There's no denying that Kate Middleton is an absolute style icon. I mean, people are more interested in the outfits she wears to various charitable events than they are about many celebrities' red carpet gowns! Thanks to her long term relationship with Prince William before they tied the knot, she's gotten used to being followed and scrutinized by the paparazzi, but once she officially became the Duchess of Cambridge things got even crazier. Every outfit was documented and analyzed — and more often than not, the public was just in awe of how consistently stylish she was.
Men's outfits just aren't as remarkable as women's, so for the longest time the attention was solely on Kate. Now, with Meghan Markle stepping into the royal family, all eyes will be on her fashion choices as well. Markle is super stylish, and has plenty of knowledge about wardrobe from her years working on television sets, but let's be honest — it's got to be intimidating to step into the world of someone as stylish at Kate Middleton. Sure, Middleton doesn't do it alone, but come on — the woman very, very rarely makes a fashion faux pas. We're excited to see what kind of outfits Markle comes up with, but here are 15 stunning outfits from Kate Middleton that may be the most intimidating to the new Royal.
15 Absolutely Stunning In A Teal Jenny Packham Gown
Middleton attends smaller scale charity events and events where the Royal family needs to be represented more often than actual red carpet events, so we're used to seeing her in day dresses and similar outfits. However, when she goes full glam on the red carpet, the effect is stunning. In this beautiful teal Jenny Packham dress, she's taken advantage of her tall, willowy frame by draping it in delicate fabric and lace. Though she's known for her perfect hair that is almost always down, she's smartly chosen to wear it up for this event in order to allow the sheer lace detailing and buttons on the back, and all the delicate lace near the neckline, to truly shine. I mean, she's mastered the red carpet — she looks absolutely beautiful in this.
14 A Slim Erdem Dress That's A Totally Different Silhouette For Her
Kate Middleton is young, and she has the kind of physique that most women would absolutely love to have, but the Royal rules of attire are fairly conservative. She's permitted to rock all kinds of prints and colours, but we have a feeling super tight bodycon dresses are frowned upon. That's why you see Kate more often than not in a silhouette that's a bit more flowing, A-Lines and shift dresses and things that don't necessarily cling to the body. This floral Erdem number is a bit of a departure for her, and we absolutely love it! It's figure-hugging without being too over the top, and the slight nip in at the waist to showcase her physique is perfection. She's shown before that she's not afraid to repeat outfits, so we hope she pulls this one out of the closet again soon!
13 Proof That Blue Is Definitely Her Colour
The world absolutely loved Meghan Markle's crisp white coat worn for her engagement shoot, but come on — Kate Middleton is basically the queen of coats. Many engagements she attends with hubby Prince William are outdoors in colder seasons, so she's gotten used to rocking coats that make just as much of a style statement as the dresses she wears underneath. This piece is the perfect example. Everything from the seaming in the upper body to the belted waist to the soft A-line silhouette to the deep blue colour that absolutely pops with her chestnut locks just looks amazing. Markle's spent a lot of years in chilly Toronto working in Suits, so hopefully she has some experience figuring out what kind of cold weather attire works for her because she'll be compared to the best.
12 Slaying In A Chic Tweed Coat
One of the things we love about Kate Middleton's style is that she often takes conservative fabrics or silhouettes and mixes them up with just a bit of a twist. This coat she wore during one of her pregnancies is the perfect example. The top of the coat very much resembles some of Chanel's classic tweed suit jackets, from the simple piping and cut to the tweed fabric. However, it's actually a full length coat, and in a shade of deep plum that looks fantastic with her hair colour and skin tone. Her normal style is amazing, but it's been fun to check out her maternity style as well, where she swaps out her belted coats and slim fitting dresses for shifts and other silhouettes to keep things flattering and interesting.
11 Her Iconic Royal Blue Engagement Dress
No collection of Kate's sartorial hits would be complete without the dress that started it all, the royal blue engagement dress! Kate Middleton's outfits were being analyzed back when she and Prince William were still just courting, to some degree, but the royal blue dress is when the sell-out phenomenon truly started. You know what we mean — the fact that any garment Kate Middleton wears will often sell out on the designer or brand's website within 24 hours of the public identifying the garment and finding out where they can get one themselves. This dress was just the perfect choice — flattering, conservative but still youthful and a little playful, and of course, the perfect shade of sapphire blue to match her engagement ring. She had to have known this outfit would be one everyone would remember, and she definitely chose well.
10 In A Stunning Printed Markus Lupfer Dress In Berlin
When you wear as many stunning outfits as Kate Middleton, you have to keep things interesting — and that often means by finding unusual prints that capture the public's attention. There are certain shades that Kate Middleton rocks more frequently than others — red and deep royal blue are two of her favourites — but her print game is also really strong. This Markus Lupfer midi dress is a fairly basic silhouette and cut, belted in the middle to show off her waist, but the eye-catching print takes it to a whole new level. We haven't seen Meghan Markle rock a lot of prints yet — she seems to prefer neutrals — but she'll definitely have to up her print game if she wants to compete with Kate Middleton, who rocks so many interesting prints.
9 Rocking The Perfect Outfit For The Garden
While you definitely don't want to get too over the top and theme-y when it comes to your wardrobe for events, there's no harm in paying homage to the event you're attending with your outfit choice. For an event hosted in the royal gardens, Kate rocked a Prada dress with an interesting neckline more commonly found on blouses, and a floral print that departed from your typical florals, focusing more on greenery and stems than the actual flowers themselves. Paired with simple nude heels, the whole look is fresh and effortless — exactly the kind of thing you want to rock for a garden event. We hope Meghan Markle is taking notes! Kate Middleton and her team seem to always know exactly the right outfit to wear for every occasion.
