On 27 February and 17 March, the Duchess of Cambridge wore some incredible high heels from Oscar De La Renta, with a gorgeous sparkling effect. The shoes are available here. (Sign up for 10% off!)
Kate Style: Dress Like The Duchess of Cambridge for Less
Last month, Kate wore this pretty little ruffled collar shirt from Gerard Darel under a green Hobbs jacket at an EACH engagement. Priced at £105 (already reduced from £175), this top was pricey, but sold out almost right away. A stock refresh recently sold out too, apart from one lone item in size 44, which you can purchase here.
Replikating Kate’s 2016 Christmas Day outfit…
Hold onto your hats, this is another one of those Kate-fashion posts you didn’t ask for…
On Christmas day 2016, the Duchess of Cambridge and her family attended church near the Middleton family home. Not being royal, or in line to the throne, or important or special in any way, I was lounging around on the sofa eating chocolates at the time, wearing a terrible oversized Christmas jumper. Kate, meanwhile, was wearing a gorgeous ensemble of browns and reds – the perfect festive church-going outfit, which was chic and elegant, as well as thrifty! With her old Hobbs Celeste coat (which I’d never really warmed to), she wore a pretty red faux fur scarf, and accessorized with her red suede Mulberry Bayswater clutch, and her red Tod’s fringed leather pumps. See the wonderful What Kate Wore’s post about the outfit here.
I waited for an ID… And waited… Turns out everyone else was enjoying their Christmas day, while I was obsessively checking and double checking my Twitter feed. So, I decided to try and ID it myself, with my first stop being Really Wild Clothing, which definitely carries similar pieces. Nothing there, and nothing at Helen Moore either… So, I decided to Google ‘red faux fur collar’ and the first result that came up was this listing for an ASOS Faux Fur Mini Slot Through Collar.
When I heard there was a replikate available for Kate’s gorgeous Paul & Joe cape, which she wore in the Bhutan, I couldn’t quite believe it. Of all the items she’s worn, this would probably be one of the last I’d imagine would be copied. It’s an intricate design, and an item she only wore once. As soon as I heard about it, I had to order one right away to do a comparison between the two.
In all pictures, the original Paul & Joe cape is pictured on the left, while the copy is on the right.
I have to say, I was pretty bowled over by how well the replikate came out. I didn’t know what to expect, but the embroidery is really very similar to the original (obviously, some changes need to be made to stay on the right side of copyright). The colours are a little darker in the embroidery of the copy, especially in the greens.
The copy has the same unusual style of stand-up collar, a little thicker and taller than the original. The fabric overall is thicker and heavier, which means this might actually be a better choice for autumn and winter than the fairly thin Paul & Joe cape.
The fastenings are where the main difference lies – the original has hook and eyelets, whereas the copy has large poppers to keep the cape closed.
As you can see, on the back the detailing is still gorgeous on both items – with the largest difference being in the replikate’s centre embroidery, which creates a void at the nape of the neck not present in the original.
This is the bottom of the cape, and you can see the replikate stops before the hem, whereas the original continues the emboridery beyond it.
The original is much finer – and the lining is so thin you can see the embroidery through it. You’ll also notice that the original is ivory, whereas the replikate is a bold, winter white.
The care label marks the replikate as 70% silk and 30% cotton, while the original is 100% wool. The size on the replikate is marked as ‘large’, but it’s the same size as the original, which is ‘one size’.
Another slight difference is the fact that the copy has a slightly raised hem at the front, although both items are a similar length, as you can see in the first image.
All in all, if you’re looking for a copy, this is a fantastic one – the quality is great for the price, and I can’t believe how well they were able to replicate the beautiful embroidery. The original cost £380 – which was increased to £420 when they re-released. I spent £72.22 on this replikate, which for a saving of over £300, makes this a serious bargain. As a bonus, it also comes with a free belt like the one Kate wore with it in Bhutan!
(I have sold the replica cape now! Thanks to Jennifer for the tip and finding the cape on eBay!)
Move over, Natalie. There’s a new girl in town. Her name is Nina, and she comes in trench…
The Duchess of Cambridge recently debuted a new L.K. Bennett clutch during her royal tour of India, and it sparked a bit of a buzz, not least because it wasn’t even available to the public yet. Teamed with matching high heels (in two heel heights, no less), the Nina in trench looked to be Kate’s new favourite clutch. L.K. Bennett released the item for sale yesterday, and as I find myself with nothing else better to do on a Friday afternoon, I thought I’d take time out to compare it to an old favourite, the Natalie clutch in straw.
Now, I have a massive soft spot for the Natalie, because during the summer months it really feels like it goes with everything. Kate most often wore it with her trusty L.K. Bennett sledges in taupe, but it also went with the Minx Wedges from Stuart Weitzman, her L.K. Bennett sliver sandals (still only seen once on Kate!), also in taupe, and arguments could be made for it matching any number of her other wedges and espadrilles. However, since Kate’s recently switched from the Sledge to the Fern / Floret in trench, she seems to have ditched the Natalie as her working horse summer clutch in favour of the new Nina.
