti Galimatakis, 8, and Chloe Bartlett, 10, handed her some flowers and asked about Prince George and Princess Charlotte — as Kate filled them in on their ages.

Paul Edwards / Pool / Nunn Syndication / Polaris

Paul Edwards / Pool / Nunn Syndication / Polaris

The BBC posted a short video with the girls getting a royal hug.

Kate’s second stop was in Caerphilly at the FIT (Family Intervention Team) project; it focuses on “work with children with emotional and behavioural difficulties, problems with family relationships and those who have or who are likely to self-harm.”

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

More from The Express:

She then viewed the team’s family therapy work, which helps families understand the reasons behind certain behaviour.

The project is delivered by family support practitioners who are trained and supervised by a clinical psychologist and systemic psychotherapist.

Here you see her with 7-year-old Alife Thomas and 9-year-old Emily Davis.

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

Although the topics can be tough, there were also plenty of smiles today.

© Chris Jackson/WPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

© Chris Jackson/WPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

The Duchess was also given flowers as she was leaving Caerphilly. Below you see Casey and Emily doing the honors.

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

Now to what Kate wore for her Wales engagements.

© 

©James Whatling / Zak Hussein, Splash / Nunn Syndication, Polaris

We first saw the Paule Ka skirt suit in October of 2012 when the Duchess wore it for the announcement of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Scholarships.

© PA Wire / i-Images, Polaris

© PA Wire / i-Images, Polaris

Today the Duchess changed the look by replacing the black crochet-trimmed top with a warmer piece, a turtleneck (polo neck) sweater, dark tights, and boots.

I believe the fabric is wool or a wool/angora blend; that is the mix for these pieces in other colors that I have seen being sold on the secondhand market. The double-breasted jacket features a shawl collar, two patch pockets, a slanted breast pocket and modified peplum detailing at the waist.

Kate-Middle-Temple-Paule-Ka-Burgundy-Separates-October-8-2012-Product-Shots-Press-Association-Chris-Jackson-

This image offers a better view of the detail on the back of the jacket.

© Robin Nunn / Nunn Syndication / Polaris

© Robin Nunn / Nunn Syndication / Polaris

The skirt is full with horizontal seaming creating three tiers and waistband.  Kate-Middlet-Temple-Burgundy-Suit-Separates-Skirt-Product-Shot-Chris-Jackson-PA-Wire-Paule-Ka1

The brand was launched by Serge Cajfinger in 1987. After his departure from the company in 2014 Alithia Spuri-Zampetti was named creative director. Ms. Spuri-Zampetti graduated from the storied Central Saint Martin School in London and previously worked at Lanvin, Valentino and Bottega Veneta.

The brand is offered at Paule Ka stores throughout Europe, Japan, China, and the Middle East. In the US there is a New York boutique, and Halsbrook offers the label online. It is also carried online at Stylebop. Luxury retailer Moda Operandi offers it, and also does trunk shows with designs from runway collections almost immediately after those collections are shown at Fashion Weeks. (Paule Ka’s a/w 2017 show is February 28 in Paris.) Here are a few designs Moda Operandi offered from the s/s 2017 collection: a Cotton A-Line Structured Dress in white, a Jacquard Paneled Deep V-Neck dress, and a Front Draped Long Blouse, also in white.

Moda Operandi

Moda Operandi

This is a brand we could see the Duchess wear in Paris.

Online media reaction was mostly positive. Below, a headline from InStyle:

InStyle.com

InStyle.com

From The Daily Mail’s story

…goes to show that a skirt suit will stand the test of time in your closet! We love the rich red shade and flattering flared shape of the skirt.

The Mail piece also referenced the number of skirt suits worn by recently.

…(the Duchess has) a new uniform when it comes to Royal engagements.

She’s in south Wales today and it’s the fourth time we’ve spotted her wearing a skirt suit in recent weeks. There was the magenta Oscar de la Renta, the scarlet Luisa Spagnoli and the emerald Hobbs. But this time she has repeated an old favorite.

While The Telegraph’s article focused on Kate’s polo neck (turtleneck in the USA) sweater. 

But it’s the Duchess’s black polo neck jumper which she layered underneath the nipped-waist jacket that was today’s most noteworthy outfit addition. It marks the third time this year alone that Kate has worn this staple piece for a public engagement.

Kate accessorized with her Stuart Weitzman for Russell and Bromley Half ‘n Half Boots (£395).

Russell & Bromley

Russell & Bromley / Splash News

Kate wore black gloves with a bow at the wrist for part of the day.

©i-Images

©i-Images

I digitally lightened these a bit to better show the detail. The gloves haven’t been identified yet, although there have been some great suggestions on the Facebook page and Twitter.

Kate Wales Action Children Black Gloves Bow Digitally Lightened J What Feb 22 2017

© James Whatling

We saw the return of the Kiki McDonough Eternal’ Citrine Cushion & Diamond Earrings. The earrings were first worn when Kate and William attended Cheltenham in 2013.

©

©James Whatling / Kiki McDonough / Polaris / Polaris

Kate wore her hair partially pulled back.

©Robin Nunn, Nunn Syndication, Polaris / Zak Hussein, Splash

©Robin Nunn, Nunn Syndication, Polaris / Zak Hussein, Splash

Kate looked lovely today. As others have noted, I think the skirt was a skosh too short, although the dark tights and boots mitigated that effect somewhat. This isn’t because of Kate’s age. Rather, it involves her role as the future Queen (consort); additionally, the weather was very windy. It looked like what we used to call a ‘full skirt alert’ in tv, and it seemed more-than-possible in some photos that Kate could have experienced another awkward and unfortunate situation.

©Stephen Lock / i-Images / Polaris

©Stephen Lock / i-Images / Polaris

Having said that, it was clear the Duchess was in her element. She was shining a light on an important organization and reveling in her time with the children, staffs, and volunteers while also positively impacting many lives.

© As shown

© As shown

We’ll leave you with this 2-minute video from The Telegraph.

Editorial Note: I apologize for the post being so tardy; I really had a crush of commitments today that couldn’t be rescheduled, aarrghh!

LINKAGE:

  147 Responses to “The Duchess in a Royal Repeat for Wales Engagements”

  1. Girl, get thee a stylist. Please.

    • Agreed. God, it’s awful and not just the suit. The black turtleneck and tights and boots and GOD it’s awful. What is her stylist thinking? There are so many classy chic affordable ways to do a skirt suit…

  2. What type of stockings (pantyhose) is Kate wearing? Wolford??

  3. I might be in the minority but I like the outfit the Duchess of Cambridge wore to this event. It is youthful and it different from all the midi skirts she has been wearing. The suit does not overwhelm her and fits her personality. To me, she stays true to what she likes to wear and I admire her for that.

