I’ve been thinking about a Kate’s Clothes Before George V Kate’s Clothes After George post for quite some time and I never could figure out a good way of presenting that comparison because an outfit I may love others may hate and vice versa. So any conclusion I drew (mine would have been that Kate had better style Before George) would have just been my subjective opinion. So in an attempt to do that Before George/After George comparison while also maintaining that this is purely my own opinion, I’ve decided to do a post with my favorite Kate Middleton looks, which fall into one of two categories: Before George (BG) and After George (AG).
When going through all of Kate’s looks and picking out my favorites, I had about 20 from Before George and 9 from After George based purely on when she debuted the look. I narrowed the field down to Top 25 and came up with 18 BG looks and 7 AG looks based on when she debuted them. There were some looks which were repeated during both time periods and some looks I liked more when repeated AG than BG, so if that’s the case then I labeled the look “AG”.
So these are my Top 25 Favorite Kate Middleton Looks.
1) Alexander McQueen navy military-style coat (BG)
This Alexander McQueen navy coat is a bespoke piece made from two different preAW11 pieces which Kate paired with a bespoke navy beret from Rachel Trevor Morgan, her blue satin Prada pumps, her Anya Hindmarch “Marano” Box Clutch, her Cipher Bracelet, her Kiki McDonough Citrine Pear Drops, and the Irish Guards Cartier Gold Shamrock Brooch.
This is my all time favorite outfit Kate has ever worn. I love the military feel of the coat, I like the accessories, and the brooch adds a nice interesting touch. I don’t even mind all the blue (as you will find throughout this post, I am not as adverse to “all one color” looks as some). I would wear this outfit in a heartbeat; I wish I owned this coat.
Unfortunately, Kate peaked sartorially two months after her wedding, wearing this outfit to Armed Forces Day at Victoria Barracks on June 25, 2011.
When Kate repeats a McQueen coat and I say there are better McQueen coats she should repeat, this is the one I’m thinking of. I love this one.
2) Catherine Walker “Marianne” red coat and dress (AG)
Kate first wore this Catherine Walker “Marianne” red coat and dress on her final day in Canada on July 8, 2011. For that occasion, Kate paired it with her LK Bennett nude Sledges, her Stuart Weitzman “Muse” clutch in Nude Snakeskin, her Kiki McDonough Grace earrings, and the Queen’s Diamond Maple Leaf brooch. She wore her hair in a half updo.
I really liked this coat when Kate first wore it and it was definitely on my top favorites list, but it might not have ranked so high had Kate not reworn the coat and dress this past June.
For Order of the Garter on June 13, 2016 Kate repeated this coat and dress, pairing it with a repeated red bespoke Lock & Company hat, new Gianvito Rossi red suede pumps, her red Alexander McQueen clutch, her Mappin and Webb “Empress” necklace, her art deco diamond bracelet, and her Robinson Pelham diamond wedding earrings.
While many of you thought this was too much red, I just adored this look and still do. So much so that it landed at number 2 on my all time favorites list.
3) LK Bennett “Lasa” blue & white poppy dress (AG)
This LK Bennett “Lasa” blue and white poppy dress has been a favorite since it debuted on April 19, 2014 in Brisbane, Australia. On that occasion, Kate wore it with an Oroton “Odeion” Indigo Clutch, bespoke Alexander McQueen navy suede pumps, her Mappin and Webb “Fortune” necklace, sapphire and diamond drop earrings, and Cartier watch.
Again, lots of blue, but this dress really is fantastic. I’m happy she repeated the dress in Luton on August 24, but her nude LK Bennett Fern pumps and Nina clutch were boring.
This is definitely the best After George debut piece.
4) Alexander McQueen black velvet gown (BG)
Kate wore this black velvet Alexander McQueen strapless gown to the Sun Military Awards on December 19, 2011 and while I have nitpicks with the cheap-looking Mouawad necklace and bracelet and her hair down covering the necklace, I think she looks really great here. Kate accessorized the velvet gown and Mouawad jewelry with her art deco diamond earrings, Jimmy Choo “Cosmic” black pumps, and Pretty Ballerinas Velvet Bow Clutch. I think the flaring, mermaid silhouette in gowns really suits Kate.
