We are back with (finally) the favorite day dress poll featuring almost all of last year’s new styles. There are a few that aren’t included because we simply couldn’t see enough of them to make any kind of determination on how the piece looked. On that list: the & Other Stories dress worn for the private photos of the children testing out Kate’s Back to Nature Garden and the Boden’ Aurora’ seen in one of the family’s Christmas cards. There are also several that are included in separate polls for coatdresses and dressier styles.
I broke the voting into two polls because there are so many it didn’t seem like a good idea to have you all just endlessly scrolling through the different designs. Once we know the top choices in the two groups of dresses we’ll combine them in a new poll to get to a favorite for the year.
The first new dress we saw was at a Family Action engagement in mid-January.
The Duchess was in a bespoke version of Beulah London’s Yahvi dress ($770). The midi-length dress is done in wool crepe and features a darted bodice, fitted waist, puffed sleeves, a full skirt, and distinctive button detailing at the left hip.
On February 5, the Duchess wore another green frock for school visits.
Her new dress was by Eponine London. Featuring a retro feel, like many of Eponine’s designs, it was crafted of wool bouclé and featured full-length sleeves, cut out pockets with button detailing at the hip, and topstitching at the neckline and bodice.
When attending a Buckingham Palace reception marking the fiftieth anniversary of Prince Charles’s investiture as Prince of Wales, Kate was in a dress that remains a UFO.
The mint-colored dress featured a high collar with a ruffle, self-covered buttons with loop fasteners, a full sleeve coming to a fitted cuff, and a full skirt with all-around pleating.
March 19th, the Duchess wore Catherine Walker when she joined HM at King’s College London and also had an engagement at the Foundling Museum. Below, the dress as worn when with The Queen.
The bespoke piece showcased the fit and flare silhouette Kate is so fond of, box pleats, flared sleeves, a velvet collar, and velvet-covered buttons.
On the first of May, the Duchess wore an Emilia Wickstead dress for an engagement at the Anna Freud Centre.
Crafted of wool crepe, this dress also showcased a fit and flare design, as well as a square neckline, applied waistband, and concealed zipper.
The Duchess visited Bletchley Park in mid-May, choosing an Alessandra Rich dress for that engagement.
The ‘Pleated Polka-Dot Silk Crepe de Chine Midi Dress’ offered a slightly retro feel, which makes sense: it was inspired by a 1945 photograph. Made of silk, it had a contrasting spread collar, pleated skirt, and contrasting cuffs.
At Trooping the Colour in June, the Duchess wore Alexander McQueen.
The soft yellow dress featured a v-neck with double elongated collar, inset waistband, and slightly peaked shoulders.
At a photo workshop in late June, the Duchess debuted a dress by Ridley London.
The Virginia Midi Dress (£449, about $570 at today’s exchange rates) was made of silk chiffon and had a v-neck, flutter sleeves, fitted bodice with an A-line skirt that also featured a flounced hem.
The Duchess sported another new brand, Sandro Paris, when unveiling her Back to Nature Garden at the Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival in July.
The Printed Flowing Midi Dress ($199 at Harrods). It is made of 100% polyester fabric, with floaty batwing-sleeves, a hidden back zipper, and deep v-neck bodice with ruching and decorative buttons.
For her first appearance at Wimbledon last year, the Duchess wore Suzannah.
Made of an Italian silk crepe, the Flippy Wiggle Dress (£1850, about $2340) was tea-length, with pintucks at the front yoke and waist, half-sleeves with a button cuff and contrasting silk covered buttons.
That wraps up our first ten dresses; now, it’s time to pick your favorite.
Kate was in LK Bennett for a July 10 polo match.
She wore the brand’s Madison silk chiffon dress (originally $525), a 100% silk design with a “loose, tiered silhouette,” short sleeves, and a full skirt.
The Duchess wore Emilia Wickstead for the 2019 Gentleman’s Singles Final at Wimbledon.
Based on the ‘Jordin Dress,’ the soft blue frock had a fitted bodice with a squared neckline, twisted strap detail at the shoulder, and a full, pleated skirt.
For the final unveiling of her Back to Nature Garden in September, the Duchess wore an Emilia Wickstead dress.
The ‘Aurora’ dress was done in a lightweight cotton seersucker with a floral print. It was midi-length and featured a button front, chest pockets, deep cuffs, a wide belt, and self-covered buttons.
