We had a pleasant surprise today, new photos of Kate on her way to church services at Sandringham.
She joined William, Harry, and other royals at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene.
It is the parish church for HM, the Duke of Edinburgh and other royals when they are at Sandringham. Of course, the church is used for other events, such as Princess Charlotte’s christening this July.
Her Majesty rode to church this morning, while the Earl and Countess of Wessex, Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall, and others walked. Below you see the Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Anne and Timothy Laurence greeting well-wishers.
It looked like most, if not all, of the royals, stopped to speak with crowds along the path. More from The Daily Mail:
The Duchess was seen accepting a bouquet of yellow flowers from well-wishers who had lined the road to get a glimpse of the Royal Family.
She looked delighted by the gesture, beaming widely and carrying them with her as she walked beside Prince William.
It was a chilly morning, but Kate seemed comfortable in a turtleneck (polo neck) beneath her suit jacket.
Kate’s fitted jacket is single-breasted with three closely placed buttons at the waist, princess seaming, and button detail on the flap pockets.
The most distinctive element of Kate’s skirt: the multiple gores, or panels. I counted four or five per quarter-skirt, which is 16 or 20 in total. Additionally, some of them are cut on the bias, making the skirt a *major* feat of engineering and tailoring.
Later today I should be able to do some looking about for any current styles resembling the Duchess’s suit. It may be a bespoke piece or something she has had for some time, but it will be fun to look around.
An obvious place to start was Katherine Hooker, a favorite of all three Middleton women. Below we show Kate wearing the Contrast Coat to the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2006; that same coat re-styled in 2011 for her first official engagement with Prince William following the couple’s engagement announcement; on the far right, we see the Duchess in the label’s Alexander Jacket at Cheltenham in 2007.
Kate and William at Cheltenham in 2007, Kate wearing a suit from Katherine Hooker.
Beyond those common elements, the pieces are dissimilar; the jacket’s design is different, with a band across the back at the high waist; the distinction’s in the skirt’s design can be seen in this photo.
However, the styles shown above exemplify the same overall look and feel like Kate’s suit today. All are outstanding examples of the ‘country’ portion of a classic British wardrobe suited to the ‘town and country’ lifestyle Kate and William have.
There are many companies still offering pieces consistent with this look, including boutique shops like Really Wild and Country Attire, as well as Dubarry, Viyella, and Austin Reed. Below we share a few examples of similar styles that are produced in much greater volume than the Katherine Hooker garments; below left, the Viyella Moon’s Purple Herringbone Jacket at House of Fraser (£129, free shipping to the US for orders totaling more than £120), and on the right, you see the Joules Blue Tartan Blazer at Country Attire (£158, free shipping to the US).
The tweedy look isn’t limited to UK heritage brands; below, you see two Dolce and Gabbana skirts from this fall’s collection.
UPDATED DEC 28: A huge Tip of the Tiara to Janet Evelyn on the WKW Facebook page, she IDed the suit as Michael Kors.
Our thanks to Evangelina Thomas from the FB page, she was kind enough to email photos of the suit to me last night. It turns out the pieces are from the Michael Kors Collection, the designer line from Michael Kors with more upscale styles and price points. The jacket is the Virgin Wool Plaid Blazer, still available at Stylebop.
The piece is described as “A vintage-inspired equestrian silhouette informs this elegant wool blazer.” It features the fitted silhouette Kate favors, as well as notched lapels, flap pockets, and a four-button single-breasted style. From the a/w 2015 line, the jacket was initially priced at $1555; it was most recently discounted to $1088, a 30% markdown.
The matching piece is the Guncheck Wool Trumpet Skirt in ‘slate and claret,’ which is the Kors term for the color. Below, the Trumpet Skirt as shown on the Michael Kors website, where it is now sold out. Originally priced at $995, the piece most recently sold for $495.It was described on the Kors website as the “…epitome of under-the-radar luxury. Crafted from heritage guncheck wool, the trumpet silhouette guarantees a flattering, feminine fit.” A closer look shows the multiple panels in the skirt.
The suit was shown in the Michael Kors a/w runway show, as well as several pieces in the same pattern but a different colorway.
This is the second time we have seen Kate wearing Michael Kors. The first time was for Anzac Day ceremonies on tour in Australia, the designer’s Indigo Twill Swing Coat.
Many will recognize Kate’s hat; it is the ‘Fairy Tale’ style by Sylvia Fletcher for Lock and Company. If measured only by the number of times the piece has been worn publicly, then the Fairy Tale must be considered Kate’s favorite hat. Below, the Duchess wearing the style (from left to right): for Leicester engagements with HM and Prince Philip in March 2012; on St. Patrick’s Day with the Irish Guards in March 2012; on the way to church at Balmoral in September 2013; Remembrance Sunday, November 2013; the wedding of friends Lucy Meade and Charlie Budgett in May 2014; for Remembrance Sunday in November 2013; and again today.
Kate accessorized with her Catherine Zoraida Fern Hoops Earrings.
She also carried her black suede Mulberry Bayswater Clutch Wallet.
The Duchess wore her go-to ‘Rhumba’ boots from Aquatalia. Sold out for some time now in the US and Canada, the boot remains available at Russell and Bromley where it is known as the Hi and Dry (£415, about $620).
Aquatalia suggests its ‘Raine’ as a substitute for the Rhumba. That style is shown below at Nordstrom where it is on sale for $435, discounted 35% from the original $650 price. At Aquatalia the discount is steeper, the Raine is selling for $390. Nordstrom has been offering price-matching throughout the holiday shopping season; it’s possible they will meet that Aquatalia price. We also show a good copyKate from Aquatalia for Kate’s ‘Royal,’ the ‘Danele’ in espresso suede. The style is also on sale at Nordstrom, priced at $297, a sizable markdown from $495, the initial selling price; Aquatalia also has the Danele on sale for $297.
Some additional quick sales items to share:
- The maternity style of Kate’s ‘Naomi’ dress is on sale at Madderson London, now £138, just about $200. (The standard size frock is sold out.)
- Thank you to Christin on Twitter, she let us know Kate’s ‘Natasha’ coat by Seraphine is on sale. Originally selling at £229 the coat is now £183, about $275.