Jul 202017
 

As the royal tour continues, we see Kate once again practicing fashion diplomacy via her clothing. Today’s first example is a dress from one of her go-to designers, Jenny Packham.

©RONALD WITTEK/EPA/REX/Shutterstock

©RONALD WITTEK/EPA/REX/Shutterstock

Kate and William started the day in Heidelberg; the city is a twin (akin to a sister city) to Cambridge. In a comment, Lara points out that yellow is the color of Baden Württemberg, where Heidelberg is located. The duo’s first engagement was at the German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg. Below you see the Duke and Duchess with board members from the Centre.

Via German Cancer Research Centre @DKFZ

Via German Cancer Research Centre @DKFZ

The couple learned about the latest research techniques.

Via German Cancer Research Centre @DKFZ

Via German Cancer Research Centre @DKFZ

Accompanying Kate and William, Winfried Kretschmann, governor of the state of Baden-Württemberg (behind Kate).

@DKFZ

@DKFZ

Then it was time for a walkabout in Heidelberg’s Marketplatz, or Market Square, with Mayor Prof. Dr. Eckart Würzner as their tour guide.

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

Next, a pretzel making contest. More from The Express:

The royal couple also got their hands dirty as they were pictured trying their hand at making traditional German pretzels during a vist to a market in the Central Square.

Kate giggled and appeared to tease William as he had a go in front of a crowd of revellers in the centre of the market.

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

This brought back memories of the cooking class Kate and William took in 2011 at Quebec’s renowned Institut de Tourisme et d’Hôtellerie

Duke Duchess Cambridge Cooking Class Quebec 2011 Kate Middleton Chef uniform

©Robin Nunn/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

They also tried making sweeties.

Now to what Kate wore, starting with the Jenny Packham dress.

©James Whatling

©James Whatling

Crafted from what I initially thought was a brocade, the dress is made in a fabric that is more like a lace (thank you to Sarah for the heads-up on this). In a comment Alexa suggests it may be ‘linen with appliqued lace or embroidery,’ and I bet she is right. The color is either a sunny yellow or rich gold, depending on the lighting. I like Jessica’s word in a comment; she referred to the color as marigold.

©Stephen Lock / i-Images / Polaris

©Stephen Lock / i-Images / Polaris

The dress features a fitted bodice with princess seaming that is accentuated by white piping. It also has a set-in waistband with box pleats that create the volume in the skirt. (I initially thought there was an asymmetrical front flap, but Erin pointed out in a comment that was really a trick of the way the skirt fell in that particular photo.)

©James Whatling

©James Whatling

The dress looks like it may have that beautiful sheen and the floral motif is very pretty, but the fabric somehow makes the dress look heavy.

The Duchess wore a new pair of earrings by Oscar de la Renta, the brand’s Pearl Star Button earrings ($175). They are made with gold plated pewter and glass (or resin, depending on the retailer’s description) pearls. The style is also available at Neiman Marcus, as well as Halsbrook. Our thanks to Katie on Twitter for the speedy identification of the earrings.

©REX, Shutterstock/Oscar de la Renta/Halsbrook

©REX, Shutterstock/Oscar de la Renta/Halsbrook

Kate carried an Alexander McQueen suede clutch she has used previously.

©REX/Shutterstock

©REX/Shutterstock

And wore her Fleur espadrille wedges by Monsoon. These made perfect sense for the cobblestone streets Kate had to walk on but seemed casual in contrast to the dress.

Monsoon / REX

Monsoon / REX, Shutterstock

The Duke and Duchess did a quick change of clothing and headed to the River Neckar for a friendly rowing competition, with each leading a team.

©Stephen Lock/i-Images

©Stephen Lock/i-Images

This video shows Kate and William as they head to the River and gives you a sense of the crowd size.

More from Robert Jobson’s Evening Standard story:

The Royal couple renewed their friendly sporting rivalry as they faced off in a competitive boat race during their visit to the picturesque city of Heidelberg.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took to the waters of the River Neckar and were both charged with steering their respective boats.

The Duchess with her team.

German Embassy (Click photo to visit Embassy Twitter feed)

German Embassy (Click photo to visit Embassy Twitter feed)

The Evening Standard piece noted that Kate “….jokingly told her crew: “No pressure, but I do want to beat my husband!”

William looking over at Kate’s team.

German Embassy (Click photo to visit Embassy Twitter feed)

German Embassy (Click photo to visit Embassy Twitter feed)

Longtime followers of the couple will remember another event in Canada during the 2011 tour; only the teams were in dragon boats.

Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

Prince William was the victor on that occasion.

Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

That was also the case today. From The Telegraph’s story:

They have a long history of friendly spousal rivalry.  It was the Duke of Cambridge who had cause to gloat today, after he beat the Duchess in a Royal boat race.

The Duke punched the air after his boat crossed the finish line narrowly ahead of his wife,

William’s team took first place, but both Cambridges were awarded medals.

©Zak Hussein

©Zak Hussein

After the race steins of beer were hoisted in celebration.

©James Whatling

©James Whatling

Kate’s top is by Hugo Boss.

German Embassy  (Click photo to visit Twitter feed)

German Embassy (Click photo to visit Twitter feed)

We saw the return of Kate’s Superga Cotu Classic trainers. We show them at Nordstrom, they are also available at Superga, and at Zappos. They are $65 at all three retailers.

