It’s a struggle that starts in your mid-20s. How do you look young, stylish, and professional at the same time? The short answer: Follow Kate Middleton’s lead.
Now, before we go any further, I have a confession to make: I’ve never followed nor found an interest in fashion trends. But I’ve long known that whether you intend to or not, what you wear makes a statement. It’s the first impression that sticks long after you’ve met someone, the building block that allows a person you barely know to sum you up in three words or less.
Myself, I err on the side of simplicity. You know, clean lines, timeless colors, minimal “fluff.” My statement, as I see it, is classic but unassuming, striking but mellow. It’s me, but not everyone can relate.
That’s where Kate steps in. Before she became the Princess of Wales and graced the pages of every magazine in the Western world, I dressed like her. I wore stripes, bought too many coats with big collars and big buttons, and rarely ventured from my palette of white, black, navy, and gray. Many of the women I knew said I was boring, and the princess, I tell you, has been my saving grace. No, I don’t need more patterns, more color, more skin. I dress like a princess, and you can’t really argue with that.
Kate’s style isn’t for everyone, but I think she is a fantastic role model for young women who need some direction on how to look modest and professional while also being fashionable, young, and themselves. How does she do it? Just like she does everything else: with a big smile and whole lot of class.
10 Tips for Dressing Like the Princess:
1. Make the knee-length dress your signature item. How does Kate keep her look young and fresh? Dresses. How does she keep her look professional? Dresses that never go more than an inch above her knee. Look for dresses made of light, nonstick fabrics in warmer months and thicker fabrics like wool in cooler months.
2. Keep your colors classic. Kate is famous for her solid-color getups. Copy her look by sticking to nautical color palettes (white, black, navy, and pastel yellow), earth tones (umber, olive, beige, gray, and mint), and jewel tones (emerald, ruby, plum, and various shades of blue).
3. Show off your legs with wedges and classic heels. Round-toed? Pointy-toed? Kate doesn’t care. Just make sure they’re close-toed, a comfortable height, matte, and simple in color (black, navy, taupe, etc.). Or they can perfectly match your dress. That works too.
4. Dress down with dark skinny jeans, patterned tops, and blazers. No girl wears dresses ALL the time. The key to pulling off this look is to keep bold colors and patterns limited to just one piece of clothing. Ruby red pants? Sure. Just pair them with a white top and navy blazer (and maybe a nice scarf).
5. Warm up with tights and colorful coats. Kate’s solid-color getups don’t just involve her dresses. Splurge on solid-color, knee-length coats whose colors match the dresses you have. If you can’t find coats to match, simply look for coats in subdued, neutral colors and classic patterns. With tights, stick with classic black.
6. Highlight one feature at a time. Have you ever noticed that Kate isn’t afraid to show a little skin? Notice how she does it. When she flaunts her arms in sleeveless dresses, her neckline reaches the top of her shoulders. As her neckline drifts south, her sleeves creep slowly to her elbows. See? She shows skin. She just doesn’t show it all at once. Follow her lead, and you’ll strike the perfect balance between young and professional.
7. Spice it up with lace, classic prints, and whimsical touches. With so much talk of solid colors, you may be thinking you can’t wear prints ever. That’s not true, but you’ll want to keep these to a minimum. An easy way to add some interest without going overboard is finding pieces that incorporate tasteful amounts of lace. Classic prints like simple stripes, lattice, and plaid also work well in classic color palettes. Very rarely does Kate venture much further, although sometimes you’ll find hints of natural elements like fresh flowers in her coat pocket or vines embroidered on a small section of a dress. Even simple touches can make statements that are entirely your own.
8. Wear a hat when you can. What else is there to say about Kate’s hats? They’re adorable. That’s not to say that you or I could pull off a hat, so we better take our friends shopping with us and let them decide. Hat or no hat, I bet we can be pretty adorable too!
9. Be a minimalist with clean and simple jewelry and accessories. You’ll never notice Kate’s accessories before you notice her outfit (though you’ll also never see her without earrings). That’s because she wears them without overpowering her already polished look. When in doubt, stick to the basics – sparkly studs, small dangles, pearls, and simple, pendant necklaces.
10. Smile and remember your inner beauty. Kate is proof that it doesn’t take glitz or glitter to look gorgeous, just a little bit of time, careful planning, and a smile. Now go dress like a princess!
Get Kate Middleton’s look on a budget:
Image Credits: Time
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