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Your Favorite 2023 New Dress & Fashion Notes

Your Favorite 2023 New Dress & Fashion Notes

Two very quick news updates on the health of the King and the Princess of Wales. Yesterday, the King held his first weekly meeting with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak since his cancer diagnosis. 

When chatting with the PM, King Charles shared that the many messages of support “reduced me to tears.” The King also held a Privy Council meeting yesterday; both events were at Buckingham Palace. 

We remain in the “no news is good news” zone with the Princess’s health. The Wales family is believed to be back in Windsor, as the children’s mid-term break from school ended on Monday.  


Now for our poll looking at the new dress styles worn by the Princess of Wales in 2023. We begin with the Cefinn Studio dress worn for mid-January engagements with the Prince of Wales in Merseyside. 

The Princess chose a navy blue Cefinn Studio Eva Dress in navy. Made of a ribbed merino wool knit with a touch of nylon, the Eva is a key piece for the label. On the site, it is described as “…the perfect versatile knit. Crafted in a super-soft merino-wool blend that’s both machine-washable and pill-proof, you’ll feel pulled together even on the busiest of days.”

Accessories included the Princess’s Mulberry Amberley Small Satchel Handbag, navy suede Gianvito Rossi 105 pumps, and her sapphire and diamond earrings. 

Later in January, for the official launch of her “Shaping Us” campaign today in Leeds, the Princess chose a dress by Victoria Beckham.

The Cotton-blend Midi Dress is made in a cotton/elastane/polyamide/viscose fabric. It features a fit and flare silhouette with pointelle knitwork, a mockneck with yellow tipping, the same tipping above the cuffs, and ribbed sleeves. In the accessories department, we saw the return of the Gianvito Rossi bespoke boots, the Micro Bold Leather Shoulder Bag by Manu Atelier, the Shyla London Biarritz Squiggle Earrings, and a new belt by Vanzetti.  

When visiting Birmingham in April, the Princess was in a dress by Karen Millen

The Woven Pleated Midi Trench Dress (now sold out) is made of polyester and described this way: “Part dress, part trench coat, this beautifully cut design shows off neat notched lapels, a waist tie, and crisp pleats lining the skirt. Cinch it in for a nipped-in silhouette…”. The Princess accessorized with her Gianvito Rossi 105 pumps in Bordeaux suede and Sézane’ Dina’ earrings.

The Princess wore the Mortimer Ditsy Floral Print Dress in early May for a coronation rehearsal at Westminster Abbey. Unfortunately, I do not have any photos from this event, so I have not included it in the poll, but wanted to note it here. 

At a pre-coronation reception and walkabout, the Princess chose what is likely a Jenny Packham design.

The creamy white dress featured a classic sheath silhouette, with the addition of black trim at the neckline and the waist. Accessories included the Aquazzura Bow Tie Pumps, black Prada clutch, and the Bahrain Pearl and Diamond Drop earrings.

The white dress is similar to the blue sheath the Princess wore in Northern Ireland in October 2022 and the black design worn to view floral tributes at Windsor following the Queen’s death in 2022. There are some minor differences, but I thought at the time the white dress was worn, it was likely a bespoke Jenny Packham piece, and I still feel that way.

At a second reception ahead of the coronation, the Princess was in a deep blue Self-Portrait dress.

The Self-Portrait Stretch Crepe Twisted Collar Midi Dress (now sold out) is 100% polyester. It features a ruched and asymmetrically draped skirt, twisted neckline, puffed sleeves, and oversized diamante buttons at the shoulder.

The Princess accessorized with her Aquazzura Love Link Sling Heels in ‘blueberry’ grosgrain, Jenny Packham’ Casa’ clutch, and the Queen Mother’s Sapphire and Diamond Earrings. 

We saw a familiar piece in a new color when the Princess wore the emerald green version of Suzannah’s Flippy Wiggle Dress for a visit to the Anna Freud Centre in April. The Princess has worn this design in white.

The shirtdress-style design is made of Italian silk crepe with pintucks at the waist and yoke, puffed short sleeves, and navy silk-covered buttons, and it comes with a thin self-belt. For accessories, the Princess selected her Alessandra Rich Fab 85 Two-Tone Pumps in Beige Black (now sold out) and a new pair of Accessorize earrings. 

