Friday, 11 August 2017

Styling Kate: Submit Your Choices for Royal Ascot & a Royal Premiere!

For the third consecutive year we're asking you to indulge your inner stylist and share your dream looks for the Duchess. In yesterday's poll, we asked you which event you would like to 'Style Kate' for. The 'Evening Gala' option was an instant winner with 'Royal Ascot' taking second. As we've done evening looks each time previously, I thought it might be fun to have both options available with a specific event in mind for the gala - a movie premiere.

Look One:

The Duchess made her debut at Royal Ascot in 2016 and has decidedly favoured white for the event. For her first appearance, the Duchess drew comparison to Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady in a white Dolce & Gabbana cotton-blend midi dress with a nipped waist and tiered swishy skirt. Kate styled the dress with a matching Jane Taylor hat, her Gianvito Rossi Praline pumps and L.K. Bennett Natalie clutch.

This year, Kate opted for white lace again, this time an Alexander McQueen design featuring delicate pleats, a high neck, three-quarter sleeves and a flared skirt. I loved this dress, and thought it a far superior piece to the Dolce & Gabbana. Kate wore a white bespoke hat, the Queen's Bahrain Pearl Drop Earrings, carried a Loeffler Randall clutch, and completed the ensemble with her trusty Gianvito Rossi Praline pumps.

Royal Ascot is synonymous with sartorial elegance. The event is considered a spectacle of fashion, with ladies decked out in their finery. There is a strict dress code for the Royal Enclosure with the following requirements:

Two fabulous sample looks suggested in the Royal Ascot style guide.

Look Two:

When considering which event to feature for the 'Evening Gala' look, I thought it interesting to select something different from the white-tie/tiara category we've favoured over the past two years. The Duchess attended the premiere of Spectre in a bespoke Jenny Packham gown with sheer overlay and sleeves. Ms Packham is the Queen of evening wear in my opinion, however, the drape and fit of this particular gown swamped Kate and didn't quite fit the bill for such a glamorous evening. The most interesting aspect of the look was the gorgeous Robinson Pelham blue topaz earrings Kate borrowed from her mother Carole. The look was completed with Kate's Jimmy Choo Vamp sandals and Casa clutch.

Perhaps you will choose a new gown for the Duchess or select one already in her closet which you would like to see again and style differently. There's an array of dazzling pieces only worn once which would be perfect for a premiere. Speaking of Jenny Packham, this teal number deserves another outing. The detail on the back is beautifully done.

Designers and Retailers:

Your look can consist of couture, high street choices, favoured designers of the Duchess, completely new ones or pieces already in Kate's wardrobe. To help you get started we've compiled a list of retailers with clothing, shoes and accessories suitable for the events:

If planning to add jewellery from Her Majesty, the best resource is Her Majesty's Jewel Vault. If planning to add a piece worn by the late Diana, Princess of Wales, visit Diana's Jewels.

Before You Get Started:

  • Leave a comment with your suggestions. Please include links to the designer/retailer in order for me to obtain images and to share your selection.
  • Don't forget to leave a name or a moniker of some sort to ensure I can appropriately credit your look.
  • The look can simply consist of one item, for example, a dress. If you wish, however, you can include footwear, jewellery, a clutch, bag, etc. It can be as simple or as detailed as you want. Remember you're the stylist!
  • Please only submit one look for Royal Ascot and one for the premiere.
  • Submissions for the post showcasing all looks will be accepted until midnight on Monday.

Most importantly, this is a fun exercise which I hope will encourage lurkers to participate and lend itself to an even greater sense of community on the blog. It isn't a competition, but merely an opportunity to indulge our love for fashion and get to know one another a little better. I'm very excited to see what you all come with. Judging by previous years, I have no doubt we're in for many a visual treat! :)

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Tour Poll Winners, a Trip to the Highlands and an August Poll!

Hello hello!

As expected for August, which tends to be the Royal family's 'holiday' month with few exceptions, all has been incredibly quiet on the Cambridge front. I suspect final preparations are underway to complete the move to London. It's a time of big changes not only with the move and increased duties but also with a very special milestone as Prince George begins school at Thomas's Battersea next month. Perhaps they are enjoying a family break undetected? When will see the Cambridges next? It was announced today Prince William will join his father at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo next Wednesday, 16 August. It would make perfect sense for the engagement to coincide with a planned trip to Balmoral to spend time with the Royal family. If so, we might see photos of the Cambridges at Crathie Kirk for church. A week in the Highlands enjoying the sumptuous scenery and outdoor experiences on the estate would be a perfect getaway before the autumn schedule begins. Last year, Her Majesty invited the Middletons. In terms of engagements, I imagine we'll see something pencilled in for the Duchess by the end of the month.


As always it was fascinating to see your selections in our post-tour polls. Which looks and pieces won your vote? Let's take a look shall we...

Best Daywear Look

When asked to choose Kate's best daywear look during the tour, there was one very clear favourite: the bespoke lavender Emilia Wickstead dress the Duchess wore for the final day of the tour. The long-sleeve dress has a fitted bodice and flared skirt. Kate teamed it with a distinctive red Anya Hindmarch clutch, Kiki McDonough Lavender Amethyst Pear and Oval Drop Earrings and Gianvito Rossi Praline pumps. I think it was by far the most colourful and vibrant look in the category, a factor which made it instantly 'pop' when compared to the other options.

Best Evening Look

The evening look poll was a truly divisive one with a mere 12 votes separating first and second place. The Gosia Baczynska Monochrome Cocktail Dress almost won 'Best Evening Look' but was pipped at the post by the Markus Lupfer Teal Jacquard Dress Kate wore in Berlin. The swallow print frock was a departure for Kate; quite different to her usual choice of  'cocktail dress' which made it stand out as a fresh selection. The dress was teamed with a Jenny Packham belt, a clutch by Anne Grand-Clement, Prada sandals, Soru Pearl earrings and Diana's triple strand pearl bracelet.

Best Tour Shoes

Kate loves her Prada Quazo Sandals so much she chose them for two receptions during the tour; they are also your winners, garnering the largest portion of votes in the shoe poll.

Best Tour Jewellery

I was particularly excited to see the winner of the 'Best Jewellery Poll' and wasn't at all surprised to see Kate's Kiki McDonough Lavender Amethyst Pear and Oval Drop Earrings take the title. The entire look was a winner, it's interesting to see 'repeat jewellery' proving the most popular - a testament to the fondness for the gorgeous earrings.

Thank you all so much for voting. Did your favourites win? :)


Whilst we're on the topic of jewellery, I'm delighted to announce the winner of a pair of Kate's Azuni London 'Kate' earrings is Bonnieux who commented: "I love the Kate earrings, need them in garnet." Bonnieux, if you would be so kind as to email me at we can coordinate delivery of your prize. Congratulations! :)


I wanted to wrap up our tour coverage before moving on to our next topic. As August is a quiet month, it's always a wonderful opportunity to try something fresh with posts. There's been fantastic suggestions (please keep them coming!) particularly about a new series of posts covering Kate's role as the Duchess of Cambridge and looking back on the past six years through her patronages, speeches, highlighted causes, etc. Do let me know if such a series of posts would be of interest to you. Before we get to that, returning by popular demand, we will be continuing what is fast becoming our annual August 'Styling Kate' post. It's always such fun to see your choice for Kate and a great way of getting to know readers and encourage participation. The only question left is this, what event would you like to style Kate for? I've created a short poll and hope to get the post up and running tomorrow.

Which event would you like to style Kate for this year? free polls

See you all tomorrow :)