Kate Middleton's style evolution - People - Stylist Magazine

Kate Middleton's style evolution

Kate Middleton's style evolution

Our favourite looks from the Duchess of Cambridge

We examined how Kate Middleton has prepared for her future life as a princess. But it's not only protocol and ancient rules and rites that Kate has been brushing up on - she's also adapting to life in the fashion spotlight. Below, we track her most memorable style moments to date.

Do you think Kate is a style icon? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Pictures: Rex Features

  • Childhood holiday, 1985

    Childhood holiday, 1985

    Even though she was only three and a half, Kate… More details

    Childhood holiday, 1985

    Childhood holiday, 1985

    Even though she was only three and a half, Kate showed her style 'stripes' while on a family holiday in the Lake District as this photo - part of a set of private pictures released by the Middleton family after the announcement of the royal engagement - shows.

  • Charity fashion show, 2002

    Charity fashion show, 2002

    Kate first hit the headlines in 2002 after taking… More details

    Charity fashion show, 2002

    Charity fashion show, 2002

    Kate first hit the headlines in 2002 after taking to the catwalk for a charity fashion show at St Andrews University. Prince William was rumoured to have payed top dollar for a seat in the audience, and Kate's infamous sheer dress - designed by fellow student Charlotte Todd - is now said to be worth £100k.

  • Blenheim Palace, 2004

    Blenheim Palace, 2004

    Donning a tweed ensemble for a photo shoot at… More details

    Blenheim Palace, 2004

    Blenheim Palace, 2004

    Donning a tweed ensemble for a photo shoot at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire in 2004, Kate looked every inch the lady of the manor.

  • Kate’s hats, 2005

    Kate’s hats, 2005

    Kate is known as much for her love of hats as for… More details

    Kate’s hats, 2005

    Kate’s hats, 2005

    Kate is known as much for her love of hats as for her knee high boots and Issa dresses. Here she’s wearing a cowboy hat at the Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park, Gloucestershire. Was the heart shaped pendant a present from beau William?

  • Causing a stir in fur, 2006

    Causing a stir in fur, 2006

    Sporting a large fur hat twinned with a tweed… More details

    Causing a stir in fur, 2006

    Causing a stir in fur, 2006

    Sporting a large fur hat twinned with a tweed coat, Kate turned heads at the Cheltenham races - unfortunately the headwear turned out to be made of real mink.

    Who will design Kate Middleton's wedding dress? We cast our bets here.

  • Wedding style, 2006

    Wedding style, 2006

    For the wedding of Laura Parker Bowles to Harry… More details

    Wedding style, 2006

    Wedding style, 2006

    For the wedding of Laura Parker Bowles to Harry Lopes at St Cyriac's Church, Lacock, Kate looks classic and elegant in her traditional wedding guest attire. The tailored brocade coat is set off with feathers in her hair.

    Who will design Kate Middleton's wedding dress? We cast our bets here.

  • William’s graduation, 2006

    William’s graduation, 2006

    Kate wears a bright red coat with black hat for… More details

    William’s graduation, 2006

    William’s graduation, 2006

    Kate wears a bright red coat with black hat for her boyfriend’s graduation from Sandhurst. The vibrant red has become a signature look for Kate, although in later years she usually opts to enhance her silhouette with a black belt.

    Who will design Kate Middleton's wedding dress? We cast our bets here.

  • Cheltenham Festival, March 2007

    Cheltenham Festival, March …

    For the Cheltenham Festival horse racing meeting… More details

    Cheltenham Festival, March 2007

    Cheltenham Festival, March 2007

    For the Cheltenham Festival horse racing meeting back in 2007 (shortly after ranking at number eight in '''Tatler's annual Best Dressed list), Kate returned again to trusty tweed, teaming a green jacket with a co-ordinating flared skirt and her favourite knee-high boots.

    Who will design Kate Middleton's wedding dress? We cast our bets here.

  • At the races, March 2007

    At the races, March 2007

    At the races again. This time Kate has swapped… More details

    At the races, March 2007

    At the races, March 2007

    At the races again. This time Kate has swapped fur for beret and looks every bit the young Royal-in-waiting in her conservative blue tweed jacket accessorised with a paisley scarf.

    From Diana's mammoth train to Camilla's statement headwear, take a look at royal wedding outfits from the past here

  • Single Kate, 2007

    Single Kate, 2007

    In April 2007 Kate and William separated for a… More details

    Single Kate, 2007

    Single Kate, 2007

    In April 2007 Kate and William separated for a few months, stating that they needed ‘space’ from each other. They now credit the split with making their relationship even stronger. During her brief spell as a singleton Kate is spotted heading off for a weekend trip wearing one of her signature Issa dresses.

