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Pick Your Favorite Party Frock Worn by the Duchess in 2014!

We return with another poll looking for your vote, as well as some news headlines.

Some background on how this poll is structured, including what pieces are included this year:

  • While we did not include tour pieces in our previous polls, the two semi-formal looks Kate wore during the tour are covered in this one. There are so very many dresses in the tour dress polls, breaking out these two styles seemed to make sense.
  • There is one repeat included in this poll: the inky blue evening gown by Jenney Packham worn in February and again in December. Because many of us consider an ensemble’s overall impact (taking into account jewelry, accessories, hair style, jewelry) when deciding how we feel about a style, it made sense to vote on the gown. The hair and jewelry were significantly different for the two engagements.

There were no January appearances. In February we saw Kate in that classic Jenny Packham evening gown for the Annual Portrait Gala at the National Portrait Gallery. The Duchess also wore the Nizam of Hyderabad diamond necklace, loaned to her by the Queen.

Stephen Lock, i-Images, Polaris/

Stephen Lock, i-Images, Polaris/

For the official State reception in New Zealand Kate wore a bespoke cocktail dress by Jenny Packham.  The knee-length dress had long sleeves, a modified bateau neckline, and embroidered embellishment in the shape of a fern. The fern is considered a symbol of the country.

Nunn Syndication, Polaris/

Nunn Syndication, Polaris/i-Images, Polaris/

The other tour style we are including in this poll is the off-white Lela Rose ‘circle lace dress’ worn for an evening reception hosted by Australia’s Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove.  The dress features sleeves and a peplum constructed of lace circles. For anyone still interested in purchasing the frock it is deeply discounted at Net-a-Porter (from $1595 to $478).

All Pictures by Nunn Syndication/Polaris Images

All Pictures by Nunn Syndication/Polaris Images

In October the Duchess debuted a stunning Jenny Packham gown at the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year gala. The most distinctive design element was the high-low hemline created by a draped overskirt covering a shorter skirt., Polaris/, Polaris/ Wire

Also in October, a new dress by Temperley London for the Action on Addiction Fall Gala. Inspired by stained glass ironwork, the Emblem Flare dress is covered in cutout panels atop a nude lining, with long sleeves and a deep vee back., Polaris/i-Images, Polaris/, Polaris/i-Images, Polaris/

Many thought Kate knocked it out of the park at November’s Royal Variety Performance, when she wore Diane von Furstenberg’s Zarita evening gown. The floor-length dress showcased three-quarter lace sleeves, a square neck on the front with deep vee on the back, concealed zipper and full skirt. (The knee-length version of this is now available for pre-ordering at DVF.)

Jeff Moore, Splash/Ben Stevens, i-Images/Ben Stevens, i-Images/

Jeff Moore, Splash/Yui Mok, PA Wire/Ben Stevens, i-Images/Ben Stevens, i-Images/

We saw Kate in semi-formal separates this year, the event was a Kensington Palace reception for the Place2Be Wellbeing in Schools Awards. The Duchess wore a top by Hobbs, the ‘Emilia,’ from its Invitation line of occasionwear. She paired it with a Jenny Packham skirt in what appears to be a silk satin weave, the piece is from the designer’s a/w 2013 collection. (To see all of Place2Be’s photos from the event click here to visit the organization’s Facebook page.)


Place2Be Facebook page/Splash News/Splash News/Place2Be Facebook page

When visiting New York in early December Kate wore a new dress from one of her favorite labels, Beulah London. The Duchess selected the ‘Amara’ dress for a private reception and dinner benefiting the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. The dress has the basic fit and flare silhouette Kate is so fond of, with “intricate lace detailing” in a cotton/nylon blend atop a silk crepe de chine lining.

James Whatling, Splash News/Beulah London/Jackson Lee, DSplash news

James Whatling, Splash News/Beulah London/Jackson Lee, Splash News

Our final style is this year’s second appearance of the inky blue Jenny Packham frock, worn to the Saint Andrews fundraiser in New York.

mmm Whatling, SplashNews/


We want to share a quick overview of several Kate-favored retailers with notable Sales and Savings opportunities, beginning with Reiss, where many fall and winter items are discounted substantially. We share three items marked down by at least 50%: from left to right, the Delilah dress (now $180), the Lucy ‘bodycon’ dress (now $143 ), and the Emile coat in burgundy ($234, and a good repliKate for the aubergine coat first worn on Christmas Day 2012).