For a mid-June Early Years engagement, the Princess was in another Cefinn Studio design, the label’s ‘Petra’ Leopard-Print Silk Dress (no longer available).

The all-silk design showcases Cefinn’s signature leopard pansy print. The midi-length shirtwaist style featured a spread collar, button front, side slit, elastic at the waist, a self-tie, pleated and raised shoulders, and a back yoke.

The Princess accessorized with her Mulberry Small Amberley Crossbody Bag, Jimmy Choo Romy 85 pumps, and a new pair of Kiki McDonough Green Amethyst Pear Drop Earrings.

June brings many high-profile events, including Trooping the Colour. This year, the Princess chose a dress by Andrew Gn, a Singaporean designer whose label is based in Paris. In the blog post, I initially referred to the style as a coatdress, but a reader pointed out the back zipper on the garment, so I have it in the dress category.

The vivid green piece showcases brooch-like embellishments atop fabric bands at the hip and bodice and a smooth satin band at the neckline. The black version of the dress is a viscose/acetate/silk blend; it’s possible the Princess’s dress is made in the same fabric blend.

The Princess accessorized with a Philip Treacy hat, the Aquazzura ‘Purist’ 105 heels in emerald green, her LK Bennett Dora Envelope Clutch, diamond and sapphire earrings, and the Cartier Shamrock brooch. 

Next on the June calendar was Order of the Garter, where the Princess opted for an Alessandra Rich design.

The custom design was crafted in a fine polka dot print in a midi-length. It included puffed, raised sleeves, a high gathered neck, and a cinched-in waist defined by gathered fabric.

The Princess accessorized with a new pair of two-tone slingback heels by Jennifer Chamandi, a new Strathberry clutch, a new Philip Treacy hat, the Collingwood Earrings, and the Nigel Milne triple-strand pearl bracelet. 

The busy June week also included an engagement marking the official reopening of the National Portrait Gallery. 

For this event, the Princess chose a Self-Portrait design. The label’s Metallic Bouclé and Chiffon Midi Dress featured a tailored bouclé ‘jacket’ with a pleated skirt, both made of polyester. The jacket has a cinched waist and belt, shoulder pads, contrasting crystal-embellished trim at the neckline, center front, and cuffs. The pleated chiffon skirt has a floaty, soft feel.

The Princess paired a new Chanel clutch with her Aquazzura Bow Tie pumps and wore her Imitation Pearl and Diamond Earrings by Heavenly London. 

A busy June wrapped up with Royal Ascot when the Princess wore a vibrant red dress by Alexander McQueen.

The flowing design featured a v-neck with tucks, a wrap-effect bodice, raised, puffed shoulders, a defined waist, and a full A-line skirt. The bright color was a departure from the ivory and pale blue ensembles the Princess previously wore for this event. (NOTE: This could also be the dress worn by the Princess when visiting the Welsh Guards on St. David’s Day.)

She accessorized with a new Philip Treacy hat, a new pair of red suede heels by Jennifer Chamandi, a vintage Hermès clutch, and a pair of past-season Sézane earrings. 

In early July, the Princess wore a Beulah London dress for a charity polo match

The ‘Sonia’ dress (no longer available) in cornflower blue was 100% silk crepe de chine. It showcased a placed print, stand collar, fitted and pleated bodice, blouson sleeves with elastic at the cuff, and a full skirt.

Accessories for this ensemble included a new pair of Camilla Elphick slingback shoes, Mulberry’s Harlow Small Satchel Bag, her Lenique Louis Gold Spine Hoop Earrings, and a Sézane bracelet.

Wimbledon always brings interesting fashion, and last year was no different. The Princess of Wales chose a Self-Portrait dress for the Women’s Singles Final.

The Lime Boucle Collared Chiffon Midi Dress incorporated a tailored top with a full, floaty skirt and an appearance of wearing separates when it was just one piece. The jacket offered bodice darts, four decorative pocket flaps, self-covered buttons, and a self-belt. The midi-length skirt portion was pleated and fully lined.