I would definitely not mind a return of this gown, maybe with an updo to show off some royal jewelry? That would be nice, since I’ve always thought this necklace looked way too juvenile.
5) Beulah London Chiara Wool Navy Trapeze Overcoat (AG)
This is another all blue outfit from Kate, but I still don’t mind it. I really like this whole look with the Beulah London Chiara Wool Navy Trapeze Overcoat, Jane Taylor “Chestnut” Wool-Felt Disc, Alexander McQueen navy suede pumps, Stuart Weitzman Muse clutch in navy suede, and the G. Collins & Sons Tanzanite & Diamond Pendant Necklace and Pear Earrings.
She wore this outfit to the Afghanistan Service of Commemoration at St. Paul’s Cathedral on March 13, 2015. She repeated the coat to a private memorial service on March 26, 2015, switching out the hat, clutch, and jewelry.
6) Alexander McQueen white pique coat (BG)
There are several pieces on this list which are very styling-dependent in that the pieces themselves are rather boring but with proper styling look great. This piece is great all on it’s own, regardless of styling.
This white Alexander McQueen pique coat is a favorite no matter what the styling is, and if this list were based solely on the dress or coat rather than on the look as a whole this coat would be much higher. This is another McQueen coat Kate debuted early in her royal career – on June 11, 2011 at Trooping the Color – which I would love to have in my closet.
Kate paired this coat with her Lock & Company black basket hat and Kiki McDonough Grace earrings the first time she wore it. I like that she went with a different color for her hat to offset the white of the coat.
When Kate repeated the coat at Order of the Garter on June 18, 2012, she paired it with a Jane Corbett white disc hat with an elaborate bow, her LK Bennett nude Sledges and “Natalie” clutch, and her Kiki McDonough Green Amethyst Oval Drops. Though I dislike nude accessories I still love this coat so much I can overlook the boring nude accessories. That’s how much I love this coat.
7) Topshop B&W polka dot dress (BG)
I am a sucker for polka dots; I just love them. So this black and white polka dotted Topshop dress Kate wore to the Harry Potter exhibit at Warner Brothers Studios on April 26, 2013 is a favorite of mine (I know it’s short, but I still love it). I really like that she added the Ralph Lauren black peplum blazer. Her Episode “Angel” Pumps, Mascaro Suede Ribbon Clutch, and Annoushka Pearl Drops are basic but I still like this outfit.
Kate repeated this outfit (with a hat included) for a friend’s wedding on May 11, 2013 where the dress got caught in the wind and she flashed everyone. I actually prefer this look without the hat, since I dislike the hat Kate chose.
8) Emilia Wickstead green coat (BG)
I really like this green Emilia Wickstead coat and, despite what many of you say, I really like this brown “Betty Boop” Lock & Company hat she wore with it. Kate also wore her Emmy “Valerie” Pumps in Chocolate Suede, an Emilia Wickstead belt, and her Kiki McDonough Green Amethyst Oval Drops, along with the Cartier Shamrock Brooch.
This coat made it’s debut on St. Patrick’s Day in 2012 and made a return on St. Patrick’s Day in 2013 (where she wore a bunch of black accessories with it). I much prefer the first outing. I would definitely not mind seeing this coat again, though maybe at a different event.
9) Alexander McQueen custom gold hibiscus gown (BG)
I know that people have a problem with this gown because of the low neckline worn in Malaysia, but I still love this gown. I doubt we will ever see it again because it is so Tour specific, but I would love to see it again. I just think it is so pretty.
Kate wore this Alexander McQueen custom gold hibiscus gown to the Malaysian State Dinner on September 13, 2012 while on tour. She paired it with Jimmy Choo “Dart” glitter sandals, Wilbur & Gussie “Charlie” Gold Glitter Clutch, and Catherine Zoraida “Double Leaf” earrings and matching “Spread Your Wings” bracelet.
10) Jenny Packham rose pearlescent gown (BG/AG)
This is another instance where I like a look both Before and After George – probably because Kate accessorized the look pretty much the same both times, though she did change up her hair and add more jewelry the second time.
