Kate Middleton officially bumped Audrey Hepburn from the top of my style icon list about a year ago. I know, I know. But Audrey looks good in leggings while I do not, and Kate doesn’t wear leggings. At least, in public. Problem solved.
Her classic, modest, feminine sensibility is almost a lost art in these days of spray tans and super short shorts. I love that she rocks a boat neckline, modifies designer dresses to add sleeves or lower a hemline, and even better, that’s she’s bringing back accessories formerly associated with grandmas, like big flouncy hats and brooches. Brooches, people. Kate and Michelle should get it together and host a sassy lady brooch convention. I would attend, wouldn’t you? You would. I know you would. Everyone secretly loves a brooch.
What was once a mild appreciation for her nice outfits turned to full-blown awe because the woman just never misses. I frequently leave the house is ensembles that are lovely. I even more frequently leave the house in ensembles that are slightly head scratching, even to me. Why did I pair those pearl earrings with that t-shirt and those shoes? To quote Shakespeare in Love, “I don’t know. It’s a mystery!”
To help myself, and yourself, in stopping the sartorial sadness, a list of rules for achieving that perfect Kate style:
1. One thing at a time. Kate very rarely dresses to more than one trend at at time. If she’s going for lace, she’ll pair it with nude shoes and understate accessories. With a big sparkly brooch, a simple dress and swept back hair. She understands the power of focusing on one thing and letting the rest of her outfit recede. Note: fascinators are not trends to the Brits. They are a way of life. They don’t count on trend-watch. NEXT!
2. Pick a color and stick with it. If her dress is cream, so is her hat. If her dress is black, so are her shoes. If her dress is patterned, her accessories are neutral. Don’t go crazy with the mis-matching.
3. Keep it simple. Kate’s not one to wear ten bracelets or big chunky shoes in the name of fashion. She sticks to classic lines, simple drop earrings, and her heirloom statement engagement ring. You can wear whatever you want, of course, but you can also very easily look like a hooker. Tread lightly. Preferably in your nude heels.
4. Don’t let accessories take over. Kate often holds a very small clutch, which is easy for her, because she’s got wranglers and cars where she can stash her
OK magazines and cherry chapstick classic literature and tastefully chosen designer lipstick. But there is a lesson to be learned, and it’s that her clothes and accessories never outshine her. Even if you have to carry a bigger purse or another bag to hold lunch, gym shoes, make-up, and a book, look for understated options that will make sure your accessories go with your outfit and never overshadow you. Longchamp, Coach, Marc Jacobs and J.Crew all make bags with classic lines that will never go out of style.
5. When in doubt, dress up. Even when she’s running to the grocery store, Kate still gets dressed, does her hair, wears a nice sweater and a classic pair of flats. There is nothing I love more than running around town in my yoga pants. I live near the Marina in San Francisco, where Lululemon yoga pants are practically the mandatory uniform. I shouldn’t feel too badly about this. And yet, when I run into people I know, I immediately regret not making more of an effort.
Even if you don’t live under the royal microscope – the queen will not judge you for leaving home in gym clothes – you still owe it to yourself to look your best. So invest in a classic trench, a nice handbag, some classic black flats and some beautiful, simple accessories. You’ll never, ever regret that.All images found via Pinterest