Late in October, Kensington Palace released photos of a reception the Duke and Duchess had for BBC Radio One’s Teen Hero Award winners.
Kate wore LK Bennett for the event, the brand’s Gabrielle Dress in a silk/elastane blend. The fabric is described as having an archive coral print in toffee and black, and the dress had tuck detailing at the shoulders, “a mini V-neck, ruching through the front, long sleeves and a floaty midi-length skirt.”
In early November, the Duchess was in Emilia Wickstead for the launch of the National Emergencies Trust.
The midi-length design is called the ‘Kate’ and showcased a slim-fitting bodice enhanced with contouring darts above and below the waistband, a fully lined A-line skirt, and concealed back zipper.
At the annual Festival of Remembrance last year, the Duchess wore a dress that remains a UFO.
The dress had a bateau neckline, princess seams, long sleeves, and a velvet band at the waist.
We saw another dress by Alessandra Rich for the Mary Berry Christmas special.
A modified version of the “Pleated Polka Dot & Petals Silk Print Dress,” the piece was made of lightweight silk crêpe de chine. It featured structured, padded shoulders, a front keyhole opening, a tie-neck (not seen on the off the rack dress), long sleeves, a distinctive v-shaped insert panel at the waistline and full pleated skirt.
At a December NATO reception, the Duchess wore a dress believed to be by Alexander McQueen.
The shirtdress had a pleated skirt, band collar, slightly puffed shoulders, and an inset waistband.
In late December, the Duchess wore a geometric print dress by MICHAEL Michael Kors on one of the two days she spent at Kingston Hospital’s Maternity Unit.
The Pink Printed Midi Dress (most recently sold for $122) is 100% polyester, with a front placket, long sleeves, and vee neckline.
That wraps up the second batch of dresses, here is the poll.
I’m hopeful we may see a video yet this week of calls the Duchess and/or Duke & Duchess have been making. The Wednesday Court Circular reports they spoke with volunteers from Shout on a video call. Shout is the texting service for people in crisis. Below, the couple at a celebration for Shout volunteers in November.
Tuesday 26th of May 2020
I wrote here earlier that the light blue UFO dress might have been made by Angela Kelly.
Just happened to re-watch a British ITV program serie called "Inside the Crown" and there in episode 2 called, "Front page news" is a clip of Kate on her tour of Malaysia. And when greeting the public, she is wearing a very similar dress, only the neckline has maybe a different trim/ruff.
I'm wondering if the UFO was made for the Malaysia tour and then reused a Bucks Palace later?
I can't remember when they were in Malaysia, I think it was quite early on.
Monday 18th of May 2020
I wish you would divide the dresses by price point. Below $200, $500, $3,000 or something like that.
Monday 18th of May 2020
So hard to choose! It would have been much easier to narrow down the ones I didn't like, because there were so few.
However, I got to see her live and in action at King's College last March, so that outfit got my vote :)
I always liked the coat dresses, and thicker looking/more formal dresses she has worn in the past. However seeing all the pretty flowy dresses in one post, they really are a friendly, happy, accessible look that she pulls off very well.
Saturday 16th of May 2020
Hello and thank you so much for this (and all) posts. It is so lovely to have something frivolous to look at and read. Altough I'm of course not meaning the subject matter of Kate and Wills video calls. They are lovely and important in these times.
I have read somewhere that the UFO-dress was made by the Queens dressmaker Angela Kelly. Not sure of course if that is right. It must have been the Hello magazine, Daily Mail or The Daily Telegraph, as those are the only reading I buy. I remember I was surprised when reading about it, as I did not think Kate had ever worn anything by Kelly before. But then thought that if she wanted a specific type of dress and could not find it, she could have had one made for her?
I personally like the fact that Kate wears dresses, as most women nowadays wear trousers. And I have been inspired by her to get myself some more dresses to wear and quite like them. Remember seeing Kate on a visit with William (was it to Cyprus?). When she wore dark blue trousers and a green blazer. She looked fabulous.
Saturday 16th of May 2020
These were the most impossible polls in the absolute BEST way! I am such a fan of the Duchess’s style and found myself having a serious debate about which to choose! Thank you Susan for bringing joy and smiles during this time! I thoroughly enjoy the polls and reading the comments to see what others’ perspectives are.