©Zak Hussein

©Zak Hussein

NOTE: Kate and William are headed back to Berlin, and we will have a separate post for their evening event. We will continue updating this post with images and information.

  120 Responses to “It’s Jenny Packham & Hugo Boss Breton Stripes on Day 4 of the Royal Tour”

  1. Thank you for your entertaining, respectful (and sometimes even educational) blog.
    I like the new shorter hair !
    It looks a lot less heavy and more youthful.
    I always thought fashion was something superficial but starting to understand that it can be anything from fun to diplomacy . yellow is the colour of the state of Baden Württemberg.

  2. I can’t pinpoint exactly why but I am so in love with this dress. The sleeve length is just perfect, the colour makes Kate shine and look so tan, and I love the full skirt. I really hope we see this one make a few repeats! The sun earrings were a great touch. I wish she had just left the clutch behind though since she barely carried it anyway, and brought back the long-abandoned LK Bennett black Maddox wedge instead of the sand-coloured wedges. Otherwise that look was just great, it even looked flattering under the apron.

    I am always amazed that Kate seems to trot out another new Breton stripe when the occasion calls for it, but I really like this one. The twisted collar is a nice addition. Sadly I’m sure it’s a bit out of my price range and unlike the Duchess, who undoubtedly has an enormous walk-in closet, I can’t justify buying another striped top!

    Love the choice of events for today as well. The two seemed to really enjoy themselves, especially at the pretzel-making. And as a (half-)German myself, I get a kick out of seeing them with those huge steins. What a great day!

  3. I like the yellow dress but I have to agree that the shoes are really off – the style and the color. I can see the need for wedges on those streets, but there are plenty of dressier looking ones. These just look too casual for the dress.

  4. I think she is a true neutral toned gal, all colors seem to work on her. Love the dress. Flats would look good, but I don’t think she likes flats for engagements. It’s nice to have additional height amongst crowds, one can see better.

    I like the earrings – hope there is a replikate to it, wil surely pounce on one. Personally, I like her wearing costume jewellery; easier to replicate than those from the royal vault.

  5. According to the comments of some people: Kate has no fashion sense at all, she doesn’t know how to accessorize her outfits, they don’t like her fashion choices, they don’t like her makeup, they don’t like her hair, they don’t like her posture, they think her fashion is, not only, not exciting, but it is boring, boring, boring. They think she dresses like an old woman. Why are these people visiting a forum dedicated to the fashion of the Duchess of Cambridge then? Do they like to suffer? No insult intended. I am just curious.

  6. She looks like a beautiful daffodil. I love the whole outfit.

  7. Some people may not like the “dreaded” wedges; but Kate loves them. The reason she likes them is because wedges are supremely comfortable and kind on the feet. I know first-hand because I own several pairs of lovely wedges, and I adore them. It is very easy to find fault with Kate’s choice of shoes, but it is SHE the one that has to stand or walk for long periods in the hot summer weather. Wedges allow the feet to touch more surface area thus taking a lot of the strain off of the balls of the feet. Wedges keep the arch of the feet supported. Wedges give feet cushioning from the ground. Wedges support ankles and put less strain on the calf muscles of the legs. Wedges give more balance than high heels. Wedges are fashionable and a good pair (like Kate’s) can be worn day or night with any outfit. Wearing wedges is like having real shoes for your feet, while still getting to keep everything sophisticated you love about heels. And, finally and most important: Kate has a right to her personal preferences and tastes.

    • Possibly also a safety requirement for the laboratory that she wore closed toe shoes without a pointed heel.

  8. My favorite dress of the tour. I love the classic fit and flare style and the tailoring is impeccable. Too bad this style of dress never seems to look good on me! Didn’t care for the earrings or the shoes.

  9. Agree with everything Thrift at Home said about the dress. Also love the sleeves and the waistband is in perfect proportion to the whole. I, too, at first thought the fabric was a brocade, which I’d have preferred, but still appreciate the texture and substance of this. Overrall, the color, length, fabric and silhouette achieves that neat, effortless look that’s fitting to her role. Well done.

    The shoes, however… (and I’m a fan of wedges, espadrilles etc.) don’t work. In particular, I’ve never liked the modified rounded point of the toe of these. And the color is a total miss with the dress. Beneath this dress they look dirty, even though they likely aren’t. As a result they just look pedestrian. A white, ivory, or as others suggested, navy, would have been fine. As for the earrings and clutch, yeah. Her accessory game still needs help.

    But, I’m delighted by this Jenny Packham and coupled with the dress by the Polish designer, the DoC has had two big wins on this trip.

  10. Love the dress.

    Those shoes with such a bright coloured dress look kind of dirty. I’m sure they aren’t, but they just looked tired and drab.

    Maybe some navy wedges or white sAndals?

    Love the casual boating outfit.

  11. Both of her outfits here are very much what the Duchess would wear. I like both.

  12. I don’t get why people are saying Kate had to wear closed toe shoes in the lab. There is lady in the group, probably works there, wearing open toed sandals. Obviously, sandals are not a problem at all. Kate probably just chose these wedges because she likes them. But it is funny reading people’s theories.