The Princess accessorized with her Natasha handbag in blush suede by Emmy London, a pair of Gianvito Rossi Ribbon Sling Pumps, the Cassandra Goad Cavolfiore Stud Earrings, and a Halcyon Days Salamander Torque Aquamarine and Gold Bangle

The Princess opted for a deep green Roland Mouret design for the Gentlemen’s Singles Final the next day.

The Ruffle Detail Asymmetrical Midi Dress was a blend of 97% viscose and 3% elastane. It featured draped fabric at the shoulder, short sleeves, a lined bodice, a concealed back zipper, and back vent.

Accessories included the Natasha bag carried for the Women’s Final match, Gianvito Rossi 105 Bisque Suede Pumps, a new pair of earrings by Milina London, the Green Onyx Gemstone style, and a new Halcyon Days Salamander Torque Bangle in Forget Me Not.

When hosting Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel of Sweden at Windsor Castle in November, the Princess wore what appeared to be an Emilia Wickstead design. 

The Princess accessorized with her Emmy Rebecca heels in the ‘greenway’ color and her diamond and sapphire cabochon cluster earrings.

And here is the poll!



A couple of quick retail notes today, beginning with news from our friends at Earsass, the company offering the Issy Star Earrings ($33) given to the Princess as a gift by Sarah Renton. The earrings were created in memory of Sarah’s daughter, Issy, who took her life in April of last year. The earrings are being sold at Earsass as a fundraiser for mental health charity Brave Mind. Below, the Princess wearing the earrings at a SportsAid workshop in October of last year. (The featured photo at the top of the post also shows the Princess wearing the earrings.)

Earsass has now raised more than £12000 for Brave Mind. In gratitude, they have launched an earring dedicated to the Princess called the “Catherine” ($35). Available in gold-plated or silver-plated finish, the earrings showcase eleven glass beads on an oval frame. They were so popular they sold out in a few hours, but they can be pre-ordered with an estimated delivery four weeks after an order is placed. Thank you to everyone who emailed and messaged about the earrings.

Also today, word of a collaborative collection between Target and a designer the Princess has worn, Diane von Furstenberg.  

More from this Vogue piece about the collection. 

Along with wrap dresses, cargo pants, sweaters, outerwear, activewear, loungewear, and intimates, there will also be beauty, home decor and even made-to-order furniture that can be customized in one of seven exclusive Diane von Furstenberg for Target fabrics. Prices start at $4, with most of the clothing (women’s, girls’ and baby apparel, and accessories!) under $50. Of course, the Target version of the signature wrap dress will be included in the assortment too.

And this via People’s article.

As for the prints you’ll see in the collection, the designer told Vogue that she pulled from her own archives to adapt for Target, as prints have played a huge role in her eponymous brand’s own history. One print is a poppy design that resembles animal print that dates back decades. Another is ginkgo that she told Vogue is a “big print” for the brand because of how fond she’s always been of it.

If unfamiliar with the ginkgo pattern, you see an example of it in green at DVF and another at Nordstrom in ‘antique pink.’

The Diane von Furstenberg for Target collection debuts in most Target stores and on on March 23. The discount retailer suggests those interested in the collection check this page or sign up on this page to receive email updates on the collection. Thank you to my friend Micki for the tip on this collection!


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Wednesday 6th of March 2024

The person in the green dress with Kate at the Leeds Shaping Us event is my sister😀😀. She said Kate was charming and very well informed.


Sunday 17th of March 2024

@Bonnie, thanks!


Friday 8th of March 2024

@Bea, Your sister looks very nice in her dress also.


