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Fashion Flashbacks and the Ultimate Dress Poll!

Hello, we’re back with poll results, the ‘ultimate favorite dress poll,’ and a few fashion flashbacks. 

We begin with our three fashion flashbacks. Our first look is from eight years ago yesterday: the vibrant red Alexander McQueen that was worn for the Jubilee River Pageant.

 The occasion was one of several events honoring the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, with more than 670 boats on the Tideway of the Thames. Above you see (left to right): the Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Philip, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles, HM, Prince William, and Prince Harry.

The Duchess’s dress was by Alexander McQueen.

Kate’s hat was by Sylvia Fletcher for Lock and Co

She wore it again at Order of the Garter in 2016.  

The Duchess carried a custom version of an Alexander McQueen handbag; the bag’s modification involved the removal of the skull clasp, which was replaced by three large rhinestones. She also carried a scarf crafted of Strathearn tartan.

Kate’s footwear: the Sledge Pumps by LK Bennett ($221).

She wore a new brooch in the shape of two dolphins, a wedding gift from the RN Submarine Service; Prince William is the unit’s Commodore in Chief. We saw the Kiki McDonough Citrine Drops.

I *think* the Duchess may also have been wearing her Diamonds by the Yard bracelet from Tiffany.

For anyone wondering, HM wore Angela Kelly. The fabric was a boucle embroidered with gold, silver, and ivory and adorned with Swarovski crystals, all done specifically to reflect the River Thames. The Queen’s hat was done in the same fabric with matching embellishments.

Our next look is also Jubilee-related, from the National Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

This event was eight years ago tomorrow, the 5th. HM was in Angela Kelly for this event as well, a mint green coat made with silk tulle and embellished with small embroidered flowers and silver thread. It also featured vee-shaped chiffon draping from the front, over the shoulders, down the back of the coat.

The Duchess’s knee-length dress showcased exquisite lace atop a white or ivory base, long sleeves, a modified boat neckline, and satin ribbon or sash detailing at the waist.

We saw the piece again minus the sash at a June 2014 Buckingham Palace garden party.  

A closer look at the sash and the lace at the cuff and neckline.

Her hat was by Jane Taylor, described as a “beaded cocktail hat with silk tulle and organza discs. Finished with smoked quartz and veiling.”

Kate carried her Prada satin logo box clutch. 

She also wore her Sledge heels by LK Bennett.

Her earrings are believed to be the faux Pearl & Diamond Earrings (£64) by Heavenly Necklaces.

Our final flashback is not from the Jubilee, but an even earlier event.  

Nine years ago yesterday the Duke, Duchess, and Prince Harry attended the Epsom Derby

The Duchess wore the ‘Nessie Tweed’ jacket by Joseph. The all-cotton piece is cropped, with a modified Mandarin collar, front buttons, and patch pockets. 

We saw the jacket again in 2012 when Kate wore it to Wimbledon. 

Beneath the jacket, the ‘Peacock’ dress by Reiss. It featured a fit and flare silhouette with mesh and cording embroidery on the bodice, a hidden back zipper, and a heavily lined and full skirt. Several of us think the dress was worn again at Order of the Garter ceremonies in 2012, shown below right.

The Duchess’s hat was the Cappuccino style by Whiteley. The beret-style piece was “…handmade in the legendary hat manufacturing town Luton using only the finest materials.” It was done in Cappuccino Parisisal with curled Parisisal trim, a lightweight type of straw.

This was a hat Kate was fond of; she wore it on many other occasions, including the April 2013 Scouts Parade at Windsor Castle shown below left; the June 2012 wedding of Prince William’s cousin Emily McCorquodale (center); again in July of 2012 at Order of the Thistle ceremonies in Scotland, worn with a yellow Emilia Wickstead coat (right).   

We saw an oft-carried bag, the Natalie Cutch by LK Bennett. It is woven straw on the outside and a short snake chain for carrying or putting over one’s shoulder.

The Duchess wore the ubiquitous Sledge pumps and her Citrine Drops by Kiki McDonough. 

Do these seem like a long time ago to you? 


And now for the polls. First, the results of the Favorite 2019 Dressy Dress and Favorite 2019 Coatdress voting.

Those results bring us to the final Favorite 2019 Dress poll. First, a refresher on the full look for each of the six styles included in the voting, shown chronologically as they were worn.

