Wednesday, 16 February 2011
Style Icon: Kate Middleton
I can't speak for anywhere but the area of England I live in - but royal wedding fever is taking over. We're in the process of accepting Kate, speculating about her relationship with the royal family, comparing her to Diana and analysing every move she makes in hope of gleaning another detail concerning the rings, the cake and, most importantly, the dress.
I've picked her as a style icon now because I think her clean but modern style is the perfect illustration of how to transition gracefully from Winter to Spring. She's a little bit typical boarding school girl, but she's got an amazing track-record of stunning outfit after stunning outfit, without losing a sense of heritage and class.
If you want to follow the example of our future queen and cross that tricky time when it starts to warm up outside with some Royal decorum, then read on. I have devised 3 simple stages for you to use as a guide.
Stage 1: Cold. The depths of winter, which I'm sure some of you are still in, are harsh. In the good old days, a lady would never leave her house without gloves year round! Today, we've conceded that the practicalities of this could be too much, but that is no excuse to be negligent when there is the chance of snow. Kate would probably also have a whole rack of perfect, tailored coats for facing the elements. You needn't have more than one flattering, well-covering coat which will keep you warm on a winter walk. Other things you may want would include a thick pair of equestrian-inspired boots (a look which Kate works extremely well, despite being allergic to horses), a woolen scarf and a snuggly, oversized jumper. Preferably in the colours of your school/university/family crest.
Stage 2: Rain. On one hand, the temperature is up. Yay! On the other, that means it's now not cold enough to snow, and you know what that means. As I mentioned in London's Calling, the most essential accessory at this point (or basically any point when you're in Britain) is an umbrella. Don't cheap out on one from Primark which costs £6, invest in a sturdy, well-made one which will last the madness of wind, rain and hail in quick succession over about 2 minutes. Kate wouldn't let bad weather put her off dressing well though, in fact, now might be the time to begin your transition to Spring's colours and prints. A floral dress on it's own would be insanity at this time, but with a light coat, cardigan and a pair of woolen tights, it keeps you warm and dry and pulls off the layering look. This is another important item: tights, tights, tights. Buy them in every colour, every material, throw in some over-the-knee socks for a variety (but try not to look like you're form St Trinians). The key to 'keeping-it-Kate' is using earthy tones and classic brands like Barbour to make it look like you're heading out on a country walk, rather than a trip to the shops.
Stage 3: Sun. There may not be much of it, but that makes it all the more important to take advantage of it while you can. Now is the time to go wild with florals, lace, colour and sandals. You can take on any persona you like. You could be the smart attendee of a garden party, sipping champagne while wearing white shoes with no heel so as not to sink in to the grass, a flurry of roses daisies printed onto a babydoll-cut dress and a string of antique pearls. Or maybe you could be the off-duty Wimbledon player, with a tennis-inspired cream dress worn alongside strawberry red killer heels. But then maybe you'd prefer to be the perfect wedding guest, in a bright colour you wouldn't normally wear like pink or yellow. Make sure you find the most ridiculous, feathered, lacy fascinator you can - how often do you get to wear things like that?
Kate has the spring/summer look down. She certainly knows where to find a good floral dress, for day and night. Her poshness allows her to wear varsity-inspired pieces without looking tacky and her choice of sunglasses is perfect for looking good every time a paparazzo snaps a shot of her.
At last! A right royal style icon, whose seamless method of moving between England's odd seasons has everyone wanting a piece of her look (the dress she wore when they announced the engagement sold out on Matches.com within hours). I have no doubt that whatever dress she has on her special day will be just magical, as a princess' should. And if it's not? Oh well, I still get a day off school!