This week saw Kate Middleton give us all a lesson in dressing for an occasion, and here’s how to put it into practice.
Kate Middleton knows how to dress for an occasion; the Duchess of Cambridge has had considerable amount of practice. We have seen her take on jaw-dropping Alexander McQueen gowns (her wedding dress being one of them), fairy-tale inspired embellished Jenny Packham dresses and more coat dresses than we can count.
Earlier this week, the Duchess attended a charity gala for Addiction Awareness Week in a cream knitted Barbara Casasola dress.
The look was a break from her usual style of more structured dresses, it was more relaxed and definitely more directional in style. The dress sported an off-the-shoulder neck line, a fitted body and a flared skirt: the holy grail of flattering cuts.
Ever wanted to dress like the Duchess, but the heavy coat dresses weren’t quite your bag and the floor length embellished gowns were a hard sell for everyday? Well, this is the style to get into. And that applies to everyone.
An off-the-shoulder neckline is universally flattering for women of all shapes and sizes with shoulders being one of the elegant parts of the body. (As a plus-size woman, I have personally tried and tested this).
Off-the-shoulder shows skin without baring too much. In my case: cleavage is kept to a minimum and the cut covers the widest part of my arms that I rarely like on show, but still flashes enough flesh for you not to feel entirely covered up.
Next comes the fitted aspect of the dress, and while this might make some of you wince (myself included), it is still incredibly flattering. Plus for the dress to really work you need structure to the dress. With shoulders on show, the nipped in waist creates a feminine, classic silhouette made to flatter. Then comes the skirt: flared and flared some more.
After the fitted top you need to drama of the skirt (which needs to start from the waist if not empire line) to bring this look into half of fame territory. And that’s how every woman can dress like Kate Middleton.
Alexander McQueen dress
For serious Duchess points, there is only one designer to take on: Alexander McQueen. Almost identical in style to the dress Kate Middleton sported at the gala, make this a lifetime investment piece.
Off-the-shoulder knitted dress, £1,545, Alexander McQueen
The perfect summer number and ticks all of Kate’s style markers: off the shoulder, cinched waist and full skirt.
Spotted dress, £165, Ghost
That happy ground between holiday and occasionwear repurpose this Anaak dress all season long.
Cotton dress, £360, Anaak
Simply Be dress
Take this dress from day tonight by swapping out your trainers for a pair of barely there sandals and chunky gold hoops.
Striped dress, £39, Simply Be
River Island dress
Laid back and with a more relaxed waist, River Island have got your beach to bar look covered.
Button down dress, £38, River Island
Images: Getty / Courtesy of brands