Kate Middleton is a style icon—there’s no disputing that. Over the last 11 years, her wardrobe choices have influenced many a trend and demand for her clothing has crashed several brands’ websites.
I thought it’d be fun to take a look back at some of her best looks to date—outfits that have really left an impression on me (and my social media followers).
The Duchess always dresses impeccably, whatever the occasion. It’s no surprise that she’s pulled out a few stunning looks over the years. This article covers a range of Kate’s outfits since she joined the royal family—from casual to classic to couture. I will walk you through each in detail and explain why it’s made the list. Fans of the Duchess will enjoy reminiscing while fashion lovers will enjoy perusing the article for inspiration.
In no particular order: (well, except for the first one perhaps)
1. Jenny Packham Goldfinger Gown
Kate wore the gown in September 2021. It was her first proper evening gown in over 18 months due to the pandemic. She returned to the red carpet with a bang! Kate stole the show. Her gown brought a collective gasp from the world as a whole. Fans adored it. Media outlets splashed Kate on their front pages and daytime television shows poured over every inch of the look.
The intricate shimmering dress was by Jenny Packham, designed in collaboration with the production company behind the James Bond Movies. It’s named after the Goldfinger film and was inspired by the famous scene where Jill Masterson gets covered in gold paint.
Have an invite for a black-tie event? Looking for a bridal gown with a difference? You might be interested to learn that the ready-to-wear version is available at FarFetch.com for £4,064 / $5,806.
Jenny Packham Goldfinger Gown
Dazzle like Kate in Jenny Packham’s glittering Goldfinger Gown.
2. Blue Elie Saab Separates
On Twitter, I asked my followers to share their favourite looks worn by the Duchess. This blue Elie Saab ensemble from Ascot 2019 ranked high. It’s one of my favourite outfits too—and one of Kate’s best looks to date in my opinion.
The Duchess wore a bespoke version of a top and skirt from Saab’s Resort 2019 collection. She carried a silver bag by the same designer too. I love the bow neckline and polka dot embroidery throughout.
3. Christopher Kane & Ralph Lauren Separates
A striking look—and a look that was very popular with my Twitter followers! This outfit received several nominations and I loved it too. Kate chose the red-on-red ensemble to deliver a keynote speech at an event hosted by The Forward Trust in October 2021.
The bag is popular with my readers, and it’s still available. (Pssst, Kate owns it in blue too!)
DeMellier Nano Montreal Bag
Exact match! Kate clearly keeps abreast of trends because micro bags are having a moment. The Montreal Nano is compact yet practical, small but roomy enough for the essentials: phone, keys, purse. The perfect grab-and-go bag. Kate owns two of these bags: one in toffee and one in navy.
4. Yellow Roksanda Brigitte Dress
The yellow dress featured a large oversized bow on the shoulder. Kate had the dress modified, adding sleeves and an inset waistband. The ready-to-wear version of the dress didn’t come with these features.
I think Kate’s sweeping ponytail and chic Aquazzura heels gave the look a bit of an edge.
5. Coral Chloé Jacket and & Other Stories Jeans
Though dressed casually, Kate looks ‘put together.’ This is what I imagine she wears on her days off— running errands with the children or visiting the Middleton clan in Bucklebury.
6. Alexander McQueen Bespoke Floral Lace Gown With Sweetheart Neckline
Another sensational gown, this time by Alexander McQueen. The frock features floral lace over a nude overlay, a sweetheart neckline, a floor-sweeping skirt, sheer sleeves and velvet detailing. Kate wore it to the 2019 Royal Variety Performance. So glamorous!
7. Jenny layout Packham Wonder Gown in Green
Kate paired the dark green dress with heirloom emerald jewellery and a pair of green velvet shoes.
Jenny Packham Wonder Gown
EXACT MATCH – Kate looked like a fairytale princess in this green tulle gown by Jenny Packham. She wore the stunning dress to a reception in Jamaica earlier this year. Need a similar gown for your next black-tie event? Click a button below to buy:
8. Phillipa Lepley Vienna Crossover Gown In Blue
Another gown from the 2022 Platinum Jubilee Tour and a highlight of the trip for many. The Duchess chose this exquisite dress for a reception in The Bahamas. It’s by Phillipa Lepley, a couture wedding dress and eveningwear designer based in London.
