Kate Middleton’s Quiet and Stylish Rise To The Trendy Top

April 30, 2012 • Celebrity Style, Fashion Blog, Trends

Since the announcement that Prince William was engaged Kate Middleton and that legendary royal blue Issa dress heard ’round the world in November 2011, the blogs, websites, magazines and publications have said just about everything they could about Kate Middleton’s style. F rom her spontaneous shopping trip in sweats to the red Maple Leaf fascinator she wore with a white Reiss dress in Canada, everyone seems obsessed. We’ve seen the glorious Jenny Packham gown and the Rebecca Taylor jacket that sold out the day Kate was seen wearing it. And of course, there was that infamous Alexander McQueen wedding gown created by Sarah Burton and co. No one could ever forget that detailed lace extravaganza.Yet Kate in all her quiet stylishness, has made quite a stir in other areas of fashion. These are the ways in which she’s brought popular fashion trends to the forefront without even realizing she was starting something extraordinary. Sure, you can argue that every item she’s worn, every move she’s made in fashion has been calculated, but it’s her quiet and conservative way of doing so that has us all reeling in wonder and applauding the fact that she has kept her personal style intact without going overboard. Pippa, on the other hand…

Well, that’s another story. In the mean time, we celebrate Kate Middleton’s year of fashion highs, and her biggest surprises.


Kate Middleton in LK Bennett

Kate Middleton in Matthew Williamson (left) Rebecca Taylor (right)

The peplum is of course one of the dominant trends of Spring 2012, and Kate has taken it on with a quiet power.  Ironically enough, while it was on the runways at early as September 2011, for the upcoming season, not many of the celebs were wearing it prior and she was one of the first to really tackle the look. But she did so in a quiet way, making use of the peplum for fashion, but not calling attention to it as we’re so used to seeing from others who wear this look.  Ironically, the first outfit she wore back in March 2012 wasn’t even supposed to be a peplum look but she made it so. She wore LK Bennett’s Jude jacket in teal over the brand’s knee-length Davina dress. But what she did was wrap a belt around the jacket giving the outfit a peplum look. She finished it off with nude tights, black heels and a James Lock hat. The way in which she cinched the belt over the jacket gave it some shape, but not so much that it overpowered the look.

This quiet dominance is exactly what makes Kate’s personal style what it is. Early this month, she wore a dove gray peplum dress with beaded embellishments by Matthew Williamson, but while the dress was supposed to have more of a sculpted shape, she did not call so much attention to it as she held her clutch over her stomach for most of the night. Later she opted for a tweed suit by Rebecca Taylor with a slight peplum for a royal reception, but again she did not go overboard.

Bright Colors

We’re not sure if it’s her role as Duchess of Cambridge or the fact that Kate Middleton’s style has gone softer, but we all know that Middleton currently dresses with a stylish but conservative nature. Unlike Pippa, who is more known for bright colors and bold patterns, Middleton is known to keep it tight, form fitting, and basically, monotone, often sticking to colors like gray, black, and blue.  Perhaps that’s why it’s always fresh and interesting to us to see her in something bold and bright. She still keeps the looks streamlined and clean, often not going for more than one color in a garment, but she looks polished and pretty.

Kate Middleton in Diane von Furstenberg

Kate Middleton in Mulberry

The greens always get us! In July 2011, Kate wore a kelly green Diane von Furstenberg dress with printed clutch at an LA party and than wore the same dress AGAIN for a pre-wedding celebration for Zara Phillips.  Besides the fact that it was pretty surprising that she wore the dress AGAIN (she must love her own clothing, which is fab,) the green was a refreshing change from the norm. Later she wore a $2200 peace sign print shirt dress from Mulberry, renamed the Duchess dress, most likely in her honor. It’s prim like Kate, of course, but still stands out.

Kate in Issa

This Issa dress worn by Kate during her Canadian tour isn’t so astonishing–except for the fact that its pretty tight for the princess, and also rather revealing in contrast to her typical wardrobe. Not to mention that it’s in a loud purple color, a surprise for the princess who typically sticks to navy and black. Another surprise in her styling? She wore her hair up to reveal her neck, but didn’t wear a necklace to cover the down-to-there neckline!

Kate Middleton in Jenny Packham

Just as astonishing as the purple was this flowy yellow dress by Jenny Packham that Kate wore on Day 8 when she exited the plane at Calgary Airport. Sweet, summery, and totally not typical Kate! That’s why we love it!

Other Things To Notice

Here’s some other things we’ve noticed about Kate! For better or for worse…

Ever notice how if she’s not wearing black or nude pumps, Kate’s shoes almost always match her outfits?

Kate Middleton Coat by M Missoni, Shoes by Rupert Sanderson

Sportswear Casual

Kate Middleton in Emilio Pucci Blazer, Zara Jeans, Team Britain Scarf

Kate Middleton in Smythe Blazer, J Brand Jeans, LK Bennett Wedges, Ruffled Shirt by Malene Birger

I just love when Kate dresses up her outfit with a navy blazer. Not when the blazer matches the dress of course, because again, that’s too matchy-matchy. But in these two cases, she is a winner! These are my two favorite casual outfits worn by Kate Middleton since her wedding day.  Notice the lovely color of those coral Zara jeans (and the scarf for added effect) mixing well with the Emilio Pucci blazer, as well as the ruffled shirt under the Smythe blazer in the second outfit. Now that’s royalty!

Alexander McQueen

Not sure if it’s because Sarah Burton zoned in on trends (pussy bow blouses, cable knit, and military) or if it’s just my personal bias towards loving McQueen but these are my two favorite outfits worn by Middleton this year and they’re both from the high-end London brand that as we all know, designed Kate Middleton’s wedding dress.

Photos: Dailymail.co.uk, What Kate Wore, People.com, MyFashionLife.com, The Cut – New York Magazine

– Simona Kogan

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