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Kate Returns in Royal Blue Eponine London

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Duchess of Cambridge inaugurated a new year of royal watching today with back to back engagements in London. She made her solo arrival at the Anna Freud Centre's Early Years Parenting Unit this morning in striking royal blue that was quickly identified as a piece from Eponine London. 



Kate has been patron of the Anna Freud Centre for almost a year now. She was at the EYPU today to learn about the work done for families with children under 5, a class William and Kate certainly fall into themselves. According to Kensington Palace, the goal
of the centre is to "keep families together and help parents become more responsive to their children's needs."

Kensington Palace Twitter Feed

As usual, Kate met with both clients and staff members to get a sense of the program from both perspectives. This visit is of particular interest to me, because as many of you know, in a 2014 post, I hypothesized that Kate had a bit of a blue time following George's birth in 2013. While these women come from various backgrounds and find themselves in varying circumstances, the rigors of early parenting clearly can impact everyone.  

Kensington Palace Twitter Feed
As always, Kate's ease with children and parents was on display.  We will talk about the fashion in a bit, but note the box pleats are in the back, too. 



This video of Kate leaving the centre really shows off the dress. It holds its structure beautifully in motion.




Kate teamed up with William for their visit to Child Bereavement UK in Stratford. It was the one-year anniversary for the center which provides support for grieving children. William is appropriately patron of the charity and spoke today with youngsters about his experience losing his mother as a teenager. He noted that he was quite "angry" at the loss, which is certainly something the public has been able to note over the years, although I am not sure he has ever expressly said this before.


The dynamic is (obviously) a little different between solo and joint engagements, and it was fun to start the year with both. At the Anna Freud Centre Kate was on her own and had center stage. At Child Bereavement we got to see the duo work the event together, which always provides a special touch of Cambridge charm.

Kensington Palace Twitter feed

As patron, William took the initiative with the cake, and Kate gave a supporting pat:





Let's talk fashion! Kate tapped Eponine London for the second time. The label debuted in Kate's Closet in 2016 when the princess wore suit separates that featured those bold tabs along her hips. 


That suit was a huge success at the time and made the "Best of" 2016 list with ease. Last year I quoted the Telegraph's description of Eponine and how Kate came to wear the label and will quote that post again now:
The mother-of-four [Jet Shenkman, Eponine's creator & designer] - whose design studio is in her Kensington home - said it remains a mystery how Kate discovered her. But within hours of pictures of the Duchess emerging wearing Eponine, her small firm was inundated with emails and sales enquiries. “I have never experienced anything like this!” she added. Skenkman's small label has been featured in Country & Townhouse Magazine but relies heavily on word of mouth recommendations. “I don't advertise,” Shenkman says. “It's through prior recommendation - and we quietly worked away and it's sort of worked and that's how I've enjoyed it. It's been a gradual process which I think is the best way to feel your way into it, and then something like this happens and suddenly everything goes mad.”

I noted that Ms. Shenkman's unassuming and discreet style was well-suited to Kate's and today I am not surprised to see that Kate has drawn from the Eponine collection again. I think this brand could become a new staple in Kate's closet and might fill the void left by Orla Kiely. Kate has drifted from Orla K over the years. I really liked the whimsical, boutique vibe of the Irish designer back in 2011/2012 and the "Birdie" jacquard dress remains a favorite of mine.



We haven't seen her in the company's pieces since she recycled Orla's daisy dress in 2015. There are a number of reasons why Orla Kiely might have only gotten a short stint with Kate. I browsed the Orla K website some weeks ago, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see why Kate hasn't worn anything recently, but that could change with the next collection. The designs Kate wore were very young looking, which is part of the reason I loved that Birdie dress so much, but Kate has favored a more mature look of late. Eponine London effortlessly blends the whimsy and  similar structure of Orla K with a lightly more professional vibe. She could have a longer run. 

Eponine London

Today's dress features an unusual notched collar, which I love, and beautiful box pleats that give extra movement when Kate is in motion. I don't know that I am in love with the tailoring that slopes the darting in the bodice up along the shoulders. It's unusual, but it looks uncomfortable, too, as if while wearing it you'd constantly feel like something was falling down.  Perhaps it is a feature that will grow on me. 


Kate's accessories were experiencing a little Old Home Week. She wore Rupert Sanderson pumps and carried her Muse clutch by Stuart Weitzman. A one-time favorite, we haven't seen the Muse in a really long while. Today it gave the Bayswater a break and stepped into the role it plays so well.  The darker blues in suede paired nicely with the brighter dress and gave us a break from the black/blue combo Kate often chooses. When the wind whipped up her hair, we could easily see Kate was sporting her sapphire and diamond drops, too. 



