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FashionThe Cambridges

Duchess of Cambridge: Our fashion favourites

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

With a new book coming out to mark the Duchess of Cambridge’s fashion during her decade in the Royal Family, we are taking a look at our favourite outfits in her wardrobe. From her trousers to her glamorous gala gowns with tiaras, let’s dive into some of Kate’s best fashion.

Brittani Barger, Deputy Editor

My first choice is one that many don’t like. I absolutely loved the gold and white Alexander McQueen gown that Kate wore during her and William’s trip to Malaysia back in 2012. I thought she looked stunning, and I kept hoping she would re-wear it at some point. I got my wish last year when she wore it to the 2020 BAFTAs. She had done some alterations to the sleeves that I wasn’t fond of (I thought the original sleeves looked better), but nevertheless, I was happy to see her dust the gown off and wear it again!

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My second choice comes from the gala dinner with the King and Queen of Norway in February 2018 while she and the Duke of Cambridge were on a trip to Norway and Sweden. The Duchess wore a caped Alexander McQueen gown with jewels that looked like leaves adorning the shoulders and chest. The only thing missing was a tiara! I’m sad that this was a pregnancy look because the chances of getting to see her in it again aren’t very high!

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I also chose a more casual look. I really liked the outfit Kate wore to the National History Museum in October 2019. She wore a pair of olive green slacks from Jigsaw with a burgundy top that came from Warehouse. The colours look really good on her and flatter her complexion. I hope she wears this outfit again – when the lockdown is over!

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Lydia Starbuck, Associate Editor

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I’ve always been a big fan of this gold gown, first worn by Kate for an event for children’s charity, ARK, in 2011, just weeks after her royal wedding. Her first formal night out as Duchess of Cambridge set the template for her gala look – this is by one of her go to designers, Jenny Packham, and it’s got the fitted silhouette that’s become synonymous with Kate’s evening wear. I love the mesh inserts at the neck and shoulders not to mention all the sequins and crystals. A decade on, this one still glitters for me.

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This baby blue two piece, by royal favourite Elie Saab, is a departure from Kate’s usual look but I think it suits her really well. Worn for her third visit to Royal Ascot, in June 2019, it includes a blouse with a pussy bow, intricate lace embellishments across the top and sleeves and some neat little cuffs and a stand out skirt. Made of tulle and covered with polka dot pattern, it’s got more flounce than we’re used to seeing in Kate’s formal wear and it’s all the better for that. I think the metallic accessories, including a clutch also by Elie Saab, give this a really fresh air while the Philip Treacy hat is very Ascot.

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Another departure from her usual style was this Anita Dongre dress worn by the Duchess of Cambridge for a day of sports during her tour of India in 2016. The outfit, with its Jaipur themed print was in a bold mix of coral, pink and green. It was worn with her favourite wedges, a big bonus when the to do list includes playing cricket with sporting legends.

Jess Ilse, Senior Royal Reporter and Editorial Assistant

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If I close my eyes and think of Kate, this teal Jenny Packham gown is what I see. Kate first wore this stunning gown at a 2012 Olympics Gala; then again in 2018 at the Tusk Conservation Awards. The combination of lace cap sleeves, belted waist, bold colour and flowing skirt makes this a very regal gown, and one that I wouldn’t mind seeing again and again and again.

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I’ve loved watching Kate’s style evolve over the past decade, including her willingness to wear bold colours and brilliant patterns, and to try different cuts and silhouettes in order to change up her fashion. This floral Erdem dress is one of my favourite Kate looks for the simple reason that the colours work, both together in the pattern and with Kate’s looks, and for its silhouette. It also started to mark her trend towards risky fashion (this dress wasn’t universally received at the time) and an embrace of her own style.

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And finally, for a casual look, I’m going with this classic striped sweater and black jeans worn when she hosted runners ahead of the London Marathon in 2017. Kate loves a good stripe, and this one, from Luisa Spagnoli, adds a pop of colour to it as well. Kate has been praised over the past decade for her relatable style, and I have to confess that I’ve been searching high and low for a sweater like this that I can buy locally!

Kristin Contino, Chief Reporter

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Like Jess, I chose the teal Jenny Packham gown as one of my all-time favourites. I remember when I saw her get out of the car at the Olympic Gala I actually gasped. The back of this dress is really what helped make it a show-stopper for me with its gorgeous lace detailing, and the fit is perfection.

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I just adore this happy photo with the Obamas, taken in April 2016, and Kate’s L.K. Bennett Addison dress has been one of my wishlist items for quite a while. The gorgeous blending of blue, red, and green shades on this silk dress form a subtle leopard-esque print and the sheer, long sleeves and longer, floaty skirt made it flattering and appropriate yet fashionable for an important meeting.

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My last pick is perhaps a less popular one, but this brown Orla Kiely “Birdie” shirt dress is a piece I’ve always loved. It’s definitely representative of the younger styles and shorter hems Kate wore in the early years (she only wore this twice, in 2012 and 2013) and the whimsical print is subtle enough that it didn’t look too kitschy. This is a dress I’m guessing we’ll never see again, but it was perfect at that moment in time.

About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. Her love of royals began in middle school, and she's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites including Global News Canada, ABC News Australia, WION India and BBC World News.