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Insta-Poll, Kate’s Calendar Update & Russell & Bromley’s Fab Autumn Collection

We are back with a quick poll, an update to Kate’s Calendar and then a look at Russell and Bromley’s autumn/winter 2018 collection.

Late last week I had an email asking “why not do a poll on Kate’s looks since she came back from maternity leave?” I thought about it and quickly looked at the styles we’ve seen since October and thought, “Why not, indeed?” It’s almost an insta-poll, quick to look at and vote on. I am only including the daywear/semi-formal dresses, eliminating the two casual ensembles and the gown from the state dinner, they just didn’t feel like a good fit with the other four dresses.

The first dress the Duchess wore after maternity leave was an Emilia Wickstead a-line crepe style, seen when William and Kate attended a mental health summit in early October.  Crafted of a mid-weight wool, the dress features a boat neckline, fitted bodice with front and back darts, full skirt, self-belt and back zipper. The Duchess initially wore the dress in July 2017.

The next dress we saw Kate wear was an Erdem style for an engagement at the V&A, her first as the museum’s patron. The dress was the Erdem Iman, from the designer’s S/S 2018 collection. Made in a bouclé tweed in the Prince of Wales check pattern, the dress showcased an asymmetric and layered off-the-shoulder design, with a broad vee in the back.

For the October 12th wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank, the Duchess chose a familiar style in a new fabric. Her Alexander McQueen dress was very similar to her 2017 Trooping the Colour dress.  The dress featured a fitted bodice with pleats at the neckline, paper bag waist, peaked, gathered shoulders and a full, pleated skirt.  

Our final frock is the Jenny Packham blue dress worn just last week to the International War Museum. It is a classic sheath with peaked shoulders, subtly flared bracelet-length sleeves, a self-belt, and that wonderful collar detail with lapels front and back, and a vee dip at the back. It was first worn for the Cambridge family’s arrival in Canada in September 2016.

We’re trying something new with this poll, multiple choice answers. That’s something that is requested with every batch of polls we do, and it seems a good time to give it a go, and we can see how we all like it…or don’t. (I never really know with some of this stuff, and try it on a wing and prayer that it will function as hoped!) We can vote for up to three dresses. Unfortunately, the software doesn’t allow ranking of choices in order of how much we like them, something I think many readers would prefer. (I will look into other options and see what is available for this sort of thing before our year-end polls.)


A note about Kate’s Calendar for the next few weeks; it looks like it will be busy.

This Thursday we have the Tusk Conservation Awards, followed by the many Remembrance events over the weekend. There are additional elements to those annual services as well as an additional function this year because we are marking the Centenary of the Armistice ending the First World War. Today Kensington Palace confirmed the Duchess’s participation in several events.

  • Thursday, November 8: The Duke and Duchess attend the Tusk Conservation Awards at Banqueting House in London.
  • Saturday, November 10: Tonight is the annual Festival Of Remembrance at Royal Albert Hall. Kate has attended the last three years, and Kensington Palace confirmed she will attend again this year.
  • Sunday, November, 11Remembrance Sunday. This year’s events will also mark the centenary of The Great War’s end in 1918. The Palace has also confirmed Kate’s attendance at the event.
  • Sunday, November 11: The Day of Remembrance will end with a special service at Westminster Abbey, “to give thanks for peace and those who returned.” The Duke & Duchess will attend the service.
    • The UK’s “Armistice 2018 A Nation’s Thank You” listing of events (or you can add your own event) may be seen here
    • A list of events at American Battle Monuments Commission sites is here
    • Veteran’s Affairs Canada has a list of commemorations you may see here
    • Australia’s Centenary of Armistice event listing is here
    • A list of New Zealand events tied to the Centenary may be seen here
  • Wednesday, November 14: The Queen hosts a private birthday party for Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace as he turns 70. It’s likely there will be other events marking the occasion.

Kate generally has multiple November and December engagements, separate from these engagements. These usually include at least one or more holiday celebrations at her patronages, along with other seasonal events like the Queen’s Diplomatic Reception and the annual Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace. We will keep the Calendar updated here on the site and also the Note on the Facebook page.


