For my Year in Review of The Duchess of Cambridge‘s 2019 fashion, I’m doing something a little differently to past years: a best and worst review of Kate’s fashion, featuring the best 5 and worst 5 outfits of 2019.
I did this style round up for Meghan’s 2019 fashion and I liked it, so I want to do it with Kate, too. With Meghan, though, while I thought some of her outfits were very pretty, they weren’t “knock your socks off” pretty, but she also didn’t have any “this dress is trash” outfits either (well, except one). But with Kate, when she nails it, it’s “knock you socks off” stunning, but when she misses it, it’s “this dress is a dumpster fire”.
For these lists, I picked only the outfits which were debuted during 2019 – Kate brought back some of my. favorites, and least favorites, from years past, but I didn’t want to fill up the lists with pieces we’ve seen multiple times before.
Disclaimer: Fashion is subjective, and these are just my own opinions. If you like something I dislike, keep liking it.
5) Black lace Alexander McQueen
For the Royal Variety Performance on November 18, Kate chose a new black lace Alexander McQueen gown. At the time, I said Kate looked fine, but she’s looked better. But going back over the outfits I dislike this one even more than I did. I’m not a fan of all over lace gowns – it’s just too much lace – but this one in particular doesn’t do it for me: the lace pattern is too sparse and there is too much of the lining showing. Also, those Erdem earrings are hideous.Embed from Getty Images
4) Floral Emilia Wickstead
When I initially covered Kate’s visit to the Back to Nature Garden and Festival at the Royal Horticultural Society Garden Wisley on September 10, I only talked about her speech because I was just getting back into blogging and didn’t want to crap all over her dress. But this floral Emilia Wickstead “Aurora” dress is just not great. It’s got boob flaps and a giant belt and a floral pattern; just too many things I dislike. Kate finished off the outfit this her Monsoon wedges, which aren’t her worst wedges but are still wedges.Embed from Getty Images
3) Blue Elie Saab
This one may not be the ugliest outfit Kate wore in 2019, but this one hurts the most because I LOVE Elie Saab gowns. Elie Saab is gorgeous. So when Kate wore this bespoke creation based on Elie Saab‘s Macramé Pussy Bow Top ($1625) and Embroidered Tulle Skirt ($3100) to Royal Ascot on June 18, I was sad. The skirt portion of Kate’s dress (?) is actually very pretty, but the top… with sheer arms, lace, polka dots, and a bow? It’s just all too much. Why, Elie Saab, why?Embed from Getty Images
Kate also wore a blue version of the Philip Treacy hat she wore to Trooping the Color 2016, which I actually prefer in this blue color, and her blue topaz Kiki McDonough drop earrings.
2) Floral Ridley London
For a photography workshop at Warren Park Children’s Centre on June 25, Kate wore this Ridley London “Virginia Midi” dress which looks like a dreary, rainy afternoon. The color is just so blah. I’d never heard of Ridley London before so I checked out their website and all of their dresses have this terrible dust ruffle on the bottom. Why are so many designers obsessed with this dust ruffle?Embed from Getty Images
Kate rounded out the outfit with Castañer “Carina” espadrille wedges (ugh) and Catherine Zoraida Fern Hoop earrings (not the worst, but not my fave from the brand).
1) Floral Erdem
If you’ve read my blog for any length of time you’ll know that Erdem is my least favorite designer out there; I really dislike Erdem. So shock of all shocks my least favorite outfit Kate wore in 2019 comes from Erdem.Embed from Getty Images
Kate wore this Erdem “Sheba Floral Silk-Cotton Gown” to the Chelsea Flower Show on May 20. It’s a high necked, lace trimmed, floral pattern with ruffles, and boy do I hate it. Kate loves Erdem, and I just think they constantly look like trash.
Kate finished off the outfit with Cassandra Goad Cavolfiore Pearl Studs that look so cheap (They’re not! They’re £4,490!), and Castañer “Carina” espadrille wedges (I just realized wedges show up in 3 out of 5 of these outfits I dislike).
I can’t look at this Little House on the Prairie outfit any longer; let’s just move on to Kate’s best of 2019.
5) Aquamarine Catherine Walker
I tend to have a mostly “ugh” relationship with Kate’s outfit choices, but her wardrobe for the Pakistan tour was one of my favorite collections of outfits from Kate. There were so many pieces from that tour that I enjoyed, starting off with this aquamarine dress and trouser ensemble from Catherine Walker which Kate wore upon arrival in Pakistan on October 14. While I dislike that I can see where the trousers begin under the dress, I think this color is stunning and looks great on Kate.Embed from Getty Images
4) White Alexander McQueen
Kate donned a custom white Alexander McQueen gown for the 2019 BAFTA awards on February 10. I’m surprisingly okay with the floral appliqué on the shoulder and I think Kate looks great in one-shoulder designs. She has wider shoulders, and she hunches, so the one-shoulder design kind of hides that.Embed from Getty Images
The jewels were stunning for this outfit: Kate chose a pair of Princess Diana’s earrings, the diamond curve earrings with pearl drops Diana wore with south sea pearls. Kate switched out the pearls for a different pair. Kate also wore the Queen’s Diamond Quatrefoil Bracelet.Embed from Getty Images
3) Navy blue velvet Alexander McQueen
The next outfit in my top faves from 2019 comes from the diplomatic reception on December 11. I love the sleek structure of this gown, and the jewels are just delicious. I’m so happy the BRF is allowing a photographer into the diplomatic reception now so that we get to see the tiaras. Fingers crossed that trend continues.
It really is hard to beat a good tiara occasion, but there were two outfits which were so pretty they overshadowed the Lover’s Knot tiara.
2) Green beaded Jenny Packham
On October 15, William and Kate attended a reception at the Pakistan Monument given by the High Commissioner. Kate’s green beaded Jenny Packham gown was stunning. Absolutely gorgeous, and I hope we see it again. Imagine this gown with a tiara!Embed from Getty Images
Shoutout to William, who also looked very nice here.
1) Teal Maheen Khan
My top favorite outfit from 2019 is not a shocker to me at all; in fact it was the first outfit that came to mind when thinking back over Kate’s outfits from this year.Embed from Getty Images
On October 17, William and Kate visited the Lahore Badshahi Mosque in Pakistan, and Kate wore a stunning teal green and gold shalwar kameez by Maheen Khan. The color and the embroidery are so pretty, and work so well on Kate.
When I go into these yearly wrap ups of royal fashion there are inevitably loads of beautiful gowns and outfits that I have forgotten about over the course of the year – there’s only so much one can keep in one’s head – and some do end up making it onto the favorites list. But the ones that I continue to remember months later, like this one, definitely deserve the top spot.
I highly doubt we’ll ever see this one again, given how specific it is to Pakistan, but I’d love to because it is so beautiful.Embed from Getty Images