Kate has continued her new favorite coiffure into the new year. The duchess started wearing her hair twisted back like this during her tour of India and Bhutan and, although it divided fans, I was in favor. It is youthful, but with the run-of-the-mill clips, pretty casual. She could have twisted it together at the back, as she did for the Patron's Lunch along the Mall (below), for a more polished presentation while maintaining the softer style in the front.



Verdict.  Today was a big win. This jewel/royal blue is always such a smash hit on Kate. Despite the tailoring that has me on the fence, this piece was packed full of fun details that make it unique and memorable. The fabric was substantial enough to assume coat-dress status, but retained enough movement that Kate didn't look stiff or stifled inside. The only thing that could have improved this dress is a lower waist. Kate consistently wears dresses that are a bit short-waisted and when she starts customizing her ensembles to fix that little problem, she will have turned a new corner in her fashion. All around though, big hit. I hope we see Kate branch into some of Eponine's 60s styles, too. It's very en vogue and would add back a little bit of the youthful vibe so many of you have been hoping to see.   Hint, hint, Kate. ;)







116 comments:

  1. Several people have noticed that Kate's dress has 4 buttons while the product shots have 5. I agree with you about the shoulder seams. This dress is a gorgeous color though and reminded me of the one from the Canada tour. And the earrings were perfect with it!

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    1. Also just noticed Kate's belt buckle is different!! The original is round.

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  2. I noticed that this coat looked short-waisted on Kate immediately. The funny part is that in the model shot you included, the coat includes 5 buttons and does not look short-waisted at all. Kate's coat only has 4 buttons, which certainly contributes to the shorter look. Strange!

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  3. Jane, she *made* this short-waisted. If you count the pic from Eponine, there are supposed to be 5 buttons before the belt.

    Kate's only has 4 and the hem seems higher too.

    Fuller face, fuller bust, very high-waisted outfits...I think once they've decided it's been long enough since Zara's miscarriage announcement we'll hear about Baby #3!

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    1. Am do you really think she is pregnant? She was horribly sick early on with G and C and was bedridden (or at least out of the public eye). I'd be shocked if a third pregnancy came without the same illness. But what do I know, I've never been pregnant ;-)
      ~ A

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    2. Am, I thought the same thing, actually; her face is definitely fuller to me (but it could be a few extra Christmas cookies and birthday cake...if so GOOD FOR HER!). I certainly hope she's avoided the HG if she *is* pregnant. I agree that if she is pregnant at this point, they'll wait as long as they can to share with us after the sadness of Zara's announcement. Happy for them if they stick with G&C...but...always hoping for a baby #3, too!

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    3. I definitely think she is. Compare today's pics to Canada tour ones! She's gained more than Christmas-sweets-type weight.

      Don't forget, she DID cancel an event early in December. I think since this is her 3rd time, they know what med combo works well for her and were able to nip it in the bud. Morning sickness is also supposedly worse for first pregnancies and baby girl pregnancies (the latter was so true for me, it was AWFUL - I actually lost weight too despite not having HG). Maybe it's another little prince? She and the Queen *have* both been wearing royal blue ;).

      I think they really wanted to keep this pregnancy to themselves as long as possible since both previous ones were outed very early, and even more so after Zara's sad news.

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    4. I was thinking the same thing!! If not, she needs to buy more of these bras. The hair clips need to go though!

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    5. Sonja from BavariaJanuary 12, 2017 at 7:04 AM

      I was also thinking about a possible 3rd pregnancy immediately when I saw the first picture from todays event but I didn't want to start any rumors ;)
      But her face looked fuller, and the dress kinda looked like she was trying to hide a tiny bump... but as you already pointed out correctly, I was not sure about Kate being pregnant as she was so sick with George and Charlotte...
      Maybe she was lucky amd did not get sick the 3rd time? Fingers crossed!

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    6. Gretchen, agree about the hair clips! Why does she never try either plain tortoiseshell or even (subtly) bejeweled combs? Or just twist back both sides and secure in the back with tiny clear elastics?

      Puzzling.

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    7. Am-

      What engagement did Catherine cancel in early December? don't remember her cancelling anything.

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    8. She looks beautiful, as always, but kind of ill looking on one video where she and William were walking through a doorway. Maybe baby!?

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    9. Anonymous, she missed the East Anglia Children's Hospices Gala in early December. Canceled last minute, although I believe William attended without her.

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    10. EACH reps say she was never scheduled to attend. I think this has been discussed and I'm not sure why it was brought up again so soon.

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    11. Anon 1, I never read or heard that anywhere. Maybe it's true, maybe it's not.