This pearlescent Jenny Packham gown is from the SS11 ready-to-wear collection and Kate first wore it to her very first official public appearance as a royal: The ARK 10th Anniversary Gala on June 9, 2011. For that appearance, Kate paired the dress with her LK Bennett pink “Agata” Sandals, her Prada pink Satin Logo Box Clutch, and her Links of London Effervescence Bubble Stiletto earrings (wow, that’s a throwback – she hasn’t worn Links of London since one appearance in 2014 and before that 2012). It was a very pretty look, and Kate looked super thrilled that day, walking with her arms at her sides and everything.
Kate didn’t seem to have the same spark when she repeated the dress at the EACH Norfolk Gala Dinner on June 22, 2016. For that appearance, Kate kept the same shoes and clutch, but wore her hair in an updo (as opposed to down like she did in 2011) and wore the Queen’s Diamond Chandalier Earrings and Queen Mary’s Diamond Choker Bracelet.
I prefer the updo and diamonds she wore in 2016, but she just seemed so much happier in 2011 that I can’t decide which appearance I prefer. So this is going in both categories.
11) Alexander McQueen “Black Watch” tartan coat (BG/AG)
This Alexander McQueen bespoke “Black Watch” tartan coat is a favorite of mine and one of Kate’s pieces that I most remember. She first wore it days before KP announced she was pregnant with Prince George when she visited St. Andrew’s School for St. Andrew’s Day on November 30, 2012 and played hockey in heels. Kate wore the coat the first time with her Aquatalia “Rhumba” Boots, and sapphire and diamond drops.
For the repeat after George was born, Kate wore it to Christmas 2013 with her Aquatalia “Rhumba” Boots, black Cornelia James gloves, Gina Foster green beret with bow, and her Kiki McDonough Green Amethyst Oval Drops.
This is another piece that Kate wore both Before and After George, but for me the two wearings are too similar for me to have a favorite of the two.
12) Alexander McQueen bespoke pink lace dress (BG)
This Alexander McQueen bespoke pink lace dress is one of the pieces on this list which relied heavily on styling to make it look good. I really like the styling Kate had on the first wearing to the Diamond Jubilee Service of Thanksgiving on June 5, 2012: Jane Taylor Nude Beaded Cocktail Hat; Prada Pink Satin Box Clutch; LK Bennett Sledges; and Heavenly Necklaces Faux Pearl and Diamond Drops. Kate also wore a pink ribbon belt.
But the repeat to a Buckingham Palace Garden Party on June 10, 2014 failed to live up to the previous wearing, and it’s all down to styling. Kate wore the dress the second time with: Jane Corbett Bespoke Champagne Lace Hat; Russell & Bromley 5th Ave Court Shoes and 5th Ave Clutch; and Annoushka Pearl Drop Earrings. Most importantly, though, Kate didn’t wear the pink ribbon belt.
Without the belt and other pink accessories, this dress just falls so flat. But ignoring the second wearing, the first wearing is still a favorite of mine.
13) Beulah London red “Sarai” dress (BG)
I remember back in 2011 seeing photos of Prince William and Kate at the 100 Women in Hedge Funds gala on October 13, 2011 on E News and really loving this Beulah London red “Sarai” dress. Kate carried her Wilbur & Gussie “Charlie” Gold Glitter Clutch and wore her hair down.
This dress to me is very “Kate Middleton” in that it has a plunging neckline and jersey silk look. Kate used to wear a lot of this type of dress before she got married, had kids, and started wearing necklines up to her throat. I miss the days when Kate was daring enough to show her clavicle. I know Kate is trying so hard to look like the Duchess of Cambridge now, but she needs to bring back a little of that Kate Middleton spark.
14) LK Bennett dark teal “Davina” dress and “Jude” jacket (BG)
Kate wore the LK Bennett teal “Davina” dress and “Jude” jacket for the first time on March 8, 2012 when she visited Leicester with the Queen and Prince Philip. On that visit Kate wore her favorite Lock & Company “Fairy Tale” hat with her Episode “Angel” pumps (which used to be a staple but we haven’t seen them in quite some time), Mascaro Suede Ribbon Clutch, Kiki McDonough Green Amethyst Oval Drops, and her Alexander McQueen belt which I dislike.