  13. Ivanka Trump recently wore a dress VERY similar to this one!

  14. I love the yellow, love the casual outfit (jeans and striped top, sneakers). The wedges are just so out of place. This has happened with several of her outfits over the past few years. I have a few pairs of similar espadrille wedges and they simply do no go with everything. The linen and rope are just too casual with anything but jeans or casual sundresses. Given the Duchess’s height, I think a ballet flat would’ve been better if the concern was the cobblestone street.

  15. I think this outfit is great. The dress is cut beautifully and works with the heavy fabric. The piping emphasizes the lines and shape of the bodice – really well done tailoring. The floral motif is so pretty – not too delicate, which I like. She looks surprisingly good in yellow – maybe that’s the power of makeup – but a nice clear strong yellow is always a winner for me. The dress is unusual without being strange, I think, and I think the wedges are fine with it – summery and not competing with the strength of the dress. The earrings are pretty, too, and I think they go well. Overall, good job, Kate!

  16. I’m not quite sure how I feel about the piping, but I always love seeing yellow. I think the cut of the dress is perfectly fine, despite so many criticisms. There’s something to be said for the comfort of being covered. I’m a few years younger than Kate and I often wear similarly cut dresses to work. It’s a style that allows one to move comfortably without worry of any wardrobe mishaps, which I’m sure is a concern when doing walkabouts and other events where the camera may be at any angle.

    I loved the introduction of a sky blue Breton stripe! I may have to add something similar to my wardrobe.

  17. The dress seems too dressy for their activities, it’s basically a daytime cocktail dress. The color looks fine on her, but the shoes are a big miss. I think ballet flats would’ve been perfect, dressy yet casual and comfortable.

    She’s continued to wear skin tight jeans/pants. I don’t understand why she’s so conservative with dresses and shoes but will wear tight skinny jeans.

  18. It appears that no ones likes her footwear. Interesting there has been several articles written in other publications about her footwear and why she went with the safe option. It Was all about the uneveness of the cobblestones and the dangers of catching a heal and injuring herself. I would have thought that safety was paramount to everyone over fashion.

    • No one thinks that the Duchess should wear unsafe footwear or something impractical for cobblestones. We just wish she wore something better than those tired, old wedges.

      • Considering she was going into a lab that requires closed in shoes and well as negotiating cobblestones I am not exactly sure what people think she could have worn. Sandals not allowed, perhaps ballet flats but that would have attracted criticism as welk. poor girl can’t win!!!

    • I think it is just those who like wedges and those that do not, or like me only like wedges with bell bottom jeans. There are plenty of safe waking shoes that are very sophisticated looking. I am not a fan of her dress, mainly I do not like the fabric or color, but maybe better in person.

  19. I’m sorry, this dress literally looks like she took the drapes down and made a dress. The fabric looks so heavy and once again, the cut of the dress is for someone 15 years her senior. I understand she is the future queen and she needs to be conservative, but what about a higher waist on this or a square neckline? Maybe a pop of a contrasting color?

    • The drapes worked pretty well for Scarlet O’Hara!

    • Agreed. I disagree with others that the lavender Wickstead was too heavy, but the marigold absolutely looks like drapes. For me, a miss. And the wedges are usually a favorite of mine, but the dress is far too formal for them. Overall, the tour looks have been very well done, however.

  20. Gorgeous dress
    Dump the shoes
    Not sure the lab specified closed-toed shoes as another lady in the photo is wearing open-toed sandals?

  21. I like the outfit. It is sunny and ensures that she stands out in any crowd wherever she is,
    a practical tip she has learnt from the Queen. Also she would have been able to move well in it as a prior comment suggested. She would have had to wear closed shoes for the visit to the laboratory as this is standard practice for an establishment such as this. It is in fact a legal requirement in may countries under health and safety rules as she would not have had time to change them in between places they were visiting. Great they were able to relax in the boat race.

  22. I love the color of this dress on the Duchess. It’s such a refreshing color on her.

  23. Wasn’t Hugo Boss a nazi tho? Seems an odd choice to wear in Germany.

  24. I do think a different shoe would’ve suited the Jenny Packham better. I have to wonder if her feet were just aching her after all these days in such high heels. Sometimes comfort wins. She’s still the most gorgeous ever to me.

  25. Another mostly win for me! I think the dress is impeccable, I love love love it! The tailoring and piping add just the right amount of interest–not so much that it adds too much busyness to the lace pattern, but enough so that it doesn’t look like “just a dress” in need of some accessorizing. In terms of accessories, I adore those earrings and agree with the choice not to wear a necklace.

    The shoes and clutch were, I think, soft misses. While I agree that a nude color was the way to go with this dress, the shoes seemed a bit too casual and the clutch a bit too stiff and formal. I think a suede shoe with a stable heel would have fit the look better, as well as a more relaxed clutch in a suede that matched the shoe.

  26. I think that Catherine looks lovely in this dress although I could not count it as one of my favourite looks for her. Her shoes are a very practical option that I understand – cobbles are a very awkward and uncomfortable surface to walk on – you need to feel very stable – it is easy to stumble. If however you require a shoe with a solid sole to cope with the walking surface why not wear a smart tailored trouser and top. Endless possibilities for pretty fabric options with this look. Catherine does seem to favour the dress option though so the wedges remain the footwear of choice for her.

    She looks great in the casual clothing option – that particular colour Beton top looks wonderful on her.

    Looking forward to seeing this evenings dress option.