      Maybe they just said that to help hide her pregnancy. You never know what goes on behind the scenes.

      She's pregnant, just wait and see.

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    12. Am- please see Kate Middleton Review, 12-2-2016. Its title should give a hint at its bias, but this does include the message Kate sent to be read at the gala, which her husband attended. It also notes that she was NOT scheduled to attend-thus the message she sent . There are likely primary sources-EACH website, for example. So now you've read and heard about it.

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  4. I too love this but wish the belt were at her actual waist. The pictures of the dress on models show a more realistic waistline, and I wonder if Kate customizes the empire look.

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    1. Yes! the models dress coat has fivr buttons over the belt while kates have four.
      Also I think she is pregnant and the belt that high can be used when she gets biger. If you look at her chest you will notice it is sligtely bigger (i am not trying to be critical just observing) and she there is not a full frontal picture in wich she isn´t holding the clutch in fron of her stomach. On the other hand it can only be a new bra (God knows i have a couple that can make me look 2 sices bigger).
      What do you think?

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    2. I was wondering the same thing. So many of her dresses including bespoke pieces are shortwaisted that it makes me wonder if that's simply the styling she prefers. She has too many other options to have that many "accidents" of poor tailoring.

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    3. Sonja from BavariaJanuary 12, 2017 at 7:09 AM

      Glad I am not the only one who thought she might be pregnant!

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    4. If the above speculation is true, then she will be in the late second or third trimester for Pippa's wedding in May. Don't know if that would increase or decrease the chances of her diverting attention from the bride. Royal custom is usually to wear a repeat outfit for this reason. I do agree that those high waists she's been wearing lately would conceal the beginnings of number 3.

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    5. I think it would help divert it. Pippa won't have to worry about Kate looking better than she does if she's extremely pregnant! Plus, Pippa will get the spotlight at the wedding but then the birth will ensure she & her new husband get forgotten soon enough to start married life in relative peace. Well, until she's pregnant herself.

      I don't think Pippa would care - if you're genuinely happy for someone (and not a petty person), you should be glad instead of jealous!

      Has a May date actually been confirmed? I'm wondering if it's some sort of smokescreen and the date it actually earlier. I guess we'll see!

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    6. Am, I agree with you and cannot imagine any "issues" between Kate and Pippa on the wedding day...or any other time.

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  5. I have a feeling that she's pregnant (been having these thoughts since late December) and thats why she had the coat altered. It also hasn't escaped my attention that her chest seems a little fuller (just an observation; could be the coat fabric as well) which is always an early sign of pregnancy.

    If I'm wrong i'll feel pretty bad though!

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    1. You're not alone - I've wondered for awhile if she was pregnant as well. If she is, I hope she has an easier go of it and can keep it quiet for as long as possible. But it could also mean she let loose over the holidays! Lord knows my pants are little tighter as well. But you never know - only time will tell.

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    2. When she kept her coat on at the Festival of Remembrance I went, "Pregnant!" Personally, both times I found out, I was so worried that early on people would notice way before I was ready to tell them (especially when I had to hide a bump during a party in front of all our family!). You tend to cover up as much as possible at first.

      I can't wait to find out when she's due and count back.

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    3. I remember that look Am. She looked so tired. Do you think that's why she scaled back engagements? Hmmm interesting.

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    4. Been thinking the same! However, Jane pointed out on facebook that the morning sickness she suffers from tends to get worse, not better, so she'd probably not even be out and about if she were. Time will tell!

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    5. Diane, morning sickness peaks around Week 9 or 10 and then trails off. It's over for most people by Week 14. (I've had it twice, once almost HG.)

      Counting from when she cancelled an appearance in early December (if that was indeed at peak), she's at least 14 or 15 weeks along by now. If the morning sickness had just started then, she's only 11 or 12.

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  6. This coat dress has a lovely cut and is a stunning colour (and anything that is a deviation from all those boring cream/white dresses and coats is a welcome change!). It is not a huge hit in my view because it is simply too boring and too 'matchy matchy' with the blue accessories and sapphire earrings. And those hair clips have got to go! UGH. I wish Kate would glam up her looks with a bit more jewelry (and make it interesting jewelry, please). This could have been a huge hit if the coat fit properly and if the accessories and her hairstyle were a bit better. Kate needs some mentoring or coaching in this department. Between this look and that mismatched outfit at church on Sunday, she isn't starting 2017 off very well. The charities, however, are well-deserving of her time, attention and the publicity they receive from Kate's visits. I suppose that's far more important than what Kate is wearing and how she is wearing it.

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  7. What a wonderful way to start 2017. Such meaningful events, and I could see emotion in William's face. He certainly has empathy for the children.
    I really love the color of the coat dress, but I do agree, the belt should be lower. That said, as always Kate looks beautiful.

