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Kate & William Out & About, Labor Day Sales & Savings

Hello again, we hope our US readers are enjoying the long Labor Day weekend.  We have a quick post with several newsbytes and then a glance at Labor Day weekend Sales & Savings.

First, Kate and William enjoyed a Thursday night out, dining in the pub at The Kings Head Hotel, not far from Anmer Hall, their country home. Camilla Tominey’s story in The Sunday Express has details on the couple’s ‘date night,’ and there is also a story in The Daily Star Sunday. (Photo is lower right.)

The Sunday Express

The Sunday Express

Kate was wearing a print blouse or shirt underneath a black crewneck sweater and jeans that look like her J. Brand skinnies. (See update below.)

UPDATED September 3: A few eagle-eyed readers have suggested that Kate could actually have been wearing the navy corduroy trousers seen when she visited the Shooting Star Children’s Hospice last December. Looking more closely at the photos it seems possible, perhaps probable, that Kate was in the cords. Here is a refresher photo from the December engagement.

Bradley Page/The Daily Mail/PA Wire

Bradley Page/The Daily Mail/PA Wire

Many thanks to Erin and Emma for sharing their thoughts on the topic, I’m eager to hear what others may think!

The Duchess was wearing her go-to Pied a Terre Imperia espadrille wedges.

Dune London

Dune London

The other photographs published yesterday show the couple as they returned to London from Norfolk, where Anmer Hall is located. The Mirror has a gallery of photos from the couple’s arrival at King’s Cross; those images may be seen here, and also at Pop Sugar and the Daily Mail. Lupo was with the pair, but not Prince George.

In the pictures Kate is seen wearing a button-front shirt beneath a v-neck sweater and her skinny jeans. She was carrying her Tod’s G-bag, as well as an oversized tote that turns out to be by Sandstorm Kenya, the brand’s Odyssey model.

Tan Canvas & Leather - OdysseyThe company showcased the bag in its blog and posted about it on Facebook during the tour.

Sandstorm Kenya Facebook Page

Our thanks to Jill S for sharing the identification on the WKW Facebook page.  At the train station Kate is seen wearing her Mint Velvet ‘Bibi’ plimsolls.

Mint Velvet

Mint Velvet

The Duchess was wearing a jacket that looked quite like her Ladies Defence Classic (no longer available) from Barbour.

Additionally last week, there were reports via Twitter that Kate was shopping at Harvey Nichols on Wednesday, with one group of Twitter posts saying she was looking at Roland Mouret dresses, the other saying she purchased Clarins products. The company has held a Royal Warrant for 7 years.

There is very interesting news from a story in the The Sunday Times claiming the Duke and Duchess could do a royal tour in China.

PLANS are being drawn up for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to make a historic royal tour of China, The Sunday Times can reveal.

Sources have confirmed that Kensington Palace and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office are in talks about a potential trip that which would take place next year.

The story is behind a paywall, available only to subscribers.


Also this weekend, a quick note about a US brand’s entry into the UK market, the news comes via WWD (Women’s Wear Daily, subscription req’d.):

Lands’ End has begun opening shops-in-shop inside the House of Fraser department store chain in the U.K.

The first Lands’ End shop-in-shop, 395 square feet in size, opened in the Norwich location of House of Fraser last week. Four other shops will open through September at the British retailer’s Lakeside, Birmingham, Bournemouth and Bristol locations

The WWD story notes that Lands’ End merchandise is being offered online at House of Fraser. For our friends across the pond who might not be as familiar with the brand, I would compare it to a cross between Joules and Orvis, without the emphasis on fishing, hunting and other gear.


Many of our US-based readers are enjoying an extended weekend as Monday is Labor Day, marking the unofficial end of summer and the return to classes for many students. It is also the time when retailers are heavily discounting summer inventory in efforts to make room for fall styles.  I thought you might like a brief list of the sales and savings opportunities being offered this weekend.

Shown from left to right: the ladies floral-lined Beadnell, the Barbour Axle in black, and the Cavalry Polarquilt.

Orvis US

Orvis US



LK Bennett

LK Bennett

J. Crew

J. Crew

  • Off 5th (the Saks Fifth Avenue discount site) is taking 40% off one’s entire order, although there are some exclusions). Use promo code LABORDAY for the additional 40% off, and if your order totals more than $75 use promo code SHIP75 for free shipping. This brings the price of a popular repliKate down to about $168: below we show the Via Spiga Faux Fur Collar coat, we wrote about the piece in this post last week because of its similarity to the Temperley Odele coat, at that time the Off 5th price was $223.99. The cost at Macy’s was quite a bit more, running $359.99 before the Macy’s extra 15% discount. (See next bullet point.)
Saks Off 5th

Saks Off 5th

  • Macy’s has multiple promotions running this weekend, including 20% off a sizable amount of merchandise throughout the store, and an additional 25% off clearance merchandise. Use promo code DEALS for the extra savings.