    • I feel the same way as Michelle. I like her outfit. She’s a young woman so she still can wear shorter skirts especially with her figure.

  4. There’s something reassuring about learning that Kate is just as horrible at pool as I am – for a second there I thought she was going to show off some talents that she’d picked up at uni! ;)

    I like the side-by-side comparison with the first outing of this suit. It really highlights what a difference the turtleneck and having hair pulled back make in the overall look of professionalism. I agree with some of the comments that Kate’s professional outfits need work (I went to business school in Canada and we had rules about appropriate dress drilled into us from day one – though I’ve since learned that this isn’t so much the case for parts of Europe, not sure where the UK stands), but this is certainly a step up from the last time she wore this suit and I think that shows how much more she is coming into her role, albeit slowly. She still has some way to go but then it will also be quite some time before she becomes queen – hopefully she’ll have it figured out by then!

  5. Just. Too. Short. But at least no plastic hair clips.

  6. For her age, position and occasion – this skirt is far too short. Enough said.

  7. Ummm……… hmmm………. uhh……… yeah i have nothing. I didn’t like this the first time, and i still don’t. It’s not coming accross as a professional outfit for an engagement. Wear this out with your girlfriends or on a date, but to this? I’m just confused.

  8. I agree, th is is a fun look – for someone 12 years old. If only the pieces were a few inches longer, it would be far mroe age-appropriate. And when she has to bend over, both because of her elegant height and because she is talking with children, the back view is risky! Lovely color, just ill-fitting and not quite apprpriate for occasion or age.

  9. Weighing in one more time to add my comments on Kate’s working wardrobe. As we all know, she never really worked, in the sense that she had a job in the City, or in PR, or in hospitality, or in a field where she would be required to have a daytime wardrobe. She did work briefly for Jigsaw, but the rest of the time was with Party Pieces, and that could have been in yoga clothes for all we know.

    So, in her 20s, she never learned how to dress for work. Now, in her mid-30s, it shows, and painfully so. Contrast her with the Countess of Wessex, who owned her own firm, and dresses flawlessly for daytime occasions. She’s absolutely a good role model for Kate, someone only 15 years old, versus Kate learning from The Queen or Princess Anne. Crown Princess Mary, who also worked in PR in Australia, is another great example of someone who repeatedly gets it right.

    Of course, all these royal women are allowed and encouraged to wear sporty clothes for sporty events. If you’re going to move about, especially with young people, you want clothes that work for the occasion.

    But Kate is making mistake after mistake when it comes to daytime business wear. Her mother, who is a business owner, is often seen in smart daytime clothes, suits as well as dresses. Perhaps that’s the first place to start.

    • I do not know if the type of work she did in her 20′s is the underlying issue in some of her odd choices but I do agree that it is Carole, of the three women in the family, that seems to have the best inherent sense of taste. Kate does not need to dress like her Mom but she might ask her Mom to eyeball her outfit choices if she is not going to work more closely with a really good stylist.

    • You make some excellent points, Brenda. Another royal, who seems to always get her outfits correct, is Queen Letizia of Spain. Before she married into the Spanish Royal Family, she was a broadcast journalist, reading the news on TV. It would appear, as you say, that these roles allow for learning to dress professionally in the working world. When these women marry into royalty and have more financial resources, their clothing choices get even better. So often Kate is wearing a very expensive outfit, but her styling is wrong, or the dress itself is wrong for the occasion.

      I also agree with you, that Carole Middleton seems to always get it right and Kate would do well to follow her mother’s lead.

    • Her dressing sense lacks sophistication. Princess Mary never gets it wrong for business wear, and her evening gown choices are most beautiful. Kate just doesn’t have it, I don’t know if you can learn if you just don’t have the eye for it, and I don’t mean fashion it is knowing how to wear clothes that suits you and presents you in the best light. Obviously I won’t be so cruel to say Kate never gets it right, once in a while she wears the right gown but those are few are far between.

  10. I didn’t like this the first time and I like it even less now.
    Come on Kate, have a look at Queen Letitia or Crown Princess Mary’s style.
    They seem to nail it every time.

    • Yes, they really do. Letizia is a bit more daring, and I can understand that’s not Kate’s comfort zone, but they both are good examples of how to dress professionally and still maintain style.

      the outfit Letizia wore to meet the First Lady of Argentina is a good example. A classic pink suit but something about it (the fit? the shoes?) seemed edgy and young.

      • Just a question – which blogs or sites are you looking at to see what they wear? I hear about these two royals a lot but don’t know where to go so I can take a look! Thanks :-)

        • Lindsey, you can just Google Princess Mary of Denmark, or Queen Letizia of Spain and up will come multiple sites featuring their styles.

          I like to use:

          http://www.styleofmary.blogspot.ca

          http://www.queenletiziastyle.com

          • Neither are afraid to wear well-tailored trousers in a business setting and look both appropriately dressed and fashion forward. I used to think Kate was following the Queen’s example in not wearing trousers but her fondness for skinny jeans suggests otherwise.

          • Wow. Just clicked over to queenletizizstyle Bonnie. Thank you for the links. I have such affection for our DoC . I think she is a lovely, proper and demure English Lady! However…after looking at how the Queen dresses, so smartly, and in many instances still youthfully and always so modern – I have to say I would love to see the Duchess take a page out of her book. Catherine is every bit as elegant, but, often her clothing choices seem…juvenile or perhaps provincial at times (excluding the skinny jeans, which I don’t like to see her in) especially when viewed through the style of Queen Letizia.

            • “Lovely, proper, and demure English Lady”

              Kate is a well educated, confident, intelligent person.

              I love fashion, but we really need to keep things in perspective and remain firmly rooted in the 21st century. Calling Kate “demure” is not a compliment!
              If you google it you will get:
              adjective
              (of a woman or her behavior) reserved, modest, and shy.
              “a demure little wife who sits at home minding the house”
              synonyms: modest, unassuming, meek, mild, reserved, retiring, quiet, shy, bashful, diffident, reticent, timid, shrinking, coy;

            • In my opinion, of all the royals in Europe, Queen Letizia of Spain has the greatest sense of style.

              I agree Danielle, that Kate is lovely, proper and demure. I’d also say that she has great warmth and cares about the people she meets and the charities she represents. But she does not have a polished look. Many of us have been saying for a long time, that Kate needs a good stylist and a good tailor. It is such a pity, because Kate’s clothes are not inexpensive and she has access to great designers.

              Another royal with a wonderful fashion sense is Princess Charlene of Monaco.

              princesscharleneofmonaco.com

  11. I like the look without loving it. My onlooker sense is that the short skirts (now not seen often) and the (endless) skinny jeans are Kate’s very personal preference and that her repeat wearing of the skinny jeans in particular are her holding true to her own preferences rather than being taken over by a royal dress code completely. I follow this blog because I enjoy her looks (I’m not a fashion watcher other than Kate on this blog). Thanks for all the work compiling the posts.

