A good purse can go a long way – casual totes to haul everyday items, wristlets and clutches for a night on the town and fashionable purses to make a bold statement. A woman’s purse is the ultimate accessory. Handbags can last years, if kept in great condition, and we know this to be true of Kate as she has been known to recycle and reuse old bags. Let’s look at a few of Kate’s favorite purses, clutches and totes!
One of my favorite large bags that Kate’s worn in recent years is Mulberry’s Polly Pushlock Satchel. She seems to use this when going shopping, so I’m sure she sneaks some purchases in this bag to avert the gaze of the paparazzi! She also brought this on her flight to Canada in 2011, and it was sheer perfection with her navy outfit.
Since marrying into the royal family, Kate’s bags have become significantly smaller. Kate has since become a huge fan of clutch purses as they are petite and simple, keeping the beauty of her outfits the true focus while on official visits. That said, she is still not without her necessities. If you’ve ever noticed her assistant, Rebecca Deacon, always standing a few feet behind the duchess, she carries large totes most likely full of emergency items for Kate. The clutch completes her outfits. She favors LK Bennett’s Natalie clutch, worn on many occasions, as it is neutral and compact.
When Duchess Kate graduated St. Andrews, she dangled a casual yet classic brown Longchamp Le Pliage mini tote from her forearm – most likely full of makeup, car keys, and a cell phone to call her parents for a photo op with William after their ceremony. Kate has been known to use Longchamp’s luggage and totes to this day, as they are a versatile staple. The bags come in a variety of colors, sizes and handle lengths, so they are a very nice option for any closet.
I love all of her bag choices, don’t you? I’d love to know what she carries in her bags, but we’ll probably never know. Which is your favorite handbag or style?
The festive holiday season is here. Naturally, there will be numerous holiday parties to attend and invitations to festive outings. But what can you wear during the colder months to still look put together? Obviously, let’s seek Kate Middleton for guidance.
Kate is the queen (duchess, actually!) of wearing nicely tailored dress coats, a jaunty hat, stockings, heels, AND the all-important belt to pull an outfit together on her official engagements. Belts accentuate the waist, and when added to a coat, they transform the look.
Adding a belt really does transform Kate’s look into a whole new outfit. Without the belt, her coat is just a plain old coat, but add this accessory and her look transforms into an outfit in its own right. She’s achieved a classy and new look time and time again --- Christmas Day 2015, touring Denmark in 2011, visiting Canberra in 2014, etc., etc.
She sometimes wears the belt that was sold with the coat but more often than not, she adds her own touch by wearing a simple skinny, tonal colored belt instead.
She’s even added belts to her outfits in the warmer months to make them more sophisticated (e.g. her blue Zara honeymoon dress.)
So I leave you to go through your closet and find your nicest winter coat. Find a solid belt, maybe with a small embellishment like a bow or a big buckle, and wrap it around your waist. You may be surprised that you had this outfit all along (or you now have an excuse to go shopping for a belt!)
I love wearing leopard printed belts, metallic belts, and bows – all inspired by the Duchess! Here’s a great website to provide you with some belt inspiration: Farfetch - Women's Belts
Stay warm and look awesome this holiday season.
How will you wear your belt a la Kate?
Before she was a duchess, Kate was known to enjoy a fancy dress party or two! For Americans, we would equate that to a costume party, which is popular this time of year with Halloween next week.
Kate had many opportunities to dress up as a child since her parents own Party Pieces, an online party supply store for all types of celebrations! Kate and William no doubt hosted fun house parties at 13A Hope Street while dating and living together at St. Andrews. Wish I was a fly on the wall for those events…
We’ve seen photographs of Kate dressed as a Native American Indian (albeit in a satin gown!,) a witch, an ‘80s roller disco queen, a chalet/ski bunny, and a nurse. Throughout all of these fancy dress costumes, Kate seems to choose an elegant gown and add some themed accessories to complete the outfit. As is her usual style, she mixes high-end pieces with High Street.