8 A Vision In White Lace By Alexander McQueen
Many women shy away from white dresses because it can very easily go from crisp and chic to a little bridal. Kate Middleton opted to wear white for an outdoor event, and even though it's a lace dress with sleeves (not unlike her own wedding dress), she looks fresh and amazing. The fitted top part of the dress with the interesting neck contrasts beautifully with the more loose, flowy skirt, and the whole look is just amazing. We kind of wish she would have opted for a pop of colour, either with her shoes or her fascinator, but hey — the monochrome look is also very stunning, so we totally get if she wanted to keep things a bit more understated for this particular event. The dress certainly makes enough of a statement on its own!
7 An Absolute Knockout In Red At A Theatre Premiere
Kate Middleton's red carpet gowns are usually fairly classic — floor length, super glamorous, showcasing her physique perfectly. This dress is a bit of a departure for her, with its midi-length vintage silhouette — she looks like she stepped straight off a red carpet in the 1950s! The deep cranberry shade also looks absolutely amazing with her hair and skin tone, and the textured overlay on the gown adds a ton of visual interest to an otherwise simple silhouette. Honestly, we'd just love to be in the room when she's discussing outfit options with her stylist — we'd love to get a bit of an inside look at what goes into her outfit selection process and what kinds of things she considers, because it's pretty amazing that she's able to nail it every single time.
6 An Amazing White Self-Portrait Gown For A Film Premiere
Again, white isn't a colour that many women like to wear because of the bridal connotations, but Kate Middleton proves you can absolutely rock it. This gown is far more risque than we're used to seeing from Kate, which is part of the reason it's so interesting. The top is a fitted white long-sleeved bodice with interesting lace details, and then the bottom contrasts thanks to its flowing material. And then, the slit — we can absolutely see this being a standard Kate look if the skirt were floor length, but the fact that it has a huge slit up the side, exposing some major leg, takes this to a whole new level. It just proves that, just when you think you know what Kate will wear, she surprises you with a look.
5 A Bold Printed Alexander McQueen Dress With Amazing Details
This outfit proves just how powerful and transformative a fantastic print can be. If this dress were a solid colour, it would still be stunning, but it would be a lot more of a subdued look. The red and white print, on the other hand, takes things to a whole new level. The menswear-inspired details on the cuffs and collar and with the line of buttons down the front add a bit of interest to the outfit, and the fact that if you look closer, you see that the skirt actually has two tiers, makes it even better. This is far more edgy than the standard sweet and conservative Kate outfit, and it just proves that she's not afraid to step outside of her style box from time to time and mix it up.
4 A Breath Of Fresh Air In A Stunning Floral Dress
A lot of the celebrities prized for their street style rock outfits that are fairly complicated — layer of accessories, multiple components, something to draw your eye to just about every body part. Kate knows that sometimes, simplicity is key. This white floral dress has a very simple silhouette, clean lines, and just a pop of interest thanks to the scattering of blue flowers over the white fabric of the dress. She's wearing no accessories and just simple nude pumps, a really basic look. On the rack, it may look a little boring, but on her, it looks absolutely amazing. It just goes to show that you can't always judge a dress before you actually see it on someone — sometimes there are dresses that will really surprise you and transform right in front of your eyes once they're actually worn.
3 A Houndstooth Catherine Walker Coat That Proves She's The Outerwear Queen
For many people, outwear is a bit of an afterthought. Sure, you want it to fit well and look somewhat stylish, but warmth is kind of the most important part. No one wants to look stylish but be absolutely freezing, right? With this maternity look, Kate proves just how amazing a statement coat can be. Houndstooth is quite bold as a print, even in the classic black and white format, but this red and white twist on houndstooth adds a bit of edge and boldness to the print. Even if she's wearing the simplest black dress underneath, or perhaps a simple burgundy number to match her accessories, the whole look is elevated by the over the top coat. She truly is the outwear queen — Markle will have to up her coat game significantly to keep up!
2 In A Barbara Casasola Off The Shoulder Gown That Is A Risque Departure For Her
This dress isn't particularly revealing, but it's definitely a much sultrier look than the duchess normally wears. While she rocks all kinds of silhouettes, she almost always has a fair bit of skin covered, from the knee-length hemlines to the more conservative cuts. This dress is a definite departure — and we love it! From afar, it may look totally blah, but up close you see the stunning details that the different vertical and horizontal stripes add, and the off the shoulder component adds a bit of steaminess to the otherwise neutral look. Perhaps now that she's been in her role for a few years, Kate is getting more comfortable stepping outside the lines — we can't wait to see what she has up her sleeve next, and what Markle brings to the table.
1 This Lavender Alexander McQueen Dress That's Totally Made For A Duchess
Kate's worn a lot of red carpet gowns that are a bit edgier and give her a different look, but this gown is basically exactly what you would expect a princess to wear. Everything from the soft pastel lavender shade to the delicate material to the flowy, ethereal silhouette is just straight out of a princess handbook. The belt adds definition to her waist and prevents her from looking as if she's absolutely drowning in fabric, and the simple accessories round out the look perfectly. It just goes to show that sometimes, classic is key — it can be fun to step outside the box and try a new look, but there's absolutely nothing wrong to stick with what works for you and what you feel amazing in.