I’ve always liked this outfit, so I was happy when Kate repeated it on December 9, 2015 for ICAP Charity Day. On that occassion, Kate ditched the ugly McQueen belt for the green one which came with the jacket; she also wore her Stuart Weitzman Power pumps, Mappin and Webb “Empress” Mini White Gold and Diamond pendant and earrings, and carried her black Mulberry Bayswater clutch.
It really is a toss up between the two looks since I like the hat more in 2012 but like the green belt more in 2015. I’m picking the 2012 look, though, because I do like the addition of the hat. I wish Kate would wear the dress without the jacket since it’s such a pretty dress on it’s own.
15) Emilia Wickstead teal pleated dress (AG)
I know many of you are going to disagree with me on this selection but no matter where this dress ranks in the polls, I still love it. I adore the color.
This Emilia Wickstead pleated teal dress is a customized version of the “Alice” dress from 2011 and features long sleeves, a square neckline, and pleated skirt. Kate first wore this dress to church in New Zealand on April 13, 2014. She paired the dress with a pretty teal hat by Jane Taylor (Kate’s is a customized version of the “Dolly”), Emmy Shoes “Valerie” pumps and “Natasha” clutch in Carbon suede, her Kiki McDonough Green Amethyst Oval Drops, and the Queen’s Silver Fern Brooch.
For the repeat occasion to the Action on Addiction center on December 10, 2015, Kate wore the dress with her Stuart Weitzman Power pumps, black Mulberry Bayswater clutch, Mappin and Webb “Empress” pendant, and her sapphire and diamond earrings.
I liked the dress when she first wore it and I liked it when she repeated it, but I like the styling on the first occasion much better (the styling on the second occasion is meh).
16) Jenny Packham silver one-shoulder gown (BG)
When Kate attended the National Memorial Arboretum Appeal reception at St. James’s Palace on November 10, 2011 she wore this bespoke silver one-shoulder Jenny Packham gown. Kate wore this gown with her Jimmy Choo “Vamp” sandals, Beaut Jewelry “Eva” Vintage Earrings, and art deco diamond bracelet. She also wore a poppy brooch.
This look makes my list because it’s one of Kate’s “daring” looks from her early years as a royal, and I actually really like the color on her.
17) Alexander McQueen bespoke red peplum dress (BG)
This bespoke red pleated dress from Alexander McQueen really only makes this list because I like the styling she did for the first wearing on June 3, 2012 for the Jubilee River Flotilla. I actually really don’t like the side flaps on the dress.
For the Jubilee River Pageant, Kate wore the dress with a red Lock & Company hat, LK Bennett Sledges, Alexander McQueen red bow clutch, Kiki McDonough Citrine Drop earrings, Royal Submarine Service Gold Dolphin Brooch, and Strathearn Tartan Scarf.
I really like the look as a whole, but the next two appearances of the dress – at the RADA reception on February 17, 2014 and the Anna Freud Centre Christmas party on December 15, 2015 – were super boring.
18) Jenny Packham “Ink Blue Silk Dress” (AG)
This dress took three wearings for me to come around on it. I didn’t like the sleeves the first time Kate wore it – to the 100 Women in Hedge Funds gala on October 24, 2013 – but over time I’ve come to like the flowiness of the skirt. And I like the color.
My two favorite wearings are, of course, the ones where Kate actually wore some substantial jewelry: at the National Portrait Gallery Portrait gala on February 11, 2014 and at the St. Andrew’s 600th Gala NYC on December 9, 2014.
The dress is by Jenny Packham, is made of tulle in an “ink blue”, and comes from the Fall 2013 collection. When she wore it in February 2014 she paired it with the Nizam of Hyderabad Diamond Necklace and subsequently threw her mop of hair over it, but when she wore it in December 2014 she wore her hair in an updo she we could see her emerald and diamond earrings and bracelet.
