The foundation of Kate Middleton’s globally admired style has always been expertly tailored ladylike pieces perfectly suited for stately appointments — and for the non royals among us, served as ample inspiration for our 9-to-5 wear. But lately those prim and proper clothes have been resigned to closets and hat boxes. As InStyle UK reposts, Kate has been sporting trendier looks these days, and all thanks to the influence of her newly hired stylist. It appears the 27-year old Natasha Archer, who was promoted to the sartorially-focused role after serving as Kate’s assistant, has persuaded the Duchess to take more style risks, which so far have included an intricately cutout dress (that would be downright edgy save the bow belt) and a mint high-low hemmed gown — nothing that would signal a complete image overhaul, but certainly the least buttoned up we’ve seen the duchess look since that fashion show.
When it comes to Kate’s new look, the verdict is in: *we’re* all for the wardrobe refresh, especially if that means more daring silhouettes, (slightly) higher hemlines and bolder colors — after all, Kate is only 32-years-old — and so from now on, we’re hoping to see more of the same fashion-forward looks on the mom-to-be, no matter how big the bump gets. Could these six dresses find their way to Kate next? We’d love to see them make the cut, even if they’re not 100% Queen approved.
1. ASOS Rib Stepped Hem Dress With Zipper Detail($57): Between the full-coverage neckline and structured bodice, this burgundy dress seems like it has the markings of classic Kate. And then you get to the hemline, which is not only higher than her go-to midi length, but also has an envelope slit that makes the hem shoot thigh high. It might be the most subtle way to wear the risky trend.
2. H&M Long Sleeved Lace Dress ($70): Here’s a take on the high-low hem that’s even more fashion forward. The uniquely draped skirt adds volume to all the right places, especially flowing from the lace top that hugs all over while providing smart coverage. We can see Kate wearing in a heartbeat with a more pared down style of riding boot.
3. McQ Alexander McQueen Drape Top Plaid Dress ($825): We’re used to seeing Kate in plaid, but nothing as statement making as this McQ masterpiece. If there’s any mixed pattern we know the Duchess could pull of, it’s tartan. The asymmetric top just adds to the all-over mystique of this strangely beautiful royal splurge.
4. Topshop Elastic Cut-Out Bodycon Dress ($75): Classic and current elements are perfectly balanced on this strappy pencil dress. We see it on Kate under a Chanel jacket and paired with sheer black tights while her toned stomach just flashes through that demure central keyhole.
5. ASOS Maternity Exclusive Skater Dress With Lace Pleated Skirt ($86): “No matter how big the bump gets…” remember? This skater dress has all the familiar ladylike qualities that would help Kate feel comfortable in her own skin — a flared silhouette, structured fabrics and pop of pink — while introducing some more daring-for-her elements like the sheer factor and all that black.
6. Reformation Felice Jumpsuit ($258): This is where we want post-baby Kate to be, sartorially speaking: in a jumpsuit, working it. But not just in any onesie, in this ultra feminine Reformation number that’s breezy and figure flattering (how could she resist a bow-tied waistband?) and comes in an insanely luxe pattern. Could this be christening outfit material? We hope so.
What do you think of Kate’s new style? Love it? Want to see more? Or already missing the derby hats? Tell us in the comments below.
(Photos via The Cut)