Color Me Kate! How the Duchess of Cambridge Accessorizes Her Outfits
The queen maintains that she needs to wear bright colors so that people who have patiently waited in line to see her can spot her easily, and it's an ethos that the Duchess of Cambridge has also taken on. Kate Middleton is known for her bright coats, rainbow wardrobe, and 101 different ways to work her power color, blue, but how does she accessorize an outfit? Whether she goes for matching, tonal, or color-clash, take a look at how Kate pulls together her look — from the tip of her hat down to the soles of her skyscraper stilettos . . .
Cream With Neutrals
Teaming cream, white, or ivory with soft neutrals is a classic Kate look. She's been doing it since she first became a duchess, perfectly executed in Mumbai when she wore her Emilia Wickstead dress with Rupert Sanderson pumps and a Mulberry clutch.
Cream With Peach
Left to her own devices, Kate often veers toward a feminine vibe with frills, bows, and ribbons, so it's no surprise that one of her go-to contrast colors for a cream outfit is peach — seen here in Liège, Belgium, teaming her Alexander McQueen structured dress with L.K. Bennett pumps and a Jane Taylor straw beret with hand-dyed ruffle.
Cream With Dark Red
Fast forward a couple of years, and at the A Street Cat Named Bob premiere, Kate vamped up her Self-Portrait gown with a splash of bordeaux — Gianvito Rossi pumps and a matching Mulberry clutch.
Cream With Dark Red and Neutral
In 2017, Kate showed in Poland that she's mastered the art of nonmatching dressing, contrasting a dark red Jenny Packham clutch, ruby jewelry, and nude Gianvito Rossi pumps with the blank canvas of her Alexander McQueen dress.
Peach on Peach
Kate is a big fan of pastels, and in the past, she has often picked from the same spectrum when it comes to accessorizing the color. For a charity engagement when she was pregnant with Prince George, Kate wore a Tara Jarmon coat and a dress from an independent dressmaker in soft fruit shades, along with her nude L.K. Bennett pumps and clutch.
Blush on Blush
For a Vogue exhibition, Kate kept the flattering shade of her blush McQueen dress running through her entire outfit, with an L.K. Bennett clutch and pumps.
Powder Blue With Baby Pink
Kate went for a slightly unusual combo of a powder blue dress with baby pink accessories back in 2014 when she was pregnant with Princess Charlotte. The duchess worked an uberfeminine, candy-colored vibe in her Jenny Packham dress, McQueen clutch, and L.K. Bennett ankle-bow sandals.
Lilac With Glitter
A combination that has served Kate well throughout her fashion life so far is the mixture of the palest of pastels with lots of sparkle. For a BAFTA gala during her 2011 royal tour, the newly minted duchess chose a soft lilac McQueen gown with a crystallized belt, popping out her accessories — silver Jimmy Choo clutch, glittery Jimmy Choo sandals, and plenty of diamonds – with similar sparkle.
Ice Blue With Glitter
Kate showed at the end of 2017 that the pastel-sparkle pairing works just as well now as it did six years before. The duchess wore her ice blue crystal-embellished Jenny Packham gown with a sparkling Jenny Packham clutch and platinum Oscar de la Renta heels.
Powder Blue With Plum
In a world away from her matching pastels of previous years, in 2017, Kate paired her cute powder blue Preen dress with bold plum-colored Prada sandals and a matching Jerome C. Rousseau clutch — and for the first time in public: colored nail polish!
Peach With Black
In her third pregnancy, Kate is opting for a different vibe with her pastels by choosing dresses with black accents that she can pop out in her accessories. The duchess chose a peach brocade Orla Kiely dress with black Tod's pumps and a matching Mulberry clutch for her Paddington 2 event at the end of 2017.
Powder Blue With Black
In that same month, Kate chose a powder blue lace Temperley dress with black detailing, along with her black Mulberry clutch and matching Gianvito Rossi pumps.
Navy on Navy
Kate is a big fan of navy blue, and what could be better than one navy item? How about four! When she took off on her first royal tour back in 2011, the duchess opted for the shade from head to toe, wearing a Roland Mouret dress with a Smythe blazer, Manolo Blahnik pumps, and a Mulberry bag.
Navy on Navy
It's a look that stands the test of time, and for a charity event in 2013, Kate matched her navy Orla Kiely skirt and Max Mara jacket with Cornelia James gloves, a Stuart Weitzman clutch, Alexander McQueen heels, and even dark blue hose!
Blue With Nude
Kate's favorite color is blue, and she has outfits in every shade possible. To keep it clean and let the color really pop, Kate often wears nude accessories. This was seen at her arrival to Canada in 2016 in her matching Jenny Packham dress and Sylvia Fletcher for Lock & Co. hat with nude Gianvito Rossi pumps and L.K. Bennett clutch.
Blue With Black
When it comes to the most vivid electric blues, Kate usually favors black as the most flattering counterpoint. For a trip to Dundee, she chose a deep blue Christopher Kane coat and kilt with a black polo neck, a Stuart Weitzman clutch, Cornelia James gloves, opaques, and Aquatalia boots.