Size-wise, there’s not much in the way of difference between the two. The Nina is slightly longer and wider, but the Natalie is fatter. Style wise, the Natalie’s puffy stuffed exterior gives it a pleasantly plump hand-feel, whereas the Nina is much less forgiving and easily marked (mine arrived with a dent in it!). I can imagine the leather becoming damaged from a sweaty palm print or a snagged fingernail very easily, whereas the Natalie really feels fairly indestructible. Natalie has a chic dark taupe satin trim around the edges, like a ribbon, and the Nina is the same trench-coloured leather all around. Finally, while the Natalie has the brand name embossed on the latch, the Nina latch is bare.
In terms of internal chain, the Nina beats Natalie hands down. I never was too happy with Natalie’s puny, silver-esque chain, but Nina’s is long and elegant, and a pretty pale gold shade. It’s far easier to sling it across your shoulder, and the slightly longer look gives it a sleek mini shoulder bag feel. Despite having several bags with this feature (off the top of my head, the Mulberry Bayswaters, the Jaegar Kates, and the Oroton Odeion snake clutch), Kate never seems to use the chains on her clutches, and in fact rarely appears with a shoulder bag at all.
Inside, the bag is very similar to the Natalie – lined with a satin type fabric that has an internal pocket for credit cards, with the metal L.K. Bennett plaque attached.
In the original, the plaque is attached with fabric, but the Nina has its plaque glued on. I also found it really difficult to fit my cards in the pocket, whereas the Natalie’s pocket was easy to get in and out of. Finally, perhaps a fault with my Nina, but the fabric was not glued rigidly to the corners of the bag, rather it had a smoothed effect where it felt like the fabric wasn’t reaching the edges, making the internal space a lot smaller than it should have been.
That said, what can you fit inside? Pretty much the same as the Natalie, to be honest – except the Nina is slightly better suited to the slimmer, longer phones of the current gen Samsungs and iPhones. You’ll be able to fit a phone, some credit cards, a lipstick and some change, but not a whole lot more.
Overall, my impression of the Nina is that it’s an expensive bag considering it’s not as versatile as the Natalie – and considering the Natalie originally retailed at £140 (then £160) and the Nina starts at £185, the price per wear is going to be pretty high for me… Of course, the Nina is going to be a year-round clutch, whereas Natalie’s straw effect means it’s best used in spring and summer. And finally, the big question is going to be, does this new season trench match the old season’s taupe? The answer… No.
Trench is a much pinker-based nude than taupe’s yellow-based one. You can probably wear both together as they’re a close enough match, but they’re certainly not the same colour when you look closely. If you’ve purchased a pair of shoes from L.K. Bennett in trench, the Nina is probably going to be your best bet to match the colour!
What do you think? Are you going to purchase one? Wait for a sale? Or skip this one all together? I’m still wondering whether or not to return mine…
Who didn’t love the recent Royal Tour in India? Kate brought some fabulous style to the table, including some really interesting boho chic looks, as well as some amazing casual outfits too. I loved her hiking outfit and had to snap up her Jaeger linen blouse (still available from John Lewis here) – and I accessorised it with a replikate of her Pickett London scarf, this coral John Lewis wrap. Much cheaper, but still a really pretty and soft piece for summer nights!
But this wasn’t the only tour purchase I made! As soon as I saw Kate’s beautiful Paul & Joe cape I had to snap it up…
But there’s an epic story here in how I managed to track it down… I saw the update about her outfit about an hour after the ID was made (darn those time zone differences) and missed out on ordering it from Net A Porter. So I set myself up on the waiting list (surely hopeless!) and then moped over the listing on the US site (where it was still available). I phoned them up to see if they could sell it to me through their UK site – not a chance of that, I’d have to order it from the US. So with $55 delivery fee plus customs I was wondering whether I really wanted to pay £200 more for this thing to get it sent from America… (The answer is no, I’m not that crazy yet.)
Then I emailed Paul & Joe’s website to ask if they were getting any more in stock and they basically said they might do… (Very vague! And on their Instagram page they’re still giving out an email address for enquiries which makes me wonder if they will re-release it…)
In desperation, at lunchtime I phoned up Paul & Joe’s flagship store in London to see if they had any. Well, they had ONE LEFT! I immediately asked if I could buy it over the phone and they said I could! So out came my card right away… It arrived the next day and I love it!
Look at the gorgeous stitching and beautiful colours – the fabric itself is very thin even though it’s made of wool, making it a great choice for spring and summer evenings. Although I enjoyed Kate’s styling with this, I’m going to wear it very simply with jeans and white shirts – perhaps even the white Reiss Vinnie blouse Kate wore recently?
On the tour, there were also plenty of lovely new accessories, including the Monsoon taupe wedges and Accessorize filigree earrings, which I coupled with a really old Accessorize clutch I bought for Ascot. This is an easy combo for summer – and Kate’s already shown the versatility of these wedges by wearing them with a pair of jeans and a Breton top from J.Crew recently! (One note – to me these seem to be very tight in my usual size, and they’re also not real suede… A bit pricey considering, really!)
Apart from the gorgeous Brora gold earrings (which haven’t arrived yet) I also picked up the Zara biker trousers! Kate’s colour was khaki marl, and Zara recently released the same style in a different colour… Or did they?!
On the bottom you can see the originals and the new ones are on the top. Apart from the difference in the ribbing, there are also differences on the back, an extra zip on the originals and zipped ankles on the new ones! So, when you purchase, if you’re after Kate’s version, double check you’re buying the khaki marl version here.
Did you make any Royal Tour purchases? Let me know in the comments below!