It looks like the Duchess paired the gown with a pair of VERY expensive shoes— £1,750 GBP / $2,496 USD—by Gianvito Rossi. She also debuted a new Lulu Guinness clutch in a similar shade of blue and wore her Van Cleef and Arpels Magic Alhambra earring and necklace set.
Lulu Guinness Hayworth Bag in Blue Satin
Exact Match! Want to buy Kate’s clutch? You’re in luck! This lovely blue bag is now back in stock on the Lulu Guinness website.
RRP £225 GBP / $295 USD
9. Teal Jenny Packham Aspen Gown
Another gown by Jenny Packham—this one is based on the designer’s Aspen Wedding Gown. The intricate lace back and vivid colour earn the look a place on this list. Kate debuted the gown in 2012, for a gala dinner ahead of the London Olympic Games.
Kate’s hair was widely talked about at the time. This was one of the first moments we spotted the Duchess sporting an updo.
The Duchess carried a matching clutch bag, also by Packham, and wore a pair of silver teardrop earrings (still unidentified, likely costume jewellery). She finished her look with a pair of Jimmy Choo’s Vamp sandals.
10. Jenny Packham Pink Pearlescent Swarovski Crystal Gown
Six weeks after their nuptials in 2011, William and Kate attended their first gala as a married couple. The Duchess wore this absolutely dreamy pink pearlescent gown by Jenny Packham. At the time, the designer described the garment as “ethereal”.
I remember the buzz on Twitter as Kate stepped out onto the red carpet in this gown—the first we’d seen since her wedding day, it brought back lovely feelings from watching her walk down the aisle. It was an iconic style moment. She looked spectacular.
The Duchess paired the dress with a pair of L.K. Bennett sandals topped with a bow. Demand for the shoes crashed the company’s website! She carried a bag by Prada and wore Links of London’s ‘bubble’ drop earrings.
11. Alexander McQueen Ice Pink Suit
Kate’s started wearing suits to public engagements recently. I think it’s her way of showing she means business. This is a particular favourite of mine—I love the punchy pink colour. I think we’ll see her wear this on repeat (either worn together or as separates). It’s by Alexander McQueen.
Kate paired the pink suit with tonal pumps by Emmy London (the Rebecca shoe in the colour ‘Makeup’). She carried a ‘writing folder’ by Smythson and finished the look with her Mappin & Webb Empress pendant and matching earrings.
12. Warehouse Sweater & Jigsaw Trousers
This has always been a standout look for me. Wide-legged culottes, Chanel handbag, scalloped knit—what’s not to love? I see young professionals up and down the country saving this outfit as workwear inspiration.
The colours were an ideal choice for autumn—a mix of rich burgundy and deep khaki green—while the relaxed culottes felt fashion-forward for Kate. It was great to see her gorgeous Chanel handbag make a reappearance too.
13. Tory Burch Blue Painted Roses Smock Dress
I have no idea if this dress broke the Internet but it certainly broke my blog. I posted it to Facebook and it sent a PHENOMENAL amount of traffic to my site. Like nothing I’ve experienced before. People seemed to love it. I certainly liked it. The length, the square neckline, the tiers, the colour, the pattern, the smocking… everything! (Kate wore it in Belize in March 2022.)
I am 100% convinced Kate will have packed this frock in her suitcase this summer. It’s the ideal holiday dress!
Sadly, the blue midi is sold out and Tory Burch told me they do not plan to reissue the print. They do, however, sell the same smocked dress in grey. You can also hire the blue floral version worn by Kate from renttherunway.com.
Rent Kate’s Dress
Exact match! Is this the perfect dress for your next event? Hire it for $70 from Rent The Runway. Renting clothing is an eco-conscious choice—we’re sure Kate would approve!