  12. After reading everyones comments I was thinking about that fine line between to young/to old/and the magic just right. And also how hard it can be to let go of the looks we love. In Kates case she has to fiqure it out on stage, and I always get this feeling that she is not the clothes horse we dream of her being. I feel like everyone on this site would agree that Kates passion for what she is doing out weighs her misses. As always great to read your thoughtful comments.
    I liked the look (short skirt and all) and if I owned those earrings I would wear them everyday:)

  13. I think Kate is establishing her style. She knows what she likes and what looks good on her. She prefers to sometimes wear clothes that showcase her figure and long legs. I remember one tour where there was an apparent crackdown on what Kate wore supervised by the Queen. Now Kate wears more of what she wants to wear. I like it. The whole point of fashion is to have fun and enjoy your clothes. She might not wear what you *expect* her to wear or how you envision her to look as a princess or how she is *supposed* to wear things based on how *you* would wear it but she is doing what makes her happy and she never looks terrible. I like it when she wears earrings that are not matchy matchy. I like it when she wears something whimsical like a peter pan collar. Kate is unique after all. That is how she got William!

  14. My issue with this look is that the entire suit just looks too small – a bit too tight and definitely too short (both the jacket and skirt). A short skirt can be fine, but not if it actually looks too small, like it does here – and it’s not helped by such a short jacket. Ah well.

  15. I agree that the skirt is far too short and inappropriate for the nature of the engagement – but this entire outfit is also way too similar to what she wore for her previous engagement in terms of colour/overall look. So inappropriate but also boring.

  16. No. Just, no.

    Why not some nice, trim, fitted black trousers?

  17. She is an excellent ambassador of English culture. She also has, almost single-handedly (with the help of her sister, Pippa), made several British clothing manufacturers and fashion houses rich beyond compare. Jane Austen described many an outfit worn by her protagonists, so I won’t bother you with mine, but before Katherine, when was the last time anyone looked at photos and read articles about some ceremony up in Ireland that involved Katherine dressed in a hunter green suit petting a large Irish wolfhound? She has beamed a ray of light on the British Empire.

    NOTE: Admin edit

  18. Again the wind tunnel effect on the skirt. When does this future queen finally learn about weights in the hem?

  19. I think there is general agreement that the Duchess shines in active scenarios especially with children. That she is beautiful is also not in dispute. It must be difficult for her to dress appropriately for every occasion and maybe the key is to get a really good tailor to make her clothes fit her properly. Her bespoke pieces are always a hit because they fit her properly, but her off-the-rack fashions need better tailoring. She has the “misfortune” of being tall and slim with a relatively long torso – oh, how sad!!! Wouldn’t it be nice for us all to have that to complain about! If her clothes fit her better, they would look “right” on her and most of the criticisms that are so often repeated would disappear. This hairdo has to go though! It drives me nuts. No one over the age of 12 should do that to her hair, especially when her hair is so beautiful to begin with!

    • The thing is, it is NOT that hard to dress appropriately. She has been to enough of these type of events that she should know what is appropriate. She knows that she bends and squats and leans at events involving children, so it shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that a short, flippy skirt is a terrible idea. She may not LIKE trousers, but from a standpoint of looking both professional and appropriate, sometimes you make compromises. Everybody, royal or not, has different situations that they have to dress for and adapt to. And if she is that clueless, she should get a stylist…a real one, not her assistant that she sort of drafted into being a stylist. She is in her mid-thirties and has been a royal for several years now…it is time to stop making these faux pas.

  20. At the risk of being repetitive, the Duchess is still a very young woman. She can show a bit of leg. I am absolutely no Kate look-alike, I never was (and definitely will not be at my current age). But I was trim with nice legs at her age and happy to wear a skirt above the knee to the office or work events. Kate looks good in this suit and looks thrilled to be there, as others do to have her there. She is covered up in boots, tights, a turtle neck and gloves (while out of doors). I understand she is British royalty. But can we cut her a little slack? Did Diana take this kind of criticism for her décolletage? I’m sure I’m such an admirer that it’s hard for me to find fault. But all I can say is the suit looked its best the first time she wore it and looked good the second time. I think she is a delight who looks fabulous during frequent public appearances under a microscope.

    • WADR, 16 is very young. 22 is very young. 25 might perhaps still be called very young. But 35 is not very young. The skirt would have looked fine on Kate Middleton at St. Andrews. But not on the Duchess of Cambridge at an official engagement.

      NOTE: Quick admin edit

    • The Duchess is 35. I had a wardrobe of suits when I was right out of college, because I was working in government at a time when women wore suits. Sorry, she does not get slack. And Diana showed cleavage mainly AFTER she separated from Charles (those Versace dresses were in her 30s).

      • So, is the objection that the Duchess is wearing short items in her 30s (same age as Diana), or that she’s doing so while married to William? Brenda’s comment sounds as if Diana’s wearing of cleavage-bearing minidresses in her 30s was ok, but the Duchess’s short outfits (without exposed cleavage) at the same age are not. Interesting.

        • I am getting the same weird vibe with some of these comments. So it is okay to where some things if you are single, but not if you are married? That is very troublesome for too many reasons to discuss here. Again, it is one thing to comments that something looks illfitting, out of proportion, colour not flattering etc., and quite another to comment that an outfit is wrong because of some notion of Victorian propriety or worse yet a notion that married women are somehow restricted in what they can where because they are married. Kate did not expose herself in any inappropriate way and so suggesting that she might (when she clearly didn’t) seems odd at best.

        • Yes, it is interesting. Especially since Diana wore, on her very first public formal occasion with Charles as the future princess, a strapless black gown that she was practically falling out of, so much cleavage showed. And that was the big story the next day.

          There is something increasingly mean spirited about many of the comments, plus laying down laws as to what the Duchess may and may not wear because she is the future queen consort, or 35, or at an event with children. When were these people designated as arbiters of what royalty may, or may not, wear? Of what Kate may or may not wear in public?

          She’s not a mannequin, she’s not a runway model, and her job entails far more than functioning as a clotheshorse for the public to dissect. She’s so far beyond ‘just fashion’ in her life as a duchess, from entertaining the Obamas, to making state trips, to sitting next to the president of China at a state dinner — she has far more to do than devote huge blocks of time to clothes decisions.

          Yes, I know, this is a fashion blog. But it might be a good idea to remember that Kate’s duties require more than just her charities before commenting on clothing. By the way, really got a kick out of the suit. It was fun and lively.

