Friday, 31 May 2013

Kate's Summer Style Essentials

With summer finally upon we're enjoying the glorious sunshine (perhaps a little optimistic for the British climate but here's hoping) planing summer holidays and most exciting for the fashionistas among you - bringing out your summer wardrobe.

Following a long winter of wearing dark colours, coats and prioritising keeping warm above looking stylish, we can now embrace vibrant colours and summer dresses. Who better to inspire us than the Duchess. Kate has perfected her summer style blending sophistication with fun. Today we take a look at some of her summer style essentials and share 'Repli-Kate' pieces to help you emulate them!

The Print Dress

Kate has a stunning collection of floral and geometric print dresses. From coffee runs to royal tours they have  become a staple in Kate's wardrobe providing a youthful yet elegant look perfect for summer.

There are a countless number of pretty print dresses available this summer in every, size, length, colour and print you can think of. Below we look at the vibrant Ted Baker Collar Dress in Summer Bloom Print (the lovely Melanie shared the dress is on sale at Nordstrom), the €46 A Wear Daisy Print Dress, the Izabel London Midi Dress and the pleated Ted Baker Perlaa Dress (You can receive 20% off Ted Baker with the code TED1HPRBQ8).

Asos/Ted Baker

A chic pair of sunglasses are essential for summer. Kate chooses the Givenchy SGV 773. The €155 pair are available in a variety of colour options.

Summer Jeans

Kate looks great in her trademark skinny jeans and during the summer months likes to change things up with a pair of white or coloured jeans. Coloured jeans have become a huge trend and work particularly well during the summer with a plain blouse or jacket and a nice pair of sandals. 

If you're a skinny jeans lover like Kate, take a look at the €128 J Brand Twill Skinny Jeans. I quite like the length and the style comes in numerous colours. I looked through several white pairs and thought at €60, this Michael Kors pair is very much a bargain. For bright blue like Kate's J Brand is an excellent choice and Macy's have very affordable petite and plus size alternatives.

J Brand/Nordstrom


Kate regularly chooses a pair of high wedges to complete her ensembles during the summer and I'm not surprised she loves them so much. They're so comfortable yet provide the additional height of heels and look great with dresses or jeans. Kate's favourites are her Stuart Weitzman MinxL.K. Bennett MaddoxPied A Terre Imperia's and Russell and Bromley Corkswoon wedges.

Splash News/L.K. Bennett/Pied A Terre

Broderie Anglaise

Also referred to as eyelet, broderie anglaise has become one of Kate's favourite fabrics. For decades it was primarily used for embellishments or household items such as towels but in recent years it has become more and more popular, particularly in summer months.

Broderie anglaise adds a classic feel to any piece and would work very well for a formal summer function or as a daytime summer piece. Four of my current favourites are the White Jaeger Dress with attached belt, the Great Plains Dandelion Dress, the L.K. Bennett Broderie Anglaise Dress in white and Dark Turquoise Britana Dress (both colours are currently significantly reduced from £195 to £95 and £135 respectively). I think Kate would look amazing in all four of these pieces and wouldn't rule out seeing her in one of them in the future.

Jaeger/Great Plains/L.K. Bennett


Kate implements stripes into her outfits during the summer whether it's a tank top or a halterneck dress to inject a pop of colour into her look. I've always loved the blue and white stripe Topshop dress Kate wore to an engagement party in Chelsea in 2007.

Stripes work well for all ages and can be worked into your office wardrobe by adding a smart blazer. Below we look at the cotton-blend French Connection Super Striped Dress, the Carina Stripe Vest (currently reduced from £27 to £13.50), the stretch-cotton Matelot Stripe Cap Sleeve Dress (reduced from £42 to £20) and the colourful Summer Stripe Scarf (reduced from £40 to £20).

French Connection


Kate is regularly photographed wearing stylish bikinis during her annual holiday to Mustique and generally chooses a two-piece from swimwear range Vix. Last summer the Duchess elected to wear the Bia Tube Bikini and on other holidays she favoured white swimwear. We also look at the White Bia Bikini and Cairo Bikini.


The Shirt Dress

Shirt dresses have made quite the comeback this year and Kate appears to love them. Two of her most popular pieces are the Libelula Rebecca (reduced from £335 to £130) and the Jaeger Pleated Shirt Dress. (reduced from £180 to £75). They're very comfortable and perfect for day wear.


Nothing says summer like the scent of a fresh, floral perfume. Kate reportedly loves the Illuminum White Gardenia Petals and wore it for the royal wedding in 2011. I've tried this perfume and the one word I would use to describe it is 'fragrant'. The top note of lily evokes a tropical seaside location - perfect for summer. The fragrance is often referred to as a 'bouquet of white flowers'.