Your favorite coatdress was this Catherine Walker design the Duchess seen at the annual Anzac Day Service in April.  Similar to the brand’s ‘Amber’ style, the peacock blue garment had a funnel-style collar, full-length sleeves, and a hemline that hits mid-knee.

When visiting Bletchley Park in mid-May, Kate chose an Alessandra Rich dress.  The ‘Pleated Polka-Dot Silk Crepe de Chine Midi Dress’ offered a slightly retro feel, which makes sense: a 1945 photograph inspired it. 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.

When attending Royal Ascot in June, the Duchess debuted a new designer, Elie Saab.  She was in bespoke versions of the designer’s Macramé Pussy Bow Top and Embroidered Tulle Skirt.

Kate wore Emilia Wickstead for the 2019 Gentleman’s Singles Final at Wimbledon in mid-July. 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.

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. 

Here you see the first three dresses in the poll together. 

And the next three. 

And now it is time to vote. 

It will be fun to see the voting on this one because I don’t have a sense of a clear favorite!  

Thank you to all for your comments regarding my concerns about posting with the ongoing crises around the world and particularly here in the USA. You have always been immensely generous with your feedback, candid, and also very kind, and it helps give me a sense of what is appropriate for this forum and this community.  Unless catastrophic events ensue, I will endeavor to keep posting.    

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Tuesday 9th of June 2020

I picked the anzac day outfit the colour along with her peacock hued clutch is breathtaking.


Sunday 7th of June 2020

Thank you so much for the flashbacks to the Diamond Jubilee. I happened to be in London for the very first time on the weekend they took place – completely by chance as I was actually doing a bit of Europe tour and happened to have tickets to a concert in London on June 4th! Those events really helped fuel my love of British culture. I remember waiting for hours by Tower Bridge for the river flotilla to arrive, and two days later joining crowds of fans outside St. Paul's. Sadly my camera battery died during the river pageant, but the photos of the Cambridges and Queen I took before and after the service of Thanksgiving still haven't been deleted from my camera to this day! One thing I remember quite clearly from the weekend's events is walking around St. James's Park after the royals arrived at Buckingham Palace. A man walked near me while talking on the phone to someone who he must have missed during the festivities, saying something like, "Well, we'll have to do it on the 70th anniversary then." It's hard to believe we are only two years away from the Queen's Platinum Jubilee!

(And to answer your question "Do these seem like a long time ago to you?" – yes! William, Kate, and Harry look like babies in the Epsom Derby photo!)

For the dress poll, I went with the Wimbledon Emilia Wickstead. I'm quite surprised how much I like it, given that light blue is one of my least favourite colours on Kate. Something about the twists on the shoulders, and how wonderfully it pairs with the AELTC ribbon, really stands out to me. The Elie Saab is a close second, I am always a fan of the necktie bows and the separates have a lot of other interesting elements as well. It's the perfect look for the races.


Sunday 7th of June 2020

Susan, I've been following your blog since not long after you started it, so first of all thank you for all your great work! :)

With these lovely flashback looks, I have to say that it feels like I'm almost the only person who much prefered the Duchess' look back in those days. It just suits my personal style so much more (not that wear nice dresses all the time, but whenever I do, they are of a similar style). I know most people wish Kate would be even more adventurous, but to me it feels like she has very much gone off her back then-style. Which I am sad about. But well. I do enjoy some of her new choices a lot, but it's just sometimes. Back then, almost every outfit was a hit for me :)

Also, can I just ask: Why in particular does everybody seem to hate the nude sledge pumps? I used to love them a lot, was always happy when she wore them (so I was happy a lot ;-)) and still think of them fondly. Is it the platform or just in general? She still wears nude shoes sometimes and nobody seems to hate them as much. Is it because of them being suede and also having no platform?

Thanks again and everybody let's get ourselves cheered up by Kate and Susan :)

Holiday Beyer

Saturday 6th of June 2020

To have such a warm and bright little spot of comfort in these times is lovely! Thank you so much for bringing such sunshine to us! You are a gem.


Saturday 6th of June 2020

Aww, thank you, Holiday!?

Patricia Staub

Saturday 6th of June 2020

I love these polls. So much fu during trying times. Thank you.

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