6 style lessons we can learn from Kate Middleton
Dress like the Duchess of Cambridge with these royal-approved style staples.
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It’s been almost 11 years since Kate Middleton walked down the aisle in style. At her and Prince William’s April 29, 2011 nuptials, she captivated the world with her Alexander McQueen gown, a long-sleeve lace style that influenced bridal fashion for years to come.
In her over a decade as a royal, however, the rest of the Duchess of Cambridge’s sartorial selections have proved equally trendsetting. Whether she’s topping off her outfits with precious jewels or keeping it simple with a top from H&M, Middleton never ceases to deliver elegant everyday looks with a sense of put-together flair.
And although most styles fly off the shelves as soon as she wears them, you may still find plenty of ways to give your closet the royal treatment—and capture Middleton’s classic sense of style.
1. Sport some standout sneakers
Middleton always puts her best foot forward with elegant ensembles—but that doesn’t mean she’s always in designer heels. The Duchess of Cambridge frequently steps out in kicks from sustainable sneaker company Veja. When our tester tried the French footwear brand, she found the Veja Esplar sneakers, which feature the brand’s signature “V” stitched on the side, to be comfortable and versatile. They’re available in five colors in sizes 36EU to 40EU.
Snagging Vejas isn’t the only way to walk in Middleton’s shoes, however. She’s also a fan of Superga, another minimal, trendy sneaker brand. During her recent Caribbean tour, she stepped out in a pair of the label’s white Cotu Classic Sneakers, which are available in 11 colors in men’s sizes 3.5 to 13.5 and women’s sizes 5 to 11.5. Pair the simple lace-ups with shorts, as Middleton did, or add a pop of color with a printed sundress.
2. Invest in a good pair of pants
While Middleton’s wardrobe includes plenty of elegant skirt suits and coat dresses, the duchess isn’t a stranger to dressing down in denim. She’s a fan of & Other Stories, a Swedish brand owned by the H&M Group, and has repeatedly opted for styles including its Favourite Cut Jeans, which come in seven colors in sizes 24/30 to 32/30.
For something with plenty of pockets, try Middleton’s High G-Shape Cargo Skinny Pants from G-Star Raw, which she wore for an outing in 2022. The functional yet fashionable pants, available in waist sizes 23 to 34 and lengths 30 to 34, include both a zippered pocket in the and pockets with snaps on the sides. If you’d prefer a different Middleton-approved pant with a similar fit, consider the Gap Skinny Ankle Pants, which the royal wore in a now sold-out blue and white ikat print back in 2016. The stretchy style is available in women’s sizes 00 to 20 in two other finishes, black and navy blue.
3. Add some special bling
While Middleton sports precious pieces on the regular, including her dazzling 12-carat sapphire engagement ring, she also mixes in more affordable designs. Among her more budget-friendly bling? A pair of 14K gold-plated hoop earrings from ASOS, which retail for just $15. While the simple hoops sold out after Middleton first wore them in 2021, they’re now back in stock.
Middleton also uses jewelry to keep her family close to her heart, and she frequently dons designs engraved with her children’s initials. While she’s showcased multiple customized Daniella Draper designs that will run you over $1,000, you can recreate the sentimental style with other personalized pendants. For a similarly subtle style with big meaning, try the Kate Spade initial pendant necklace, which is made of 12K gold-plated mixed metal.
4. Dress for the elements
When it comes to outdoor excursions, Middleton opts for the most practical of footwear. In her rainy-day rotation: Blundstone’s Classic 550 Chelsea Boots, which are designed to slip on smoothly thanks to elastic side panels. The leather boots are available at Zappos in women’s sizes 6 to 10 and men’s sizes 7 to 10.5.
5. Don’t be afraid to rewear style staples
Regardless of your personal style, be sure to invest in pieces you’ll wear again and again. Middleton famously puts her favorite outfits on repeat, whether they’re designer duds from Oscar de la Renta and Alexander McQueen or affordable staple pieces.
One of the designs she keeps coming back to? The white blouse from British brand Whistles she wore for her engagement photos with Prince William. She celebrated an anniversary of sorts with the shirt over 10 years later, donning it again for a YouTube video in 2021. Although the exact blouse is—you guessed it—sold out, you can capture Kate’s preppy style with this classic collared shirt from Banana Republic. It’s available in women’s sizes XXS to XXL and can be layered with blazers, a la Middleton, or worn as a standalone top.
6. Spend less and still look like a million bucks
Even duchesses love discounts. Middleton’s closet is stocked with plenty of pieces from mall store brands like Zara and H&M. While getting her COVID-19 vaccine in 2021, for instance, she opted for a simple off-the-shoulder white shirt from the Swedish fast-fashion outlet. While it’s no surprise that the style is sold out, you can get the brand’s ribbed off-the-shoulder top, available in women’s sizes XS to XXL, for a similarly versatile piece.
J.Crew is also one of the royal family’s go-to labels, and the Duchess of Sussex has worn a plethora of sweaters, sailor pants, suede shoes, and more from the brand over the years. While Middleton’s exact styles have flown off the shelves, pumps like the Colette Pumps offer something similar to the suede styles she’s sported over the years. They’re available in black and tan in women’s shoe sizes 5 to 12.
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