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    1. I agree Tedi, I love the empathy that William shows to others, especially children.

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  8. I agree with you, Jane, the photos of Kate in this coat look a bit awkward as the belt/waist looks too high on Kate. Looks better in the videos, less obvious than a static image, I suppose.

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  9. Surely Kate could have recycled something! She seems to wear a new outfit almost every time! And this outfit is not really 'different enough' from her other coats to warrant a purchase.

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    1. I so agree with you Anonymous 4:59 - coat is said to be priced at around $2000.

      Now it will go to the cleaners, back in a closet and in 2019 the press will praise her for "recycling" it, in her frugal manner.

      I think someone should start a "What Kate Should Have Worn" blog; bet she has a dozen blue coats in her closets already!

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    2. True monarchists will tell you that she should wear new things most the time.

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    3. She gets criticized for wearing too much High Street, then she is critized for too many designer pieces. She has been warming up to her royal job...and as time goes on that means she is more senior and more is expected of her...even with high fashion.
      ~ A

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    4. She needed new maternity wear. You pop sooner - and bigger - with each successive pregnancy. Plus she probably didn't want to out herself just yet by wearing previous maternity pieces in front of so many people and cameras.

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    5. I agree and disagree, I would have rather seen her re-wear a previous outfit than see her buy another blue dress, coat dress, suit, etc. However this may be one of my favorite blue pieces of her extremely blue wardrobe!

      I love the Cambridge's but they both wear entirely too much blue.. For pictures or tour family pics I understand matching but as it is now it doesn't make a great bit of sense.. She has access to pretty much any designer in the world but yet most of the time she chooses to dress plainly and has things altered in an unflattering way. I don't understand? Maybe Natasha and whoever helps her in the style department is too afraid to tell her that the higher waist and all of the blue direct do her justice? She didn't look horrible but as much as she spends she could look better. I'm including her entire look, jewelry, hair clips, shoes, belts, length of dresses, just all around.. She is trying and I do credit her for that!! She's beautiful, young, and intelligent I really wish she would hire a full time stylist. It's great that she's branched out a bit with prints but I don't necessarily like the prints that she chooses.. I'm not sure if I'm saying this correctly or not because I do adore the Cambridge's! I've looked at just some Meghan Markle's pictures and thought that Kate would look fantastic in that!! Oh it iswell it is what it is n....

      Speaking of Meghan.. You'd think I'd like her bc she's an American too, but I don't. Too much baggage!!

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    6. I have to agree with you Valerie on the blue thing. If Natasha is her stylist, which they've never made an official job, she needs to advise better. I also agree with you on Meghan. I just don't think she's a good fit with the family and I don't think she would enjoy the restrictions that come with the job.

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    7. I don't think she is an official stylist, either. Those rumors are based on an interview with one woman concerning one experience that was picked up and elaborated, but never substantiated, as far as I know.. I think she helps out, but no more so than RD or Pippa or Carole. I will believe Kate is still making most decisions until KP or Kate says differently.
      If there is any dominent influence, I would say the Queen's example. One can still see flashes of the younger Kate at times.
      I thought I heard on some "entertainment news" show that he has severed the ties with Meghan. Perhaps a smokescreen?
      I was channel surfing and might have misunderstood.

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    8. It would not surprise me. Too much, too fast. If it's true, I'm thinking that wandering around the streets of London shopping in front of the press and then walking in the back gates of KP might have been the beginning of the end. Watching the courtships Diana, Fergie, and Kate I never once saw any of them be quite that bold about their relationships. In the BRF discretion is highly valued. One also can't help but think that if HM saw even one episode of "Suits" it might make her eyes pop right out of her head!

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    9. Ha! Phillip's, too, Robin.

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    10. Ladies, I too believe that Natasha helps out; I do not think she calls the shots.

      Regarding Meghan...yes, too much too soon. And I'm trying to imagine Kate walking down The Mall towards the gates of Clarence House with two bags of groceries. Sorry, but "drama" comes to mind.

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    11. I don't think we even saw her grocery shopping in Wales until they were at least engaged. At some point didn't Kate get a security detail?
      Well, she's on tv. Drama is expected. ;+)

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    12. The "latest?" headline/tag-line- (actually re-cycled from a week or two ago) Meghan has met Kate and the children at KP.

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    13. The thing is that Kate was photographed with grocery bags herself when she and William were dating:
      http://www.katesclothes.com/outfit/walking-in-london-with-casserole/

      She just wasn't photographed taking them into a royal residence but rather her own London residence. Meghan doesn't live in London so it's not really a fair comparison. Where else was she supposed to take the groceries?! Kate was given a chance to live as normal a life as possible when it came to shopping and otherwise going about her business before the engagement so is it really fair to expect Harry's girlfriend to act otherwise?