  27. First I thought she chose a closed toe shoe b/c of the lab visit, but then one researcher is wearing an open toe sandal… the color of her shoes don’t match the dress – her LK Bennett wedges come in white as well (peep toe and closed if I recall right) and I think a white shoe would have made thr outfit even sunnier/ lighter.

  28. As a former coxswain, I was thrilled to see Kate in the coxie’s seat of a rowing shell. Somewhat surprised they didn’t give her the microphone coxies usually wear to communicate with the crew, but I suppose that as she and Will (presumably) have no coxing experience it wouldn’t have been very useful. They did put them out in wooden boats; in Canada the wooden shells are usually the “older” boats and given to less experienced crews so that if there is a mishap, it’s less costly (when I was rowing ten years ago we were told our carbon Empaucher 8+ shell was around $50,000 Canadian; the wooden boats are quite a bit less). I hope they had a great time rowing – maybe it will pique an interest in the sport and we’ll see them at the Cambridge-Oxford matches (obviously cheering the Cambridge crews!) Thanks for the wonderful coverage of the tour, I’m really enjoying it.

    • I was looking for the mic as well! :)

    • I believe the DOC has had some experience as a coxswein. When she and William broke up she was practicing as a coxie in a boat for a race to cross the English Channel (I believe that was the location). She had to drop out for security reasons when she and William got back together.

      • Carol, that is so interesting! Thanks for mentioning. It makes me strangely happy that the Duchess and I have a life experience in common! :)

  29. I love a yellow dress on my two year old, but not on Kate, and I can’t think of many pale adults who can pull this colour off. It doesn’t make her look awful, of course not, but it certainly doesn’t flatter her. As for the dress itself – well, someone has written here that it’s ‘interesting’ and I think that’s indeed the best description. The wedges – I never objected to them before, but they really stand out like a sore thumb. I don’t want to see Kate or anyone else killing themselves in uncomfortable footwear for the sake of appearances, but this time her stylist really let her down. Having said that, I loved reading thing great blog and the comments as usual, and Kate and William exuded charm and great energy, also as usual!

    • I also am not a fan of wedges, but Kate loves them. Like you I wish she would find a comfy shoe, which I am sure she needed today, as well as safe for the roads/walk, that is more updated and sophisticated than the wedges she wears. The few times I have seen a cute wedge was on either a much younger person, i.e. teen, or the styling of the shoe was much more sophisticated, not with the rope/hemp, and you need a small foot. The ones she wears seem to me best for wearing under jeans or a summer loose linen pant.

  30. Eek! I’m sorry if I sound rude, but today’s outfit is a huge MISS for me! That color is just too much and the way the fabric looks just looks like awful upholstery. The shoes do not go with the dress at all either. I actually love those wedges, but not with this outfit. The cut, style and fit of the dress looks amazing on her, but it just looks “off” and out of place to me. The earrings don’t make sense to me either! Her hair is looking amazing and I am in love with the cut and color. As always, thank you for the great posts! Also, I LOVE when her and Prince William participate in competitive activities. They are so cute and it shows how much fun they still have together! Here’s to hoping for a better, enviable outfit tomorrow LOL!

  31. I absolutely LOVE this dress! I can see it’s a controversial choice for some, but I just think it’s different, it’s fun, it shines. My first thought when I saw the colour was that it was just like the baltic amber the DoC was gifted in Poland.

    Those t-shirts on the boats made me laugh. What’s the kind of ship that never sinks? A freundship!

  32. I love this dress! I would buy it myself (if I could afford it, or have access to bespoke Packham!). Classic Kate cut, summery, and I love yellow since not many people can carry it off. I also love those earrings, I was very excited when I first saw the photos, and then my eyes fell to the dreaded wedges, my heart sank :-( Why didn’t she at least rewear the beige sandals…?

    I’ve come the conclusion Kate doesn’t really have the eye for accesorizing. Her shoes, on far too many occasions, fail the outfit. I know people hate Letizia vs. Kate, but google ‘Letizia shoes’ and look at the images. Her shoes are fabulous, fun, funky, and still appropriate IMO. Kate could learn a thing or too.

    • Lulu, you and others may not like the “dreaded” (as you refer to them) wedges; but Kate loves them. The reason she likes them is because wedges are supremely comfortable and kind on the feet. I know first-hand because I own several pairs of lovely wedges, and I adore them. It is very easy to find fault with Kate’s choice of shoes, but it is SHE the one that has to stand or walk for long periods in the hot summer weather. Wedges allow the feet to touch more surface area thus taking a lot of the strain off of the balls of the feet. Wedges keep the arch of the feet supported. Wedges give feet cushioning from the ground. Wedges support ankles and put less strain on the calf muscles of the legs. Wedges give more balance than high heels. Wedges are fashionable and a good pair (like Kate’s) can be worn day or night with any outfit. Wearing wedges is like having real shoes for your feet, while still getting to keep everything sophisticated you love about heels. And, finally and most important: Kate has a right to her personal preferences and tastes.

      • I agree with Lulu. As for the comment above on the benefit of wedges. There are many beautiful wedges. These are not one of them. The Duchess spends the same amount of time in beautiful stilettos at similar events so I think she manages height and comfort very well. These frumpy odd coloured wedges should be retired. I wonder at how she thought to pair these with a dress with its stiff skirt and overlaid material

        • I heartily agree with Lucia. Whomever does not like wedge shoes is free not to wear them. Kate likes wedges, so she has a right to wear them and whatever else she sees fit to wear, whenever and wherever she wants to. She doesn’t need the prior approval of anyone on her fashion preferences.