Many readers know that Beulah London is one of our favorite sponsors. The Beulah sale includes the the Luna Silk Coat (now selling at £295, originally £495), Blaze Tailored Jacket (marked down to £295 from £395), and the Seraphina dress (originally £420, now £350).

Beulah London

Beulah London

There are also great buys at Temperley London. Kate’s Honeycomb Tunic sweater in a color she doesn’t own, wildebeest, is just £190 (more than 50% off); the Temperley Logo Scarf is £215; the Moya Wool Jacket is £280 (from £695).

Temperley London

Temperley London

Bargains also abound at LK Bennett, especially for shoppers on the US site, where you can get an additional 30%off sale prices; use promo code EXTRA30 at checkout for the additional savings. (This is the US site only.)  From left to right: the Velli Sequin Dress in black (now $416, from $595, about $292 with the extra 30% off), Lamarie Wrap Dress in navy ($208 with the extra 30% off, originally priced at $425), Crystal mini Kitten Heel in pink (originally $425, now roughly $150 with the 30% off), and the Kareena Suede Block Heels (originally $430, about $225 when using the extra 30% off).

LK Bennett

LK Bennett

Our final item also relates to LK Bennett: the retailer has released a 2015 version of last year’s ever-so-popular Lasa Poppy dress, this one is called the Lasana.


LK Bennett

A better look at the new frock: on the left we show last year’s dress in ‘snorkel blue,’ along with three photos of this year’s Lasana dress. The dresses are very similar, but there are differences; among them, the neckline on the Lasana has a gently curved arc in the center front. The fabric composition is significantly changed, last year’s dress was a cotton/rayon blend, this year’s Lasana dress is 98% cotton with 2% elastene for ease of movement.

LK Bennett

LK Bennett

It appear the Lasana is available on the LK Bennett UK site (£250, about $380), but not yet on the US/Canada site.

We’ll be back tomorrow with results of the dress polls and the new ‘superpoll’ (for lack of a better term) incorporating your favorite tour dresses and the ‘fave’ dresses you just selected in one poll.

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Nancy Robertson

Thursday 15th of January 2015

Definitely the high-low. It looked flawless on Kate.


Wednesday 14th of January 2015

Man this one was hard, I loved pretty much everything on this list and I had a really tough time picking one. Ultimately I chose the Packham hi-lo gown, I love the color (I'm a sucker for anything blue), plus it's not your typical hi-lo look. I love the surprise you get once the gown is in movement and the overskirt opens up to reveal the shorter skirt. Plus I love pretty much everything Jenny Packham designs, whether it's on Kate or on a model. A Packham gown is on my wish list for when my husband and I renew our vows a few years down the line.


Wednesday 14th of January 2015

Of course we love Beulah and want to support WKW sponsors.

But just in case the Seraphina is a tad pricey for you, I found a RepliKate on BodenUSA. It's the Lindsey dress and it comes in several colors including ivory.


Wednesday 14th of January 2015

The pale-blue high-low Packham gown was my own clear favourite in this round. It stood out as a bold choice on Kate’s part, made easier perhaps by originating from a favourite designer. I’m no fan of the high-low style in general, but this was such a neat solution by Packham, using the natural drape of an overskirt to cover the shorter one, that it won me over.

It must also have been a satisfying gown for Kate to parade in after her period of poor health.

Otherwise, there’s a lot of black here. I didn’t think the black Packham came off well, as the embellishment too cautious, especially against the extra length of the skirt. I thought the Temperley was spoiled by all the flash; the Beulah fared much better with its full underlining, and just the lace sleeves for contrast, though still too safe a choice to make top of my list.

Kate looked beautiful in the full-length DVF, but this is a classic gown which has been around a while and for me didn’t have the stand-out factor of the pale blue Packham.

The off-white Lela Rose is charming but again not a stand-out winner for me. I didn’t rate the inky-blue Packham despite it being one of my favourite dresses partly because it’s a repeat, and also because I think it has yet to be worn to full effect. And the blue/black separates for the Place2Be event seemed a bit ad hoc for a high rating.

Anne B.

Wednesday 14th of January 2015

That was an easy one: I really love the ink Jenny Packham dress so subtle and elegant and with the hair up it looked fabulous. Close seconds came the dvf dress but I think it will be nicer without the baby bump I hope we will see it again and the hi-low Jenny Packham dress for the bold cut but I am not a fan of this colour on Kate. I cannot wait to see what she wears for her upcoming engagements.

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