  21. The skirt is incredibly too short. There’s a certain age when a woman shouldn’t choose a skirt at this length. I feel like she’s trying to dress like a teenager. The photo of the wind blowing the skirt is out of control. I’m very disappointed in her choice. And the audience of small children, especially little girls, is unfortunate. They look up to the Duchess.

    • I agree that there is “a certain age” but I don’t agree that it arrives in your early 30′s! Additionally, I respectfully disagree that this is an improper choice in front of little girls—she didn’t show up in hotpants or a mini skirt and stilettos. She is literally covered from ankles to neck with opaque clothing. Even in the wind, the design and weight of the skirt (plus the tights) meant that there were no upskirt moments.

      The little girls should look up to the duchess—she is an example of grace under pressure (and sometimes fire) and she clearly loves her husband and children and family. It is also obvious how much she cares about charitable endeavors. She is not some reality star falling out of clubs bleary eyed at 2am.

      • katefanatic I appreciate your perspective here – I don’t know precisely when the “new Victorian” revolution began, but it is rather curious. I’m trying to remember a single out-and-out faceplant ensemble that Kate has worn since she began royal life (maybe there have been a few, I just don’t recall them). However, there have been several that aren’t to my personal taste; but that’s a very different matter than identifying an outfit as inappropriate.

        Great points that little girls should look up to her, and that she isn’t a reality star falling out of clubs.

        As much as I love the fashions that the Duchess wears by virtue of her life, those of us commenting here are perhaps even more blessed – to be able to wear exactly what we want, for better or worse, in happy anonymity, knowing we’ll never be graded on What We Wore, How We Wore It, or How It’s Styled. For that I am deeply grateful.

        • I am willing to wager that VERY few of us get to wear exactly what we want ,especially within a business/professional context. Our choices are guided by what is appropriate for the occasion/setting/audience/ tenor of each event. And, along with the privilege of royalty comes a higher expectation of meeting those standards and probably just higher standards in general. I for one am always routing for Kate to meet those expectations, notwithstanding any criticisms I may articulate here.

  22. Hated this outfit! Definitely not age appropriate! There are many tailored suit designs available that are fashion forward and professional at the same time and this was definitely not it. It made her look juvenile and that she was just trying a little too hard.

    • what does age appropriate mean???? I have seen many young girls dressed in mini skirts with thunderous great thighs, strapless tops and a muffin hanging out between the top and bottom garment. The clothes were designed for young girls so the clothes were age appropriate….

      NOTE: admin edit

  23. Well, even I have to say the skirt is too short! Even in 2012 it was short, but the styles were still featuring that. Now in 2017, it just isn’t a good look. It reminds me of girls’ field hockey uniforms! The only way to save that skirt would be to add another panel at the bottom. I love the color and the fabric of the suit, I love the boots, the black sweater, and the black gloves. While I really like the citrine earrings as I personally love citrine, they don’t go with burgundy and black. Kate needs some garnets!! And if not that, go for basic gold or silver. I’m afraid I have to say that it’s time to retire this suit, permanently!

    • I agree, I do not think this suit aged well. I am the same age as the Duchess with a very similar body type and would never wear this to my corporate office

      • Kate isn’t at a corporate office so I am not sure why that comparison is so often made. She is at an event with kids and is playing pool. IMHO a corporate suit would be most inappropriate.

        • I agree. A business suit or other office wear would have looked ridiculous. But a miniskirt was also not the right choice, if only because the event was going to involve a lot of bending over – not a good idea in a very short skirt.

          • Well I wouldn’t wear this outfit period. But certainly not to “work” (in my case an office). The Duchess is after all “at work”.

  24. A big miss in my opinion and without repeating the sentiments mentioned in most of the comments already, I think the big picture here is that Kate doesn’t know how to dress professionally. She dazzles in formal events, took our collective breaths away many occasions, but when it comes to daytime appearances, she just doesn’t know what to do. On most occasions we either get the A line dresses, sheath dresses and coatdresses with the same shoes over and over, or she puts something childish or borderline inappropriate together, like today. And don’t even get me started on the hairclips.

    What bothers me is that she knew, she was going to bend over to greet kids. I am sure playing pool was discussed in the event planning process, but yet she decided to wear something short.

    Dressing professionally would be the style of choice for most royals when visiting charities, and most royal ladies have had at least a few years of non-royal professional experience before starting royal duties. Kate missed out on that part in her life before getting married and you can tell that she is unsure of what to wear for these occasions.

    Hiring a stylist would be beneficial for her in becoming a more senior royal, bringing the well deserved attention to these charities and causes without the public and the media focusing on her skirt length.

    • Very well said. Her role becomes more and more important each year, time to get serious with her working wardrobe

    • I don’t want to be too critical and I actually think Kate looks OK but Bronte75 makes many good points here and I agree it’s Kate’s normal day wear which isn’t quite where it should be.

      Dressing for such occasions is difficult and needs outfits which are appropriate, not too divisive and comfortable/suitable but she does need to stand out as a princess, not one of the crowd. Quite a list really! Someone in the know should help her out.

    • Are A-line, sheath, and coatdresses really “clueless professional”? For many, they are the hallmark of a professional wardrobe.

  25. The Duchess of Cambridge can’t help but be stunning in whatever she wears. The color is gorgeous on her. If I was attending an engagement focused on children I feel I’d have been uncomfortable in a short skirt, only because it makes bending over a bit awkward. I’d want my attention to be on the children and not the status of my clothing. I LOVE the gloves!! The bow is feminine and sophisticated at the same time. Sometimes those small details really stand out. I found and purchased a similar pair online.

  26. For commenters who thought the skirt was appropriate in length, I’m curious as to whether you can point to a working royal in any other family (i.e., any country) who, in the past year, has worn a suit this short.

    I don’t consider myself old fashioned or conservative. I do, however, work in a professional field where the rule is that the skirt should at a minimum be below your fingertips if your arms are by your side. The preferred length is an inch (maybe 2) of the knee.

    I get kid-centric events are casual and fun so the executive look isn’t appropriate. I’m not saying she needs to be in a black Hugo Boss suit (Queen Letizia’s go-to brand). But she needs to look polished. Here, I think she looks like a sorority girl trying too hard.

    • Edit: Technically, this skirt might pass the “fingertip” test but it still looks too short, IMHO. The point of my question above is whether there are other royals who go this short. Perhaps those of us who think this is too short could use a reference point from others who think it’s okay.

      • I don’t think a reference point is needed. Kate is her own person, albeit a member of the royal family and can and does wear what she wants, within reason of course. She has proven this time and again often to the chagrin of the posters here, myself included. This look was fine and and event appropriate. It was nice to see her in a shorter, younger looking outfit.

    • Interesting that you mention Queen Letizia, as she has worn dresses much shorter than this skirt. With bare legs or sheer black tights and heels too, not opaques and flat boots. Like Kate, sometimes she dresses in knee or midi length clothes, and sometimes not.

