Jan 272013

We are back with the long-overdue dress polls. In an effort to keep them as manageable as possible we have divided the dresses into three categories:

  1. more casual dresses
  2. dressier frocks
  3. previously worn garments

I did the best I could trying to sort them into appropriate groups, hopefully everyone will be comfortable with how things are categorized.

We begin with the more casual styles. In February Kate opted for a dress by Jesire when visiting the National Portrait Gallery. The double-breasted dress had an exaggerated shawl collar, three-quarter sleeves and full skirt. There was a bit of chatter after Kate’s appearance that the defunct label might be revived, that no longer seems likely.

PA Wire

The Duchess was in an older-season dress by Oasis for her solo visit to Liverpool on Valentine’s Day 2012.  The always-on-top-of-things Kate Middleton Style Blog says the knit dress is an older piece, the most we can add is that the turtleneck dress has long sleeves, and it is knee length.

Kate was busy last February, on the 21st she visited Oxford for engagements with the Art Room. She wore a piece by Irish designer Orla Kiely, the Birdie Shirt Dress. Made of a wool jacquard fabric, the dress has deep pleats in the skirt, side seam pockets, oversized buttons and self-belt.

L: Georgina Brewer ITV Twitter Feed (@GeorginaITV)/R: JJ Eynon Twitter Feed (@JJEynon)

We saw another Kiely dress in March when Prince Charles and Kate visited the Dulwich Gallery. The dress has a floral motif applique at the front neck, full pleated skirt, three-quarter sleeves and a self-belt.  It was part of the brand’s autumn 2011 collection.

Splash News

For her first public speaking engagement in March Kate wore a rich blue dress by Reiss to The Treehouse, a new children’s hospice being opened by EACH. The ‘Trina’ is from an older season, Kate’s mother, Carole Middleton, is said to have worn the dress to Ascot in 2010.  It is double-breasted with an elaborate, oversized collar, scoop pockets at the hip and horizontally pieced fabric about 8 inches above the hem.

Anthony Devlin – PA Wire/Fat Girls Like Nice Dresses Too Blog

Kate wore Amanda Wakeley’s “Sculpted Felt Seamed dress” when visiting the Imperial War Museum with Prince William in April of last year. The fitted dress has three-quarter length sleeves, a slash neck and seam detailing. It came in three colors when originally released, the Duchess was in the Oatmeal version for an engagement at Royal Marsden Hospital in September 2011. The dress gets its name from its “felled seams,” a tailoring technique for a more polished finish on seams.

PA Wire

While Kate and Lupo watched William and Harry play polo she wore a Libelula dress, the Rebecca mermaid blue and brown petal. The knee-length dress is 100% silk, it has contrasting trim at the collar, waist, cuffs and buttons.

James Whatling / Splash News

Many Diamond Jubilee events were in June of last year, our next item is from the Jubilee Concert on June 4th. Photographs were minimal (at best), Kate was in the ‘Bella Body Conscious Dress’ by Whistles.  The fitted dress is shirred at the waist and has an exposed metal zipper on the back; it is mostly silk although the lining is primarily polyester.

PA Wire/Whistles

Kate wore a Stella McCartney dress in July for an appearance at the National Portrait Gallery, the designer’s ‘Ridley’ stretch dress. The most distinctive feature of this piece: the darts on the outside of the garment, usually they are concealed inside a garment. The form fitting dress is is from the fall 2010 collection, it is made of a viscose/acetate blend with a touch of elastane for stretch, and features short sleeves and a hidden back zipper frock.

In July Kate joined Harry & William for the announcement of a new charitable initiative, she wore the ‘Wessex’ dress from Hobbs spring/summer 2012 collection. The piece has a modified boat neck, short sleeves, fitted waist, and full skirt.

Lewis Whyld/PA Wire – Hobbs – Rebecca English/Daily Mail/Mail Online

While visiting the Solomon Islands on the Royal Tour the Duchess went with a sunny yellow Jaeger dress for a busy morning of activity. The dress was knee length, with cap sleeves, a button front, shirt collar, fitted top, full skirt, and a self-belt.