Will you be emulating Kate this summer? Share your favourite summer trends! :)


  1. I don't like Kate's style of dresses. Most of them look like kitchen frocks, very common. Good English women don't dress like that:) But I love the Asos/Ted Baker pink&green dress You've chosen. I'd like to have it. It's so unusual. Beautiful!

  2. I love this post so much. Please do more like it i've got some fab style tips, thanks!

  3. Sarah from Calif.31 May 2013 at 23:10

    I see the Kate affect all over the place and the thing I love most is the lace that has come back ! For awhile it was jeans and dark colors . Now its jeans, skinny jeans , skirts and lace. Yes lace lots of it . The cute summer dresses are out in numbers :) To short for me but , adoreable , classy , feminine etc...... on young people.
    Well done Kate and well done Charlotte on this post.

  4. Ana B. from Brazil1 June 2013 at 02:17

    Great idea, Charlotte!
    Right now, Winter is coming to South, so I'm focusing on buying new coats and boots! I have just purchased a new pair of suede boots, very Kate! I'm wearing them almost everyday!
    Everytime I see Catherine wearing that bird-print Issa dress, I think that she couldn't look any more pretty. My dresses are very much like hers, very flowy and always accentuating the waist. To me, she is my role model, in both style and class.
    I'd like to wish you all the very best weekend! Lots of sunshine! I'm happy that here, we finally are enjoying some cold (that's like 15°C).
    Hugs :)

    PS: June 4th is coming, counting the days! Yay!

  5. I just love her style Charlotte. Thank you for posting. I love the old pics of kate.

  6. Last summer I sent for the White Gardenia and Rose Petals samples. I bought the Rose, the White Gardenai scent didn't sit well with my skin chemistry-it smelt rancid. So if any ladies are thinking of purchasing the White Gardenia please ask for samples first, an awful lot of money to spend.


    1. Henty, I agree with you about the White Gardenia. I was glad I bought the sample because it wasn't a good scent for me. My first impression was that of a hairspray-like scent.

    2. Melanie from California1 June 2013 at 17:13

      Thank you for posting your thoughts regarding this fragrance. I was considering purchasing a sample of White Gardenia Petals to satisfy my curiosity, but I had an aversion to the fragrance because I do not care for jasmine. Jasmine is included as one of the heart notes. I have decided not to order a sample. Thank you for convincing me to save my money. I prefer fragrances that include citrus notes, like Burberry Brit.

    3. No problem ladies always willing to spare someone the financial pain of a wrong choice purchase! For me Chanel is my staple perfume No5, Crystal and CoCo Madamoiselle. Lovely.

    4. If you are looking for something similar J o Molone has a line of various floral scents
      It is sold on US in higher end stores but you can test them

  7. Jean from Lancs.1 June 2013 at 10:47

    I particularly love the three Broderie Anglaise dresses Catherine wore on tour last year---they look cool and crisp---but that shape of dress suits her so well(though perhaps not just now)
    However in my opinion she looks her very best in casual clothes. I think also she would look good in trousers for some engagements--but I cannot remember a time when any of the royal ladies have worn trousers for official engagements--except Princess Royal in Navy uniform

    1. She has worn her skinny jeans during Olympics-related engagements.

  8. She always looks so pulled together, and I love to see her fashion choices. Thanks for letting us know her sunglass choice, too. The ones pictured there are very stylish.

    As for me? I bought several striped cotton shirts, some with French necklines. I love that look for summer. I also bought sear sucker pants which is cool and perfect for our Florida weather. In terms of jeans, I find myself wearing black jeans these days, but when I was young, my father offered to pay me to wear colored jeans instead of blue jeans. He hated blue jeans, and of course, I loved them. I think his dislike had something to do with the fact that he was a gentleman farmer and wore khaki, not jeans. I always thought his aversion to denim was so funny, but I guess he was actually quite fashion forward in his preference for color. ;-)

    I like espadrilles for summer, and I like Tom's shoes because of their commitment to buying shoes for kids who can't afford them when you buy a pair from them. Of course, you are actually the one paying for the contribution when you really think about it. ;-). I found a cute pair of blue and white Tom's that I just love for summer.

    Thanks so much for your wonderful reports here. I always enjoy reading your blog and the up-to-date info you share on the duchess and family. Great job!



