Would Kate Buy Designer… If she didn’t have a Princess Budget?

After we published our tally of Kate’s clothing purchases for January – March 2017, we immediately saw not only media picking up the story and running with it, but dozens of angry commenters commenting on the cost of Kate’s wardrobe. It’s too much! She doesn’t need to wear designer clothes! Who even cares what she wears? While we didn’t publish the story to give those without an appreciation for the Duchess’ fashion choices a platform to criticize her, we do appreciate that we didn’t include one important variable into the article – Kate’s love of a deal.

While we haven’t had the opportunity to see Kate at the outlet malls lately (she loves Bicester Village, for example, where she picked up an M. by Missoni coat she wore with The Queen and the Duchess of Cornwall at an engagement in 2012 there), we know that she is still a fan of the deal, with her selection of more recent articles of clothing from online “outlet” site The Outnet. While Kate’s wardrobe budget is definitely higher than the average person, we know that she is conscious of costs. Even if she didn’t have a Princess budget, we think she, like us, would still turn to the elegant cuts, luxurious fabrics, intricate details and tailored finishes of designer clothing.

But, I hear you saying, how can you afford designer clothing? A few weeks ago, we shared one of our favourite ways to get designer clothing for less with a high-end consignment site called The Upside. Several months ago, we also shared how sites like Rent the Runway make designer clothing realistic options for those unwilling to pay a fortune for one piece. Kate also takes advantage of secret sample sales and private shopping events for those on the VIP lists at certain stores – something many will allow you to do if you give them your personal details. Today, we thought we’d share the answer to this article’s titular question, would Kate wear designer clothes if she didn’t have a royal budget, with another of our favourite tricks. It’s a fabulous luxury consignment site called The RealReal.

What kind of items are available at sites like the RealReal?

Items like Kate’s favourite Penelope Chilvers boots, for $180 (regular retail $500+). Items like divine Dolce & Gabbana collared silk tops for $245 instead of $900. Items like Oscar de la Renta stunning gem necklaces for $380 instead of $1195. A 138 piece formal china dinner service for $2200 instead of $4000. Hunter Boots for $80. Sure, these are still more expensive than buying a set of dishes from Target, or picking up a top at a fast-retail chain – but there are so many reasons why buying quality is a great option. Think only of the quality of the last fast-fashion blouse you bought. While some are made with sturdy materials, none of them would be made with silk and with the quality of a designer blouse. The fast-fashion blouse will be relegated to the donation pile very quickly whereas a classic designer piece will be on regular rotation for years to come.

Here are even more of the pieces we have our eyes on this Spring and Summer at The RealReal. Kate, if you’re looking for some deals on clothing we think you’d love… We’ve done your shopping for you!

Alexander McQueen McQ Dress $130, with an extra 20% off with code REAL ($104)

Gucci Ruffle-Trimmed Top $245

Missoni Knee-Length Dress $130

Chanel Lace Dress $1295, with an extra 20% off with code REAL ($1036)

We hope you check the RealReal out, there are lots of deals to be found… Definitely something Kate would appreciate!

What Might Kate Wear to Pippa’s Wedding?

As the calendar rapidly moves towards the day of Pippa’s wedding, May 20th, the WWKD team couldn’t help but wonder what we may see Kate wearing for her sister’s big day. We asked several of our contributors for their thoughts on Kate’s possible outfit choices for Pippa’s celebration.

Victoria W.

For as much as we’ve been enjoying bright colors on Kate of late, I expect the Duchess to take a muted approach so as not to upstage her sister’s big day.  Although the Duchess has favored Ivory in the past (notably at Zara Tindell’s nuptuals), I don’t think Kate would want to clash against Pippa’s white gown in the family portraits, which is why my money is on taupe. We’ve also seen Her Royal Highness favoring some larger brimmed headpieces a la Queen Maxima, so I’m pulling for the Quill Statement Hat by Love Lupin (who notably also retails the Whiteley Pillbox that Kate has worn previously) paired with a bespoke coatdress from a go-to favorite like Emilia Wickstead or McQueen.