  33. I love yellow, and I’m a little jealous because I can’t wear that color, but Kate clearly can! This pretty brocade fit and flare is a perfect day dress; I could also see it as a cocktail hour dress.
    Some people hate brocade. I happen to love it, so I’m very happy with her choice!

    The casual pictures from the boat race are fun to see. Comparing Kate’s hairdo today to previous years, this new cut is so fresh and youthful. There’s obviously banter and competition between the Cambridges!

    This reminds me of many photos where Prince Philip and the Queen are seen trading quips and laughter during public appearances and tours. It helps to have a companion who can lighten up the mood while carrying out the duties that come with their positions.

    • I actually do not think yellow is a good color on her:). The boat race photos are very fun, love that they can have a bit of fun.

  34. I love all the responses and on this day they all seem to be similar. On that note I just have to wonder about the shoes as well. Maybe she got a blister, or her feet were just aching from all the sky high shoes she wears. I wonder how she does it. I agree a cut little flat would have looked summery and fresh in white and she would have been comfortable. But even flats, when new, can cause blisters and they have to be broken in. On hot days and long walk abouts on your feet, I bet it is certainly not easy! I can see why she went for a super comfy already worn in shoe.
    Her dress I thought was pretty and typical Kate. Looked comfortable and easy to wear. I think a pony would have been great today too. Still not loving the middle part.

    Cant wait to see tonights or tomorrows post. This is so fun, Thank you for all your hard work!

  35. I like the dress material, but agree, it’s quite heavy looking. I actually think that the changing up the sleeves could have helped with that. Either sleeveless or even a cap sleeve would have helped lighten it up. The earrings are cute and whimsical. I don’t mind the look of the wedges as much as others, but I agree that the pairing seems off. The Stuart Weitzman Sandal she wore in Poland would have been nice in my opinion. I like the reasoning that she was going to the lab later on. It is typically lab policy to wear closed toe shoes for safety reasons. Whether they were enforcing that is another thing (the lady behind her in the picture had on sandals), but if it’s my own safety, closed shoes are better.

    • Eileen, while I am not going to ever like the fabric or the color I think you idea of if it was sleeveless making a big difference is spot on. I can see that perfectly, thanks for planting that idea in my head.

  36. Pretty color, furniture upholstery fabric. Those wedges need to be retired. There are lots of chunky but cute sandals or even pumps that would have been fine on the cobblestones.

    Given here color choices yesterday and today, thinking a black dress tonight (no lace please!!!)?

  37. I really like this dress, including the piping, but in examining photos I’m having a hard time seeing a sheen to it, so I’m not as convinced it’s a silk – it looks more like a cotton or cotton-blend with the heavier lace effect. I would love to see the fabric up close! But it’s a pretty color, and the white backing takes it away from “dressing the flag” into a straightforward summery dress. The wedges aren’t my favorite, Kate definitely has other options that would work better, but if she was concerned about the pain of walking on uneven cobblestoned streets, perhaps she felt comfort would overrule perfect accessorizing.

    I like that the earrings echo the centers of the flowers in the lace pattern, a pretty addition to the look.

    Another Breton top in her fleet, but I do like this color blue.

    Once again, she and William look like they are having a lovely time in each other’s company, and interacting with the German citizens. Wedges or no, right/wrong clutch, etc. – they are perfectly accessorized with smiles and enthusiasm. I hope the kids are having a grand time as well, and they are able to carve out some family time during the day.

    • Couldn’t agree more about Kate and William always being the most charming of guests.

      Sometimes I feel bad about criticizing Kate’s wardrobe choices when she’s so amazing in all the ways that matter, but I feel that we all are Superfans of the person she is and fashion is fun!

  38. The yellow dress looks like upholstery fabric. As for the casual outfit, there are so many better options.

  39. The color of the dress is beautiful, and I love how she stood out in the large crowds. The design of the dress didn’t wow me, but I am glad to see her in JP again..seems like its been while.

    I literally groaned out loud when I spotted those wedges. Arrrggghhh. I saw a photo of Natasha wearing a similar pair the other day on Instagram and thought, “Oohhhh maybe Kate’s passed them on and we’ve seen the last of them!” Sadly, no. ;-)

  40. This is a ‘bad scroll’ outfit – it starts good (hair, makeup), top of dress is fine, bottom of dress is a bit off (could have been a pencil, or fuller, instead it’s just meh and has a weird flap (pleat)), keep going and the shoes are awful.

    • I agree! As soon as I spotted those wedges in the first full length photo, it just bombed for me.

      • Walking on cobblestones and especially in that location requires skill and being mindful of location.

        • I agree wedges are practical, but these are very casual and don’t make sense with the dress. There are lots of other options – block heels, for example; or even cute wedges, of which there are many! I have 8 pairs of wedges, since they’re handy for walking to work if you don’t want to be thinking about avoiding subway grates the whole way – and none that I have are this casual.