Wednesday 6th of March 2024

What fun detail, Bea, thank you for sharing it with us! :)


Tuesday 5th of March 2024

Thank you so much for such a lovely poll and recap of the Princess's beautiful new dresses from last year. It was great to see so many dresses together in the same post, and hard to choose a favourite one! I actually loved some of the green ones (my favourite colour) - especially the green Suzannah dress (very stylish and a lovely shade in my opinion), the leopard print Cefinn (very striking) and the lime Self-Portrait (I do love that style with the formal top and floaty skirt) and would consider all three as my joint 3rd favourites. In my 2nd favourite place is the glorious Andrew Gn dress - surely a masterclass in design and cut, a beautiful colour and with stunning buttons and the genius idea to include one of the buttons on the gorgeous hat. However, I must say my choice of 1st place in my list of favourites is definitely the Alessandra Rich polka dot dress worn to the Order of the Garter as it looked so fresh, summery and stylish, enhanced by the beautiful hat and other lovely accessories. This dress is probably my favourite of all the Princess's polka dot dresses. Also, the Princess looked so happy and relaxed at this event which is always lovely to see. Overall, for me an iconic look which I am hoping will be repeated!


Monday 4th of March 2024

This was such a curious poll! What a grab bag of casual dresses and more formal ones – and ending very suddenly after summer when Kate stuck with her trousers and blazer uniform for most of the rest of the year. And even many of these "new" dresses are familiar designs.

I went with the Flippy Wiggle dress in the end, because it's so irresistible – though I vastly prefer the white version where the (usually added) belt and buttons really contrast. I also loved the black and white Jenny Packham, because Kate looked so radiant for that engagement, but we have seen so many versions of it that it felt wrong to choose it again.

I hope we see more dresses again when Kate is healthy and back in the spring, and my fingers are crossed for shorter hemlines!

Sue V

Monday 26th of February 2024

The Alessandra Rich two tone shoes are so much more flattering around the ankle area than the Chamandi ones. The strap on the latter sits too high with the result that Catherine’s feet are cut off at the wrong place. The A Rich shoes do not give that effect.

The Cefinn dress looks ok, mainly due to Catherine having pushed the sleeves up but I prefer the VB knit, there is more interest in the patterned knit. I think most Cefinn stuff is so dowdy. Karen Millen and Self-Portrait twisty one just no, primary due to polyester. The KM one lees ‘cheap’ the S-P one has way too much going on at the top with all that gathering. The white Packham worn with the Aquazurra bow shoes I think is very stylish, the black touches are en point.

The Suzannah Flippy dress in white was always a favourite of mine, and I think I prefer the white to the green. It’s quite a dark shade and consequently looks less ‘summery’.

I think my choice is between the red Ascot dress and the Andrew Gn Trooping the Colour - their respective hats were, after all, my faves; just need to decide which one just beats the other.

Although the Self-Portrait jacket/skirt combo looks quite elegant I do wonder why Catherine needs at least four that I know of, seems a bit excessive. Of the ones we have seen I think the NPG gallery with its black Chanelesque touches is the best.

There are more dresses than I expected! Sort of like the hat poll, we had forgotten how many of those Catherine wore throughout 2023.

NOTE: admin edit


Tuesday 5th of March 2024

@Georgia, I just can't love the Flippy Wiggle dress, though its name is adorable. If there is any such thing as "too youthful" or too young -- to be said of a garment, vis-a-vis its wearer -- this is it for me. Somehow this dress looks a little too breezy for Catherine's identity as Princess of Wales. While I would have liked it on her years ago, it somehow doesn't work now. Just me.


Thursday 29th of February 2024

@Sue V, Thanks, I also prefer the white Flippy Wiggle, but do like the green. And, now, the blue Self Protrait. Sue, I loved it when I first saw it; I even voted for it; then, the polyester aspect bothered me. Then, the more I looked at it, the more I thought there really is a little too much going on: the beautiful twist, plus the poof in the sleeves, plus the buttons (Catherine loves); plus the asymmetrical skirt, plus the slit, plus the belt. I really think the belt is unnecessary. Does anybody know whether Catherine had a high slit, a shorter slit, or any slit at all? I could never find a photo with an angle to show it. I think that since becoming POW, Catherine has become even more modest in her outfits, which is fine with me, but certainly different.