Suzanne

It is easy to imagine that Kate will wear something with understated elegance.  An outfit that is beautiful, timeless, sophisticated, but does not take attention away from the bride.  My recommendation would be this Melrose Catherine Walker ensemble. It is described as “A delicate dusty pink Venetian wool coatdress with hand applique taupe corded lace spreading up from the hem and cuff.  Seen here with the matching lace Melrose dress.” Kate could easily accessorize with a similar fascinator as seen on the model as well.  It would be the perfect choice for Pippa’s special day.

 

Amanda

While muted colours are, I think, a safe bet – and I am willing to wager that we see a coatdress ensemble from Jenny Packham, Catherine Walker or Alexander McQueen for the ceremony itself. I am secretly hoping that we get to see photos of Kate from the evening reception… And that she chooses something with a little edge. I love the prairie guipure lace midi dress from Self-Portrait, for example, as a dress that is true to Kate’s style, intricate and formal enough for a fancy wedding reception, and yet different from Kate’s normal looks. This isn’t just any formal royal engagement, it’s her sister’s wedding!

 

Bridget

I think that Kate’s main concern at Pippa’s wedding will be not drawing attention away from the bride. Therefore, I do not think we will see anything like a repeat of the sister-of-the-bride’s dress in matching white like at the royal wedding, whether Kate is a bridesmaid or not. Her struggle will be to be understated without looking dull. I think a black dress is too safe and dark for a spring wedding, but I could see her wearing a mid-length, very simple dress, perhaps in a springy color like dove gray, light pink or icy blue, with a coat with a fascinator to match.

What is it like when Kate arrives at an Engagement?

As many of you know, I was lucky enough to attend several engagements of the Royal Visit of Canada in 2016 as a member of the press. I was able to see, first hand, how absolutely crazy the crowds get in advance of Will & Kate’s arrival. As I was doing some Spring cleaning of my hard drive lately, I noticed that there was a video I took of William & Kate arriving at the ISSBC engagement in Vancouver that I never shared.

The video reminded me not only of why the excitement of a Royal Visit is palpable, but I thought that I would share my – admittedly limited – experience as a member of the press pack to share what the experience is like for those who have not seen the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge up close.

Here is the video I took. While definitely not the highest quality (and don’t bother turning on your speakers… There is no sound) it captures how close I was to Kate and the excitement of the event.

Here are some of the elements of a Kate engagement from “behind the scenes”!

Huge Security Presence

There are road blockades, police, security personnel – not to mention personal protection officers for the Duke and Duchess – who ensure that the areas are safe for the royals. When William and Kate arrived at the Immigrant Services Society engagement in Vancouver (where the video is from), they and their motorcade were escorted by members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Dignitaries At The Waiting

One of the things I found most interesting at this particular event is that it was the first engagement of the day where the Duke and Duchess would partner with Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and his wife, Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau.

Normally, the Prime Minister of a country gets a pretty grand welcome himself, but in this case he and his wife were patiently waiting on the sidewalk like the rest of us for Will & Kate to arrive.

Royal Photographers & Journalists Work Hard

If you watch the video above, you’ll see how the royal journalists and photographers move so quickly to catch not only the best angles of a photo, but doing so respecting the wishes and the security needs of the engagement. It leads to photographers like Samir Hussein being able to capture this level of detail from Kate’s dress, clutch and purse.

There were probably three or four dozen members of the press at this engagement, who were amongst some of the nicest people I have had the pleasure of working with. The journalists themselves are quite the well-oiled machine! When we, behind a screen, are (im)patiently waiting for photos or videos, they are often running a lifestream on one device while trying to take photographs on another and simultaneously drafting their copy for their publication in their heads. Oh, and for the record, they definitely look to bloggers when pieces aren’t identified by Kensington Palace’s PR teams!

Kate’s Ability to Block It Out

While I was in no way, shape or form doubting that Kate would be the definition of poised perfection, I was still mind-boggled at witnessing it live. There are throngs of people yelling “Kate! Kate! Kate, over here, Kate!” and thousands of cameras flashing in her face. The engagement where I took the video was a “private” engagement with no walkabout, so it’s maybe a little difficult to appreciate the size of the crowds that were gathered even for that from the video, but the picture below from her arrival in Vancouver makes it pretty clear.

The only moment of imperfection I saw from the Duchess was when she first emerged from the car and had to flatten out the back of her McQueen dress which had obviously crinkled on the car ride over. But she smoothed it out as best she could as quickly as possible in order to head over to meet the Trudeaus – and be captured in this infamous shot.