    • Oh I so agree. It’s ‘great…good…uh oh…NOOOOOO’ process as one scrolls down. Those wedges are just not the right choice here and dare I say it’s time to retire them completely. Her nude block sandals would have worked fine on the cobblestones here. The dress is prettier from far away but up close it looks like a very heavy fabric with some juvenile touches (the piping PLUS the pleats). Not a win.

      Love those earrings though, and they look very cute with her sporty top. Those sneakers are growing on me, making me wonder if I need a pair…

    • I also agree. A pencil would have worked with this fabric. She looks lost in it. I would have like a different neckline. She looks like she borrowed her mother’s dress. And the dress has a white background, does it not? Why not a white shoe? Or a yellow? Or a contrasting color for some wow.

  41. I happen to LOVE yellow, so I may be biased, but I think Kate looks perfectly lovely in this sunshiny dress. It makes me happy just looking at it.
    Those particular shoes may well be boring, dull, predictable, practical, etc… but their very blandness is what makes it so hard for me to feel passionate enough about them to actually consider her “an embarrassment to all women” for wearing them (perspective). They just sort of blend into the background of the outfit for me.
    I also noticed in one of the pics of William and Kate above, his navy goes well with Kate’s yellow, and her shoe color and even the fabric they are made out of compliment his jacket quite well.
    All in all, I think they both looked quite happy with today’s activities and each other with Kate radiating joy and respect with her clothing.

  42. This is a good choice for the day. I happen not to be a fan of yellow, and I don’t think it’s the best color for Kate. I’m imagining how beautiful this could be if the lace detail was in fuchsia or purple, or even orange. The yellow is fine if you like it, though. Cobblestones are tough in most shoes, but maybe a ballet flat would have looked nicer with the dress. The open toe sandals would have looked great, but maybe they just weren’t comfortable. At least the striped shirt we all knew she’d wear is not navy.

    • Ballet flats would indeed have looked pretty here – my only worry would be that the typically thin soles might again be painful on those cobblestones. Such a lovely backdrop for Old World cities, but that surface is definitely a challenge.

  43. Oh boy – it’s summer and time for the ubiquitous espadrille wedge. These NEVER look dressy. Rather ruins the whole look. And another blue striped top and skinny jeans :(

  44. I am conflicted on this. I kind of like it but it also kind of looks like a couch. I think I will probably lean toward liking it in spite of the fact that it looks like upholstery. But the wedges, UGH. A pair of white sandals would have looked a million times better. I am also not into her 80s jewelry kick…these are sort of like her two pairs of giant faux pearl earrings in that they look like they walked off the set of Dynasty.

  45. I love this look and all the little details. The general cut of the dress is simple but its the fabric and piping that really make it stand out. The tailoring is perfect and very flattering on her. Personally I love the color and weight of the fabric. Its very 60′s in feel and the sunburst earrings really give it that retro feel. Then again, I always love it when she wears a bold pattern. I agree that the suede wedges may not have been the best choice, but i certainly do not hate them and they seem to be in stride with what William was wearing. Maybe those patent leather nude wedges?

    P.s. I think it so adorable whenever they get an opportunity to be competitive.

  46. I really like this dress. I like the fabric, the color, the cut, even the piping. This is a dress I could totally see hanging in my own closet (except for the $$$). The shoes are meh for me. I could take ‘em or leave ‘em.

    I love all the Breton stripe tops she wears. I need to add more to my closet. They are so useful and usually pretty flattering.

    • I am with you on the Breton stripe tops. I have one in the color worn today (though not a Hugo Boss one).

      The dress was lovely – very summery. I do not understand why there is such the hatred of the espadrilles. When one is standing and walking a great deal (particularly on all different kinds of surfaces), it is important to wear a pair of shoes that one finds comfortable. After all, how can one be smiling, gracious, and totally involved if one’s feet are hurting? The espadrilles would provide the height so she could be seen and the cushioning for the feet. My guess is that she might well pair the dress with a different pair of shoes if we see it again for another occasion.

  47. It’s fun to see the return of old Kate staples in the shape of wedges and Breton stripes — business as usual on Planet Kate. I love the dress, the rich brocade style maybe ties in with the history of a medieval town. The main colour is lovely and cheerin, and nicely contained by a pale cream background.

    The neckline has been prettily cut and I like the princess seaming and piping along with the set-in waistband. The box pleats are a neat way to work in fullness without too much bulk. Above all it looks comfortable, essential for activities varying from peering through microscopes to rolling out pretzel dough.

    I love the new earrings and have no difficulty in summery shoes with a sunny dress. I can’t see how they would be at all safe on cobbles thoug, as they can be so unstable on any uneven surface.

    The main activity of course was the rowing and Kate’s return to skinny pants and striped top was predictable and practical. At least we have a change of colour tone – looks like another outing for EU blue.

  48. I love the dress and I love the Monsoon wedges.
    The shoes were perfect for this outing and quite necessary; it was the dress was just wrong. The wavy nude strappy sandals worn last night would have looked great with this gorgeous dress. But not for today.
    Something in yellow broderie or cotton would have been a better choice.

  49. The dress is beautiful. I think a navy shoe (even her navy wedges) would have really looked better than the neutrals with a yellow. Also the navy would have been a nice match with her ring! I don’t mind the wedges, just a darker colour would have given her some “pop” and really would have elevated this look.

