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Kate Visits The Fostering Network in Hobbs & New Mirabelle Earrings

Friday, January 16, 2015

Welcome to the tardiest Kate post in recent memory. I am so sorry that this was such a longtime in coming. I have a moderately decent excuse, but no one has the patience for that right now, so let's just jump in, shall we? Kate was at her second engagement of the week this morning visiting The Fostering Network in Islington. The Duchess had the opportunity to meet with foster-carers and the children whose lives they impact.

I have to say, this charity really touches me. It is such a particular, and sometimes forgotten, area of need. So many children are currently innocent victims of our broken society and the bad choices of others. They need stable and safe environments to have a chance of thriving and succeeding. Taking a vulnerable and potentially damaged child and giving him or her a second chance at life--what an incredible thing. Of course, it isn't without emotional pitfalls for the families. Taking in children, giving them a home, bonding with them, loving them...and potentially losing them. That takes a very special courage, a particular strength.  I have nothing but admiration and respect for those willing to give with such full hearts.

The Fostering Network

Shall we dig into the fashion? Her Royal Highness wore her brown, animal-embossed shirt dress from Hobbs. We first saw it under the blue Matthew Williamson in Wales...

 ...and again on Christmas morning. 

You may recall that at the time of its first appearance, it did not get rave reviews from yours truly. I may have made some unflattering references to the '70s...

The good news is that I don't dislike this dress half as much as I thought I would from the peek or two we have received thus far. This is due primarily to its very flattering style, and owes little to the aforementioned pattern. I wonder if Kate was wearing something under it, perhaps a tight knit of some kind? The dress has a substantial look for silk, which I did not expect, but significantly improves my pre-convieved opinions. If she doesn't have an added layer, than even more props to the dress! 


All positive points accounted for,  I still am not in love with it. Usually I am an animal-print's biggest cheerleader, but embossed is a little different, and I while I have warmed to the dress overall, (moving from Arctic ice, to spring slush, to tepid tap-water) I would not choose this if I had my druthers. I actually love the style, and frankly is my preferred maternity look, but the hem and seams along the bottom of the skirt look puckered. That cheaper flavor, with the embossed croc... I am just not swooning.

Kate carried her Bayswater again, wore her Stuart Weitzman Power pumps, and completed the ensemble with a new pair of gold earrings. I have not been entirely focused this afternoon, as the time-stamp on this post should attest, so I do not know who IDed these, but What Kate Wore has a very interesting Style-Sleuthing Special on, which you should check out! The short story, these are Mirabelle "Lolita" hoop earrings and retail for a reasonable £20.00. It is always fun when Kate adds to her closet!

Final verdict: This is not a miss. Kate looks so great in brown and black, the belted waist is particularly flattering, and her hair was perfect. It reminded me of the early pregnancy day's with George. It isn't a hit, but a pass is a pass, my friends. 

We have a packed day on Monday, with three separate engagements on Kate's Calendar. Perfect for those of you taking advantage of the three-day weekend in the United States! Until then, I think we all deserve a glass of wine. Cheers to you and to the weekend!


  1. Oh Dear,
    Yes we do deserve a glass of Wine (Burgundy for me please ;-) ). thanks to the the Duchess and you Jane for making this day much more enjoyable than the sad news going on on TV...
    Have a great weekend and look forward to reading you on Monday then,
    Take care,
    Sophie (do I still need to mention I'm a froggie ?)

  2. The dress looks really cheap and she should stop wearing it. I have not warmed up to it at all.

    1. Unfortunately I agree. It seems shapeless and ill fitting to me. Not a fan, but I am a fan of the even and see why she chose it, to not distract from the cause at all.

    2. I'm sorry - but how anyone could think that dress and black tights combo is flattering is beyond me. A huge fashion miss - all pieces could be attractive, but not together. Picture the dress brightened up with the scarf she wore on Christmas Day, some nude tights, and some quietly fun shoes -high heeled because that is what she loves. Glance at Stuart Weitzman and LK Bennett sites, brands that she loves, they have several pairs that would have been just the punch of color to put it all together. Constantly reaching for black tights with black shoes or boots is not working. Always admire her warm and friendly smile and demeanor - guess that is what is really impt at the end of the day.

  3. Im not a fan of the embossed material either but like the flattering cut. The new earrings are a pretty addition. Like the brown dress with the black stockings and shoes.
    I hope Kate becomes a patron of this group. If she could bring the publicity that she has brought to scouting, children's hospice and addiction, the benefits would be amazing. Good foster care can make all the difference for some children.

    Good foster care can change a child's life!

  4. Didn't like it at first and still don't. The bodice does not fit her expanded chest, as in some photos you can see that its gaping open a bit - totally unacceptable for a woman of her position and means. The whole look is a bit ho hum.


  5. Two thumbs down here.


  6. Oh dear, I thought the navy dress yesterday was bad but this might be worse. Not loving the earrings either, they look a little cheap. I agree with the person who commented on the black tights shoes/boots...wondering why she ALWAYS wears them.

  7. I love Kate and if she needs one I'll be her best friend, BUT...this is a miss for me! The style of the dress is great but the fit isn't so hot and I am not a fan of brown with black or navy with black(yesterday) for that matter. This woman could have some any kind she wants, so I'm puzzled at her always choosing the SAME thing particularly when they don't match. Oh well, different strokes! She could wear burlap and I'd still love her!

  8. Brooke in South CarolinaJanuary 16, 2015 at 7:22 PM

    Total and complete miss for me. Many of the pictures from the day show the dress gaping at her chest-major fashion faux pas. Looks sloppy.

    However, I am very happy that she chose to draw attention to this very worthy cause. I hope to see foster care as one of her future patronages,

  9. Unusual for me not to like what she wears, but this is a miss.

  10. Carmen, The NetherlandsJanuary 17, 2015 at 3:24 AM

    I think she looks beautiful and I actually do like the dress! The brown is not my favorite color on her but it still looks great.

  11. I like Kate for very many reasons and yesterday I liked her even more because of her disappointing choice of clothes. The Kate we saw yesterday looked so much like the Kate we knew from her pre-wedding days.The ”infamous” brown dress was definitely not something a senior royal would wear. It was rather the dress we would put on when we do not feel like dressing up, when we are in a hurry or when we simply do not care about the way we look. Everyone has days like that. Why shouldn't Kate have one too? The fabric, the shape, the colour - the dress had a very simple message: I am tired of being picture perfect. So I think that's why we are so fond of Kate.

    1. I prefer to believe that she intends to point out that she was there to find out about fostering and publicize the fact that it was Fostering Awareness Week.
      The outfit was totally suitable for the engagement.

  12. I agree with you, Jane. I'm not in love with the dress either. I don't like the pattern (ok, I have to say, I'm not a fan of animal prints...) and I don't like the cut. But I love her new earrings!! They remind me of her Cassandra Goat Earrings which I love most.
    Thank you Jane for your efforts. It's much appreciated. I know it's sometimes hard to be in time ;-). There's no need to excuse!

  13. Welcome :) On my blog I published a short interview with You. Feel : :)

  14. This dress looks like the one-season pieces I get for a change at Forever XXI. I really think Kate should just get a tailor and have her clothes made for her.

  15. I like it. and I don't have any issue with the brown on black thing.


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