World Vision/Jaeger/Rebecca English, The Daily Mail-Mail Online

Another dress we saw during the tour: Mulberry’s knee-length, sleeveless style in ‘midnight navy’.

Svpply.com/Chris Jackson-PA Wire/Mulberry Courtesy Photo

An “independent dressmaker” created this primrose yellow frock, design elements include a boat neckline, self-belted waistline and unlined short sleeves.

Rebecca English, The Daily Mail-Mail Online/James Whatling, Splash News-Corbis

For the last day of their overseas Tour Kate wore Project D London, the Penelope dress. The silk crepe de chine frock has a fold-down collar, cuffed short sleeves, box pleats and an invisible zipper on the front.

Splash News

When making the historic visit to Cambridge this November Kate wore two pieces by MaxMara Studio, her coat and the dress underneath. The dress has a gathered waist, elbow-length sleeves, full skirt and round neck. It looks to be made of a sheer silk chiffon with a nude underlining.

Splash News/The Telegraph

Now it’s your chance to cast your vote!

For our look at “dressier” pieces (that was the best term I could come up with) we begin with a dress initially worn when Kate and William traveled to Denmark in 2011 for UNICEF. It was worn again when Kate visited Newcastle in October, and then once more at the unveiling of her portrait (shown below). We’re talking about the Sofie Rae dress by Whistles: 100% silk, with a deep vee neckline and what some call a granddad collar, there is also significant fabric gathering at the waist and shoulder.

John Stillwell/PA Wire

Next, the Matthew Williamson Kate wore to the April premiere of African Cats, a fundraiser for the Tusk Trust. The dress is originally from Mr. Williamson’s pre-fall 2012 collection, additional embellishment of the ornate beadwork was added to the neckline on Kate’s version. This piece also has an exposed zipper in the back and that peplum detailing Kate is so fond of.

Splash News/Matthew Williamson Courtesy Photo

In May we saw Kate wear a soft pink dress by Emilia Wickstead for two different functions. The first was the Sovereigns’ Luncheon on May 18 (center & right photos), the second a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace on the 29th. Kate’s dress was knee length with a full pleated skirt. It also features a fitted bodice with concealed off-center closure and an inset waistband above the skirt.

PA Wire

For the Queen’s Jubilee River Pageant in June Kate wore a bright-red crepe dress Alexander McQueen dress from the pre-fall 2011 collection. The dress is 100% wool, featuring a fitted top with cut-out front hem, pleated skirt and a hidden back zipper. (Kate’s version had sleeves added.)

PA Wire

Kate wore another piece by McQueen for the solemn Jubilee Service of Thanksgiving The knee length dress showcased exquisite lace atop a white or ivory base, long sleeves, a modified boat neckline, and satin ribbon or sash detailing at the waist.

UK /UK Armed Forces Facebook

There were more ceremonial events in June of last year, including Trooping the Colour on the 16th. The Duchess chose a silvery grey frock by Erdem, a fully bespoke piece created especially for her. The dress was based on the designer’s classic sheath profile, incorporating several of Erdem’s signature design elements: a gored bodice, seamed waist, three-quarter sleeves.

Splash News

When attending the wedding of her close friend, Alice St. John Webster, Kate went to a label she has worn previously, Beulah London. She wore the Blossom Dress, made of 100% silk chiffon, with pleating on the shoulders and cuffs, there is also a thin tie around waist.

Beulah London/Official Freyja Twitter (@OfficialFreyja)

The Royal Tour showcased several styles that were more formal in line and fabric, including Kate’s first look in Singapore, it was created by Jenny Packham. The dress for welcoming ceremonies and a visit to the famed Botanic Gardens was pale pink, showcasing hand-painted orchids, a kimono inspired neckline/waist detailing, as well as three-quarter sleeves.

Splash News/The Straits Times Facebook/Splash News

For a State Dinner hosted by the President of Singapore, Tony Tan Keng Yam, the Duchess chose a dress by Singapore-born designer Prabal Gurung. The wool-silk blend dress featured a dramatic print, bateau neckline, three-quarter sleeves, and a concealed zipper.

