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William and Kate Welcome Poppy Day Fundraisers at Kensington Palace

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Today, William and Kate met with Poppy Day supporters at Kensington Palace. Poppy Day fundraisers were riding a double decker bus and stopping at locations all across London and meeting the Duke and Duchess at KP was certainly the high profile stop of the day. Poppy Day, officially called Remembrance Day, honors the fallen members of the armed services. Although it commemorates the fallen of every war, it began after the horrible generation-decimating World War I and I feel it retains very much the mood and spirit of that heart-breaking time, but also the resilience of the people determined to remember and to move forward. Even the poppies are World War I era, because of the poem, In Flanders Fields, "In Flanders fields the poppies blow, Between the crosses, row on row..."  It was written about the Second Battle of Ypres where, all told, over 100,000 men were killed.  The royals solemnly mark Remembrance Day every year on the 11th, and so we will be seeing Kate in black again very soon.


Although, not announced ahead of time, probably for security reasons, William and Kate did join the Poppy Day Supporters on their double decker and traveled from KP to High Street Kensington tube station. 



Kate was rewearing the red "Ami" coat from LK Bennett that she wore to Denmark for the UNICEF trip:


I liked it then, but I was disappointed to see it today. Usually, I am not a fan of this hemline, and I think if you do wear this hemline don't pair it with black stockings or boots. It worked in Denmark because of the location. She reminded me of a Russian Naval officer all bundled up, and Denmark being so far north, etc, it worked. That is the only time I think it works. 

Just in terms of the hemline, I prefer shorter, and usually, so does Kate. Example, the Orla Kiely. I love this length, she looks so, so good in these coats, with or without opaque stockings:


The Reiss with opaque tights and boots. This hemline works, it is longer than the hemline above, but is still skimming the knees. It all comes together well and is a gorgeous ensemble:


The M Missoni. Great length:


The DVF. I think I voted for this in What Kate Wore's poll last year. I LOVED it:


Then, there are times when black stockings really look fabulous. They look great on Kate, they look great on most people. Black stockings are slimming and allow you to get away with the shorter hemline in cold weather. This Zara dress with the black stockings at Royal Albert Hall in 2011 was perfect!! She looked young and hip, her legs looked amazing, but she didn't look ridiculous in that cold weather. This is an example of black stockings done well:


The longer hemlines on Kate don't go over as well with me. When she wears them I usually like every element of the dress or coat, but wish the hemline were brought up a taste. It can make all the difference. Frankly, she almost never errs with dress hemlines. I wished the Diamond Jubilee lace McQueen had been higher, but she was probably thinking about how she had to sit in the front row with cameras on her. 


Sometimes the hemline is on the edge of too long, but what makes or breaks it is how she wears it. This Hobbs coat is the perfect example. She wore it with black stockings and a turtleneck sweater dress in Liverpool on Valentine's Day. It was nice, but it was off for me:


But, she wore it again in Grimsby in the early months of pregnancy, this time ditching the black stockings and turtleneck and it was a whole new coat. She looked fabulous! 


Soo, this is a long way of saying that her look today was too busy for me. The hemline was swallowing her up, but not in the good Anna-Karenina-bundled-up-in-Russia way. I would be interested to see how this would be different if she put her hair up and wore nude stockings. That could work. On an unrelated note, she wore the belt today that originally came with the coat. That was fun to see.  Although, who wasn't in love with that jewel-toned belt in Denmark?

Kate Cambridge on November 7, 2013

November 7, 2013
Kate has looked off several times since giving birth to George and aside from her probable fatigue is her hair.  I get the sense that Kate is likely doing her own hair more often these days, and I think she needs to go back to professional blowouts. Her crown has been too flat several times. I think she needs that volume to make the long hair work. Secondly, and this might be even more important, she has changed her part from the side to the middle once or twice. It really changes the shape of her face, and honestly I think it gives her a slightly haggard look. She has a beautiful forehead, a beautiful face, and this middle part is not doing anything for her. 

Both in the past (left) and recently (far right) Kate has worn her part on the side with fabulous success. The middle part (middle picture) is not doing justice to her features.
I am excited for George to get a little older, for Kate to get more rest, and for the part to go back to the side. What this royal family needs is a week or two in Mustique. That should be coming up in just a few months! (See wonderful shots from today at the DM here.)








