The Princess of Wales barely works, and when she is seen at an event in recent years, everyone holds their breath to see what she’s pulled from her Meghan Lookbook. We usually get “Kate’s year in fashion” pieces this time of year, and usually those articles are summaries of coatdresses and Sister Wife looks. But now that she’s Princess of Wales, the Meghan cosplay is increasingly outrageous, as is the fact that few British outlets call out Kate for her shameless single-white-female-ing. Speaking of, Tatler wrote this with a straight face: “Is the Princess of Wales the queen of quiet luxury? Kate’s 2023 wardrobe has oozed enough ‘silent expensiveness’ to thrill even Shiv Roy.” Sidenote: referring to Shiv Roy as a quiet luxury icon is hilarious given that Shiv’s wardrobe was mostly a reflection of the character’s failed attempts to be taken seriously. Shiv wore boxy, ill-fitting power suits and tried to neuter her femininity with high-neck knits.
From Loro Piana to Max Mara, Toteme to The Row, 2023 saw the final skulking shift from opulent to discreet, extravagant to understated. Where once the rich and important strived to flaunt what they had with regal colours and jewels, and then big brands and flashy labels, this era is all about authentic elegance and timeless pieces. And the Princess of Wales’s wardrobe evolution tracks just so: from preppy princess in Emilia Wickstead, to stealth wealth in Sezanne. Where Queen Elizabeth II was beloved for her bouclé suits in bold colours, Kate is carving out a new style identity according to the council of the Roys, not the Royals.
[Kate’s] neutral palette is certainly a divergence from the saccharine pastels and patterns that became synonymous with Kate in previous years.
I’m including some photos of the looks referenced in Tatler’s piece, plus some of Kate’s other 2023 looks which don’t fit the “quiet luxury” theme. For example, Kate’s coronation look, in which she had a designer make a fake headpiece with some glitter and glue gun. Or Kate’s recent copypasta at the Together at Christmas event, where she tried to put her stink on one of Meghan’s Invictus looks. One thing I’ll give Kate (slightly) is that she really leaned into pantsuits this year, and some of her suits were even flattering. Some were not. It really did feel like she was attempting a more “modern workwear” vibe rather than just wearing endless custom McQueen coatdresses constantly. Finally, trousers in her 40s. Who would have thought. PS… I totally forgot about Kate’s BAFTA look, with those gloves!! YIKES.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.
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