14. The Vampire’s Wife Falconetti Dress in Green
Ahh, this was another iconic style moment for Kate. The Duchess attended a reception in Dublin, Ireland in early 2020 wearing this shimmering green dress by The Vampire’s Wife. The brand has a huge cult following—it is a favourite among fashion editors.
Vogue called it a “major moment in royal dressing“. They wrote that the Duchess looked “demure-yet-directional. Dare we say, fashion.”
Fancy this dress for your next Christmas event? New Year’s party? Wedding? You’re in luck. It’s available to buy.
The Vampire’s Wife Falconetti Ruffled Metallic Silk-Blend Dress in Emerald Green
Exact match! Steal Kate’s style in this beautiful evening dress. Vogue call The Vampire’s Wife “much loved by the fashion press” and say the Falconetti dress “flatters everyone who has been photographed wearing it” (it has legions of famous fans including Princess Beatrice, Keira Knightly, Kate Moss, Tilda Swinton—and Kate too, of course!)
15. Alexander McQueen Lilac Grecian Gown
Remember William and Kate’s visit to LA in 2011? The Duchess stepped out on the red carpet at a BAFTA event wearing this stunning lilac gown by Alexander McQueen. It was a moment. The sweeping skirt, soft pleats, lovely lilac colour, glittering accessories and those Jimmy Choo sandals! We loved it all.
The Duchess finished the look with pair of The Queen’s blingy chandelier drop earrings.
16. Barbara Casasola Off-Shoulder Dress
Kate’s worn this Barbara Casasola dress twice (in public, to date). She first debuted the off-the-shoulder design in 2016—it felt like quite a fashion-forward choice at the time. Kate fans loved it, magazine editors loved it—it received a lot of attention across the board. It was also popular with my Twitter followers.
In 2019, Kate wore the dress again (pictured above). This time, her sparkling ombre Jimmy Choo shoes set tongues wagging. Kate finished the look with a Wilbur and Gussie clutch and her Kiki McDonough Lola Hoop earrings.
17. Gucci Pink Two Tone Gown
In 2019, Kate attended the 100 Women in Finance gala wearing a stunning gown by Gucci. A real princess look, I’m sure you’ll agree.
I love the gown’s unique bodice and unique two-tone design. I hope we see this one again before too long.
18. Alexander McQueen Embellished Cape Gown In Blush
Kate looked stunning in this Alexander McQueen gown during a visit to Norway in 2018. It received a fair few nominations and ‘likes’ on Twitter, so I had to include it in my round-up.
The blush-coloured ensemble featured a chiffon cape decorated with intricate embellishments on the shoulder. One media outlet said Kate looked “angelic” in the garment—it’s hard to disagree with that!
19. Temperley London Lace Desdemona Dress in Teal
Kate wore this eye-catching teal dress during the 2016 India Tour. I’m confident it’s one we’ll see again, it ticks all of Kate’s boxes: modest neckline, mid-length skirt—not to mention it’s really beautiful.
Designed by Temperley London, the frock features a unique fluted skirt and high neckline. Kate paired it with nude accessories (L.K. Bennett Natalie Clutch and the Fern Heels by the same company). She finished the look with a pair of blingy green tourmaline and amethyst oval drop earrings by Kiki McDonough.
L.K. Bennett Fern Pumps
Exact match! Kate first debuted these nude-coloured pointy pumps five years ago. She’s worn them on 15+ separate occasions, including two overseas tours! They’re still available to buy at L.K. Bennett in the colour ‘Tench’ as seen on Kate. Click the button below:
20. Erdem Floral Separates
During the day, William and Kate undertook a varied itinerary. They visited a former Nazi concentration camp, watched cooking demonstrations in a bustling market, toured a theatre, attended a reception, visited a museum and laid flowers at a monument. The versatile outfit worked for all engagements; the dark tones particularly suited the more sombre moments of the day.
Kate paired the floral separates with a pair of Stuart Weitzman sandals and a clutch from Polish brand Etui—her jewellery was never identified. (It was speculated that they were crafted from amber, a gemstone widely found in Poland).
Now tell me your favourite outfit:
Do you agree with my round-up, are these Kate’s best outfits to date? Or is your favourite missing? Add your opinion in the comments box below.