    From Diana's mammoth train to Camilla's statement headwear, take a look at royal wedding outfits from the past here

  • Walking to work, Sep 2007

    Walking to work, Sep 2007

    While working as an accessories buyer for Jigsaw… More details

    Walking to work, Sep 2007

    Walking to work, Sep 2007

    While working as an accessories buyer for Jigsaw in 2007, Kate was regularly photographed on her way to the office. On this particular summer's day she plumped for a stylish monochrome striped dress from high street label French Connection.

    From Diana's mammoth train to Camilla's statement headwear, take a look at royal wedding outfits from the past here

  • Issa, August 2007

    Issa, August 2007

    Kate is spotted heading off to the office in a… More details

    Issa, August 2007

    Issa, August 2007

    Kate is spotted heading off to the office in a trusty monochrome black and white Issa dress.

    Who will design Kate Middleton's wedding dress? We cast our bets here

  • Boujis, December 2007

    Boujis, December 2007

    Prompting talk of a reunion, Prince William and… More details

    Boujis, December 2007

    Boujis, December 2007

    Prompting talk of a reunion, Prince William and Kate were seen leaving separately from the Royals’ favourite night club Boujis.

    Looking refined in a black fitted velvet jacket and those favourite black knee boots again, Kate tends to wear her hair long and loose in a classic, natural style – see the "Stylist Hair 100'' for more inspiration.

    From Diana's mammoth train to Camilla's statement headwear, take a look at royal wedding outfits from the past here

  •  Roller girl, 2008

    Roller girl, 2008

    Making a break from the classic… More details

     Roller girl, 2008

    Roller girl, 2008

    Making a break from the classic princess-in-waiting style, Kate dons bright socks, sequinned turquoise halter-neck top and yellow shorts and neon wrist bands for a charity Day-Glo Midnight Roller Disco which she co-organised in 2008.

    Who will design Kate Middleton's wedding dress? We cast our bets here

  • Sporty Kate, 2008

    Sporty Kate, 2008

    Kate hits the slopes of the starry ski resort… More details

    Sporty Kate, 2008

    Sporty Kate, 2008

    Kate hits the slopes of the starry ski resort Klosters in Switzerland, playing it safe in classic black and white ski-wear.

    Who will design Kate Middleton's wedding dress? We cast our bets here

  • Cheltenham Horse racing, 2008

    Cheltenham Horse racing, 2008

    The Cheltenham Horse Racing Festival is an annual… More details

    Cheltenham Horse racing, 2008

    Cheltenham Horse racing, 2008

    The Cheltenham Horse Racing Festival is an annual date on the Royal calendar. Here Kate sports a well-cut midnight blue mac with one of her signature black hats.

    Who will design Kate Middleton's wedding dress? We cast our bets here

  • The Boodles Boxing Ball, Jun 2008

    The Boodles Boxing Ball, Ju…

    Back in 2008, Kate was pictured at The Boodles… More details

    The Boodles Boxing Ball, Jun 2008

    The Boodles Boxing Ball, Jun 2008

    Back in 2008, Kate was pictured at The Boodles Boxing Ball wearing a dress similar to the one she would later wear to announce her engagement to Prince William, with ruched detail at the midriff. The coral floor length dress marked the start of her devotion to designer Issa.

    From Diana's mammoth train to Camilla's statement headwear, take a look at royal wedding outfits from the past here

  • Nights Out, 2008

    Nights Out, 2008

    Kate is seen out and about in the London club… More details

    Nights Out, 2008

    Nights Out, 2008

    Kate is seen out and about in the London club scene with her sister Pippa Middleton and Prince William. The young Royal party hit their favourite Chelsea bars rounding up the night with a few drinks in Whiskey Mist. The cowl neck blue dress worn with her signature black boots.

    Who will design Kate Middleton's wedding dress? We cast our bets here

  • Knee high boots, May 2009

    Knee high boots, May 2009

    Kate is snapped at the Polo in Ascot, where she… More details

    Knee high boots, May 2009

    Knee high boots, May 2009

    Kate is snapped at the Polo in Ascot, where she was supporting Prince William while he played a polo match. Never one to pick slouchy or baggy denim, Kate plumps for smart, fitted jeans teamed with her trademark knee-high boots.

    From Diana's mammoth train to Camilla's statement headwear, take a look at royal wedding outfits from the past here

  • London wedding, Aug 2009

    London wedding, Aug 2009

    For the wedding of friends Nicholas van Cutsem… More details

    London wedding, Aug 2009

    London wedding, Aug 2009

    For the wedding of friends Nicholas van Cutsem and Alice Hadden-Paton at The Guards Chapel in London, Kate looked resplendent in a blue brocade coat and off-white dress. She teamed the stylish outfit with navy heels, a yellow topaz cocktail ring and white hat.