      • I don’t mind the length. I do mind the cut. If this had been a pencil skirt or something it would have been a lot better. Those boots though. Gah. I don’t want to use the word but I hate them. The two fabrics always are distracting to me.

        The hair clips are a huge face palm to me.

      • very very true, frances!

      • Not lately, she hasn’t. Look at her wardrobe since she became queen. She is often seen in pants, and her skirt lengths are now usually knee length or midi. Perhaps when she was younger, but she was an anchorwoman, Spain is a looser culture than Britain and QL is even tinier than Kate.

    • I will try and look at some Mary/Victoria/Letizia photos. While it doesn’t mean there is a singular “right way” and multiple “wrong ways,” it is always nice to gauge how others in similar positions deal with comparable situations. (It could well be next week though before I have time.)

      • A cursory search by me turned up no short skirts on Princesses Mary and Victoria, but a few on Queen Letizia – ironically, illustrating an article about the criticism she was receiving for wearing them.

        • I can see I am going against the tide but I like that she changes up her skirt lengths. The midi looks are not my favorite but I appreciate the variety from mini to floor length.
          I’d love to see more jewelry beside earrings. Necklaces would be a nice addition.

          • I suspect necklaces would be a nuisance when bending over and speaking with children. Anything that would be likely to swing out at a child’s face would not work! Kate does wear necklaces from time to time, but I don’t think this was an engagement where it would work.

    • If you search Getty images for Queen Letizia you will see many equally short skirts. Because she wears slacks so often, I’d say 1 in 10 appearances are mini skirts. In fact there was a white shift dress she wore, that because of the occasion was controversial.

  27. It’s a heavy fabric skirt; it’s clearly not going anywhere in the wind. Even when it does billow up, it billows out so it creates a wind tunnel effect-no awkwardness to follow. Too short is something people say when they want to shame women for being inappropriate; and to say it about a woman who is literally covered from toe to neck is absurd.

    • Thank you! This is exactly what I was thinking but was struggling how to say it in a diplomatic way. I have, in the past, commented on skirt length, but only in the context of proportion. Some of her maternity wear when expecting George comes to mind. Short skirts or dresses with high heels often look out of proportion. This outfit, with the dark tights and flat boots looks in proportion.

      As an aside, I would love to see Kate try the 5050 Stuart Weitzman boots that come up over the knee. I am sure she ever will, but they would have looked fabulous with this suit.

      • I so agree with you about the Halftime over-the-knee boots. They would have helped to perfect the proportions and provided a stronger execution of the casual professional air she seemed to be going for. I still really like this look and that she is playing around with separates and suiting more often.

    • Agreed! That’s exactly what people are trying to do when they criticize this outfit for being too short. They just want to create the illusion that Kate is making another mistake.

      Nuh-uh, haters. Not today, Satan.

    • I don’t think a “too short” criticism in these comments is code for saying we think the Duchess is showing too much of her body whether it is covered or not. It seems to me most of the comments saying “too short” are saying it because the skirt makes Kate look juvenile or not serious or professional enough. And I agree with that criticism. I do not think anyone who commented that they thought the skirt too short had any kind of intent to “shame” Kate.

      I have not been following this blog\Kate’s clothing choices for less than a year now and I was surprised to see her in this particular outfit, which I see as a significant departure from her usual pencil skirt or shirtdress.

      Despite the suite looking a bit too cutesy, I liked how she styled it with the polo,tights and flat boots. I think the earrings, which are soooo beautiful, added a nice contrast to the burgandy color of the suit. Love those gloves!

    • Yep!

    • I don’t know–I look at the photo showing the wind and see the Duchess’s hand holding the skirt down in front so it doesn’t fly up. The fabric doesn’t look so heavy there.

      And I do think the skirt is too short. You disagree. But don’t put a spin on my opinion that’s not there.

      • I absolutely disagree; and quite frankly, while it may not be the ‘spin’ your opinion takes, its a common one discussed at length in journalism and academic feminist literature. Criticisms of a nature that directly or indirectly (intentional or otherwise) point to a woman’s modesty have long been documented as a means of suppressing a woman’s right to express herself or assert her position in a public and/or professional setting. So you perhaps did not “put” the spin on it, but it’s there in the mind of society, nonetheless.

        If, as another individual mentioned, its not about shaming Catherine, but rather indicating she looks ‘unprofessional’, should we consider that a professional wardrobe is entirely in the eye of the individual wearing it and, perhaps it is not unprofessional for one who plans to spend her day with small children to dress in a way that is not intimidating to said children. Just an idea. There’s far more criticism in the comments as a whole than I’m comfortable with; so its likely I will cease to read. Too bad, really; the blog is a nice way to highlight good work that’s being done.

    • While the skirt is a heavier fabric it was nowhere near heavy enough to prevent it being blown up much higher than has been shown in the photos published here. There are others I elected not to use, but it can, and did blow up much higher.

  28. I don’t mind that the skirt is shorter than what she has worn lately—the opaque tights and tall boots make it appropriate for her and for this particular engagement. I think the color is lovely and I like the weight of the material.

    I have seen others saying that the Rhumba boots might have worked better but I think the taller heel on those boots would have made the skirt seem shorter, so the lower heeled boots were the best solution for this skirt.

    The duchess clearly enjoyed this engagement and she really shines when interacting with children. Her gorgeous smile and willingness to be a good sport are a winning combination.

    My only real quibble here is her hair—I will state again that she needs to find a new hairstylist. The pulled back style is fine to get it out of her face but surely there is a better solution than those visible bobby pins! I could stop at Walmart on my way home tonight and come up with a better solution for less than $5 and she has virtually unlimited resources with regard to options and budget. It just doesn’t make sense to me. She is beautiful and young with a gorgeous head of hair, so I just don’t understand why her hairstylist cannot seem to get it right. Also, you can see how much better the color was the last time she wore this outfit–those warm glossy undertones were so complementary to her complexion.

  29. Not a fan. First, its so similar to her look from last week – which is fine, the black turtleneck and jacket look nice together – but I wish she wouldn’t pair such similar outfits so close together (like when she wore the Preen dress a month or 6 weeks apart in different colors.)

    I think the skirt is too short. And not because she’s the future queen, but because it is too short. Kate and I are the same age and I would never wear a skirt that short to work – and I work in a very casual environment.

    I also think she looks cold. I feel like she wears coat-dresses all the time and now for this engagement, where she looks cold and it looks like a nice dressy coat over a nice dress (for inside) would have been perfect for the occasion, she wears this suit with the shot skirt.

    And yet again, a nice pair of dress trousers would have gone so well with this look.

  30. I think the skirt is too short, regardless of shoes or hosiery. Also, I think the yellow earrings clash with the red suit.