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    14. Yes, Anon 12:00, and that makes all the difference; Kate was NOT photographed walking down The Mall towards Clarence House with two bags of groceries. If she had been, drama would come to my mind.

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  10. Loved the color and unique tailoring; I think the problematic seams make for a fuller bust, which rarely flatters a short waist... It was classy and safe, a win, but I'll be interested to see what she follows it up with:) looked great with the other mothers and kids, really drew light on two great charities today!

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  11. Not so sure about the notched color. The buttons are rather boring and the butterfly clips have to go!
    The belt is worn way too high. I think she tends to over-compensate for being long-waisted.

    The positives: the pleats are nice and this shade of blue is lovely.

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    1. oops--I meant notched collar.

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  12. I like the coatdress well enough but, as I'm finding more and more regularly, where Kate is failing is in the details. She would have looked stunning with a sleek ponytail instead of this juvenile hairstyle she keeps resorting to and with some booties instead of another boring pair of heels.

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  13. I like the color of the dress on Kate but not much else. I agree it looks too high-waisted as many of her dresses do. I'm not surprised some see this as evidence of a pregnancy and maybe she is pregnant but she's worn high-waisted styles on and off for years when definitely NOT pregnant so I'm not convinced either way. I think black shoes and a black clutch would have looked better, maybe even with sheer black hose to make the blue pop more. I don't think everything has to match but I just don't think navy blue and royal blue complement each other. And save the butterfly clips for Charlotte to wear in a few years! I think pinback styles look juvenile in the workplace but if other styling options aren't possible and Kate likes plastic hair accessories, hair pulled back with plastic "tortoise" combs might look a little less juvenile.

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  14. Those butterfly clips. Just...so painful to look at. They're not from the early 90s, which would at least give them enough time to be slipping back into style (like Malia Obama's nod to the 90s during her father's farewell speech last night) but are instead from the fashion wasteland of the late 90s/early 2000s. She might as well find a trucker hat and some incredibly low wasted flare jeans.

    Love the color, though!

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    1. Agree SM, IMHO those clips were never an adult or very good look for anyone except a 12 year old girl:) I have a 19 year old and none of her friends wear anything of that sort and have not since grade school.

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  15. I know that I'm one of the few, but I like the fit of this coat-dress on Kate. She seems to prefer higher waist lines, almost an empire waistline at times. I certainly understand this, because I too prefer higher waistlines in my dresses and coats. It fits better with my body type. Higher waistlines can enhance the bust, for women who are naturally smaller there. Personally, I have a very short torso and long legs, so an empire line works well for me because it elongates my body. I like this style on Kate and I think it works best for her. She is very comfortable in it too. I also have a hunch that she is pregnant, but I don't believe that would be the sole reason she chose this style coat-dress. I thought she looked beautiful and refreshed.

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  16. Love this color on Kate- she wears a lot of it!!! The tailoring details are awesome but I too noticed that it was too short-waisted on Kate. I think we all have heard the pregnancy chatter out there too. If she is, then this is the way to hide it and still be comfortable. I love the flare of the skirt. A very flattering silhouette on Kate. I think I would've like her hair in a pony tail today to show off the collar more. I am glad she's keeping it out of her face, but it looked rather messy by the time engagement no.2 rolled around. A win for me today- but William (snooze) back in his blue suit again.

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  17. First and foremost, kudos to W&K today.

    Re fashion... I love the color of this coat. A favorite color (coordinated with black) from the 80's. And yes, I did just age myself. :)

    I don't see a problem with the higher waist, especially since she's wearing it more like a coat DRESS than a coat. The collar detail is also very nice. Makes me wish for an updo. :)

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    1. If it was a true empire waist I would agree with you but this was an awkward in between. Am looking forward to a repeat with a better view of that gorgeous collar!

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    2. What is the difference between a coat, coat dress, and dress coat??

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    3. A coat is worn over a dress, a coat dress is a dress in the style of a coat without a separate dress underneath, and a dress coat is a coat for a dressy occasion as opposed to a coat you would wear with casual clothing.

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    4. Good job, Robin!

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  18. Really nice insight on the engagement, nice job on noting that!