45 comments:

  1. Dear Jane! I think you made the post of the year for me, huge grats. I love her coats and by comparing them with todays look, it was an awesome idea. I agree every word, but I couldnt decide what is wrong with her, now I know. Her parting doesnt do her any good. She looks so weary and must say old. I am sorry to say this but she has help, she can go out shopping, and yet she doesnt visit a hairdresser. I cant get this help me out:-) She has hardly any outings yet she looks out of her true self. I know Iam harsh but disappointed.Sorry for being this negative.But This is how I feel, she does not care about herself that much. Love your post though.A.

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    1. So glad you enjoyed the post! It took some time to pull together and when it was done I thought, gosh I hope people enjoy this, otherwise I better go back to sticking closer to the topic. :)
      I think, as Elizabeth points out below, that Kate's priorities are with George right now. She isn't accompanying William on his many engagements this month, I think she is staying home with her baby, decorating her house, and enjoying her privacy. These are all good things. I think hairdressers and fashion are taking a back seat. I don't have a problem with that. She deserves this special time. I hope that sooner rather than later, though, she feels comfortable booking a stylist to come to KP before events and do her hair, but that is my selfish side popping out. She doesn't have to be out there as a working royal, but on these official engagements, she should look her best.

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    2. I couldnt do more than agree with your last sentence.:-)))) So true!

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    3. By the way, I love her Orla Kiely coatdress and her Hobbs brown coat, I only wish one day:-))))But dreams come true right?:-)) The others are alsoamazing but these two my old time fave.A.

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  2. Hi Jane, I agree with you 100%. Kate has looked so polished in the past. It is really hard thing to pull off since everything needs to come together, hair, tailoring, make up, while appearing effortless. And she has hit the mark every time, until recently when she has not looked her best. think Kate may not be getting a full night sleep. Her priorities are different and perhaps the baby comes before the beauty routines now. This coat is not her best piece,
    she should pass it on to her mother.

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    1. Glad you agree! I just don't love this coat. Maybe if she hemmed it up... Hopefully, she will get more rest and come back fresh and radiant. As I say, I think the annual Middleton holiday in Mustique will do her a world of good.

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  3. The center part makes her look like a totally different person! It was so flat around her crown and in some pictures her hair looked almost glued to the side of her face. The color also looks dull and a bit lifeless...certainly not the shiny, bouncy hair that she is known for.

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    1. Yes, it does, and not in a great way, eh? It just goes to show how important your hairstyle is. I am terrible with my own hair... I imagine she will pull it together soon. :)

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  4. Dear Jane,

    this was by far (!!!) the best account on Kate today!
    I think todays outfit and her hair did NOTHING for this beautiful woman. Additionally I thought she looked tired and ill?! But I am reliefed that even she does have an occasional bad hair day :)

    Yours, Vroni

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    1. Thanks, Vroni!! She did look tired and I think that is probably because she is tired and because her hair style accentuated it. She is such a stunning woman and I am sure once she gets some rest we will be seeing her in top form again! Thank you so much for reading!

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  5. Hi Jane. I also agree with you 100% percent, this is definitely not Kate's best look. In fact, since George has arrived her look has suffered quite a bit. I actually thought she looked better in the casual outfit she wore in the pictures taken of her at a McDonald's then at her official outings. To me she looked casual but put together and her hair looked so nice up in a bun. Oh, Richard Ward where are you when Kate needs you?? I have wondered if maybe she might be having a problem with some post baby blues. She just looks haggard and like she is making an effort to enjoy her engagements.
    I liked the last line in your response to anonymous, at the very few official engagements she is doing until sometime next year, she really could try a bit harder and if all else fails, put her hair up and call it good.

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    1. Yes, since George came she has been looking a little worn out. And YES! The McDonalds photos and her shopping photos look more relaxed and lovely, with her hair pulled back, etc. My friends who are new mothers say it is exhausting, no doubt harder than I realize. I think her mom or an aide will look at the pictures and say, let's change this up, and maybe throw a spa day in. :) We all certainly have days where we think something will work and it just doesn't.