  31. I LOVE the fact that she repeat wears her beautiful clothes. It’s nice to see them again in different settings.

  32. I am not a fan of this look at all. It looks very dated; like a look from the 90s/early 2000s, when knee high boots and polo neck sweaters were in fashion.
    I think the whole look is quite unsophisticated, like a young woman trying to look right for her first job. I agree that the skirt is too short (again just unfashionable), the polo neck sweater does not look modern paired with the suit jacket and also her hair is unsophisticated and juvenile. The earrings also do not match the rest of her outfit.
    I have seen Kate do better and I think she can in future. Sometimes you just cannot recycle things for too long as they look too dated and unsophisticated.

    • I agree with you everything you said! I thought the same upon seeing the outfit. Her face is always lovely!

    • Mindy, you said it perfectly. On a post college girl, this might be charming. The Duchess is 35, a mother of two, and representing the Crown. She really can’t go out looking like this. The Queen has allowed Kate to make many fashion mistakes, but I think she should send a gentle message that a little maturity is in order.

    • I totally agree. And I also think the whole ensemble just looks too small for her.

  33. I like the detail on the gloves and her boots. The rest of the outfit is a miss for me. The skirt is way too short in my humble opinion.

  34. This is a HUGE miss in my book. It was the first time and it’s possibly worse the second time, even though the first outing has always stood on my list of worst looks ever. I have so many adjectives but the ones that seem to fit my feelings seem to be to awfully rude so I’ll leave them all out.

    This suit is not “fashionable.” It’s a minimum of five years old and should have been left in the early 2000s. Especially by a young but professional woman, in a setting like this. It is juvenile in the extreme and not terribly flattering either. Truly difficult to believe that this is the same woman with the blow out in the Erdem dress from only weeks ago.

  35. Agree with most other comments. Skirt is too short. Jacket & turtleneck would have been lovely with a beautifully tailored pair of black trousers, similar to ones often worn by Princess Mary. I wonder why Catherine is so against a proper pant vs. skinny jeans?

  36. I think the added bulk of the turtleneck added to the “too short” issue. The jacket looks tighter because off the turtleneck, the skirt a bit shorter because the turtleneck is tucked in.

    I love the color and the suit. For today’s activities it was a miss but I’d like to see it used for a different occasion.

  37. I loved this look, the color and that flirty skirt, though I did think the skirt was a tad short I still loved it. If Kate is making 2017 the year of the suit i am in.

  38. If only the skirt had one more tier! I love its structure and flare. But its length is more appropriate for clubbing than an engagement like this one. I love the color of the suit and the black top and tights and boots are soooo boring with it, but the little pop of clear yellow at her ears was nice.

  39. I know the skirt is too short, but I LOVE this suit! The color is gorgeous and I love everything about the style (except I agree it should be a little longer).

    I know it’s five years and two kids later than when she last wore the suit, but I also wonder if our wincing at its length has to do with the shift in skirt lengths on the market. I recall that around 2012 I could not find a skirt that would hit my knee, and I have short legs. Now we are seeing longer lengths, even midi skirts. Does this make us more aware of and sensitive to her shorter skirt?

    • I don’t know where you live/shop but I haven’t worn a skirt shorter than calf-length since the 1970s! I liked the maxi/almost-maxi, the comfort & ease of not worrying about how I sat, reached down or going upstairs, not to mention worrying about who was stood behind me & this includes no pencil skirts, if it needs a split then it is too tight – so I stuck with them. There is something in what you say though, no-one worried about Princess Anne’s mini’s in her youth.
      However, I like this flirty little suit, they always go well with opaque tights & boots. It still isn’t the right length for a children’s visit though, maybe that’s why she chose flat boots – but I don’t think she was prepared for the pool table; she aimed & struck the ball from a very high level which is why she missed, no wonder her partner said she was dreadful; it was obvious she was conscious of the doorload of people behind her.
      Lemon or orange, I love the Citrine earrings, I would wear any colour light stones with this suit & match it with something pretty for the hair perhaps, Kate’s hair is untidy & looks as if just pulled back while at the park or whatever. They are beautiful hair accessories around but she uses plain clips or a bit of her own hair & no hairspray (could carry a small tin in her bag as I do).

  40. So…I quite like this suit. For being a few years old, it is still fashionable, in that the color and some of the design accents are very trendy. It is also a color that looks good on her and is a vast improvement over her matronly pastel coats. It is short, but I think that with the tights and boots there are some engagements at which she could get away with wearing this.

    An event with children is not one of them. At every child-centric event, she is always kneeling and squatting so it is beyond me why she would select such an outfit for this type of visit. I am glad she finally ditched the stilettos in favor of the flatter boots, but oy. That skirt is not made for getting eye-level with children.

    I am glad to see she is sticking with the more natural makeup look instead of the ring of black eyeliner she sported for so long. Her hair is messy looking though, and I think one of those low ponytails with the hair wrapped around the band would have been a better choice. I also don’t understand why she wears citrines like they are a neutral. They are orange. They do not go with everything!

    But, overall, I would not mind seeing this look again. At a more appropriate venue.

    • I love this site but HATE the comments section! Horrible how commenters pick apart Everything the Dutchess wears, hairstyle, accessories…. Pathetic!
      Everyone has an opinion and it is a Total Bore!

      • My favourite section is the comments section – it’s like a community that GETS ALONG – even though we have different opinions of the clothes, hair, make up, shoes and jewelry. I enjoy reading the differing opinions.

      • It’s Duchess and that’s pretty much the point of WKW. It’s not a fan site, although many of us like Kate, it’s a fashion site.

        • I’m not sure I’d label WKW a fashion site, since a large portion of the comments endlessly call out the DoC for being UNfashionable. Regularly. For those who truly love fashion, I’m sure there are loads of sites out there that focus on fashion.

          I can’t remember if Susan ever wrote a post on why she started this blog – did she think of Kate as fashionable back in the day, or was she excited that William had found a bride who was fun, pretty, and liked clothes? Was she anticipating Kate’s fashion life would be similar to Diana’s and wanted to chronicle it? Not sure – it would be fun at some point to get a little backstory on the motivation for WKW.

          Mindy, I feel your frustration, and I highly recommend flying quickly through the comments, bypassing most of them. I admit that I always read ElizaMo’s assessments, and I still miss Lily’s insights – though I don’t/didn’t always agree with them, they both express themselves in a non-inflammatory way. :)

          • Lili, not “Lily”! P.S. She is missed!

