How to Get Kate Middleton’s Style

Life & Beauty Weekly: Hair & Beauty

By Stephanie Tweito Jacob for Life & Beauty Weekly

All eyes will be on Kate Middleton as she weds Prince William this week, and small wonder. Like her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana, Middleton is a classic beauty on the verge of becoming a fashion icon. Her impeccably tailored dresses and coats have a tendency to sell out shortly after she’s photographed wearing them.

Even if you’re not married to a prince, you can do the next best thing by dressing like the newest royal. “I find Kate to be classic with her fashion sense, but in a very modern way,” says Jessica Biffi, fashion designer of the Jessica Biffi label and first place runner-up on season two of Project Runway Canada. “Kate’s look is all about tailoring and simplicity. This is easy to emulate with a great suit, a simple structured dress to the knee or a cocktail dress that is modern, fitted, yet not too revealing.”

Another cornerstone of Middleton’s look is her colour palette: reds, blues (royal and navy), black, brown and neutrals like cream, white and beige. “And she always — in whatever she wears — plays up her hourglass body,” says Biffi.

Here’s how to shop your own closet or look for new basic pieces to recreate Middleton’s style.

For Everyday
When pulling together an outfit, keep in mind Middleton’s clothes are fitted — nothing oversized — and she combines structure with softer pieces. “Kate uses pieces that have a belt-style detailing at the waist,” says Biffi. “She also chooses cocktail dresses that nip in at the waist with some flare from the upper hip to play up her figure.”

Choose simple shapes, like straight pencil skirts that fall a few inches above the knee, in plaid wool or houndstooth fabrics. Middleton pairs these with easy tops, like a fitted T-shirt, a short blazer or a jacket that’s nipped at the waist, black hose (not tights) and tall, black suede boots.

She has also been seen wearing flowing wrap-style dresses that fall just above her knees. With V-necks and delicate prints, they’re perfect for during the daytime. A definite essential to her everyday uniform is a knee-length overcoat, often double-breasted with a tie at the waist.

For Downtime
Middleton’s jeans-and-T-shirt look reflects her passion for equestrian sports. She opts for straight-leg jeans in dark denim — minus any rhinestones and fading — and often tucks them into tall brown or black boots. If you’ve never tried a straight-leg jean, give it a whirl. “A straight-leg or skinny-leg jean gives the illusion of height and leans out the body,” says Biffi. A cream-coloured sweater or a feminine top and short blazer reminiscent of a riding jacket (in black, brown or plaid) finish the look.

For Special Occasions
When an important dinner or soiree is on her schedule, Middleton chooses long, form-fitting V-neck or halter-style dresses that wrap at the waist, in solid jewel tones like teal and bright coral pinks and in fabrics such as silk. For the average woman, something with a little less sheen will help mimic Kate’s look, advises Biffi. “Look for satins that are less shiny and a little thicker, and will not cling as much as silk.” For a daytime event, go with a classic, dark, knee-length skirt suit — never a pantsuit.

Stick with minimal, understated accessories. The trick is choosing the right place to accessorize, says Biffi. “If you have a dramatic neckline, show it off with your hair up or behind one ear, and pair it with an eye-catching earring that is simple,” she says. “Kate’s pieces are smaller, more feminine, and she only wears a few at a time. Something on top — earrings or a necklace — then something on the bottom, like a bracelet or ring. Just enough to top off an outfit, but never too much to overpower it.”

Finish your look by sticking with classic footwear: simple black suede or leather pumps, espadrille sling-back wedges, knee-length boots, all with around a 2-inch heel. And to top off the British look, Biffi suggests a hat with little dimensional elements to it that might seem fairly traditional, like feathers. “Wearing a hat is meant to be a little fun, and Kate knows this,” says Biffi.

Photo: Getty Images

Stephanie Tweito Jacob is a freelance writer who specializes in beauty, fashion and health. She has held editorial positions at Allure, More and O, The Oprah Magazine.