Pretending the Press isn’t There

Even though we were three or four feet away from the Duchess, there was absolutely no eye contact from her with any member of the press and she acted as though we weren’t even there. I was initially shocked by that, but realized that it’s likely both driven by her and William’s dislike of the Press intrusion on their lives as well as the necessity of living her life and pretending they aren’t there.

Kate is very Soft-Spoken

I was close enough to hear Kate’s polished voice speak very quietly to the Dignitaries she was meeting, but when you compare her voice with William’s, or either of the Trudeaus that were present, it was absolutely several decibels lower.

So while one Royal Tour – and not even a complete one at that – does not make me an expert by any stretch of the imagination, it did offer me a glimpse into the other side of the royal reporting world than my own. I look forward to hopefully covering several more in the future!

Princess Perfect Locks

One of the most instantly recognizable features of the Duchess of Cambridge is her smooth, sleek and perfectly tousled hair. The way it effortlessly slides across her shoulders, weaves itself into glamorous up-dos with ease or just bounces joyously carefree in a ponytail has created an entire generation of women who long for the hair perfection of Kate.

While it’s no secret that Kate has a personal hair stylist and enjoys the perks associated with that, the rest of us are not quite so lucky. While we do splurge on the occasional blowout, it’s just not our reality to have someone at our disposal ready to attend to our every hair whim. So what’s a modern girl to do? What would Kate do if she didn’t have a hair arsenal at her disposal? She would surely, like us, turn to the scientific and creative developments that have drastically improved haircare products in the last few years. We think that she would look for a product line that beyond delivering outstanding hair was natural and that supported a cause she believed in, if it were possible. Turns out it is.

I discovered WEN hair products a few years ago while browsing the aisles of Sephora and have used the Hair Care Cleansing Conditioner on-and-off as part of my own haircare routine for several years. While I admittedly had initially had tried the brand because of the engaging infomercials that Chaz Dean, the founder of the line, had done, I discovered that I really enjoyed their Sweet Almond Mint wash. It works really well with my curly hair because it didn’t lather up and strip the oils from my hair that cause frizz. (Kate and I share a hair type with a natural tendency to frizz!)

Why do I think Kate would consider the WEN line? Because of three things we know about Kate that can be directly translated into hair care tips.

Kate appreciates working with a hair styling expert

Kate has had a long relationship with Richard Ward and Amanda Tucker, understanding that there is an inherent value in working with one professional to best understand your hair’s unique needs and developing a regimen, cut and routine that work for you.

We think, similarly, she’d appreciate that the WEN line was developed by a hair stylist with a series of haircare needs embedded in the philosophy of the products.

Kate appreciates natural ingredients

We know that Kate likes to garden and uses products that have natural ingredients. We think that this is proof positive that Kate would appreciate and use a haircare line that incorporated natural elements to their products.

If you, like me, get very confused by the ingredient labels on so many of the bottles of goop I lather onto my head, it’s reassuring to know that natural elements make up a large part of the WEN Haircare line.

Kate appreciates supporting a cause

It’s no secret that Kate feels strong and passionately about causes which are close to her heart, be they addiction, mental health, children’s hospice care or animals. We think that Kate would appreciate supporting a product line that not only encompassed a charitable platform, but that specifically worked to support and engage with a cause she believed in.

WEN, for example, works with organizations in Haiti to secure clean water and worked with Oprah’s School for Girls in Africa.

 

I tend to think that the real reason Kate has got her hair down to an enviable science is that she’s embraced her natural texture and learned which products, techniques and styles are most flattering for it. It has taken me years (and probably the salary of a personal stylist) to find products that work with my specific hair texture and style. It took Kate ages to perfect her look too.

I have found the best way to truly test a product (which I stand by the fact can not be done with those stingy samples you normally get) is to get a travel size bottle of the product in question. If you want to find the magic products to get your own version of Duchess-worthy hair, be sure to be like the Goldilocks, and be discerning until you find one that is just right.

This post was sponsored by WEN. Please see our disclosures for any questions on this type of post. You can find out more about WEN Haircare by visiting their website, Facebook page, Twitter page or Instagram account.