          • You’re kidding, right? What Kate Middleton . . . the Duchess of Cambridge wears IS fashion. Nothing more, nothing less. She sells millions of dollars worth of clothing and accessories just because of who she is and she wore it! She, more than any woman on the planet is defining what is beautiful and acceptable in clothing choices for other women who want to be fashionable, on trend and up-to-date. This site offers a lot of information about clothing and designers and trends that are specifically fashion related. What makes it special is that it also provides historical and general information about the events Kate attends and the items she wears. I don’t know what its founder intended it to be, but a fashion blog it is! IMO

      • Thank you! So many people here are so unbelievably catty and nitpicky about Kate’s looks. If she wears a short skirt, she’s juvenile and trying too hard, and if she wears a longer skirt she’s matronly. When she wears things that are fashionable for a woman of her age, people compare her unfavorably to royal ladies who are at least ten years her senior (i.e., Princess Mary, Queen Letizia). And don’t even get me started on all of the pearl-clutching anytime someone can spot a bobby pin or hair clip.

        NOTE: Admin edit

    • SG – You’be identified the issue although I think it extends further. Specifically mm for any female Royal regardless of event, if you could bend in the skirt and might show too much, then the skirt is too short. (Recall when she stopped to scoop the water bottle she knocked out of her car. I don’t think that was for kids.)

  41. I really admire the Duchess. I think she is such a great role model and doing so well in her role–which is quite a feat–even though she’s been doing it for some time now.

    With this outfit, I don’t even really mind the length of the skirt–though I agree it could have been longer–my main problem is with the boots! I think they are great boots, but go so poorly with the suit that the whole thing looks off to me. Her Rhumba boots would have been a better fit? I love the hair, makeup and earrings just fine, but the boots really create an almost skater girl look.

    In my opinion, over the past few months there have been way too many red, black and white outfits from her. This is a slight variation on her Valentine’s Day event (which I found quite boring as well), so I’d love love love to see more color, pattern! But overall, Catherine is so lovely with children and really seemed to enjoy herself, I still think the world of her.

  42. With nude hosery and heels this skirt is way too short.. but with dark tights and low heeled boots, I think it works.

  43. A big miss in my opinion. Everything is attractive – BUT not together. Skirt is way too short, both for her age and her Royal status. Love Kate, her warmth with people, but she needs a stylist in a big way. And her beautiful hair in that juvenile, unprofessional style – makes me cringe. At home, playing with George and Charlotte, but not ” on the job”!

    • Elizabeth, right on! The whole outfit would look super cute back in 2006 but not today and not on the job.

    • What on earth is “juvenile” and “unprofessional” about her hairstyle? It’s a fairly classic look that frames her face nicely, and she has beautiful, healthy-looking hair to do it with.

  44. Why is Kate’s skirt length “inappropriate”? For what/who? When it long there’s the usual whining about matronly, now it’s juvenile. The suit fit well and great for occasion.

    • Exactly. It looks great and youthful, and is quite “appropriate,” especially with the dark tights and boots. I get so tired of people commenting on skirt lengths. If anything, Kate’s skirts are often too long or a weird mid-length. It’s a fun, yet professional outfit. Different earrings would’ve matched better.

    • Agreed. If there were any doubts, the opaque tights and (flat) tall boots ensured there was no question that it was appropriate. I don’t see what’s wrong about trying to look more fun – and less staid and formal – at a children’s event. Do you really think children will feel as at ease with, and relate as well to, someone dressed as a somber career professional – or someone dressed more “fun”?

      Princess Diana wore things just as short (and occasionally with cleavage too): for example this dress in 1997 or many others. For whatever reason Diana’s fans seem to have amnesia when lauding how appropriate she always was in comparison to Kate. I think they both look like two beautiful women wearing what they like and what makes them feel comfortable.

      • Diana was no longer married to Prince Charles when she wore that dress. After her divorce her clothes became less “modest” and much more daring. I don’t think she showed that much cleavage nor were her hemlines that high when she was a member of the Royal Family. Which is mainly the point here.

        • Here hemlines may not have been that high (mainly because it wasn’t the style) but she quite frequently showed cleavage. Many of her evening dresses were quite daring in that department.

          I do think it is inappropriate to make comparisons. Diana was at Kate’s stage of life when she was in her early to mid 20′s, not her early to mid 30′s. At that stage Diana was also being dressed by “the ladies at vogue” and had pretty much an endless clothing allowance and almost 100% custom clothing for her engagements. The other European royalty being mentioned are all at least 10 years older than Kate and have been in the job for many, many, more years.

  45. She looks like she’s been shopping in the juniors department. Everything looks like it shrunk in the wash, and the proportions are just off.i think a short jacket like this would look better with a longer skirt, but even then the jacket looks wrong. It’s not the length for me; I think she could wear a short skirt with a black sweater and tights and boots, but I don’t care for this skirt at all. The color is nice, and I like the flat boots for the occasion, but this suit is just bad in my opinion.

  46. This skirt is SO short. It’s inappropriate. I’m not that conservative. I’m okay with the skinny jeans although she need some new ones because the black ones and green Zara ones are looking a little raggedy. She should also probably go up one size. I even think she can take more risks, with more modern silhouettes. But, this? It is basically a mini. She needs to realize that some of the “suits” that she wore when she was barely out of her 20s, before she had kids, and before she took on a full portfolio of charity work are no longer appropriate. Either find a way to let it out or ditch the skirt and pair the jacket (a gorgeous color on her) with a sharp navy, black, or grey dress. Sorry to sound harsh but the extremely short skirts are just wrong on a royal.

    • But on a positive… she ditched the plastic hair clips and the color was great.

    • I thought the look of something being ten years out of its time was not unlike that of a primary school teacher working on a stretched budget, or a young mum in a similar bind. The unprofessional aspect made her familiar and unthreatening to the children who literally embrace her quite naturally. I’m not trying to defend an unintended fashion faux-pas here, just intrigued that it should seem to work so well despite everything.

      It was a considerable miracle there was no wind-assisted embarrassment though I couldn’t help notice how the close fitting top tier on the skirt did something to preserve modesty

  47. Childish hair style again. I really don’t know why she thinks those citrine earrings go with this suit. She wears those horrible things all the time. Time for a new hairstyle and time to retire those ugly citrines.

  48. She’s got legs—and she knows how to use them! Love this look on her and I have no problem with a skirt that length styled with boots and tights. She looked very relaxed and happy. A radiant royal.

  49. I really love Kate, but in my opinion this skirt is too short, to the point of being inappropriate. Unless I’ve missed an outfit, this is the shortest thing she’s worn since her wedding, with the only possible exception being the Moloh Worker’s Coat. I’m not even overly conservative – I like her skinny jeans fine – but I think she needs to look more professional when on official engagements, and I feel this look is a miss. The skirt’s lining is visible in multiple shots, and she’s bending over playing pool and kneeling down around kids. Come on.

    I think the color is great, and I like the jacket and turtleneck. I even like the skirt in theory, it’s just too short. I do like the gloves and the way she’s styled her hair.

