7.11.2011

How the Duchess is Bringing Lady Back

Before this week’s post beings, check out my latest video On Sleepwear where I show you my own sleepwear collection and discuss the important concept of looking presentable always- even in your pajamas! To see the video click here, look in the sidebar of this blog or visit my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

And now for this week’s post…



For those of you that follow me on Twitter you know how I adore the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. I was thrilled with their wedding and thought her wedding dress was one of the loveliest I have ever seen. I wasn’t just thrilled because it was a royal event, however, but because I’ve had my eye on the Duchess of Cambridge for quite some time as one to watch- style-wise.

In our society of late, young women have had few (if any) good fashion role models. Platform pumps, bandage dresses, hair extensions and orange tans are much too prevalent on the fashion scene. Too much flesh exposed, too little grace and class displayed.

And then came Catherine in the public eye- now scrutinized to the last detail like her late mother-in-law Princess Diana. But thankfully this delicate Duchess is anything but garish and showy. In fact, it is my humble opinion that she is single-handedly (if I am to make a play on that famous Justin Timberlake song) bringing “lady” back.

Demure knee-length dresses, court shoes, polished hair and understated makeup (le no makeup look, if you will)- Catherine is showing young women all over the world that being classy, tasteful and polished is the height of chicness and style. My favorite look from the whole tour is the Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen sweater dress she wore to Prince Edward Island (pictured above). I adore this dress because it is a nod to the 20s, nautical and ladylike- perfect for the romance of Prince Edward Island- the setting for one of my favorite childhood books (and apparently the Duchess's too!), Anne of Green Gables.

Elements of her ladylike style:

The dress. Catherine’s dresses are always modest, yet alluring. Her hemlines and necklines do not expose too much skin, yet because her clothing always fits her beautifully she does not come off as frumpy or old fashioned in the least. She also has fun with color wearing yellow, red, lilac and purple on her royal tour.

Sheer pantyhose This look is being dusted off from the 80s and I am, surprisingly, loving it! It is Royal protocol to have the legs covered in tights. Catherine’s flesh colored sheer tights create an added polish to her looks. I am thinking about how I am going to incorporate sheer tights to my wardrobe this fall...

Shoes
Catherine’s shoes are always understated and ladylike. She forgoes today’s popular platform heels for more traditional court shoes, tasteful heels and ballet flats. She often wears nude-tone shoes which give her outfits a modern look and are a great way to elongate the leg. In her downtime she opts for classic footwear. Just a few days after her wedding she was spotted going grocery shopping in a pair of London Sole brown croc ballet flats (a personal favorite of my own).

Hair There are several ways Catherine wears her hair:

Long and flowing: a polished blow dry and curling iron create this effect- very princess-y

Half up and half down: with some volume at the crown of her head and the top half of her hair neatly tied back in a semi-bun

Ponytail: Catherine's ponytails are never pulled too tight on her head... she usually has movement and body to her ponytails as is demonstrated in the above picture.

A sophisticated chignon: one of my favorite looks for her- pinned artfully and with volume at the crown, this is a chic and polished hairdo.

Jewelry I imagine as the years go on Catherine’s jewelry will become more and more spectacular. On this tour her jewels have been very subtle and understated- Kiki McDonough gemstone earrings, delicate bracelets, a diamond broach (on loan from the Queen) and, of course, her stunning sapphire and diamond engagement ring.

There you have my recap of Kate's spectacular royal tour fashions. To see a picture of all of the outfits she wore on tour, check out this Daily Mail article by clicking here.

Some critics have called her sartorial choices boring. I, on the other hand, have never been more thrilled.

I would love to know... what do you think of Catherine's style?

This Thursday, look for a special review of Ramy Beauty's Fall 2011 makeup line...


Image of the Duchess in the Alexander McQueen sweater dress is from fashionista.com

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21 comments:

LR said...

Thanks for this post! I LOVE Catherine's style as well. It is so refreshing to see someone my age dressing their age and doing it so elegantly and classy. My favorite looks from the Canada/US tour was her Day 1 outfits (navy suit on the plane flying to Ottawa, the Erdem lace dress, casual Issa dress for the BBQ), as well as her Canada Day outfits, the red maple leaf fascinator paired with her engagement photo dress was amazing! Loved the violet Issa dress too. I would have to say my favorite Catherine outfit was her Issa blue engagement dress and of course her wedding gown. Just stunning.

Also to mention, I love Catherine's style as she is around my height with similar colouring as me, so it is great for me to see what clothes/styles/colours work for taller women.

une femme said...

I agree. I'm hopeful that she'll be a good counter to the trashy, flashy (and flashing) celebrities that so many young women seem to want to copy style-wise.

Tiffany said...

I'm pleased to see a more elegant role model for girls, especially as my daughter hits puberty - I'm not really a prude, but I am sick of hooker heels and skirts that could do double duty as belts ... Catherine is necessarily restricted by Royal protocol, so she can't ever do anything exciting, but she looks absolutely lovely (if a bit thin).

Merveilleux said...

I agree. I love her and her style. She has amazing hair! I wish I had hair like that..
Hopefully the "lady" look will catch on with younger women.
It reminds me of last weekend when we were driving through Long Beach and there was a billboard for breast implants and they were "only $3000!" (not sure if that was the price but it was in exclamation like you couldn't pass the deal up).
Horrible..

JustBeve said...