Blue With Navy
If she's not opting for the deeper shades of blue, Kate often ties her look together with her beloved navy shade, accessorizing her Rebecca Taylor tweed suit with her navy Stuart Weitzman clutch.
Green With Brown
Back in 2012 for her first St. Patrick's Day parade, Kate teamed her green Emilia Wickstead
coat with a brown James Lock & Co. hat and matching brown Emmy pumps. However, it's not a color combo the duchess has repeated.
Green With Gray
For St. Patrick's Day in 2014, Kate favored a curious shade of gray that looked green against her outfit — choosing an Emmy London clutch and pumps to flatter her jade green Hobbs coat and Gina Foster hat.
Green on Green
Kate went multitonal on Christmas Day 2015, tying together the slightly contrasting shades of her Sportmax coat and Sylvia Fletcher Lock & Co. hat with her "pine needle" patterned Great Plains dress.
Green With Nude
In Canada, Kate showed off her jewel green Dolce & Gabbana dress with light accessories — L.K. Bennett clutch and shoes — to really make the color pop.
Green With Pink (and Gold)
Showing that she has been experimenting with her colors more in recent years, in 2017, Kate chose to accessorize her olive green Temperley gown with candy pink tourmaline and green amethyst Kiki McDonough earrings and a gold Wilbur and Gussie clutch.
Multicolored With Tonal
Multicolored With Complementary Tones
In 2017, Kate showed how to frame a light, pretty floral when the weather isn't playing ball. While William and Harry both carried black umbrellas, the duchess favored a cappuccino shade by Swaine Adeney Brigg that complemented the poppies on her Prada dress — finishing off the look with pale L.K. Bennett pumps.
Multicolored With a Color Pop
As time has passed, Kate has become a little more experimental with her fashion choices, and in 2017, she accessorized with a tertiary color from her Erdem dress. While the main floral print was blue and yellow, Kate chose to pop out the burgundy, opting for her Mulberry clutch and Tod's pumps.
Multicolored With Mix 'n' Match
Also in 2017, Kate chose to mix up her accessories in order to bring out two colors in her Gucci dress. Her navy L.K. Bennett pumps picked up on the tweed, but whereas in the past the duchess may have played it safe with a matching navy clutch, on this occasion, she chose to pop the red of the piping with her red Emmy London clutch.
Red With Yellow and Nude
For the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant back in 2012, Kate chose to accessorize her scarlet McQueen dress with a matching Sylvia Fletcher for Lock & Co. hat and McQueen clutch, plus nude L.K. Bennett pumps and a yellow tartan scarf.
Red With Black
The second time Kate wore her red McQueen skater dress, she opted for chic and sleek black accents — with a Mulberry clutch and Stuart Weitzman pumps.
Red With Nude
In 2016, Kate freshened up her red with nude accessories. The duchess opted for Gianvito Rossi pumps and an L.K. Bennett clutch to perfectly offset her scarlet L.K. Bennett dress.
Red on Red
Red is a strong color, and Kate knows when to soften and lighten it with nude accessories, when to go strong and sophisticated with black accents, and when to go all in as a head-to-toe scarlet lady! In 2016, the duchess wore a Catherine Walker coat, Lock & Co. hat, Gianvito Rossi pumps, and McQueen clutch.
Red on Red
Kate went bold again for a charity performance of 42nd Street in 2017, teaming her cherry red Marchesa Notte gown with matching Oscar de la Renta tassel earrings, Mulberry clutch, and Gianvito Rossi pumps.
Berry on Berry
Kate knows that berry tones are great for layering a look, as they don't need to be exactly the same shade for an outfit to look sensational. For her first Christmas Day church service, the duchess wore a coat from an independent dressmaker, along with a tonal Jane Corbett hat and Mulberry clutch.
Purple With Black
For an evening concert on Canada Day in 2011, Kate went for a vivid purple silk Issa dress with chic black accessories — an Anya Hindmarch clutch and Prada pumps.
Purple With Black
Purple and black worked just as well for Kate in the Winter as in the Summer, and in 2017, she set off her Oscar de la Renta skirt suit with a black Mulberry clutch.
Purple With Pink and Nude
In Hamburg in 2017, Kate showed perfectly how she has learned to mix and match her colors in ways she wouldn't have a few years ago, teaming her lilac Emilia Wickstead dress with a raspberry pink Anya Hindmarch clutch and nude Gianvito Rossi pumps.
Gray on Gray
When it comes to gray, Kate likes to layer it up, perfectly illustrated at the Commonwealth Service in 2016. Kate wore a two-toned Erdem coat with a John Boyd hat, Rupert Sanderson pumps, and an Emmy London clutch.
Gray With Black
When there are black accents to a gray outfit, Kate likes to bring them out with black accessories – as seen when she wore her Orla Kiely dress with Episode pumps and a Mascaro clutch.
Black With Red
Members of the royal family usually reserve black for Remembrance events and meeting the pope, but Kate has favored the tone on a few occasions — always adding a fun element to stop it from being too somber. The duchess brightened a black lace Temperley dress with her red McQueen clutch.
Black With Bling
For an evening event in Paris in 2017, Kate broke up her black McQueen gown and Gianvito Rossi sandals with some whopping pearls.