Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Royal Look from Kate Middleton

Most Americans are caught up in full-tilt Royal Wedding fever this week and I am no exception. Although I truly am glad that I live in representative democracy without a monarch, it does feel good to indulge in a bit of the royal pomp from across the pond. I am just a nut for anything about the British monarchy. I took courses in Britain about King Arthur and studied the Tudors with a serious obsession. (I probably know as much about Henry the VIII as I do about movie musicals -- that's alot.) So, of course, I have read all the hype and the guest list and commentary and whatnot about the upcoming Windsor nuptials.

But I'll admit -- Kate Middleton use to bore me. She was so prim and pretty and one-dimensional. So dispassionate. (Frankly, she was just...so not Diana.) But, I have been caught up in the fervor and now I am a fan. She does have a very mature and classic style and seems to be showing more of her personality lately. And who doesn't love a good commoner to princess story right?

It does bother me that the official line has been changed to call her Catherine instead of Kate. That kind of annoys me a bit. Like they are trying to deliberately re-brand the poor girl. Speaking of names, few people know that when Wills becomes king he can choose to be addressed by any of his several names -- one of which is Arthur. The once and future king indeed!

Two things that I love about Kate's style. She looks amazing in blue and is reviving the sapphire engagement ring (I have one) and she loves hats and looks great in them. She wore this amazing cobalt dress (above) to a wedding and then of course her engagement annoucement dress was also blue from Issa. I have chosen to combine these two looks into one look that is re-creatable for American anglophiles.

Here is my interpretation: (Click on the image for a larger and more detailed view)

Ring: 4 Carat Sapphire and Diamond Engagement Ring 14K White Gold, $476 via Ice.com
Dress: Trashy Diva, Doris Dress in Cobalt, $146
Headpiece: Louis Green Milliner, Headband, Black, $80
Jacket: Ruche, Beautifully Studded Tuxedo Jacket, on sale for $58
Stockings: Figleaves Italian Hosiery Sheer Tights in Black, $17
Shoes: Fergalicious Black Patent Women’s Utopia Pump, on sale for $29.99 via Famous Footwear
Total: $330 (without ring) $806 (with ring)

There are a ton of knockoffs out now of Kate's blue Issa dress. However, I made a non-traditional choice and chose this number in Cobalt blue from Trashy Diva as the basis of this look. Trashy Diva is a fantastic boutique line out of New Orleans. Their flagship store includes the dress shop, a lingerie store and an amazing shoe store in the French Quarter. Everything is vintage inspired and fabulous. This dress has the wrapping middle and the right color of blue to mimic Kate's dresses.

Since this dress is sleeveless, I wanted to add a black tuxedo jacket like the first picture of Kate in this post. This one from Ruche is very classy and has some sparkle to it. The price on it is great and helps to compensate for the higher price of the dress.

Following Kate's lead, I selected stockings in a sheer black and simple black patent pumps. Kate tends to wear sheer stockings and while these seem to have fallen out favor stateside, sheer stockings add immediate elegance to any outfit. The pumps are reasonably priced like the jacket.

These four basic elements could easily constitute a special occasion outfit for any American girl and it would look lovely for about $250. But, I decided to have a bit of fun and recommend two additional pieces to really push the British inspiration of this Kate Middleton look.

Like her dresses, there are lots of knockoffs of Diana's...I mean...Kate's sapphire and diamond engagement ring. This one was on sale right now from Ice.com and is very pretty. Of course this takes the price way over the top but for those with the inclination -- it is a lovely ring.

Lastly, Kate Middleton is credited with single-handedly bringing the fascinator hat back in style in America of late. In this spirit, I have selected a headband from a great retro-style milliner called Louis Green. The headbands provide a bit more support and reassurance for Americans not used to wearing the precariously perched fascinators and they are reasonably priced (versus a hat). This fancy headband is mimic the classic but offset lines and simple black color of Kate's hat above.

I am so excited to see what Kate's wedding dress looks like and how her style evolves as she grows into her role over the next few years. Hopefully she will be a source of fashion inspiration for a very long time.

1 comment:

  1. Love the look, Jess! Another fan of British royalty here--will be getting up early stateside on Friday to see Kate's dress!



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