PHOTOS: James Whatling/Splash News

Kate returned to Erdem for another Tour frock, this one worn to a reception at Eden Hall, the British High Commissioner’s residence.  The Duchess’s dress was a modified version of a piece from the designer’s spring collection, crafted of silk chiffon with a pleated skirt, exposed back and flyaway sleeves. (The sleeves were the element added to Kate’s frock.)

James Whatling/Splash News

Kate returned to Jenny Packham for another custom frock on the Tour, this one for a solemn visit to the Kranji War Memorial. The dress featured a button front bodice, lace overlay on the bodice and sleeves, a full, pleated skirt, done in ‘duck egg blue’ color.

James Whatling – Splash News/WKW Facebook Friends Sarah & Phil

When touring a Mosque in Malaysia Kate selected the Sabitri dress by Beulah London, made of 100% silk, with “long, billowing sleeves and knee length style.”

Carly Watson/ITV Twitter Feed

We enjoyed another elegant look when the Duchess donned a style by Alice Temperley for tea at the British High Commissioner’s residence in Kuala Lumpur. The piece is from the designer’s fall 2012 collection, it features that exquisite white embroidery contrasting with an almost Wedgwood blue lining, bateau neckline, flared skirt and sheer three quarter sleeves.

Arthur Edwards-The Sun-PA Wire/Rebecca English, The Daily Mail/Mail Online

One of the more challenging items to identify this year was the dress worn underneath an elegant black dress coat that Kate wore for an evening out in October. After much detective work it turns out Kate was wearing another piece from Reiss, a dress dating back to 2009, the Rozalia.  With apologies for the less-than-stellar photos, it’s all I can find, but I felt I should include this one.

Splash News/eBay UK

Our final piece in the ‘dressy dresses’ category is another Temperley, the Esmeralda. Kate wore a version of this style to the Buckingham Palace reception for Team GB members in late October, clearly, her garment was embellished with sequins and lace.

PA Wire/Temperley

That wraps up our new styles, it’s time to vote.

Now we move to our final category, dresses Kate has previously worn. Our first is the iconic blue Zara dress Kate wore the day after she married William, then reprised for the church service of thanks to celebrate the 90th birthday of Prince Philip. In 2012 Kate wore it for engagements in Nottingham, you can just a bit of it peeking out from behind the M Missoni coat in the photo below left.

Splash News/PA Wire/Splash News

When William, Harry & Kate all attended Emily McCorquodale’s wedding in June the Duchess brought back a Jenny Packham dress worn on the 2011 North American Tour. It was the “de Gournay silver and marble grey hand-painted chinoiserie silk dress, seen on the Duchess during the polo match in Santa Barbara, California.

Splash News/Jenny Packham

We saw Kate bring back her Reiss ‘Peacock’ dress, wearing it for Order of the Garter ceremonies in June. She first wore this piece to the Epsom Derby in June of 2011 (shown below right).  The dress was tough to spot under Kate’s much-loved McQueen coat (below left), but fashion fans were able to discern it was the Peacock. The style has corded embroidery on the bodice, a round neck, cinched-in waist, and full skirt that is heavily lined.

Splash News/Reiss/Splash News

Kate repeated her Alexander McQueen ‘Sailor Dress,’ although it is actually separates it seemed more appropriate to include it with the dresses category.  The dress was first worn on July 4 of 2011, in Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island (seen below right), part of the North American Tour. This time the Duchess wore it to watch tennis at Wimbledon in early July (left & center photos).

PA Wire/AELTC Facebook Page/Canadian Heritage

For Kate’s second trip to Wimbledon last summer she brought back another frock first seen on the 2011 Tour, Joseph’s ‘Vanessa’ dress.  The piece was described this way: “sleeveless scoop-neck dress features grosgrain banding and ruching at the waist. Vertical grosgrain banding at hidden back zip. Serged edges at neckline and at arm openings, lined skirt.”