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  19. The problem with the higher waist is that it is neither an empire style nor close enough to the natural waistline to go unnoticed. It is like wearing super long false eyelashes badly applied...everyone can tell a mile a way they are false. So if as some have speculated she does it to make her legs look longer, it clearly does not work and someone should have told her by now as all it does is make the clothes she wears look "odd". If her waist is actually that high then the clothes should be working to make her look more balanced. Either way the designers are not helping her to look her best nor their clothes. The fact that so many people over the years have commented on the waist issue shows that it is not being well executed. She is gorgeous but often her waistlines are just jarring, which is not a good look for her or the clothes. Ali

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    1. Agree 100% and made a comment myself about it.. Sometimes I don't articulate myself very well though;)

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  20. Love all your posts, so insightful, so well written, thank you for treating us! I suspect HRH favors high waist dresses at times because of her inverted-triangle athletic shape. She's wider at the shoulder than at the hips and I suspect the high-waist is a way of creating a curvier feel (I could be wrong, but...). Silvia.

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  21. Nice to see becca still with kate this 2017. is she engaged?

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  22. Kate looks beautiful in this color but I am weary of seeing it. The suede pumps have been there and done that as well. I loved, loved, loved the last time she wore this label and, while I think the detailing in this dress is interesting (I do like that collar and the weight of the fabric) I'm just not in love with it. I think, however, it is Kate and not the designer that leaves me out on this one. My first thought was "Another royal blue dress. Yawn." There is an entire spectrum of colors out there and she keeps choosing the same blue/black/cream dresses over and over again interspersed with the occasional dark green. On the high waist look I think that sometimes she gets out of the car and pulls her dress down after sitting but forgets to adjust the belt. It is strange that the model's dress was different but I'm passing on the whole pregnancy rumor and the dissecting of her body parts to try and prove the point one way or the other.

    The real winners today were the charities because, no matter the fashion, she and William bring a charm and compassion to their charities that can't be denied. In the long run, that is more important than anything else.

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  23. I must be the only one(apart from you Jane) who loves this coat/dress. Colour is gorgeous and love the swing of the skirt as she moves.
    I admire the thoughtfulness that makes her keep jewellery to a minimum when she is visiting charities such as today.
    Singly or together the Duke and Duchess have such empathy and care for people in distress, especially children.
    On Monday the Prime Minister, speaking about changes in Mental Health provision, praised the Duke and Duchess and Prince Harry for their work with "Heads together" Whether Catherine wears the"wrong colour, or the Duke his usual blue suit, seems to me a small matter compared to what they are trying to do.
    Perhaps because I lost my father when I was 10 and was shouted at when I cried on the my first day back at school, I appreciate more that this doesn't happen to our children now.

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    1. Sonja from BavariaJanuary 12, 2017 at 1:26 PM

      You definitely are not alone, I also love this coatdress!

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    2. Oh, no, Jean. Ten years old.

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    3. Jean, what a heartbreaking loss and how terrible.
      William and Kate are doing a wonderful work. William shares the experience of grief with these children and can truly reach to them but it must be at times quite difficult for him.

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    4. Jean, that is absolutely awful! I know you Brits are known for having a stiff upper lip, but losing a parent is utterly heartbreaking at any age and especially so at 10.

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    5. Jean that is so sad, I'm so sorry. You really can relate to William and Harry and what they went through.

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  24. Replies
    1. Did you not notice the James Bond-esque gorgeous RPO behind the Duchess? My loyalty to Mr. Security is waning. Ha!

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    2. Blue jacket? Yes, I did! He looks like a combination of Daniel Craig and Colin Firth ;-)

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    3. Anon 1, are you in need of a nice, refreshing iced tea? Ha! :))

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    4. I noticed him too anon 1. I was looking for Mr. Security but he seems to be on holiday.

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    5. I'm seeing a little Roger Moore, too.

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    6. Whatever your heart desires... :))

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    7. Not my favorite Bond, but I see a resemblance. Where do they find those RPOs? Central Casting?
      There is only one true Bond for me.

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  25. I am so happy to see Kate wear another piece from this label. EP does a really good job at taking mid century style elements and translating them into modern day wearable fashion. Besides the striking color, this coat dress has great design features. I think she did run into a bit of trouble raising the waistline as it created a busy bodice that made the shoulder area look somewhat burly. Also, looking at video, I think the piece worked better in "real life" rather than still photographs.

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  26. I love this coat (with the exception of the high-waist, which I also think does not work) and blue is a beautiful color on Kate. That said, I agree with some points Robin makes -- I do think these shoes and bag, particularly paired with a blue outfit, feel old and I really think the color-blocking just didn't work here...

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  27. Since everyone else seems to be complaining... I'm tired of so many of you nitpicking Kate's choices! How about "Her smile was great today and it's fantastic that she is bringing so much attention to these issues. Blue certainly is her color!"