    1. Sarah from Calif.1 June 2013 at 15:05

      Sheila,., I do enjoy my jeans but love your dads fashion sense. For awhile that's all you saw was blue and black jeans. Now the stores are bursting with color.:) I love it :)
      The girls at the school I work at are venturing out wearing the cutest clothes.It is no longer a sea of blue. There are the cutest dresses, maxi dress, colorful pants and tops............

    2. Sarah, I saw a sea of color the other day, too, but my favorites in my size were missing. They were a lovely pastel shade, and people just scooped them up. . I do love color, and it is nice to have the option. :-)

  9. I really enjoyed this post. "Pulled together" is a very good way of describing Kate -- that was always my impression of her from DAY ONE. She has always been refreshingly classy and feminine.

  10. Another great post!! I love seeing all of Kate's summer styles in one place, and with links to repli-Kates - it couldn't be better! Thanks so much, Charlotte! You're the BEST!

    I think the two stlyes I love the most are the espadrille or cork wedges and the print dresses. Kate's style really is feminine and lovely. I think my must-haves for this summer are going to be white skinnies (love that pic of her in the white jeans with the khaki top and ballet flats - totally my personal style!), a broderie anglaise or print dress, and another pair of wedges!

  11. Melanie from California1 June 2013 at 17:35

    I was so pleased to see the Ted Baker Collar Dress in Summer Bloom Print. It reminds me of Kate's Project D dress, although it does not have a V-neck, and the sleeves are shorter. I decided to check if Nordstrom carried the dress, and they do! They do! In fact, the dress is currently on sale. They refer to it as the Print Fit & Flare Dress. The sizing is different from traditional sizing, so a Ted Baker "4" = a U.S. size 10. This is the only size Nordstrom has available for about $165, lowered from the original price of $275. I was lucky enough to order the dress. I can't wait for it to arrive! For anyone else who is interested, here is the link:

    Also, the pleated Ted Baker Perlaa Dress is on sale at Nordstrom for about $177, reduced from $295. They call this dress the Wallpaper Pleated A-Line Dress. Only a size 3, which is a U.S. size 8 is currently available. Here is the link:

    I would love to know if any of you get one of these dresses! Repli-Kates are fun to find!
    Thanks for letting us know about all these great designs, Charlotte.

    1. Amazing bargain Melanie, thank you so much for sharing! I think I might have to order it myself :)

    2. How fun, Melanie! I really liked the Ted Baker Perlaa Dress, but haven't worn a size 8 for years. :o)

  12. Awesome post Charlotte, just in time for the hot summer :o) My fave dresses are the the Ted Baker dresses, the white with flower prints and the green one with flowers.This would also be the same dress she wore in the picture with William while getting off the plane. Kate's pre wedding wardrobe was much more youthful and fresh,she should recycle more of the prewedding dresses.Ana B, sending you warm sunshine from Dc!:-))xoxo

  13. Sarah from Calif.2 June 2013 at 00:11

    Charlotte do you think there will be any videos of the Coranation servi├že? I am kind of feeling sorry for myself that I can't join in the (celebration, party, event or whatever it should be called) :(....I hope we get something over here in the States.

    1. Sky have some nice coverage with a video of the coronation

      It must be wonderful for HM to celebrate 60 years!

    2. Jean from Lancs.2 June 2013 at 14:12

      I have had a lovely morning watching the whole of the Coronation service on the Parliamentary Channel. Magnificent---though it was only black and white.
      I saw it all on TV 60 years ago, but one forgets the glittering jewels and beautiful dresses and the solemnity of the occasion. I was training as a nurse 60 years ago, but the local tradesmen installed TVs on all the wards.
      One also forgets also how grubby all the buildings were 60 years ago, but now all cleaned up and of course, no longer all the bomb-sites.

    3. Sarah from Calif.2 June 2013 at 15:18

      Thank -you Charlotte. I will be checking that out.
      Have a lovely day!

  14. Love the old pics of the duchess i wonder the naming of the ship will be the duchess last enagements

  15. Sarah from Western Australia2 June 2013 at 07:57

    I too must add my thanks to the Kate-effect. For years I have been unable to find dresses I liked, and then all of a sudden, the last few months I have been finding loads of pretty dresses in the local shops. For a few years I did not own a single dress, now my room is overflowing! The maxi dress trend 2 or 3 years ago was nice, but I was too short for it!

    Now if only someone famous could bring back pretty low-heeled sandals instead of flats or thick wedges (don't get me wrong, I like wedges, but they don't suit everything) I would be very happy.

  16. She is just so beautiful. I love her hair always. Now if I only I could figure out how to look as pulled together everyday as she does!


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