In case she needs inspiration for future fancy dress parties, wouldn’t it be fun to see Kate (or our readers!) dressed as:
Kate has her hands full with family and royal commitments, so it may be a few years before we see her in fancy dress again. Maybe the Cambridge’s will dress together for a family party as a gang of pirates or pumpkins! How cute!
What was your favorite costume/fancy dress outfit? What will you be this year for Halloween? I haven’t decided yet, so your ideas are most helpful!
As the American summer months are coming to a close, we can begin to get in the spirit of all things Fall – here in the US, that means pumpkin spiced everything (coffee, candles, décor and treats,) leather riding boots, gorgeous foliage, big comfy sweaters and cooler temps (which will be a godsend since it’s been quite hot and humid on the east coast this summer.) Besides these typical seasonal changes, we can also get excited for another reason – a royal tour (and many photo ops) of our favorite British royal on her second tour of Canada.
As you’ll well remember, Kate and William ventured to Canada in 2011 as their first official tour two months after their wedding and their first visit as members of the Canadian Royal Family. The couple visited all of Canada’s regions including Ontario (they paid their respects at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and celebrated Canada Day along with 800,000 people,) Quebec (they attended a cooking class as well as visited with street youth,) Prince Edward Island (William participated in a water landing of a helicopter, the couple challenged each other to a dragon boat race – it was a close race; William’s team won, and they met the famous literature heroes of ‘Anne of Green Gables’,) the Northwest Territories (they participated in Aboriginal traditional drumming and dancing,) and finally Alberta (a visit to emergency service members at Slave Lake which was at the time recently devastated by a wildfire, and the memorable visit to the Calgary Stampede Parade in their western gear.) These visits are only a sampling of what they accomplished on their whirlwind nine days in the country.
On this inaugural trip, Kate paid respect to Canada by wearing a few pieces made by Canadian designers as well as pieces that incorporated the country’s heritage. When she left England, she wore a navy blazer by Toronto brand Smyth les Vestes, and then she changed mid-flight to land in Ontario wearing Montreal designer Erdem’s 'Cecile' lace dress. She was very patriotic for Canada Day wearing a red maple leaf fascinator and a borrowed maple leaf brooch from Queen Elizabeth II.
For their second tour of Canada, the couple and possibly their two young children, George and Charlotte, will visit British Columbia and the Yukon this Fall. British Columbia is the westernmost province of Canada and includes the capital of Victoria. The territory is also home to Vancouver where mining, logging, farming and outdoor recreation are abundant. As a nod to the area, maybe we’ll see Kate referencing the following:
Additionally, Yukon is the westernmost and smallest of Canada’s three federal territories and the capital is Whitehorse. Yukon is home to the highest mountain in Canada, Mount Logan, at 5,959 m / 19,551 ft. Most of the territory has a subarctic climate, so it will be cold! The territory is named after its longest river, the Yukon River. The region is known for its pristine natural elements, with many people enjoying canoeing, hiking, skiing, ice climbing and dog sledding. Visitors can also see the aurora borealis in this territory! The Klondike Gold Rush occurred here when a migration of over 100,000 prospectors arrived between 1896-1899 searching for hidden gold. Yukon's symbols include:
So what can we expect from Kate’s style on this second tour? Obviously, well curated looks that are inspired by Canada’s culture and heritage, but also pieces that are comfortable, since she may be travelling with her children. Below are some predictions and inspiration for her upcoming visit:
- Her red maple leaf fascinator by Sylvia Fletcher of Locke & Co. (because how often can you wear that, except when in Canada?)
- Queen Elizabeth II’s maple leaf brooch
- Anything by designer Erdem, whom she’s worn before and is based in Canada.
There are so many beautiful pieces in the current Erdem collection, I can see Kate wearing any one of these:
POTENTIAL NEW OUTFITS/DESIGNERS
Elegant dresses for charity visits
Sho Sho Esquiro
Sho Sho has First Nations Kaska Dena, Cree, and Scottish roots, so her designs incorporate the local region and traditions, which Kate loves to do! She is from Yukon and now based in Vancouver.