    I want her to be taken seriously and respected – I hate reading any sort of negative comments about her on websites. Unfortunately, I think this look does her a disservice in that regard. She looks great – but that still doesn’t make it a good choice.

    • By “she looks great” I mean she’s in wonderful physical shape, and she “has the body” for the skirt and skinny jeans, etc. I just feel that “can” wear something doesn’t equal “should” wear something.

      • I totally agree with Lauren…..she has a fantastic , athletic figure for many outfits but even then some do not work for her!

  50. Could it be that the skirt is so short because she wears such a small size and is fairly tall?

    • I don’t believe so, no. It occurs to me that this is a skirt that can’t be shortened from what I can see in hi-res images, there isn’t a hem to be let down. My guess is that she likes the suit and if there was any way to make it a bit longer she probably would have lengthened it.

  51. The Duchess’s outfit was perfect for this situation. I do like the look with a turtleneck, tights and boots. I like the shape of the skirt, but I do think it is a bit too short, however. A necklace or pin would have been a nice addition. She looked comfortable and relaxed.

    • A pin is a great idea. A solid two piece suit is a great opportunity to showcase some of the family pieces. (The Queen certainly has some gorgeous ones that the Duchess could borrow.) I hope we see some in the future.

    • I really like the idea of a pin with this suit. But I’m wondering if, in general, she doesn’t wear them because of her long hair. She tends to wear it down for daytime engagements, and I could see her hair snagging on the pin throughout the day. With her hair more securely back, it could work, though.
      Another commenter noted a necklace might have swung into the children’s faces as she bent over, so maybe a good choice to leave it off here.

      I think she does need to be careful with pins as an accessory. While they polish up an outfit, the look tends to be one that is aging. I think so far she’s struck the right balance between sophisticated and fashionable (the dolphin pin on the McQueen, the fern pin on the Packham, the maple leaf on the Preen). Can you think of other ensembles that have incorporated pins successfully?

  52. My overall thoughts are, that if the Duchess is trying to fit in with the kiddies then she did a great job! If she wouldv left her hair in a sophisticated style then the suit would look less juvenile. I mean that skirt. Also too short for her regal status.
    Ive been so disappointed lately.
    Sigh.

    • I have also been so disappointed in her choices for a long time.

      I used to want to run out and buy most of what she wore, but now I can’t even remember the last time I liked anything enough to even consider it.

      I wasn’t even excited when we learned of the Paris trip, because it will probably just be more of me same. I don’t know what changed but I miss 2011 Kate!

  53. My, but this is a short skirt. An extra tier would have made it just right in length. While the black tights and boots complement the suit better than stilettos and nude stockings, the skirt is skimpy and juvenile. At an event with children, where bending is part of the agenda, Kate would have to be careful not to expose too much. The black accessories are fine, but yellow earrings would not have been my choice. Surely the royal vaults have ruby or garnet studs, or ever pearl earrings would have complimented the red better.

    Although we often say, that the Duchess just didn’t get it quite right in her dress, nobody can deny, that her greatest assets are her smile and her warmth. She engages so well with children and puts those around her at ease.

  54. Did the suit seem to fit her better in 2012? I should like this outfit because I like all the elements separately but all together it just appears too unpolished. I’m disappointed because I felt that she was on a great run clothing wise.

  55. Overall I like this look, but I’m unsure of the three tier seaming on the skirt. It pulls my gaze downward too often.

  56. Love this suit. Some might say it’s a bit short, and it might be if she weren’t wearing opaque tights, but I think she styled it correctly. Love the repeat.

    Am I correct in thinking her hair is darker? Or is that the lighting?

  57. When I first saw photos of this engagement I cringed assuming Kate would be wearing her usual high heels. I was very pleasantly surprised to see the Stuart Weitzman boots! I am not sure about the black turtle neck with the shape of the collar on her jacket, but that is a minor quibble. It is so just so lovely to see her break out a bit with this look.

    • I love the boots as well. I agree with previous posts…the skirt is just too short. There are so many nice tailored pants out there, why not give it a try for an engagement such as this? I even think a smart tunic with leggings would have been better suited for an event with activities and young children.

  58. I’ve managed to come full circle on this outfit. At first glance I was decidedly unhappy: the short, badly hung skirt, the awkward sit of the jacket, the crude clips holding Kate’s hair back, her knobbly knees left protruding above the boots.

    But as has happened before in Kate-wonderland the enthusiasts finally swayed me, and I just sort of got it. I think it was when I realised what a good idea it was to have flat boots with a relatively low-key appearance, especially in the company of small children.

    And there’s the not inconsiderable influence of the warmth of her interactions with those youngsters. Somehow dressing-down and mucking-in are very much what Kate is about. Her role extends well beyond considerations of current fashion; she represents a venerable institution which has lasted beyond its time and into ours. And she’s the bridge between the traditions of centuries and the immediacy of today with all the faux-familiarity we feel through our internet connection with all she does.

    And I think her clothes reflect that. The suit does sit awkwardly, a studio shot shows a longer skirt, Kate’s having presumably been pulled up by her long torso and rendered out of proportion with a jacket made heavier by the discrepancy. And a true fashionista would spend more time with a tailor and juggling fittings.

    But the faults are not major and she fits in so well with her audience that I think the outfit works well enough, even with that mismatch in the colour of the earrings. The boots at least are quite lovely!

    And we did get a lovely dose of glam from her on the last outing and no one gets it right every time and she’s way too much in the public eye for the least thing to go unnoticed. I salute her for carrying on in such good heart despite the style nay-sayers.

    • So true, ElizaMo! It must be so difficult to look just like everyone wants Kate to look– decorous but youthful, timeless but fashionable, and perfectly appropriate while taking part in a wide range of activities, from a running race to a state dinner!

    • Well said ElizaMo. I couldn’t agree more.

    • Thank you for kind comments — it’s great when we can find common cause on here :-)

    • I think you’ve captured the essence of why we love Kate in your thoughts. If one examines the individual components of her style, you can usually find somethings amiss in a perfect sense of style. But she somehow overcomes that to make the whole greater than the sum of the parts. Largely speaking, she infuses her outfits with her personality, not the other way ’round. And that helps us enjoy the overall effect if we don’t get hung up in the details.

      I do think the front button on the jacket could have been shifted to improve the fit. But other than that, I have no real complaints. I think the majority of the “too short” debate on the suit misses the point that it is a sophisticated take on the skater-dress style. Maybe it’s a style better suited to women under 25, but in no way so grossly inappropriate that Kate deserves the roasting she’s receiving for it.

      I have long thought Paula Ke’s aesthetic to be a soulmate for Kate. This suit just doesn’t capture that potential, in my opinion. What a thrill it would be to see a new look from this label on the Paris trip!

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