PA Wire/Joseph/Canadian Heritage

We also had another look at the Roksanda Ilincic ‘Peridot’ dress, initially worn for Kate and William’s arrival in Los Angeles in 2011, seen last year for a GREAT Campaign reception. The dress is described as ‘light blue-grey with cap sleeves, a draped neck to one side with pleats down to waistband, pleated skirt, white tulle neckline and cuff trim, exposed centre back zip and beige grosgrain front tie.”

AP Photo/Sang Tan/UK Press Association

Our final ‘previously seen’ dress was worn to the Natural History Museum last November when Kate was on hand to officially open a new gallery.  It is the ‘Full Pleated Shirt Dress’ from Mulberry, featuring a Peter Pan collar, pleats just about everywhere, and long sleeves gathered at the cuff. The 100% silk material has Mulberry’s Peace and Love pattern woven into it, and the color is officially called cabbage.

Via Paul Harrison, Sky News (@SkyNewsPaul)

I am eager to see how the voting turns out on all three of these groups.

Jun 132012

The Queen’s Jubilee Tour was in Nottingham today, Prince William and Kate accompanied HM on the visit.

James Whatling / Splash News

William and Kate actually drove up from Anglesey for the appearance. Below we see HM being greeted, the Duke and Duchess are about to step out of the car transporting them from the train station, where they met up with the Queen.

Via Genie14 Twitter Feed

Unfortunately the Duke of Edinburgh was not able to join the group as originally planned, he continues to recover from an infection. The Queen wore a lovely silk tweed Stewart Parvin coat and dress in a rich aqua.

The British Monarchy Twitter Feed

The crowds were enormous in Old Market Square.

Via My Nottingham

Everything Kate wore has been seen previously, she first wore the blue tweed M-Missoni coat on March 1 for the visit to Fortnum and Mason with Camilla and the Queen. (Our post on that event is here.)


Some may recall this is a piece Kate purchased at the Bicester Village outlet mall. Another look at Kate and the Queen via Esmik D’Aguiar’s Twitter feed.

Esmik D'Aguiar Twitter Feed

Kate’s hat was seen for the visit she and William made to the Irish Guards last year on Armed Forces Day. (Our post on that is here.) The piece is by Rachel Trevor-Morgan, a royal favorite.


No doubt some will recognize Kate’s diamond and sapphire earrings, the pair we believe were re-fashioned from a pair of Princess Diana’s earrings. She also wore her blue Zara dress underneath the tweed coat, this is at least the fourth time we’ve seen that garment.

Many of the day’s activities were at Vernon Park.

My Nottingham Facebook Page

The group visited Vernon Park in recognition of its Fields in Trust designation, more on that from the Telegraph:

… it was back to the day job for the monarch who unveiled a plaque at Vernon Park in Basford to mark a Fields in Trust project, which preserves parks as recreational spaces, during the first leg of her two-day visit to the East Midlands.

The British Monarchy Twitter Feed

More on the trip to the park from the BBC’s story:

The royal party then travelled to Vernon Park, where the prince made his official jubilee tribute.

He said: “The occasion presents the perfect opportunity for me, through my patronage of the Queen Elizabeth II Fields, to pay tribute to the Queen on her Diamond Jubilee.

“On behalf of Fields in Trust, thank you so much Your Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh for everything you have done throughout your reign to protect these vital outdoor places for the nation.

Here we see the group at the park, with thanks to CNN’s Max Foster for his wonderful photos.

Max Foster, CNN (@MaxFosterCNN)

The Duchess carried the Jaegar ‘Kate’ bag, with thanks to WKW Facebook friends Kate Spotter and Carolin for the quick ID, the bag originally sold at Jaeger sold for £150, it is now sold out.


She also wore her LK Bennett ‘Art’ pumps, initially seen for the couple’s visit to Darwen Academy, most recently worn for Kate’s visit with the Olympic hockey team in March (our story is here).

LK Bennett 'Art' Court Shoe

Another look at the group assembled for the official presentations, our thanks again to CNN’s Max Foster.