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  6. I love reading your posts. I didn't mind the outfit today but it seemed strange that she wore a very short dress/skirt underneath a coat that long. I totally agree with you on her hair. Compared to the other photos you posted, it just looks awful today. Some have stated this is what happens to your hair 2-3 months after giving birth...don't know personally. I do not like the middle part and it seems if it is too heavy since she has grown it longer. This is one area where she definitely needs to use a professional hairstylist.

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    1. Thanks! I am so glad to hear that you drop by and read the blog! Yes, I think she needs a hair appointment. I think we are probably seeing the result of her focusing on her baby and not on herself. Not a terrible thing in the long run, I guess. a good hair appointment would go a long way.

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  7. I visit often but haven't posted before. I like the last picture in the post but it shows her from a much different angle, especially the hair. I think she's getting used to the move, new baby, change in activities, etc, and is finding her way, but I'm sure she'll be at her sparkling best soon.

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    1. Isn't it lovely? I thought that was the best shot of the day, so I wanted to end with that positive angle. She is so beautiful, but the hairstyle just hid her beauty and accentuated her fatigue. I agree, I think she will bounce back quickly, too!

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  8. Very well put forward. I do drop by often but I must admit I rarely comment as it seems hard to state an opinion about her without others then having an opinion about your opinion if that makes sense? :)

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    1. Thank you! I am glad this post inspired a comment! ;)

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  9. "What this royal family needs is a week or two in Mustique" Oh yes please because Kate is so hard-working and hasn't been on multiple vacations this year already. You are perpetuating the idea that she should only do a couple of events a month (like today's) because that is good representation of Britain. I disagree--I know she just had a baby, but in the coming months she should engage in activities that will help the monarchy and the public. I'm not surprised, though--all you write about is Kate's physique and aesthetics. Expand your perspective to encourage the good aspects of Kate, but also include critical viewpoints of her performance.

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  10. Oh, and thanks in advance for not publishing my comment ;)

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    1. I read your second comment, about not posting, first. I thought, well this will be interesting. :). Your question is shared by many and I have been meaning to write a post about my position on the topic. I will want your opinion when I do!

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  11. Anonymous, obviously you like this blog or you would not bother to read it. The Royal family contributes to Britain's appeal. I never thought of vacationing there until I saw the royal wedding and fell in love with the history and pageantry. If you are unhappy with the problems of the world, then take up a cause and volunteer. "You must be the change you want to see in the world" (Gandhi). P.S. Jane, I like your comments, they are honest and diverse.
    Keep up the excellent job. Thanks for running this blog.


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    1. Thank you for reading, Elizabeth! I try to say what I think and cross my fingers that people won't have meltdowns. :) I am always a fan of Kate, though, or I wouldn't put the time into this blog. I think the RF is a very valuable asset to Britain! Your comment is particularly interesting to me...Maybe I will run a post asking people what drew them to follow Kate...

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    2. Elizabeth--I read this blog to gain knowledge about Kate's patronage work. I agree fully that the RF contributes to Britain's appeal, but I am of the opinion that Kate is not representing the firm well. It seems that people pay more attention to her clothes and physical appearance than her work.

      I do volunteer twice a week through a service organization at my university, but I can only do so much as an average citizen. My point is that Kate has loads more power than most anyone to bring attention to causes and see them through. I think it's ridiculous that Kate and Will are vacationing every couple of months when the British people are in need of that money. To me, that's poor representation, but I guess people are more focused on her characteristics than her work load.

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  12. Hi Jane! I read an interesting article earlier this evening that I thought addressed some of what Anonymous was saying. http://www.forbes.com/sites/ceciliarodriguez/2013/11/06/is-the-press-obsession-with-kate-middletons-body-and-prince-harrys-life-hurting-the-public/ I think the author really hit the nail on the head. I hadn't really thought about the mixed message going out to young girls. (I don't think those young girls are reading blogs like this, I'm thinking more about the obsession in magazines and news magazine programs.)