    On another note, does Kate not like ALine dresses? They are so flattering on every body type. She seems to always go to the pleats, cinched waist, short sleeve/3/4 quarter. Is it a royal faux pas to wear sleeveless? I have seen Sophie wear sleeveless, Michelle Obama, Princess Letizia, etc. With Kate’s great physique she could really pull off a classic sheath/A line sleeveless dress, especially on these summer outdoor appearances. And, those wedges would still be ‘ok’ for her ;)
    Any thoughts?

    • The Catherine Walker at Wimbledon was A-line. It did look nice on her. :) But you are right that she rarely wears that silhouette. I suspect she finds the full or pencil skirts easier to manage with all that sitting, standing, bending, crouching (to interact with children). A-lines do have a tendency to ride up and reveal too much, especially when knee-length or above.

    • I’m sure she could go sleeveless for some of these events if she wanted. Like anything it would not always be appropriate but I don’t think its automatically banned (like I think a sheath dress with a blazer could have been appropriate for the concentration camp visit, then she could have removed the blazer for the street party.)

  50. I agree that the wedges do not pair well with the dress…but it just occurred to me while looking at pictures in the DM article that perhaps she was required to wear close-toed shoes to the research institute. Perhaps the lab coats were for show, but often there are regulations like that in place in hospitals, institutions, etc… And I do agree they would make walking around on the cobblestones easier.

    I know that the stripes, skinny jeans and Supergas or boat shoes do not come as a surprise, but I love that look every time!

    • I am also really looking forward to an ID on the jeans today. I noticed a little tab on the back right hand pocket in one of the videos – hoping that helps with brand ID :)

      Thank you for all of the wonderful coverage this week!!!

  51. I get why she wore the wedges, but she really needed to wear open-toed cognac or camel-color leather strap wedges. I cannot stand close-toed wedges that are meant for summer. I just think of sweaty feet trapped in there :(

  52. I love the dress, she looks great in that color and it’s a charming style for walking around Heidelberg which is a charming, old city (I have been). I’ve read she probably chose the wedges to make walking easier and safer on the cobblestone streets. That makes sense to me.

  53. I really like this! The yellow is so cheerful and sunny, and the thicker texture makes the lace more hardy, or casual-looking, compared to delicate lace. As long as the dress is made of cotton or silk (and no polyester!), it should be comfortable for summer. I also find the wedges unobjectionable. I admit that I do something similar with my work clothes: since my office is business casual, I try to “dress down” a few things by wearing wedges or sandals. No one has said anything, so I think it’s okay, but perhaps I’ve been committing fashion faux pas. Oh well, at least I’m in good company!

  54. I don’t mind the dress style and like the white piping, but the the fabric reminds me of my granny’s bedspread and curtains. Those shoes! please, please let her stop wearing them soon. The blue version with skinny jeans is cute – but this colour with a dress? No!

  55. I love the dress, such a lovely color that not everyone can pull off! I’m sure plenty of people will be upset with the costume jewelry, but I think the earrings are very pretty and go very well with the dress. I would not have paired the wedges with this outfit. The color is wrong, the style isn’t quite right. To my eye, even a dainty white ballet flat or pointed toe flat would have looked better.

  56. Love the dress, just love it. But I’m wondering if you have the fabric wrong? Here in continental Europe you sometimes see older summer dresses- ie 19th Century and earlier- made from linen with appliqued lace or embroidery. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find out that this dress is something similar, linen with a silk or cotton lace applique.

  57. “These made perfect sense for the cobblestone streets Kate had to walk on but seemed too casual in contrast to the dress”
    Couldn’t have said it better myself. I also agree with the other comments – a wedge was totally necessary for today, but a navy wedge would have been perfection with the yellow. Would have also tied the events together with almost a “nautical” theme.

    This dress is GORGEOUS. Kate is one of the few people who can wear yellow and still look great.

    Side note – my great great grandparents were from Heidelberg! So excited to see a visit there!

  58. Like the silhouette of the dress but not the heavy fabric or piping. Hate the earrings which feel like 80s clip-on earrings and just don’t work with this dress.

    Would have loved to have seen her white Wimbledon bag with this dress and IMO that would have made wedges make more sense.

    Is it just me or is Kate taking many more sartorial ‘chances’ on this tour? Wonder if she has a new stylist?

  59. Very pretty dress! I think she should have worn these shoes with the floral Erdem on Tuesday instead of the open-toed sandals.

  60. I loved the dress. My guess on the shoes (why she didn’t wear yesterday’s sandals today) is that to tour the cancer lab, she had to have closed toe shoes, since they are typically required in a lab setting.

  61. Love her casual look for rowing. The wedges are too casual for the dress. The dress is just OK. Earrings are dreadful.

  62. Beautiful dress, cannot BELIEVE she dragged it down with those wretched wedges!

    • I agree. The wedges just do not work with that dress. Maybe with what she wore last night, but not this dress!

      • I just think it’s time she binned the wedges, or someone prised them from her feet and did it for her!! I wouldn’t really put them with any thing now, they feel like they are from a different era.

  63. I really like that yellow Packham. I am not a fan of the wedges with it though.

    I’m kind of laughing that of course she wore stripes, skinny jeans and her superga shoes for the rowing competition. I feel like we all could have predicted that. But she looks cute and relaxed so hey, if her casual uniform works for her, then good for her.