Max Foster CNN Twitter Feed

Prince William during the walkabout, with thanks to jasminbahia’s Instagram feed.

Jasmin Bahia Instagram Feed

And a side look at Kate’s partial updo, again with thanks to Jasmin Bahia. This also gives you a slight perspective of what Kate is looking at when at a function of this kind.

Jasmin Bahia Instagram

Some shared their delight at meeting the royals via Twitter.

Rosie Hamer Twitter Feed

Here we see Kate chatting with some of the thousands who came out for the event.

Via Sophie Stewart

Among those on hand, the Nottingham Scouts, they formed part of the welcoming group at Old Market Square and inside the Council House, in addition to help out at the park, the group shared this photo.

Nottingham Scouts Twitter Feed

Kate also helped the Scouts put up a tent.

Nottingham Scouts Twitter Feed

Our brief list of additional stories and sites with photos and video:

  • A Picasa photo album is here, there are loads of fabulous pictures
  • The Daily Mail’s story is loaded with photos, it may be found here
  • The Reuters video story is here
  • The Mirror’s story is also laden with great photos and details, it is here
  • The Telegraph’s video of Prince William’s tribute to the Queen is here

The London Telegraph

And with thanks to WKW Facebook friend Misty for the tip, probably the cutest video of the day from ITN is the one titled “Royals: William & Kate Greet Queen on Arrival in Nottingham,” click here to get to ITN’s main royal video page and scroll down for this story, you’ll love it.

ITN News

It looked like a wildly successful visit for the Queen, as well as William and Kate. The Duchess looked lovely while also demonstrating through her understated ensemble that she has no interest whatsoever in trying to upstage HM.


A reminder that Trooping the Colour is this Saturday, that is the next time we expect to see Kate, as well as other royals.

Jan 042012

As we start to wrap up our year-end ‘Best of’ voting we have the companion post to our ‘Favorite Tour Dress’ poll.

Because we didn’t want that previous post on dresses to have too many choices there are two looks from the tour being included with this poll, they felt like a better fit here. Unfortunately, by minimizing the previous post this one feels beyond overwhelming, I apologize in advance for that. A reminder, the top choices from the previous dress post and this post will have something of a fashion face-off as we attempt to ascertain the most popular apparel look, not including accessories.

Alexander McQueen Sailor dress (which I mistakenly recalled as being separates).

Canadian Heritage Flickr

The other tour look we wanted to include is this, the Whistles separates worn in Los Angeles.

Amanda Wakeley’s navy silk mikado suit worn for the Darwen Academy visit in April (L), as well as for the official Royal Tour photograph.

The British Monarchy

The Luisa Spagnoli Suit seen at St. Andrews in late February.

We saw another Issa on Kate, this one worn for a little shopping in April.


The Blue Pleated Zara dress worn the day after the wedding, April 30, as Kate and William left the Palace grounds. (And also worn for Prince Philip’s 90th birthday church services.)


The Reiss Shola dress was worn for William and Kate’s meeting with the Obamas in May.

Official White House Photo via Flickr

This year at the Epsom Derby we saw Kate in the Reiss Peacock Dress and ‘Nessie’ Tweed Jacket by Joseph.

At Wimbledon the Duchess wore Temperley’s Moraiah in ivory.

When previewing the exhibition showcasing her wedding gown with the Queen Kate chose Joseph’s Scala dress.

British Monarchy/Harrods

Kate wore the Amanda Wakeley Sculpted Felt dress for a visit with William to Royal Marsden.

Kate wore Mulberry’s Polly Push Lock skirt for a little shopping mid-November.


The Mulberry Pleated Shirt Dress in ‘cabbage’ debuted at the press reception in advance of the Queen’s Jubilee.

We saw a return to Zara, Kate selected the Lace Tulip dress for the Gary Barlow concert fundraiser.

Majesty Magazine Twitter Feed/Zara

For December’s visit to Centrepoint we saw Kate in Ralph Lauren’s Turtleneck Dress in olive melange.

Harriet Armstrong-Centrepoint Facebook Page/Ralph Lauren

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