Fashion Icon: Dressing Like Kate

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

Kate Middleton is being heralded as the world's next fashion icon. Burberry, for example, reportedly sold out of one of its coats within hours of Kate appearing in it. And the blue Issa dress she wore to announce her engagement had sold out online by the time most people figured out where to buy it ( But she's also praised for mixing high-end designers (sometimes lesser-known ones) with more affordable pieces from places like Topshop. "She is going to do for British designers what Michelle Obama did for American designers," said Saks Fifth Avenue's Lisa Ermine, the director of the Fifth Avenue Club and manager of designer collections. (Ermine noted, for example, how Obama wears designer gowns but also skirts from J. Crew and dresses from White House Black Market.) The good news is, even if you're not wearing her exact clothing, there are still ways to achieve Kate's style. Here are tips on how.

  • Keep it simple. Kate's style is chic and sophisticated. She avoids falling into trend traps. She wears a lot of solid colors--black, red, blue--that aren't going out of style. And she clearly appreciates the value of riding boots and classic black pumps.
  • Know your body (and dress accordingly). Sure, Kate doesn't have anything to hide. But she knows how to tastefully show off her best assets--her waistline and legs. Find your own best features, and play them up--with taste.
  • Own casual glam. Even when Kate's not wearing gowns for royal functions or suits for friends' weddings, she still puts effort into her look. Saks Fifth Avenue's Lisa Ermine suggests pairing skinny jeans with a girly blouse and a fitted jacket to best emulate Kate's casual glam style.
  • Count it out: There are five must-have pieces if you're looking to dress like Kate. Make sure you've got one of each of these that you love. 1. Wrap dress. 2. Skinny jeans. 3. Fitted, perfectly tailored jacket. 4. Riding boots. 5. Neutral scarf.
  • Polish it off. Kate doesn't leave any look left unfinished. Perhaps that means turning a suit from pleasant to fabulous with the addition of a hat. It might mean wrapping a scarf around your neck with your skinny jeans and fitted jacket. Or maybe it means topping your wrap dress with a belted trench, suggested Connie Leal Ballenger, owner of Leal boutique.

Whatever the look, though, think it through--and add the finishing touch.

-- Kristy Eckert