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  28. Hhhmmm...not my favourite look. Stunning colour on her, of course, and definitely one that she favours as we have seen her in royal blue quite often but I don't like the detailing around the shoulders.Is it just me or does it make her shoulders look even more rounded or slumped or something? Can't quite put my finger on it... It draws my eye every time I look at pictures from these two engagements. I noticed this way before I noticed the high waist.
    On a more serious note, what wonderful engagements! Can't wait to see what else 2017 brings.

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  29. I have a feeling she is now pregnant..she wants the flare of the dress to start higher to hide her bump. Thats why she had it less buttons.

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  30. Visit to Child Bereavment centre is one of my favourite engagements from them.It is personal for Wills.My sympathies go out to him and all those who have suffered such losses xx

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  31. You've nailed every thought I had concerning this look, Jane! lol! :)

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  32. Princess Margaret's once husband died. Thinking about the family,especially Lady Sarah Chatto. I'm sure it will be a very quiet service with family and closest friends. I can't see HM attending with the history involved.

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    1. I hadn't heard that Lord Snowdon passed away. I do feel sorry for his children and I hope members of the family will attend the funeral as a respect to them in the loss of their father.

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    2. True, Anon 1..I cannot see HM attending. But, as Robin pointed out, I hope the children are supported at a time like this.

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  33. A European friend of mine sent me an article, otherwise I would have missed it.
    They are her niece and nephew. I don't know if she is well enough to travel. It could be a gracious way out. I don't think she attends funerals outside immediate family. Perhaps Sophie? And Edward. She attended the re-interring of Richard III. I think it very possible the services have aleady taken place.

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    1. According to the BBC he just passed yesterday so services are likely still pending. He died in London so the travel would be minimal. Unless she is still ill, it would be the gracious thing for HM to attend. He was a titled and close member of the BRF and I would hope that at least Charles and Camilla would attend his funeral. In reading some of the bios about him, he was quite a gifted talent even outside the realm of photography.

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    2. My European friend has sent me another article-the new Earl and his wife attended church with the Queen. They looked grief-stricken and were dressed somberly in black.
      The Queen was all cheerful smiles and dressed in bright lavender.
      I think a very poor PR move, as carried out. It could have been such a tender tribute to her sister and family. I just don't understand it, unless the more imparitive PR need was to prove the Queen was fully recovered and a functioning monarch.
      She did look smashing.

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    3. I saw the photos in the DM and it was quite odd to see, Anon 1.

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    4. I disagree. I don't think the Queen would have seen dressing in all black for her sister's ex-husband as appropriate. He's not blood. She's very close with Sarah Chatto, and must have had her support in this. She wouldn't want to offend her.

      Also, purple *IS* a half-mourning color. It was the first color you were allowed to wear when you came out of mourning, and in the 1960's it was considered perfectly appropriate for funerals - even in a bright shade.

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    5. Am, I agree with you on the color, but the expressions were a bit out of place under the circumstances (at least from the coverage that I have seen).

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  34. Did anyone else notice what looks like Spanx? You can see it in the photo of Kate walking around the back of the car.

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  35. The seams that curve into the arms really draw my eye, but I do wonder if they constrict her movement. That pink hem binding that was visible when the flap blew open is a playful touch.

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  36. Jane--I've been a long time reader, first time commentator, and avid Kate supporter since c. 2009 and I love your collaqious (sp?) and witty writing style! As a 28 year old woman working in a fairly conservative industry in New York City, I've spent the large part of my career looking to Kate for fashion inspiration due to her clean, classy, and youthful style. While I understand she is now a 35 year old mother of 2, and naturally her priorities and style choices have both shifted and evolved, I've honestly been quite disappointed in both her hair and closet choices as of late. It is clear she is trying to "reinvent" herself more or less, and I feel like she hasn't quite found an appropriate niche that does her beauty justice. I'm not a mother and I don't understand the demands that motherhood takes on on one's physical and mental state, but I feel like Kates "glow" has been missing for quite some time. She will always be an incredibly beautiful woman, and she is more than just a clothes horse but something seems off to me. Am I the only one who feels this way?! Emma NY

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    1. I think it's due to the HG she endured with both pregnancies, unfortunately. It's probably taken its toll physically & of course, emotionally. Jane has alluded to Kate suffering from post partum, I think Kate saying "parenting is tough" may confirm some of this, but maybe she also meant that just in general. Motherhood has been a huge adjustment for Kate, and I think she has taken it all in her stride, her main focus being a good parent, supportive wife to William and an active member of the BRF. Maybe that's why we've seen a shift in her fashion taste recently as her priorities have changed ie. Motherhood being the major one. She always looks well presented to me, even if I don't agree with some of her fashion choices of late. I think the fashion has taken a back seat due to her maturing and focusing on things that are more important to her.

