Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, is a mother of three and patron of multiple charitable organizations. At the same time, it's a universal truth that despite her bustling schedule, this working mom is as perfectly put together as it comes. While a residence in Kensington Palace may not be in the cards for the rest of us, Kate Middleton's flawless royal style is totally attainable — you just have to know where to look.
Kate shops many of the brands I do — with dramatically different results. She's a global style icon, and I'm... not. So what makes Kate, Kate? Sasha Wilkins, former style editor of WSJ magazine and fashion expert behind Liberty London Girl says the biggest takeaway is that she is always dressed appropriately, no matter the occasion. Also, "...she is most comfortable when she’s wearing casual clothes: The Penelope Chilvers knee high boots that she’s had since before her marriage with skinny, skinny jeans tucked into the boots, cashmere sweaters a good leather belt." Plus she's not a one-and-done kind of gal. "She rewears outfits she's bought years ago." Wilkins points out.
Point taken: Wear what makes you feel good, and put it on repeat. Wilkins also advises not to worry about the "style icon" part of Kate's resumé — she's not a fashionista and isn't meant to be.
"I think that was clear above everything is that it was very important to Catherine that she wasn’t going to be known for her wardrobe, but there was more to her than being a fashion plate," Wilkins says.
Having aspirations that extend beyond being a self-appointed brand ambassador is style advice we can all put into practice — but I'm still here for the shopping. Let's get onto it.
Wear What You Love
Nothing helps you shine out confidence more than being comfortable in what you're wearing, and the Duchess is a master at recycling favorite pieces in her wardrobe. Pick your favorites and mix them into new combinations. Kate is also known for rocking affordable items as much high-end pieces, which is another bonus to re-wearing those pieces you love.
Don't Shy Away From Fast Fashion
Mixing fast fashion and designer labels is a specialty of the house for the Duchess. The ensemble she wore to cast spells at the Harry Potter exhibit combines a Topshop dress that sold out in just hours with a blazer from Ralph Lauren, according to E! Online. Kate is spotted in polka dots frequently — they're fun, but not too distracting. They also may have a sentimental connection for Prince William, as designer Alessandra Rich was about the millionth person to cite them as a fashion nod to his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, when she mentioned the link to The Telegraph.
Float In Floaty Dresses
Wilkins mentioned that she's loved seeing Kate in floaty dresses, and this appearance at the Royal Chelsea Flower Show has her not only in a floaty dress, but also one at a fashionable maxi length. She's paired it with espadrilles with wedge heels, a style she's known to love but that are notably not a favorite of the Palace: “The Queen isn’t a fan of wedged shoes," a source told Vanity Fair in 2015. "She really doesn’t like them and it’s well known among the women in the family.” Together, the ensemble is about as trendy as you'll see the Duchess get, and clearly, mixing it up suits her well.
Kate has long favored Spanish fast fashion brand Zara, even choosing it for her going-away outfit after her wedding. In doing so, Kate quickly demonstrated that she'd continue her pre-royal habit, wearing what she loves and what suits her, with little attention paid to the price tag: A thoroughly modern royal. "She’s never been into status dressing of any kind whatsoever — she doesn’t wear visible labels, she doesn’t wear logos, she’s never going to be seen carrying an 'It' bag," Wilkins says. This classic black-and-white outfit features a blazer from Zara and shoes from J. Crew.
Stock Up On Nude Pumps
One fashion item that seems to make a regular appearance on Kate are nude pumps from London-based brand L.K. Bennett, and they're also well within the royal purview. "She is certainly a fan of the literal dress code," Wilkins says. "She's always appropriate, always well put together." These designer heels can set you back a few hundred dollars, but alternatives can be had for much, much less. Here are low, high, and medium-priced alternatives, but plenty of others are out there for the picking.