19) Paule Ka burgundy jacket and skirt (BG)
I remember when Kate wore this Paule Ka burgundy jacket and skirt to the Middle Temple visit on October 8, 2012 well. It was before I started this blog and I was part of another (now defunct) forum. Everyone hated this look since the skirt is so short, but I’ve always secretly loved it. I just love the color.
20) Prabal Gurung purple print dress (BG)
This Prabal Gurung purple and white printed dress is one that took me a while to come around on. I didn’t like it when she first wore it to the Singapore state dinner on September 11, 2012, mostly because I was expecting something “more” and was disappointed. But once I got over my disappointment, I realized that this dress is really pretty. Purple is one of my favorite colors and I really like the color on Kate.
Kate’s accessories weren’t too exciting, though: Prada black satin pumps, Anya Hindmarch “Maud” clutch, and art deco bracelet and earrings. But the dress is pretty. I wouldn’t mind a repeat of this.
21) Alexander McQueen broderie anglaise shirt and skirt (BG)
This Alexander McQueen white broderie anglaise shirt and skirt is something I’ve always liked but not really loved. But it makes it higher on the list than some other things because I have a weird fondness for it. It’s so light and summery.
Kate first wore this outfit on September 12, 2012 in Singapore with navy accessories – sapphire and diamond earrings, Stuart Weitzman Muse clutch and Corkswoon wedges – and I thought I’d like this look more with different accessories, but when she repeated it leaving Bhutan on April 14, 2016 wearing nude accessories I realized I liked the navy accessories better (even the Wedges of Doom, so that’s saying something).
22) Catherine Walker “Russian Greatcoat” in red (AG)
The reason I like this red Catherine Walker “Russian Greatcoat” is because it reminds me of the other red Catherine Walker coat on this list up at number 2. This one, though, lands at number 22 because while I love the color and the silhouette, I dislike how high the neckline is. I like the Gina Foster “Seaford” Red Pillbox hat and New Zealand Fern Brooch, and Kate’s Emmy Shoes “Valerie” Pumps and “Natasha” Clutch in Chocolate Suede have always been nice.
Kate wore this coat on April 7, 2014 for her arrival in New Zealand.
23) Reiss “Emile Sharply Tailored Coat” (AG)
Kate wore this Reiss “Emile Sharply Tailored Coat” to the Rugby World Cup opening ceremony on September 18, 2015 with her Stuart Weitzman “Power” pumps and black “Muse” clutch, Mappin and Webb “Empress” earrings, and Beulah London “Shibani Blue Heart Scarf”.
This is not a stand out, “wow, look at me” look, but I love the color and sleekness of it.
24) Alexander McQueen Sailor Sweater Dress (BG)
I don’t know why but for some reason I like this dress. It’s not a huge favorite and almost didn’t make the list because I think the fit is a bit off on Kate, but I still like it for some reason.
Kate wore this Alexander McQueen Sailor Sweater Dress for the first time on July 4, 2011 while in Canada. She paired it with her Alexander McQueen navy suede pumps and sapphire and diamond drops.
The second time she wore it was to Wimbledon on July 4, 2012. This time she wore her sapphire and diamond drops, Prada Blue Satin Pumps, and Jaeger Quilted Leather Clutch. She wore her hair down the second time and in a ponytail the first time.
I wish the strip around the waist sat higher, but overall I like it.
25) Zimmermann white broderie anglaise “Roamer” dress (AG)
The Zimmermann white broderie anglaise “Roamer” day dress lands on the list for a similar reason to the number 21 Alexander McQueen broderie anglaise outfit, in that it’s just light and summery and I like it for some reason.
I didn’t much care for the boring nude accessories the first time she wore it – on April 18, 2014 to the Easter Show in Australia – but when she repeated the dress to Wimbledon on July 2, 2014 I was very, very happy. The Anya Hindmarch Fan clutch is my favorite clutch Kate owns so I was very happy to see it again.
So all in all, out of my Top 25 Favorite Kate Looks, 15 are squarely in the Before George category, 8 are squarely in the After George category, and 2 are in both. This isn’t definitive, and everyone’s tastes are different, but I definitely like Kate’s Before George style better than her After George style (even though three out of my Top 5 are After George looks) and it all comes down to styling. Kate just doesn’t style her outfits well.