Last Call

Last Call

With that we say goodbye until next time!

NEXT APPEARANCE: Monday, September 8th at St. Hugh’s College. (More info here.)

NOTE: The post originally said Kate was carrying her D-style bag from Tod’s, that is not correct. The copy now reflects an accurate description, she was carrying her G-style bag from Tod’s. Many thanks to Anna of My Small Obsessions for letting me know about the error.





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Saturday 20th of September 2014

Any idea on the clutch she is holding for the date night?


Friday 5th of September 2014

It looks from the photo that the shirt under Kate's sweater might be a floral print, which made me wonder, has she ever worn anything from Liberty? It's such an iconic British brand it would seem like a fit but I don't think I've ever seen her in their prints.

The Way We Were

Thursday 4th of September 2014

I didn't realize how short those cord jeans were when she first wore them with the sleek reiss jacket...


Tuesday 2nd of September 2014

I'd seen the anxiety on fb about letting us Britishers know that Lands' End was arriving in the UK, and was puzzled. The fact is I'm sitting here clad head to toe in Lands' End -- well, it is a gardening day -- in the North of Scotland, although I was into Lands' End mail order a long while before I moved up here almost 30 years ago.

So I feel for one that Lands' End is a pretty familiar brand. They have had some pretty good outerwear in tailored coats and navy blazers over the years which have done sterling service in a working life. But maybe there's something different in seeing them in-store. Oddly enough I'd have thought it was a bit of a step down for the likes of Harrods, as Lands' End is something I think of as pretty basic and practical, more normal chain store than up market West Ender.

Ho hum. Nice picks from the sales -- thanks!

BTW can someone clear up a small mystery for me. I was puzzled (again? put it down to age) to discover the Mint Velvets are in fact made from suede. It's just I would have thought that a light summer plimsoll would be more comfortable in canvas, isn't suede a bit hot? Apart from which it's the sort of fabric which marks so easily and seems an odd choice for casual.

But then I'm not a princess leading a swell life in assorted palaces and vast country mansions. When I go casual I'm prone to get stuck in down in the garden which is hard on any kind of shoe. In fact, if there's one item of clothing the Duchess has worn which I covet greatly it's that amazing Really Wild leather gilet. Those heavenly patch pockets look just right for trowel on one side and binoculars on the other (must keep an eye on the bird life).

My hand is only stayed by the thought of the damage that might be wreaked by my enthusiasm for things involving muck and digging and, worst of all, work done, leaning back against the rough-surface garage wall on my favourite tree trunk stool, cup of tea in hand.

So, along with suede plimsolls, it's a gilet for a princess. So far.


Wednesday 3rd of September 2014

How strange! I've been buying Lands End stuff for years - at least 25 - it's available in the Midlands and the South East. There is even a Lands End outlet a few miles away.

I too got a really nice coat, modern design, something a bit different. Lands End seem to be getting a bit more adventurous! :)

I'm with you on the suede, ElizaMo. Dratted stuff. I only wear suede shoes if going out and nothing horrendous is going to be met (rain, mud, that sort of thing). If they suede is treated with one of those protective sprays it seems to help. But for summer


Wednesday 3rd of September 2014

I think of Land's End as a very middle-market source for practical, straightforward, casual clothes without much fashion flair. They and J Crew used to be similar, with J Crew being somewhat more expensive, but both served what we would call the "preppie" market in the US -- just at different price points. Then J Crew went much more upscale and became considerably more fashionable, while Land's End remained in its niche, serving people who want a sort of preppie look for casual, sporting, and work life but at relatively low prices.

I don't buy from Land's End for myself, but my husband likes their inexpensive shirts in various preppie-looking stripes and has a whole wardrobe of them.

The Mint Velvet plimsolls are indeed suede. I think they're an example of a design approach I happen to like: take an ordinary object and give it a more luxurious, chic flavor via unexpected materials.

I used to own an anorak in very luxe black velvet, one of my all-time favorite garments. It was totally impractical for any activity for which you'd normally wear an anorak, but I wore it with jeans and sweaters as well as with dressier clothes, because the unexpected fabric gave any outfit an interesting touch, always admired by other people.

I fact, J Crew's incarnation of recent years sort of represents that approach. Suede plimsolls are exactly the sort of thing I'd expect J Crew to sell.

Most of us wear leather shoes in warm weather, and trainers (athletic shoes in US parlance) are usually at least partly leather. I doubt the suede plimsolls are any hotter.


Monday 1st of September 2014

I really like the color of her Mint Velvet ‘Bibi’ plimsolls. They look perfect for transitioning into fall.

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