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Bits & Bytes of the Fashion Sort, Including a Favorite CopyKate & the Royal Lingerie Expert

We are back with some newsbytes and a few retail updates.

We begin with multiple reports about a state visit next spring by Spain’s King Felipe and Queen Letizia. While there’s no guarantee whatsoever that the Duke & Duchess will be at functions with the King & Queen, several news stories are portraying an element of the visit as some sort of fashion face-off between the Duchess and Queen Letizia. More from The Times, in a story titled ‘Watch out Kate, it’s the competition.”

They are the couple who saved the reputation of the royal family by injecting some much-needed glamour, style and modern attitudes into an institution often seen as outdated and saddled by the errors of the past.

No, not the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge but King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain… Now there are plans for the couple to come on a state visit to Britain in the spring — the first by a Spanish monarch for 30 years.

To be fair, the story carries no reference to any sort of fashion competition, nor would the reporters be responsible for the headline; at most large newspapers reporters write their stories and the headlines are created by entirely different staff.   At Elle UK the headline downplays that element: “This Spanish Style Queen Could Be Kate’s New Best Friend,” while the topic is raised in the body of the story.

And while no one can send shoppers into a frenzy quite like Kate – her latest outfits regularly causing palpitations throughout the highstreet; following Queen Leticia’s hairstyle has become a national pastime in Spain, where she goes from rocking the bob to wavy, golden tresses with careless abandon.

So welcome Letizia, we think this could be the start of a beautiful friendship.

I’m just guessing here, but I think it unlikely we will see a style story about suits and ties should William and Felipe meet. (Harrumph.)


In a piece from Fashionista there is a terrific interview with June Kenton, the woman at the helm of lingerie Royal Warrant holder Rigby and Peller. From a portion of Alison Syrett’s interview where Ms. Kenton is explaining how the royal warrant process worked when she purchased Rigby and Peller:

  …the royal warrant is given to a person, and not to a company. That meant I had to go to Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen in her bedroom to see if she would allow it to transfer to me. To put it mildly, it was very nerve-racking — most people who meet the Queen meet her dressed!

It turned out brilliantly, and the Queen agreed I could have the royal warrant. But it was intimidating. You have to be there dead on time. She’s very formal, although lovely, just the loveliest person. I get on with her extremely well, and I hope that I do a good job.

Following the acquisition of Intimacy brand’s stores, Rigby and Peller now have 14 stores in the US, including shops in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, New Jersey and Florida. Back to the Fashionista piece:

Have you helped Kate Middleton?

Yes we have, and she’s lovely. She’s very nice.

So she wears Rigby & Peller bras?

Sometimes. I’m not saying anything! [laughs] I think people assume so much about Kate. When she goes out everyone’s like, “The dress was a hundred and something, the shoes were so and so and the coat was two thousand something.” Everything she wears is priced. I think it’s really sad for her.

Ms. Kenton notes that 85% of women are wearing an incorrectly sized bra, a sentiment many lingerie brands echo, although I have seen the percentage vary anywhere from 60% to the 85% quoted by Ms. Kenton. Rigby and Peller carries a number of upscale brands, offering some lovely styles.

Rigby and Peller

Rigby and Peller

The entire interview was fascinating, click here to read the entire piece.


Kate-favored jeweler Mappin and Webb is the proud owner of two new royal warrants. Below, Kate wearing the firm’s ‘Empress’ earrings.

Mappin & Webb

Mappin & Webb

From The Telegraph’s story:

Jewellery chain Mappin & Webb, official silversmith to the Queen, has had its royal warrant extended, cementing its royal relationship. The company celebrates its 240th anniversary this month, and has held a royal warrant as a silversmith since 1897.

“We are privileged to confirm that Mappin & Webb has been appointed Jewellers, Goldsmiths & Silversmiths to Her Majesty The Queen,” said chief executive Brian Duffy.

In addition to now being jewelers and goldsmiths to the Queen, the company has an enormous responsibility as custodian of the crown jewels, an honor they have had since 2012. More from Royal Central:

The Crown Jeweller is the custodian of the Crown Jewels and handles preparing them for the State Opening of Parliament and other state occasions. The appointment of Mappin & Webb’s craftsman to the role of Crown Jeweller is a great honour for this truly English brand.

With thanks to Betty Wales for sharing this on the WKW Facebook page, here is a link to the Royal Central story.