  64. I love the color and I think she accessorized well. The fabric is interesting. I saw another article that called it a Jenny Packham lace dress. Not sure if they took the description from the designer. At first I also thought it was brocade, but on closer examination (great pictures you put up!) I feel like it is suppose to look like lace (lace like patterns on white background) and it is suppose to be dimensional. But somehow its not quite brocade. Interested to see other comments on the fabric. I do agree that it has a heavy look.

    • Thank you for pointing that out, updating post now! :)

      • I have a couple of dresses with a similar skirt style and this almost always happens to them. I just can’t keep the pleats straight even with lots of steaming and primping. I’ve resorted to simply not wearing them that often unfortunately. I’m not a frequent poster, but I LOVE the blog!

  65. This dress would look better as a fuller skirt or a tulip shape. Pretty colour.

  66. I find the dress….interesting. Can’t come up with a good description of my feelings toward the dress.

    One thing I don’t understand is the choice of footwear on this trip. Why didn’t Catherine wear the espadrilles yesterday and the sandals today? Espadrilles would have gone well with the floral motif and would have been more appropriate for yesterday’s first engagement, while the sandals would have looked much, much better with this gold dress and garnered much less criticism today than they did yesterday. Oh well, everyone makes faux pas at some point in their lives, even the DoC.

    • She didn’t wear any florals yesterday – just the blue coat dress and the red beach dress. Unless I missed a look in between!?

      • The dress underneath the blue coat was a floral lace.

      • My bad, I meant the floral Erdem she wore on Tuesday. We’ve had so many dresses and appearances I can’t keep them straight. I don’t know how the Cambridges do it.

    • I wouldn’t call it a faux pas if she elected to wear sandals yesterday instead of today, it’s not as if she’s breaking a fashion “rule”. And from the looks of the heel last night, I know I wouldn’t want to be walking through cobblestoned market squares and streets in those – no thanks! Garden party is more than sufficient for that pair.

  67. Is that an asymmetrical front flap? To me it looks like the pleat has gone awry — probably because of all of the walking and activity of the day. In the first picture of the post, it simply looks like two box pleats (at leas I think they are box pleats) on the front of the skirt. I think one of the pleats isn’t laying right in that up close picture because the fabric is so heavy.

  68. Great little dress from Jenny Packham…too bad it’s paired here with those dreadful Monsoon wedges. (Yes, I understand why flat heels were necessary for this outing, but why these? Why? WHY??)

  69. I think this is my favorite dress yet! It reminds me a little bit of the outfit Michelle Obama wore to the 2008 inauguration (at least the color and texture, though it was obviously a quite different cut). It was such a fantastic way to stand out from the crowd and channel sunshine and optimism. Works well on Kate too.

    My only quibble is with the earrings. They seem a little “busy” given the pattern of the dress. Wishing she had stuck to the simple pearl drops.

  70. As always, Kate looks beautiful, even though I don’t really like this dress. The egg yolk yellow is a harsh colour. The brocade look of the fabric makes it look quite formal. Those who felt last night’s red peasant dress was too casual, might have preferred to see the yellow brocade instead. I’m not sure about the white piping on this dress…guess it is just there to add a design element. The earrings remind me of those sunburst clocks and mirrors back in the 70s.

    Although we have seen the Breton striped tops and skinny jeans so many times, as a causal outfit, today’s look has a fresh top in a different colour. Kate looks relaxed and after all those dress up occasions, she must be pleased to be wearing comfortable clothes and easy shoes.

  71. I like the yellow….however I find the ‘I will wear every colour of the countries flag thing’ a little bit disconcerting and over the top.
    For the dress – I like the fabric and the asymetric skirt, however I think the top half does nothing for Kate. It makes her look way bigger than she is. I think if the dress would have had no sleeves and no piping, it might have looked a little bit more modern and grown up!?
    For the shoes and the clutch. I detest the shoes – sorry for the strong words, but I am lacking a better one. I also don’t think that they go with the dress very well. It is a very dressy fabric and very casual shoes. Also even if nude is supposed to go with everything, I am not convinced. I think it really depends on the shade of nude and this one is just off. A more beigy nude would maybe have fit better. (I personally would have chosen some color to offset the heavy fabric of the dress. Maybe a fun blue or even red?)
    For the clutch – I love it and have one myself, however this clearly is an evening piece for me. I would so wish she would get some more daytime appropriate bags, or leave the bag alltogether.

    For the rowing outfit – well classic Kate uniform. Not really exciting isn’t it. At least she seems to have a new pair of jeans that are proper black…

    At the moment I have the feeling she is kind of in the search for her style and hasn’t really arrived there yet….

  72. I have been defending those shoes for a long time, but not today, and not with that lovely, structured dress.

  73. Fun, textured dress in a gorgeous yellow! I understand why she wore espadrilles due to walking tour. Earrrings are fine.

    Can’t wait to read more about the rowing competition as DOC and William are very sporty and competitive themselves!

  74. I love the dress. Perfect for the setting. They are obviously enjoying the tour. My only issue is with the persistent use of neutral shoes and bags. I think her navy espadrilles or black wavy sandals would have been great with this dress. Enough of the neutrals. They do not go with everything.

  75. What a pretty marigold color! It suits her. I love the asymmetrical skirt.

    I’m not sure about the piping, and the shoes look a little too casual for the dress.

    I like the earrings a lot!

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