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  37. I'm sure you will hear from others who agree with your loss of "glow" and "off" feelings. I don't.
    I am replying because I believe what I say and I sincerely hope you are who you say you are and are not just a new name (Emma! a great name) for an old face of one who likes to get a big response.
    It would also hinge on what time block you mean by "quite some time." Looking through even
    recent photos I see kindness, compassion, involvement, and a deep love and commitment for
    her husband, her birth family, and both her own children and those of the parents she literally touches in her work with children.

    She has her priorities straight. I agree that your "reinvent" remark might fairly apply. After trying to please all of the people all of the time, and having predictably lost this battle, I think she is trying to focus on what her husband, her Majesty, and her needs and personal preferences require.
    I believe she at times, in moments of repose or reflection, may not have her game face on. Perhaps that is what you mean by "off." I have no idea how she manages to keep bouncing out of the car, hand extended and smile ready to greet yet another functionary in the face of constant nit-picking by the tabloids and "fan" blogs. Perhaps she has learned to value the approval of these charity leaders and their recipients, who have high praise and appreciation for her as she tries to live with those critics whose goal is often selling papers or looking cool or clever to their readers.
    No one "glows" all the time.

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    1. Absolutely right; no one glows 24/7. She is evolving in her public role and personal life as one would expect of a 35 year old woman. I believe she stayed true to herself during the courtship and continues to live her life in this manner to maintain her sanity.

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    2. I'll speak for the motherhood aspect: it is absolutely EXHAUSTING. You can get a decent night's rest, and you will still be tired because caring for tiny human beings is emotionally, mentally, and physically tiring. You cannot imagine how tired you will be! It is all-consuming - even when you're not with them, you're thinking about them. Plus it definitely takes a toll on your looks and gives you grey hairs! (There are scientific studies to support this, I'm not just saying it.)

      Also, you really just stop caring about your looks - or you at least stop caring what other people think of them. Your body changes and you learn to accept it, because you just don't have time to nitpick yourself. Do I try to look put together when I leave the house? Yes. Do I spend as much time doing so as I used to? Heck no. I'd rather spend that time playing with my children.

      Factor in the baby I'm pretty sure Kate's growing, and yep, she's not the same Kate we saw fresh off her honeymoon. We evolve, we ebb and flow in what our priorities are, why shouldn't she?

      Once the kids are older, she'll be able to focus on herself more and she'll get her groove back. If *she* chooses to focus on that.

      Not that you're implying this, and yes it can be amusing to say what we think of her outfits and hair, but at the end of the day, she's a real person and not just her looks. We've been taught as women that our job in life is to spend lots of time and money on looking good, but it's not healthy and it's not fair. (I highly recommend reading Brene Brown.)


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    3. I promise I am not an "old face under a new name" and I am certainly not looking for a big response, just a Kate follower looking for the opinion of other kate supporters! I completely agree that her compassion, involvement and adoration for her family is what truly makes her lovely. But as this is a fashion blog, her recent fashion choices (to be specific, since returning from Australia) have been disappointing in my opinion. I like to think that I shine my brightest when in an outfit I love..as do most women! ..and I really hope that she is happy and comfortable with her recent style evolution, and what I perceive as a reduced "glow" isn't because she's uncomfortable in her new makeover (aka more conservative clothing and hair)..but then again as a young mother, I'm sure the weight she once put into clothes, shoes, hair etc. isn't quite a priority anymore (rightfully so)! Emma

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    4. Am- just noticing your comment-I am happy to say I agree with everything you said...a well-written and sincere ode to mumhood. I remember those days well. I hated putting my children in daycare. It was the best in town, yet still, years later, my children finally told me some of the abusive behavior that went on there. Talk to your toddlers about their feeligs and experiences Mums! It is exhausting to stay at home with the little ones and sometimes demoralizing to leave them. One of the most positive signs I saw developing in the aftermath of Women's Lib is the growth and acceptance of stay-at-home Dads and maternity leave for fathers.

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    5. Anon 8:27- I felt you were sincere and that's why I responded to your comment. You should be very pleased with the Kate we saw in the Erdem Tuesday. No one has mentioned the similarity of that dress to the pink-based Erdem she wore to a private event when she was pregnant. I suspect she dresses much less comservatively for private events.

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    6. EMMA!! Not anon.Sorry!

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  38. Styles are very simple, but elegant at the same time. I think it's the reason why we all love these kinds of outfits. I always love to get Celebrity Gowns Online but some times got confused where to Celebrity Fashion Store Online. RubinaK made me a great dress for a big party during that time.

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