Nicole is from Vancouver and interned with Vivienne Westwood in London. Her designs are elegant, simple and comfortable. She also founded OQOQO with Lululemon owner, Chip Wilson, which is an eco-friendly clothing line.
Rachel Sin began her career as an architect, so she knows all too well the need for perfection, especially in the design of a well fitting dress! She believes her dresses can go from day to play quite effortlessly. The designer also has some lovely pantsuits that would be a nice change for Kate.
In 2014, Sarah curated a line for Target Canada. She uses only local and natural elements in her designs without using water! She makes everything to order so there is little waste, making very little impact on the environment.
State visits and other high profile galas
Floor length designs of floral lace are designed by Mikael Derderian based in Montreal. He is influenced by his Armenian and Lebanese parents and background.
Interesting and structured pieces from Matthew Gallagher that would be a very bold statement for Kate. Matthew is an Italian trained designer and illustrator.
Designer and Creative Director Nikki Wirthensohn Yassemi has lived in Austria, Iran, the UK and now Toronto, Canada. Her mother worked with British tailor, Victor Edelstein, who designed some of Princess Diana’s iconic looks. She loves to make elaborate gowns but also makes gorgeous dresses.
His S/S16 collection gained him Best Collection at Toronto Fashion Week. He is based in Toronto.
Simplistic and comfortable sportswear designed by Kimberly Newport-Mimran in Toronto. Her clothes are effortless and transitional. She also features polka dots and stripes, which we know Kate loves!
We saw Kate visit a London Lululemon store earlier this year. If she has some down time on the trip, these yoga looks will serve her well. The company is based in Canada.
Classic, comfortable clothing is this Canadian brand’s game. The looks are similar to the Gap or Old Navy and the prices are right. I can see Kate mixing these items with high end styles on this trip.
Timeless and fresh, the designs by metalsmither, Leah Alexander, look good with anything. The rings, earrings and necklaces are simplistic and refined. She uses colors reminiscent of water. I can definitely see Kate wearing these pieces.
Again, very simplistic and classic. This jewelry is meant to be worn daily. The flagship store is located in Vancouver.
Based out of Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada, Shelley makes upcycled pieces that represent her environment. Her delicate pieces resemble Kate’s style. And the jeweler’s work is found on Etsy, so if Kate purchases from the site, small shop artists like Shelley would receive a ton of traffic and sales from the Kate effect!
Shoes, Hats and Bags
Based in Montreal, this shoe chain operates worldwide. What’s nice about these designs is that they’re reasonably priced, fashionable and fun! The brand is perfect for Kate to wear on this trip as they range in style from flats, to heels to boots, which are all styles that Kate wears and loves.
David Dunkley Fine Millinery
Based in Montreal, David has studied under the former royal milliner to HRM Queen Elizabeth II. The Duchess of Cornwall has worn his headpieces. He uses traditional millinery techniques that Kate loves.
So many chic and fashionable styles that look so Kate! Fascinators and hats galore --- wish I had more events to wear hats to in the US because then I’d be interested in buying something from this label.
Ela by Ela
These neutral and classic leather bags are adorable! They seem versatile and there are so many different styles, one cannot go wrong.
Do you have any favorites from these designers? Do you have any predictions as to what we’ll see Kate wear? I cannot wait to possibly see the entire family of four on their first official international tour. How very exciting!
Fashion Files offers a retrospective look at Duchess Kate's sartorial choices.
Alaina is a stateside Anglophile, obviously living on the wrong side of the pond! Besides loving all things royal, she also enjoys playing Scrabble, sending (and receiving!) handwritten notes, shopping for repliKates, traveling locally and internationally, finding new used book stores, and spending time with her own Prince Charming! Alaina also loves e-meeting new people and she looks forward to hearing from you – firstname.lastname@example.org