Also today, we are excited to welcome back Russell and Bromley, one of our favorite sponsors and long a favorite of the Duchess.

Before we look at the a/w 2018 collection, a quick review of some of Kate’s Russell & Bromley styles. Just last week we saw the Duchess in the Fallon Dry, a pair she added to her boot collection last year. It is made exclusively for Russell and Bromley by Aquatalia; Kate wore the Fallon in black suede, but it also comes in grey suede. On the right, you see Kate in her oft-worn Ruby Dry Platform Ankle Boots, also an Aquatalia design and also made with weather-resistant suede. Kate’s brown color is no longer offered, but the Ruby Dry comes in five colors, four of them suede and one leather.

We all know the Duchess’s fondness for the retailer’s boots; here you see her in the Half n Half (L, C) and the Hi-Ride (R). 

The Half ‘n Half Boots are made by Stuart Weitzman exclusively for Russell and Bromley. They have a low block heel and stretch panel on the back, making them über-comfortable. Kate has worn them for several years in black suede; in February she added the brown suede. The Duchess added another mid-heel style to her closet last year, the Hi-Ride Riding boot, also in black suede. Below, other Aquatalia styles at Russell and Bromley include the Dee Dry with its hidden platform and slim block heel; in the center, the Farin Dry, featuring a low gaucho heel and leather straps; on the right, the Ivory Dry, with elastic side panels, a mid-block heel, and cleated rubber sole.

This summer we saw Kate in a new pair of espadrilles, the Coco-Nut Espadrille Wedge

The style showcases a leather ankle strap, heel cup made of woven fabric, and goldtone plate at the very tip of the toe box. It has a classic espadrille rope wedge that measures a manageable 2.5″.  The Duchess wore the Coco-nut in soft sand suede; the shoe also comes in other colors/materials, including a shimmering metallic fabric, as well as a classic tan leather pair.

Kate has also worn the Xpresso flat in blush suede. While that color is no longer available, the black suede and navy suede are still offered. A very similar style, the Xtra, has the same crossover straps along with a 2.25″ block heel and it is carried in an array of colors. We show it in dark grey suede and a rich Bordeaux suede.

The Chester loafer is another Russell and Bromley design seen on the Duchess.  It comes in a terrific range of colors, materials, and textures. Below left you see Kate’s navy style; we also show the Bordeaux patent, suede, and textured leather, as well as a tortoise-print patent, and a green patent, suede & leather combo.

Loafers remain on-trend this season, and there’s no shortage of great choices at Russell & Bromley. From left to right, you see the Keeler in grey tweed, the Loafer in red patent and the Bug Printed Brewster with snaffle bar trim.

The neat thing about the Loafer is that it converts to a mule style. We show it in Silver Glitter Fabric, but it is available in several other colors and finishes.   

Snakeskin-printed designs remain popular, be the pattern used as an accent on a casual style like the Cruiseaway sneaker, seen on an entire shoe like the Hashtag flat, or decorating the Bowline Mid Heel Court.

Ankle boots continue as a “must-have” and luxe hardware is seen across the collection, featured on Chelsea+ and androgynous signature styles. Below we share (from left to right) the Chelsea+, a pull-on style with elasticated panels and silver beaded trim; the Wrangler in brown leather, a western boot with a softly squared toe and gaucho-inspired heel; the Tristar Triple Strap Western Boot in taupe suede; and on the right, the Americana in brown leather, a round toe style with double tassels on the zipper. The Americana also has a rubber sole, a plus for those of us who cope with ice-covered sidewalks in the winter.

The very popular Socklet returns this fall with its ankle-hugging fit, rounded almond toe and demi heel. It is available in an array of colors and finishes; we show it in Zebra Printed haircalf leather; in an understated Black suede;  and in a Leopard Printed haircalf

Russell and Bromley offer a terrific mix of heels for those in search of a party pump. Below left, we show the Cipriani, a classic point-toe pump, in Black Quilted Velvet with silver studs; in the center, another Stuart Weitzman design, the Plunge in Glitter Fabric; on the right, the Cipriani in Blue Velvet.  