We have an update on Goat Fashion; below you see the Duchess wearing the brand’s Redgrave coat, Scarlett dress, Vreeland dress and Washington coat.



There is good news for US-based shoppers, Saks now carries select Goat styles online and in a few stores. The retailer has Kate’s Vreeland dress available in this fall’s color, ‘fern’, priced at $740 (use code FREESHIP for free shipping). Matches Fashion also has the Vreeland in stock, the dress is $655 (and this includes import duty charges; for free USA shipping use code USAFREE).



British luxury magazine Beyond Bespoke has an interview with Goat’s founder, Jane Lewis, in which she speaks of her pride at being British and her commitment to supporting British industry.

What does being a British brand mean to you?
It means an awful lot. I’m proud to manufacture the majority of the collection in Britain and support the terrific skills and expertise we have here.

The full interview is here.


We have news on LK Bennett’s Cayla dress, currently available in UK stores and on the UK website: the retailer tells me the frock will be offered in US shops and on the US website.  However, only in the red colorway, not the new (and very pretty) Sloane Blue.  That remains a UK exclusive, but LK Bennett says it can certainly be ordered online/phone/etc. and shipped to the US.

LK Bennett/i-Images

LK Bennett/i-Images


Many will remember Kate’s ‘Odele’ coat from Temperley London, worn for a November 2012 walk in Kensington Gardens.

Courtesy of Facebook Friend Sandra/Temperley London

Courtesy of Facebook Friend Sandra/Temperley London

Via Spiga created a lookalike years ago when the garment was first worn, the coat remains available today. It is known by different names, including the Kate coat, Mixed Media coat, Faux Fur Collar coat, and a few others.

Off Fifth/Amazon/Bloomingdale's

Off Fifth/Amazon/Lord & Taylor/Bloomingdale’s

For those interested in a repliKate, here are links to the pieces shown above:


Macy’s has a similar Via Spiga style, however that version has a hood ($269). If thinking about purchasing one of the coats, check our list of discounts below to ensure you get the best price possible on the garment.

We move on to Sales and Savings opportunities. Monday is Columbus Day in the US, that means discounts abound at most merchants. At Neiman Marcus Last Call the code GIMME10 results in an extra 10% off all merchandise, excluding clearance goods.  For free shipping on purchases above $99 use promo code LCSHIP.

Last Call

Last Call

Diane von Furstenberg is offering an extra 25% off sale items, the offer ends on the 12th. Use promo code ENJOY25 for the discount.

Saks is doing a 2-day ‘flash sale,’ with prices going back up at midnight on the 9th. At which point I’m sure other prices will go down for a Columbus Day promotion. (I’ll update here when that happens.) UPDATED: The latest promotional email from Saks is for discounts on dresses. For free shipping use promo code FREESHIP.

Saks Fifth Avenue

Saks Fifth Avenue

At Saks Off Fifth there is a Columbus Day promotion already under way.

Saks Off Fifth

Saks Off Fifth

Bloomingdale’s is also doing a sale event with an additional percentage off .  There is a sizable amount of Ralph Lauren discounted, a smattering of Tory Burch, and a fair number of Diane von Furstenberg styles included in the promotion.



Lord & Taylor is taking 20% off regular and sale priced merchandise for its Columbus Day promotion, although there are some exclusions.  This offer runs through the 12th.

Lord and Taylor

Lord and Taylor

Macy’s has a number of promotions underway, the primary one being an additional 20% discount on sale and clearance merchandise with promo code FALL. This event also ends on the 12th.



At Ralph Lauren the Columbus Day promotion offers an additional 30% off select styles.

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren

Reiss is offering some solid discounts in its online outlet.



YOOX is taking 15% off everything (20% off purchases totaling more than $300), this includes quite a bit of Alexander McQueen merchandise.



And finally, LL Bean is offering 10% off one’s entire order, use promo code SAVE10 at checkout.  We include this retailer because many have praised the company’s copyKate Breton-stripe top, the Women’s French Sailor’s Shirt ($29.95).

LL Bean

LL Bean


We’ll leave you with a quick list of several links that people seemed to enjoy on the WKW Facebook page. All are not directly clothing-related, nor do most offer any sort of intellectual contribution to a conversation about Kate’s clothing.