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    1. I did see that article. That is getting into some discussions that I certainly have opinions on, but might be a little weighty for this venue. In short, though, the problem of women being objectified for their bodies goes much deeper than just photoshopping in fashion magazines. And the root of that objectification is a topic no one really wants to admit, soooo, I am always a little irritated when women who are trying to stay trim ad fit are told they are giving the wrong message to young girls. Secondly, the idea that Kate should look her best is not a bad message. I am very against the mindset that sees girls wandering university campuses in "pajama pants", hoodies, and unkempt hair. Kate stepped out after the birth with her post-tummy showing. That was natural and good! That she lost her baby weight fairly quickly and the tabloids latched onto that can't really be helped. I think self-esteem comes from a place other than the tabloids. If our children are so shaped by headline news, we have a deeper problem. I don't know if I am making coherent sense here, and I am not fully expressing my position, but you probably see where I am going. I completely disagreed with this, "The point, some experts emphasize, is that the media obsession with the duchess’s every bodily inch “reinforces the principle that girls should be seen and not heard." But, again, I think that the objectification of women, which is rampant in society today, the idea that our bodies are our worth, is a huge problem, but the source is a much more controversial issue than tabloid headlines.

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  13. I think Kate is very beautiful in everything she wears, however I think her hair needs to bet cut a few inches and dyed back to the rich, glossy brunette tone. Also she needs to experiment a bit more and wear her hair up in a chignon style more often, especially for official events. She also needs to decide carefully which outfits to recycle as this was not a good choice. The side parting did not work and her eye makeup is to heavy.
    Jane barr you are wondefull I look at your blog 3 times a week well done!

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    1. Well, thanks for reading!! I agree, she needs a day at the salon. She will be wearing a hat Sunday, but after that I think she will have her hair taken care of before her next event!

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  14. Hi Jane! You write so well!:-) and I agree with everything you said in this post! I think she looked "down" but what I don't like at all is her hair! I'd love to see her shiny mane back again! Anyway, in her last appearances she looked great for me so, maybe we can hope to see her cool in future engagements! One thing: are there grey roots in her hair? :-(

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    1. Yes, she has grey roots. I am a little surprised that she didn't take care of those before going in front of the cameras, but she may have thought they weren't that noticeable. Had she parted her hair on the side, it wouldn't have jumped out so much... Thanks for your kind words, Martina!!

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  15. I couldn't put my finger on why she looks not right to me.. I knew it was the hair and then you pointed out the middle part. It totally does not suit her at all! I hope she goes back to a side part because it frames her face so wonderfully. My hair (and other mum's I know) was absolutely terrible after giving birth so given Kate is only human I'd say hers is too! I can imagine she's also still very tired and would probably prefer beng at home with George than out on engagements. She still looks very lovely though.

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    1. Yes, it took me a few looks to pinpoint the change that was bothering me. It is as simple as a part. :) She is very lovely--this is making me take my hair more seriously!

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  16. Kate is a public figure, so I assume she is very intentional in all her decisions about how she appears publicly. I wonder if it was intentional that she didn't look perfectly polished. Since that awful article by a British author accused her of "a shop window mannequin". She has really toned down her appearance. Her eyebrows are not as thick and sculpted, her hair less full (suggesting she doesn't use rollers anymore), and her makeup---especially her blush and bronzer---toned down, even before she was pregnant. My guess is that she is intentionally attempting to look more down to earth. She still looks polished just not quite to the extent she was in 2011 and early 2012. I noticed even on her trip to the Pacific Islands she looked great, but had toned down her hair, makeup and overall "perfection" a bit. Also, I must add at her last appearance she drew a lot of media attention to her tummy. I wonder if wearing the long, body engulfing coat was an attempt to swing the other way as to appear modest and professional, as a royal should.

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    1. A very interesting theory- that she intentionally isn't looking her best these days. Perhaps they think that by her looking exhausted then people will be less critical of their vacation plans? Of course, I'm assuming that they really do have vacation plans. Amusing to consider that maybe we're all being played, and they are actually pleased with the overwhelming "fatigued" opinion.

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  17. As mentioned above, best account of the day.
    It is fair to be expected of a pt royal that she look her very best on official engagements.
    Can't wait for her to cut her hair. I actually liked the bangs she had for the first months of her pregnancy. For now, fire the hairstylist. It is just a horrible hairdo. Worse look ever on Kate.

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  18. Oh my God, I never thought I would say that but she looks horrible; I say fire that hairdresser ! Right now !x

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  19. Whilst I can't deny that I enjoy Kate's fashion choice, if I am being honest, I would be happy to see her turn up in jeans and a t shirt for every outing as long as she is doing the job. I think the unannounced poppy collection outing was great, just what this wonderful cause needs and all involved seemed really boosted by the Cambridges' appearance. Kate has chosen her causes well thus far and I would like to see more of the same. As for her appearance the other day, yep she looked tired, yep the hairstyle wasn't very flattering but frankly, so what?

