21 Subtle Ways Kate Middleton Has Switched Up Her Style This Year
We're only halfway through 2017, but the Duchess of Cambridge has rocked some major new looks already. She has introduced a clutch of new designers — Chanel! — to her repertoire, experimented with different shapes and styles, gone big and bold with a stash of new jewels, and pulled out all the stops with some stunning new looks from her favorite names. We can't wait to see what's still to come from Kate's closet . . .
New Designer: Gucci
For Kate's recent engagement to the V&A Museum she wore Gucci for the first time, teaming her navy, white and red tweed mini dress with navy LK Bennett pumps and a new scarlet Emmy London clutch.
New Designer: Marchesa Notte
How do we count the ways we love this look? The rich red color, the soft lattice-and-rose detailing of the bodice contrasted with the structured shape of the skirt, the matching Gianvito Rossi pumps and Mulberry clutch . . . Kate wore the Marchesa diffusion line for the first time at the opening of classic musical 42nd Street in London's West End, completing her ensemble with matching Kate Spade tassel earrings.
New Designer: Oscar de la Renta
When Kate attended the Guild of Health Writers Conference back in February, the "ultraviolet" skirt suit marked not just a new name in the duchess's wardrobe but a different shape for her too, with the jutting structured skirt marking a departure from her favored pencil silhouettes.
New Designer: Chanel
Who can forget the moment the duchess stepped out on her Paris trip in a triple-whammy of divine Chanel? For her fourth engagement in the couture capital, Kate wore the multicolored tweed fit-and-flare skirt suit with a complementing Chanel calfskin leather belt in black and the Art Nouvelle flap bag in burgundy.
New Designer: Rochas
Kate showcased a number of floral prints in 2016, and in May this year, appropriately at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, she continued to build on this fresh and pretty look with a simple midi dress from the French fashion house.
New Shapes and Styles: Tweaked Tailoring
After favoring Marchesa Notte earlier in the year, Kate selected another diffusion line in Armani Collezioni when in April she visited a new school that includes mental health awareness in its curriculum. Although at first glance the scarlet skirt suit seemed similar to something we had seen before, closer inspection revealed a much sleeker and more contemporary design, thanks to the split round neckline, zip front, and side darts.
New Shapes and Styles: The Sleek Midi
In 2016, Kate embraced the midi length, whether it was Preen for cocktail attire or a selection of 1970s-style dresses in her daytime wardrobe. This March, for an Embassy reception in Paris, the duchess's black lace Alexander McQueen gown featured her new favorite hemline, but for the first time in a formal setting, it had a much more fashion-forward sleek silhouette.
New Shapes and Styles: The Dropped-Brim Hat
It's not like cocktail hats are going away anytime soon, but at a military memorial event in March, Kate took a bold step away from her usual favorite headwear style with this midnight blue Breakfast at Tiffany's dropped-brim number by Lock & Co, teaming it with her navy and cream tweed Michael Kors coat.
New Shapes and Styles: Wide-Legged Pants
For her appearance at BBC Radio 1 to promote the Heads Together Campaign, Kate chose a slightly different look than normal when she exchanged her beloved skinny pant-leg silhouette for flares. Two months later, the duchess chose navy blue J.Crew cropped wide-legged sailor pants for a nautical engagement.
New Shapes and Styles: Experimental Millinery
The designer of Kate's recent Ascot headwear hasn't yet been revealed, but it was an intricate concoction of flowers and latticed ribbon, with a spray of loose flowers on one side that fell prettily away from the main hat base.
New Jewels: Pink Morganite Drops
The blush-colored Alexander McQueen and Jane Taylor combo that she wore to Pippa Middleton's wedding was classic Kate, but the new Kiki McDonough earrings were a slightly different look for the duchess. She usually opts for smaller, more subtle earrings, but when it came to pulling her outfit together, these whopping rose-colored drops were the pricy icing on the cake.
New Jewels: Blue Topaz and Diamonds
For years, Kate rotated a handful of beloved Kiki McDonough earrings that included her delicate citrine drops and assorted small cushion-cut semiprecious stones that were suspended from a tiny diamond hoop, but this year, the duchess's earrings have been getting bigger and bolder! Kate debuted her new blue topaz and diamond jewels from Kiki McDonough on her May trip to Luxenburg, along with a new powder-blue Emilia Wickstead coat.
New Jewels: Pink Tourmaline and Green Amethyst
Let there be no doubt, for Kate, 2017 is the year of the fabulous earrings! At a National Portrait Gallery charity gala in March, the duchess added a tiny pop of color to her jade-green Temperley gown with her new pink and green Kiki McDonough drops.
New Jewels: Diamonds and Pearls
For a reception at Buckingham Palace to celebrate links between the UK and India, Kate teamed her sparkling Erdem dress with a new pair of uncut diamond and pearl earrings by Indian designer Anita Dongre. When Kate has worn diamond and pearl earrings before, they have usually been on loan from the queen, but these were made especially for her.
New Jewels: Oversize Pearls
Kate often utilizes a delicate pendant to accessorize an outfit, but this kind of statement necklace on the duchess is quite unusual. The piece is as yet unidentified but was worn in Paris with her new black lace McQueen gown, her faux pearl Balenciaga earrings that she debuted last year, and a matching cocktail ring — another unusual item we don't usually see Kate wearing.
Kate's New Go-To Clutch
For years, Kate has relied upon the cream, beige, and oatmeal tones of her favored L.K. Bennett and Stuart Weitzman clutches when a neutral purse is called for, but this year has seen the emergence of a new designer in Kate's handbag repertoire — Polish brand Etui. Kate carried its cream lattice-weave clutch at an Easter Sunday church service in April and on a handful of occasions since. Earlier in the year, she also carried an Etui dark green clutch on St. Patrick's Day.
New Wow: Ice-Blue Jenny Packham
Kate has experimented with new designers this year, but she has also stuck with her tried and tested favorites, and when they keep pushing the envelope and the results are as exquisite as this, it's not hard to see why. For a black-tie evening reception in Paris, the duchess wore an intricate Jenny Packham creation stitched all over with sparkling flowers.
New Wow: Candy-Pink Alexander McQueen
This was a new shade for the duchess and a fitting choice for an event named Trooping the Colour. Kate accessorized with a matching new hat from her favorite milliner, Jane Taylor, and diamond earrings on loan from the queen.
New Wow: Ivory Alexander McQueen
At first glace, Kate's ivory lace Ascot dress was a dead-ringer for the one she wore at the same event last year, but there were some very notable differences. As well as being surprisingly sheer, this year's McQueen was shorter and had less volume than last year's Dolce & Gabanna, and the sleeker tulip-shaped skirt made the look fresher and more youthful.
New Wow: Shimmering Erdem
Thanks to her new diamond Anita Dongre earrings and glittery platinum Oscar de la Renta pumps, Kate sparkled from head to toe at an event to honor ties between the UK and India earlier this year. The duchess has worn Erdem several times before, but this delicate, shimmery cocktail dress has got to be one of the best.
New Wow: Jade-Green Temperley
Kate has always been a fan of lace, but the jade green of her new Temperley gown was the perfect shade for her hair and skin tone at a National Portrait Gallery gala earlier this year. She accessorized with her trusty Wilbur & Gussie gold clutch and gold Jimmy Choo heels.