Another wonderful post! I agree, her ladylike style is so refreshing. I credit her style with pulling me out of my own fashion rut. I am working on dressing more "grown up" and classy, and look to her for inspiration. My favorite was the dress was the on she wore to the Polo match in Santa Barbara.

I also love that she wears things more then once, it makes her feel more real, unlike celebrities that you almost never see in the same thing twice.

Julianne said...

I think her style is lovely and ladylike just as you do. Very classy. I love the white skirt and navy top also

SewingLibrarian said...

I love her style, and I love that she wears pantyhose. I hope it has a big revival - enough of the bare-legged look in all kinds of weather and with all types of clothing!

Lulu said...

I totally agree with you. She is lovely and has a style to be emulated. I'm more contemporary of her late mother in law, who's style I could not get enough of when she first came on the scene. I've been very interested in this royal visit and like to watch her style as well because i think it's ageless.

steppingmywaytobliss said...

This is great, Jennifer. Although I am not a "follower" of the Duchess' style as you are, I do admire her looks when I do get glimpses of her on magazine covers or in news articles on the Internet. She always looks chic and classy.

I hope she does bring pantyhose back. I don't anything beats a very sheer, nude hose on legs to really give polish to an outfit. I have been wearing them for years because they make my legs look nicer (mine are very, very white otherwise...and since I don't do tanning, sun or fake, this can be problematic) and I like how my feet feel in dress shoes when I have hose on. I hope this look does make a come back. I might be in the small minority--perhaps my calling should've been royalty?
xxBliss

Shelley said...

I think she's gorgeous and has great taste. People complain about the cost of royalty in Britain and whilst I understand that, Kate is pouring money into the coffers with taxes on magazine profits if nothing else. And not just in the UK, of course, she's great for everyone's economy!

louise said...

Thanks for the video showing your lovely sleepwear. You are definitely as beautiful as the Duchess! I too finally got a few decent sleepwear items this year and feel much more elegant in the morning.

Rebecca said...

Great post! I wholeheartedly agree with you Jennifer. The Duchess is a breath of fresh air and a great fashion role model.

Russian Chic said...

Catherine's team is doing a great job to make her look her best.

A Well-Preserved Me said...

I am glad to see someone who gets the press she does dressing elegantly and not like a hot-mess.
I'm not a fan of the dark under eye liner but I am quite happy to embrace other aspects of her style.

LR said...

@JustBeve - I agree with you -- I think it is great that Catherine wears her outfits more than once, like most of the public does. It makes her very relatable.

Lisa@Pickles and Cheese said...

I agree completely! Finally, a beautiful young women who has an elegance and simplicity about her. So very happy she in on the fashion scene. She is so refreshing! Great post!

josephinetalepeddler said...

Hello, I think she's a bit gaunt looking for my taste which reminds me a little too much of Diana and her problems. I'd love to see a fuller-figured role model for young girls to be honest. I'm not sure if I like her style as much as everyone else does. She does tend to verge on so safe it's a bit boring and I can't imagine too many young girls that I know wanting to dress like her. Having said that, I do prefer her style to the more sexualised images the media has been feeding us for too long. It's hard to judge just how stylish she is at the moment as palace protocol is so tight that she has to stick pretty closely to those limits. True style to me is about the individual making their own statement. She is totally gorgeous and she seems a very good egg, however. I was very impressed by the fact she insisted on doing her own make-up for her wedding. She sounds like a girl who knows her own mind and she's so incredibly self-composed. The Queen must be delighted. xx

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Hello everyone! Thanks for your great comments- I love to read everyone's take on Kate's style...

I also hope that the pantyhose trend comes back in vogue. Just today I went into my lingerie drawer and tried on a pair of nude hose I had in there for quite some time- I tried them with a few dresses and liked the effect- I'll try and do a vid on it in the future.

With regards to her wearing the same outfits on repeat I think it is a great thing. I don't get some of the critics that write about how that is disrespectful- I think it is totally respectful of the time we are living in- She does not want to come off as too extravagant and wearing a dress only once is such a shame- especially if it is a beautiful dress! I appreciate that she recycled the off-white Reiss dress from her engagement photo with that stunning maple leaf fascinator... very chic.

Also a lot of people are saying she is too skinny- so Josephine you are not alone with this sentiment... I actually think she looks great. Before I had my baby I was quite skinny too- not because I was dieting or didn't eat- but because it is just my body type. It was annoying for me to have to answer to questions of whether or not I would eat- as you all know I love to eat and do not deprive myself... ever. Now, however, after baby I do not have to answer to these questions any more as I am not rake thin as I was in my 20s haha! :)

And thank you for all who said they liked the sleepwear video...

Have a wonderful week! xo

Northmoon said...

I agree completely, her fashion sense is right on the mark.

Geri said...

I now live in a resort town and I couldn't believe how many people (men and women - not kids) I saw out in their PJ bottoms in December. Since it was the Holidays, I presume they think it's ok because they were Holiday PJs. I'm really disturbed at how sloppy people dress these days. They're shopping up a storm and yet I can't see where they're wearing the presentable outfits. Seems like it's the majority any more just don't care. To make it worse, I'm from Jersey and we see the image those shows are presenting these days - yikes! I'm with you...Bring the Lady (and Gentleman) Back.

Erica said...

I'm kind of new to the fashion thing, and Catherine is one of the ladies (along with Audrey Hepburn) I've been looking at. You are right- it is difficult for my age group to find contemporary and proper fashion role models. I am just wondering if there are any other, perhaps lesser-known lady-like examples for us 20-somethings to follow?

 
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