Monday 26th of February 2024

Many thanks for the interesting polls and posts . . . a great 2023 re-cap and a great way to console us over missing Catherine. I will keep my rant about polyester short. There can be equivocation about which fabric is the most sustainable, yet we can probably all agree that polyester is not it! Polyester has an unparalleled capability to scream the word “Synthetic”! Furthermore, living in the US desert Southwest, I can assure you that polyester does not breathe. So, I’m commenting on the dresses where a non-polyester fabric was identified (& I’m sure the fabric information wasn’t available for all). The Ceffin Eva dress in merino wool knit is a beautiful design in one of my favorite fabrics. I wish it were in a lighter color so that the lines might be more visible. Love it! I wish that the Princess would wear some brooches or necklaces from time to time. They might add a little interest to some of the more tailored looks. The Victoria Beckham cotton blend midi got the fewest votes! I think the ribbing and pointelle give it some interest. I’m not overly fond of the belt and would be curious about how it might be styled differently. Overall, I like it. The Flippy Wiggle Dress has such a cute, fun cut! Nice detail in the pintucks, puffed sleeves and contrasting buttons, yet it looks clean and unfussy. Italian silk crepe. Love it! The Ceffin Petra Leopard-Print Silk Dress has been nicely described in some of the posts. It was a perfect look for the event. Summery and informal, sweet for greeting moms and little ones. The Beulah London silk print is so pretty! I think it would work better for a garden party than at a polo event. A little bulky for a brisk walk across a lawn. And, now, the dress I would love to love more: the Roland Mouret Ruffle Dress. The cut and tailoring are classic Catherine. So attractive. This one is viscose, which has a tendency to wrinkle, alas, with sad results here. My favorite: the Flippy Wiggle. My favorite fabric is lyocell. It is lightweight, sheds wrinkles and has a beautiful drape. I wish Catherine would wear some. Another is cotton- or rayon-linen blend. Some cottons are relatively wrinkle free. I might tolerate some creasing to get a more natural look. Merino wool is one of my favorites: lasts forever, never pills. I wish that more of Catherine’s favorite designers would get away from plastic and into a more natural fiber. Final comments: In 2023 there were too many pants outfits in a row. I rejoiced when we began to see dresses again. I would also like to see some shorter hemlines, something more like the Roland Mouret and the creamy white Jenny Packham. Catherine is so slim. I don’t want the clothes to swallow her up!

Sue V

Sunday 3rd of March 2024

@DuchFan, I do not think a specific category is required. One of the earliest Finalists in Earthshot had ‘fleather’ (flower leather) - an Indian enterprise that used all the flowers thrown in the Ganges from funerals, etc., rather than letting them rot in there, thus adding to pollution, they processed them to create sheets of ‘fleather’ for use in belts, bags. I think somewhere there is a clip of William talking to the entrepreneur, saying something about bringing it to the attention of Stella McCartney. Also Notpla using seaweed for packaging, so the category for utilising matters for sustainable other uses already exists.


Thursday 29th of February 2024

@Georgia, Great idea for new Earthshot category. Love it!


Thursday 29th of February 2024

@Bonnie, I used to find poly / cotten woven (not knit) fabric in a lot of garments, and I loved to wear it. It was breathable and it didn't wrinkle much, so I never saw a need to iron it. It has been years since I have seen much of that blend. Thanks to all of you for continuing the discussion. I agree with the comment about polyester conflicting with the Earthshot thrust. I personally would love to see a category in Earthshot for creative sustainable fabric, how to work with it in design, etc.


Tuesday 27th of February 2024

Georgia, I agree with many of your comments. As with your selection, the Flippy Wiggle was my favourite. I also see merit in the Victoria Beckham cotton knit, but like you, I couldn't accept the belt. I note that the model does not have a belt, which is likely how VB intended it to be. Also, I endorse how wonderful merino wool is. It doesn't have to be thick or chunky, and even in its thinnest form it is warm. As always, natural fibres are the best. There is something about a wool, cotton, linen or silk garment that makes it stand head and shoulders above polyester. Polyester does not wrinkle and is easy to launder, but that's about all it gives.

Sue V

Tuesday 27th of February 2024

@Georgia, I cannot agree with you more, regarding the excess of polyester in Catherine’s wardrobe! Cannot abide it plus (I almost hesitate to say it) it seems to so much at odds with William’s Earthshot credo, so that is another excellent to ditch it, not just the lack of breathability, etc.

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