We will see you Saturday for Kate and William’s engagement at Harrow College marking World Mental Health Day. In addition to that function, I wouldn’t be surprised if we also saw Kate at Saturday night’s Rugby World Cup match between Wales and Australia. (There’s been absolutely nothing said about this, it’s merely my instinct, nothing more.)

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Friday 9th of October 2015

Does anyone know how sizing on the Via Spiga coat runs? I've read conflicting reviews that say both to size up and size down -- my only guess is that the reviews are for the two different releases of the coat.


Saturday 10th of October 2015

I have the Via Spiga coat that is a replica of Kate's Temperley. I am a dress size 6, but because I have DD "girls", I had to purchase an 8. This turned out to be a good decision because when the coat zips and I am wearing heavier clothing (sweaters, turtlenecks, etc), it fits like a glove. Hope that helps.....


Friday 9th of October 2015


A bit off topic here but do you know if the boots that Kate wore with the ‘Odele’ coat from Temperley London were ever identified?


Friday 9th of October 2015

Eek, I can't remember, let me check when I am back on the desktop. :)


Friday 9th of October 2015

It’s great news about the Spanish state visit. I suppose the “face-off” headlines are simply the way the news handles the fact that we are inevitably going to be taking a keen interest in what both ladies wear. I think Letizia and Kate are quite distinct personalities and I’m happy for their outfits to reflect that. While Letizia’s taste is exquisite to the point of appearing professional I think Kate has the charm of natural warmth which shines through some of the relatively amateur stabs she makes at outfits.

I find Kate more outdoorsy and sporty, more country-meets-town, while Letizia is urban cool. Letizia has been working on a full-time royal wardrobe longer than Kate and it’s a very specialist subject since they both get to wear dresses only once or twice that the rest of us would treasure and re-use many times. It’s almost a sort of production-line formality they have to work on and at a level few would choose to make a full-time job. Letizia has had her early blunders as well.

Overall Letizia goes for a flawless approach, a polished even clinical perfection. Kate’s natural beauty and outgoing temperament are quite different and she gives every appearance of being happy to roll up her sleeves and muck in with whatever turns up which is completely endearing. The classic tailoring Kate favours may be on the plain side, but it’s the perfect foil for her enthusiasm, not to mention all that gorgeous hair. With Letizia I tend to see the outfit first, with Kate I see the whole woman.

I love the royal lingerie supplier and that such an old-established brand is still going strong. That’s a priceless comment June Kenton of Rigby & Peller makes about how ‘most people who meet the Queen see her dressed!’ It’s also great that the wonderful Mappin & Webb continue to hold the Royal Warrants.

Thanks for the magnificent shopping round up. I’m struck by how Goat styles are very Kate and echo much of the ethos we saw promoted by The Fold of being polished and practical with enough fashion tweaks to keep them contemporary. Having said which, I still find that Vreeland dress rather drab and shapeless, but you can’t win them all!


Friday 9th of October 2015

I actually think that the Spanish Queen and the Duchess have rather similar taste. I've seen Letizia in many outfits that the Duchess might wear, and the Duchess has worn items that Letizia might wear. The latter's taste is really fairly restrained and minimalist, and of course we don't know much about the possibly "outdoorsy" components of her wardrobe, because we don't see as many photographs of her in a casual context as we see of the Duchess.

The major difference is that Letizia likes tailored trousers, which she wears fairly often on official occasions. In fact, if I'm remembering correctly, she wore a cream trouser suit for the announcement of her engagement to Felipe. I was struck by that and think that the Duchess might take a leaf from Letizia's book where trousers are concerned. They CAN look royal, as even the Queen has demonstrated.


Friday 9th of October 2015

Since you so helpfully brought it up, can we just talk about Prince William's suits for a minute? In my opinion, he could throw in a little variety every now and then. Don't get me wrong, the navy suit and red tie combo is very nice, but also very tired. Thankfully, we haven't seen the dreaded double breasted that Charles is so married to, but there is still room for improvement. All this is merely in the spirit of equality of the sexes as there has been some debate about the need for Kate to update her look some. William has a very fit and slender build which is well suited for the modern tailoring of suits these days. I would love to see him in a slim fit suit, something black, or gray, and a few different colored ties. Just thought I'd put my opinion out there.

P.S. Totally agree on the comments about the lingerie warrant. So déclassé!

Anna Marie

Thursday 8th of October 2015

Thank you, Susan!! This was great!!

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