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  20. It is always fun to see Kate, but the hair really is not coming together well. It still feels like it is being professionally styled - the way it lays and the hold with the shaped curls - but the middle part is doing her no favors. In all fairness though, a middle part does few people any favors. The lack of body at the crown isn't helping either. I do realize she has a young child at home, but she is rich, has a nanny and a housekeeper on staff and her husband is no longer working an extreme schedule job without any say in it, so the time to have her hair done well - which is something she is world-renowned for - doesn't seem like that difficult of a thing to fit in. As much as the press would love for us to think that William and Kate are like us - they aren't. I enjoy seeing them, look forward to seeing them and think they make a fantastic family unit, but it isn't as if Kate is cleaning, taking care of the baby, cooking etc without any help like the vast majority of new mothers. As for the coat, I like it and the length doesn't bother me, but what I think makes this one not as 'put together' as the others she has worn is the fact that it doesn't full close in the front around her legs. It give the coat the appearance of being confused as to what it is - whether it should be a dress or a coat or a coat dress.

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  21. I completely agree about her hair. It is so distracting in this pictures! It really does look flat and bland. I'm sure she is just knackered, but hopefully it will go back to being full and lovely again soon.

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  22. I'm going to be completely honest - Kate needs to pull herself together if she is going to make appearances on behalf of charitable organizations. Otherwise people are going to stop watching. How is a tired, depressed, ill looking woman helping out this organization? Isn't the whole point of their visits to raise awareness and get publicity for these organizations? She is a member of the one of the wealthiest families in the world - did they forget to put a beauty parlor in their newly furbished Kensington Palace 20 Room Apartment? Did public engagements suddenly become a surprise? Did the nanny get sick and call out and there was no one to look after the baby so she could get a decent night's sleep? It is not about beauty - it is about vitality. She is not helping these organizations one bit.

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    1. I disagree. You only need to look at the faces of the people around her on the news reports to see that her and William being there made a massive difference. For goodness sake, the woman has one outing when she's looking tired and has a bad hair day and she's being described as ill and depressed?? It was only a couple of weeks ago everyone was raving about how glowing she was. Royal or not, motherhood and breastfeeding takes it out of you and yet so many people are down on her like a ton of bricks if she has an off day.

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    2. Looking tired, ill and depressed. Made a massive difference to what? Did their bottom line increase because they were there? Probably not, because no one knew they were coming. A couple of "well dones!" from the wealthiest family in England is a bit ironic isn't it? "Way to go working class people for taking care of your own!" Her purpose is for people to take her picture and spread the word - and she does not look like she put any effort into it. This day was not a surprise to her. I hold firm on my position.

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    3. It made a massive difference to the people who were working tirelessly to raise funds for this worthy cause and as for the 'bottom line', well it's not a profit making exercise but their visit helped to raise awareness. I doubt if the fund raisers gave a fig whether her hair looked good. And yes she looked tired but ill? Depressed? It was one outing. Think you need a reality check Anonymous

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    4. These are "appearances" by the Royal Family. I think appearances matter to the people who book the royals to come out and be photographed among the "common" people doing all the work. So they can use the photos for publicity and fundraising purposes. And it IS a fundraising "bottom line" venture - it supports the families of the military. I think you are projecting about the "massive" difference it made to the people working tirelessly - the volunteer's goal is to make a massive difference to the people who need the help. The least Kate could do was make an effort on her appearance. Otherwise, stay home and take care of the baby. The results would be the same.

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  23. Thank you Jane for your wonderful blog. I am a longtime reader but first-time poster.

    I wanted to note 2 things. The first is that if Kate really is forgoing a hairstylist in order to spend more time with George, then I admire her even the more for that. Considering how much scrutiny and attention she garners each time she goes out, and the pressure she is under to look perfect at all times, it's a choice that I think few of us would have the confidence to make.

    Secondly, her face looks a little rounder to me in these pics. I've noticed that it tends to look rounder when she puts on a bit of weight, but of course that's not the case now (she's possibly never been so thin). So I'm wondering if it's due to the middle hair part and flatter style up top? What are your thoughts?

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