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Kate Says Goodbye to Skinny Jeans & Hello to Overalls in British Vogue Shoot

The much-discussed British Vogue centenary issue with Kate on the cover became available today in some parts of the world. In an effort to keep tomorrow’s coverage of Kate’s engagements  from becoming overly long, we have a quick overview about the story and what Kate wore. (Some of which we covered Saturday.)

British Vogue

Josh Olins/British Vogue

On the cover Kate wears:

Editor Alexandra Shulman wrote the article that accompanies the photos. In the piece she talks about her longterm desire to have the Duchess on the cover of the magazine.

Like every other editor in the world…I had approached her and been turned away, politely but firmly. Nonetheless, when it came to our centenary issue…I approached her again. This time there was a new connection…the National Portrait Gallery.

Kate also wore the sold-out Petite Bateau Striped Tee ($75 in the US, £35 in the UK),  a piece the company says will be restocked.

Petite Bateau

Because of the Portrait Gallery’s plans to host an exhibit showing 100 British Vogue covers, and Kate’s role as patron of the NPG, Ms. Shulman thought there might be hopes for a cover story with the Duchess. It turns out she was right. In her article the editor notes the relaxed atmosphere during the day spent outside on the Sandringham estate; Kate arrived wearing a “parka, jeans and big rollers” in her hair.

It was very clear from the outset these pictures were to be of the woman herself rather than of a figurehead, and they would be as informal as possible. The Duchess liked the idea of being photographed in the countryside, and she wanted the pictures to reflect an element of her private existence.  

There is more background on the shoot itself in Ms. Shulman’s story; it notes that Kate “sifted through the clothes on the rails, laughing at some of the options.” Other tidbits:

  • Kate was “cheerful and incredibly patient throughout the day – constantly asking if we were happy with what we were getting.”
  • “She didn’t want to be dressed as a fashion plate and was not keen to be shot in gala gowns and tiaras.”
  • A kilt from a brand we saw Kate wear in February, Le Kilt. Because the Vogue shoot was in January, it’s possible this is how Kate became familiar with the brand.

In the story, Alexandra Shulman says that while everyone was bundled to combat the cold January temps Kate “…posed uncomplaining, often in a thin cotton shirt.”

In the monthly ‘Field Notes’ section of the magazine photographer Josh Olins is quoted:

You’d imagine a centenary shoot being so extravagant, but it was all wellingtons…and sausage rolls. The day before the Duchess popped in with her kids to look at the clothes rails, and had a cup of tea.

The photos have generated substantial online discussion about what Kate is wearing, especially the overalls and the palazzo-cut jeans. Some are wondering if these are styles we should expect to see Kate wearing in the future; I don’t think so. Kate recognizes the broad distance between editorial content in a high fashion magazine like Vogue, and RTW (ready-to-wear), the designs we all buy off the rack. There can be an enormous space between those two points, as seen with these Vogue pictures. The magazine’s content is meant to be transportative to some degree, taking us all to some not-quite-real fashion planet where we might imagine ourselves wearing the designer dresses, breathtaking jewelry, and incredible accessories shown in the glossy pages or online imagery. But here in the real world, I think The Duchess is devoted to her skinny jeans, wedges, and other items unlikely to be covered in current fashion magazines.

British Vogue goes on sale in the US and most other countries Thursday. For those looking to purchase a hard copy of the magazine, I would try Barnes and Noble and/or your local independent bookstore. Another option is Newsstand UK (although I don’t know where they will ship) or Magazine Cafe. Following are a few places where it can be purchased online:

Many thanks to The Sun’s Emily Andrews for sharing some pictures of the Vogue article, it was very helpful in trying to identify what Kate wears in the magazine.  We’ll see you tomorrow for Kate’s engagements.

NOTE: The post has been updated to correct errors about the Cabbages and Roses shirt; the company is British, and not based in New Zealand as originally stated.


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Wednesday 18th of May 2016

hello there, i'm french and the right answer is "petit bateau" and not "petite bateau" ;) Petit Bateau means literally "Little Boat" in English

congratulations for What Kate Wore, it's very useful!


Tuesday 10th of May 2016

Hi there, actually Burberry shirt is on officiel site


Tuesday 10th of May 2016

Thanks you for sharing the link Marina. That is actually a shirt closely resembling Kate's, this is the exact shirt she wears in the magazine. :)


Thursday 5th of May 2016

I have to agree with many here and I'm disappointed with this shoot. First of all, the pictures barely look like her. Second of all, while I appreciate that she wants to look like a 'normal' girl, the fact is - she's a royal, not a farmer! I mean, overall pants? Seriously? The fashion choices are just not flattering at all. This could (and should) have been so much better.


Thursday 5th of May 2016

Oh dear, if these are the jeans styles we can expect to show up in stores in the next few years, I need to stock up on skinnies!! I am really not a fan of the wide leg style and I think it even looks silly on Kate. That said, I know it is meant to be a fashion shoot and I think she does a great job conveying the country look she was going for. I love the plaid shirts and the cashmere sweater is lovely too. The photo with the Cabbages and Roses shirts is one of my favourite of the shoot.


Wednesday 4th of May 2016

glad to see someone convinced her to get her makeup professionally done. Brows are "in" now, so she got brows. But best of all, no black rimmed eyes.

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