Also perfect for a party: the 85 Pump Stiletto, a timeless point-toe design; the Vivacious, showcasing a velvet bow and glittered block heel; on the right, another classic style, the Cipria Point-Toe Slingback.

If you like a little embellishment and a kitten heel, here are three designs you’ll love: on the left, the Cracker, with a big, beautiful bow in diamanté crystals; in the center, the Humbug in Purple Suede, with those darling crystal bug embellishments; on the right, the Glitterati, a black satin slingback.    

On the casual side, there are oodles of sneakers, from the Big Star in tartan to the Park Run in beige nubuck, and the very fun and funky Bug Runner bug and stud sneaker.

This is just a sampling of the collection; there are lots of terrific designs this fall!  You can view the entire collection by clicking here.

We will see you on Thursday for the Tusk Conservation Awards, if not before!


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Thursday 8th of November 2018

Four of her best ever looks, in my opinion. If the Erdem wasn't such a stand-out it would be hard to choose!


Wednesday 7th of November 2018

The problem with Russell and Bromley is they don't ship to the States. So seeing all these lovely shoes is a tease?


Wednesday 7th of November 2018

Survey Monkey is a polling site/service that allows respondents to rank their choices. I think that type of polling would be a more accurate reflection of everyone’s responses; however, in this instance, it may have taken me ages because the dresses are all amazing! I think I have to go with the blue Packham though. She just looks so beautiful in the color and that particular cut is just made for her.


Wednesday 7th of November 2018

Thank you for the tip, Kiara. I had completely forgotten about Survey Monkey! :)


Tuesday 6th of November 2018

A difficult choice but I too went with the Erdem. I love everything about it and think that Kate looks stunning. All the other options look wonderful on Kate too but the Erdem just seemed special. I absolutely love the colour of the lavender Emilia Wickstead, so to the berry coloured McQueen. Kate seems to be able to wear most colours well and her smile and glow since she has returned to the public sphere have been noticeable and quite enchanting.


Tuesday 6th of November 2018

Kate really has been on top form since coming back, such variety of style and colour expertly handled. For me the plaid Erdem was poll winner by virtue of being new. I loved the wonderful fit of the bodice, the swish of movement in the deep flared skirt, the monochrome plaid so on trend – and not forgetting the cheeky touches of the deep v neck at the back and the occasional flash of sultry purple lining. Nice work.

The three repeats were amazing and all looked fresh on their rerun. The lavender Wickstead was uplifted by the cute Aspinall croc, the return to the McQueen for the wedding was a masterstroke courtesy of that gorgeous rich colour, and I even thought the Packham was new for a moment, it looked so different minus eye-catching hat and updo.

Thanks for the R&B update, good to have them on board and interesting to see how Kate favourites are faring, it’s fun that her flats have now acquired a small heel which works well against the pretty strap pattern. Fun to see you highlight the studded Humbug shoe, R&B stud styles are much favoured by our own PM, and she wore the Humbug in green to last year’s party conference. Her shoe game is strong whatever anyone’s view of her politics.


Wednesday 7th of November 2018

Thanks all for commenting. One of my Kate fave shoes were the low rise J Crew courts with tweed panel she wore with slacks at the end of the Canada trip. I certainly wouldn't see her picking out studded kitten heels - possibly they are more in keeping with heavy political types ;-)


Tuesday 6th of November 2018

I actually disagree about her shoe game. I've never thought Kate really as a shoe person. Her multiple heels in nude and wearing wedges with a lot of her summer outfits suggest to me she goes for whatever is simplest and easiest (and probably most comfortable). I think she makes very sensible choices for her outfits but I've never been wowed by any of her shoes. I've never seen her wear a shoe that I thought "Wow I must have that shoe!" (Mostly because I already have a similar shoe in my closet!) I see a lot of the Russell & Bromley shoes here that I really like and I think Kate has introduced me to good shoe brands. But she is not a shoe fashionista in my eyes.

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