Welcome to My Royal Closet! Each month, take a look into a different closet that has been royally-inspired by Kate. The Duchess of Cambridge has been a huge influence on our closets, and we want to share our favorite repliKates and outfits with you!
Meet Carmen: Carmen is the voice of Compact Closet, a blog about maximizing style with minimum space. She lives in a cozy apartment in Washington DC with her best friend, who also happens to be her husband. She visited London in 2012, but she missed a chance to see the Duchess of Cambridge at the Our Greatest Team Rises Gala in the teal Jenny Packham gown. Carmen regrets this deeply. Kate and her sister Pippa, Carmen believes, choose items of clothing that make versatile additions to a minimalist closet.
Zara Wool Tweed Military Jacket
You won’t find investment-level Duchess items in my wardrobe. I keep a compact closet because of my limited budget as well as my limited space. Every item Christine and I chose to feature in “My Royal Closet” comes from Zara.
From a distance, this jacket looks gray. But look closer, and you can see the metallic threads and gold buttons that caught the Duchess’ eye. Sure, you can wear it like she did, and bring ladylike polish to your denim on brisk days. But what about teaming it with tights and a Burberry-esque plaid pleated skirt? Or adding it atop a basic sheath dress? The multicolored threads make this item play nicely with a wider range of colors than you might think. Plus, the orange liner is sassy and fun.
Zara White Printed Top With Bow
You know you’re a fan of the Duchess’ style when you find yourself purchasing the same items on the High Street. This deceptively simple-looking shell was on a rack near the register in my local Zara. Anticipating that its dainty print would work with trousers and a brightly-colored cardigan, denim and leather, or a basic black pencil skirt, I made the impulse buy. It made my day to see the same top months later, worn by the Duchess during a trip to a Switzerland wedding.
Zara Metallic Chain Jacket
Like her sister, Pippa Middleton has an eye for timeless style. Even though she no doubt can afford an authentic Chanel jacket, she was photographed several times in this replica. The level of detail in this piece makes it seem far more expensive than it actually is. Like the tweed jacket seen on the Duchess, I purchased this item on eBay. It took many months of monitoring to find the items at reasonable prices. The silvery houndstooth pattern set off the all-black outfit I wore to my office holiday party last winter. I’ve found no end to the outfit inspiration for this jacket on Pinterest. Our Duchess might not deem it proper to pair such an iconic jacket with shorts, but rest assured, other trendsetters have!
Zara Burgundy Colorblock Sheath
As with the white printed top, this item was in my closet before it was seen on Pippa Middleton. The cap-sleeved dress is one step above a basic sheath. The colorblocking is so subtle that you won’t notice it if you aren’t thinking about it, making this an LBD with a little something extra. Simple accessories are the key to making this item stand out– a black blazer, black leather jacket, or pearls are just the ticket. The dress even photographs beautifully– I wore it to a video shoot for work. Perhaps this was a consideration for an oft-photographed sister?
Zara Crystal Bead Necklace
Ah, the item that introduced my family to the craziness that is “The Kate Effect”. Ardent fans will recall this statement sparkler from the premiere of the Nelson Mandela biopic “Long Walk to Freedom”. The event was in early December– in other words, the perfect time for husbands, friends and relatives to snag the perfect holiday present for the Duchess fan in their lives. My mother-in-law, who is a complete dear, tried in vain to purchase one for me. As she later confided, eBay prices gave her major sticker shock. I couldn’t blame her! Fortunately, Zara restocked the bauble after the holidays. Mom-in-law sent me a happy email when she saw photos of the newly-gotten necklace on my Instagram feed. Since then it has accompanied fit-and-flare dresses, peeked out under a sweater-and-collared-shirt combination at work, and joined me for brunch with my chambray shirt.
All photos are courtesy of Carmen/Compact Closet and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.