    From Diana's mammoth train to Camilla's statement headwear, take a look at royal wedding outfits from the past here

  • Gloucestershire wedding, Oct 2010

    Gloucestershire wedding, Oc…

    Kate was pictured in another striking yet regal… More details

    Gloucestershire wedding, Oct 2010

    Gloucestershire wedding, Oct 2010

    Kate was pictured in another striking yet regal Issa dress while attending the wedding of Harry Meade and Rosemarie Bradford at the end of last year.

    From Diana's mammoth train to Camilla's statement headwear, take a look at royal wedding outfits from the past here

  • The engagement photocall, Nov 2010

    The engagement photocall, N…

    Kate turned again to her much-loved Issa for the… More details

    The engagement photocall, Nov 2010

    The engagement photocall, Nov 2010

    Kate turned again to her much-loved Issa for the dress she wore to announce the royal engagement - which would go on to sell out within hours of the photcall.

    From Diana's mammoth train to Camilla's statement headwear, take a look at royal wedding outfits from the past here

  • Visit to St Andrews, Feb 2011

    Visit to St Andrews, Feb 2011

    By the time Kate and Wills returned to their alma… More details

    Visit to St Andrews, Feb 2011

    Visit to St Andrews, Feb 2011

    By the time Kate and Wills returned to their alma mater St Andrews University earlier this year, there wasn't a see-through dress in sight for the future princess. Instead, Kate opted for a smart red skirt suit by Italian designer Luisa Spagnoli, and teamed the picture perfect look with black accessories and her signature black boots.

    From Diana's mammoth train to Camilla's statement headwear, take a look at royal wedding outfits from the past here

  •  Burberry, March 2011

    Burberry, March 2011

    After the announcement of her engagement Kate and… More details

     Burberry, March 2011

    Burberry, March 2011

    After the announcement of her engagement Kate and William made a Royal visit to Belfast, Northern Ireland. Looking smart and chic, Kate supports British fashion in her Burberry mac.

    Who will design Kate Middleton's wedding dress? We cast our bets here

  • Future princess, April 2011

    Future princess, April 2011

    The future princess picks a classic fitted navy… More details

    Future princess, April 2011

    Future princess, April 2011

    The future princess picks a classic fitted navy pencil suit and heels at one of her final public appearances at Whitton Park, Darwen with Prince William before their wedding.

    Who will design Kate Middleton's wedding dress? We cast our bets here

  • Royal Wedding, April 2011

    Royal Wedding, April 2011

    And here she is at long last in the dress we… More details

    Royal Wedding, April 2011

    Royal Wedding, April 2011

    And here she is at long last in the dress we waited months to see. Kate Middleton's exquisite wedding dress was designed by Alexander McQueen's Sarah Burton, who managed to keep her very special commission top secret until the moment Kate - now Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, emerged from her hotel on her father's arm.

  • ARK Gala, June 2011

    ARK Gala, June 2011

    Kate made one of her first public appearances… More details

    ARK Gala, June 2011

    ARK Gala, June 2011

    Kate made one of her first public appearances after the Royal wedding at the ARK charity gala in London in June 2011. The new Duchess of Cambridge wore a pale rose Jenny Packham gown that was covered in Swarovski crystals and sequins.

  • Official function, June 2011

    Official function, June 2011

    For a formal engagement alongside her husband in… More details

    Official function, June 2011

    Official function, June 2011

    For a formal engagement alongside her husband in June 2011, the Duchess of Cambridge opted for a neat tailored coat and skirt with a military flavour courtesy of its shiny gold buttons and shoulder epaulettes.

  • Royal tour of Canada, July 2011

    Royal tour of Canada, July …

    On their first overseas tour as a married couple,… More details

    Royal tour of Canada, July 2011

    Royal tour of Canada, July 2011

    On their first overseas tour as a married couple, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Canada where they received a warm welcome. Kate stuck to one of her favourite designers, Alexander McQueen, choosing this knitted sailor dress for a tour of Prince Edward Island.

  • Royal tour of Canada, July 2011

    Royal tour of Canada, July …

    The pretty, primrose yellow Jenny Packham… More details

    Royal tour of Canada, July 2011

    Royal tour of Canada, July 2011

    The pretty, primrose yellow Jenny Packham teadress that Kate wore on the Royal couple's tour of Canada was a chic, ladylike choice. She accessorized with her trusty nude LK Bennett pumps which have become a signature part of the Duchess' look.

  • Royal tour of Canada, July 2011

    Royal tour of Canada, July …

    The Duchess of Cambridge has the envious knack of… More details

    Royal tour of Canada, July 2011

    Royal tour of Canada, July 2011

    The Duchess of Cambridge has the envious knack of looking good in all colours, including jewel shades like the rich purple of the Issa dress she wore to a concert in Ottawa on the Royal couple's Canadian tour. And if you got to borrow jewels like this glittering diamond maple leaf brooch from your grandmother-in-law, the Queen, wouldn't y0u look like the Kate that got the cream?

  • Royal tour of Canada, July 2011

    Royal tour of Canada, July …

    Since her marriage, Catherine, Duchess of… More details

    Royal tour of Canada, July 2011

    Royal tour of Canada, July 2011

    Since her marriage, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge has already started to prove that she understands the importance of her wardrobe in making a positive impression. On the Royal couple's Canadian tour in July, she opted for a Catherine Walker coat dress in a shade of red that exactly matched the host country's flag and accessorised it with the Queen's diamond maple leaf brooch. Now that's power dressing.

  • Cowgirl Kate, July 2011

    Cowgirl Kate, July 2011

    Proving she does casual, preppy style as… More details

    Cowgirl Kate, July 2011

    Cowgirl Kate, July 2011

    Proving she does casual, preppy style as effortlessly as formal dressing, Kate kept her cool at the Calgary Stampede in July in Temperley London's 'Rodeo' shirt which she wore with classic blue jeans and topped off with a pure white cowboy hat.

  • Bafta gala, Hollywood, July 2011

    Bafta gala, Hollywood, July…

    It takes a serious amount of star power to… More details

    Bafta gala, Hollywood, July 2011

    Bafta gala, Hollywood, July 2011

    It takes a serious amount of star power to outshine Hollywood's A-listers, but that's exactly what Kate (with a dapper Prince William on her arm) managed when she stepped onto the red carpet for a BAFTA gala in Los Angeles in July. An Alexander McQueen gown, Jimmy Choo heels and some diamond earrings on loan from the Queen made the Duchess a fine ambassador for British fashion.

  • A very Royal boat party, July 2011

    A very Royal boat party, Ju…

    For a party aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia… More details

    A very Royal boat party, July 2011

    A very Royal boat party, July 2011

    For a party aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia before the wedding of Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall in Edinburgh, Scotland in August, Kate rocked a simple apple green silk Diane von Furstenberg dress, chandelier earrings and a huge smile.

  • Zara Phillip's wedding, July 2011

    Zara Phillip's wedding, Jul…

    The Duchess of Cambridge has proved herself to be… More details

    Zara Phillip's wedding, July 2011

    Zara Phillip's wedding, July 2011

    The Duchess of Cambridge has proved herself to be a bit of a pro at wearing challenging hats and fascinators this year and the satellite-dish-style number she picked for Zara Phillips' wedding to Mike Tindall in July was a spectacular example. The wardrobe-savvy Kate also picked an embroidered coat she'd previously worn to a wedding in 2006.

  • Birmingham visit, Aug 2011

    Birmingham visit, Aug 2011

    On a visit to Birmingham to meet with local… More details

    Birmingham visit, Aug 2011

    Birmingham visit, Aug 2011

    On a visit to Birmingham to meet with local residents affected by the riots August, Kate wore another Alexander McQueen ensemble, this time a military-style top and pencil skirt with brass buttons and epaulettes.

  • Sandringham, Dec 2011

    Sandringham, Dec 2011

    Christmas with the in-laws at Sandringham and… More details

    Sandringham, Dec 2011

    Sandringham, Dec 2011

    Christmas with the in-laws at Sandringham and Kate showed she understands the dress code perfectly in her jeans, wellies and country-casual hat.

  • Sun Military Awards, Dec 2011

    Sun Military Awards, Dec 2011

    It was only fitting that Kate should choose to… More details

    Sun Military Awards, Dec 2011

    Sun Military Awards, Dec 2011

    It was only fitting that Kate should choose to end her amazing year in another showstopping Alexander McQueen gown. At the Sun Military Awards she wore a strapless black velvet dress with a fishtail skirt and looked, quite simply, gorgeous.

  • Centrepoint visit, Dec 2011

    Centrepoint visit, Dec 2011

    In December the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge… More details

    Centrepoint visit, Dec 2011

    Centrepoint visit, Dec 2011

    In December the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the homeless charity Centrepoint in London. Kate wore a Ralph Lauren sweater dress with her favourite knee high suede boots.

  • Christmas Day, Sandringham, Dec 2011

    Christmas Day, Sandringham,…

    What on earth would you wear if you were spending… More details

    Christmas Day, Sandringham, Dec 2011

    Christmas Day, Sandringham, Dec 2011

    What on earth would you wear if you were spending Christmas Day with your in-laws and they just happened to be the Royal family? Clever Kate went for an aubergine coat and a stunning plum-coloured trilby with ruffles made by Jane Corbett.

  • Autumn International rugby match, November 2012

    Autumn International rugby …

    The Duchess of Cambridge wore an LK Bennett coat… More details

    Autumn International rugby match, November 2012

    Autumn International rugby match, November 2012

    The Duchess of Cambridge wore an LK Bennett coat to the Autumn International rugby match between Wales and New Zealand at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff.

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