Fashion

8 wardrobe staples every woman needs, according to Duchess Catherine

Have you ever noticed that Duchess Catherine loves wearing a few trusty items over and over? Here are the ones you should add to your wardrobe, stat.
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Let’s face it: Our wardrobes might be full of going out dresses, fancy occasion outfits and the odd throwback to the ’90s, but we all know there are just a handful of things that we actually wear regularly.

Whether it’s our favourite trusty pair of jeans, a flattering top, or that bargain dress that keeps on giving, it’s important to have a core of staples to build your wardrobe around.

And no one — and we mean no one — knows that better that Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

The stylish royal mum might have access to dresses and coats galore, and wear couture outfits every now then, but the royal has proven time and again how much she loves to stick to the basics.

Cycling through her wardrobe, you find that the Duchess constantly re-wears items she really loves, and has variations on things she knows works for her.

If you’re hunting for some updates to your closet, or want to treat yourself to something special (and re-wearable!), we zeroed in on eight of Kate’s go-to wardrobe staples to inspire.

Happy shopping.

Blazer

A good blazer goes with everything

Even though we usually see her in dresses or coats, Kate loves separates. Whether it’s a coordinating set, or jeans and a jacket, the Duchess knows the power of a cohesive outfit.

One of her favourite combinations is a pair of skinny jeans, a great top and her trusty blazer. This Smythe blazer has been worn so many times by the royal (in both navy and olive), they named it after her.

The blazer features a nipped waist to accentuate her figure, sharp shoulders to keep the lines clean, and a simple one-button closure. Kate wears hers over dresses, with jeans and blouses, and over t-shirts.

Blazer 2

A good blazer goes with everything

If you’re looking to pick up a new blazer for yourself, look for a good thick material (if the fabric is too thin or flimsy, the jacket won’t hold shape and will drape), a simple cut (avoid over-exaggerated shoulders, fussy buttons and oversized pockets, which will draw the eye away), and a versatile colour like navy, black or dark green.

We love this Atmos&Here ‘Classic Blazer,’ $89.

Wedges

Your fancy heels can be super comfortable

Kate is often seen wearing mile-high heels and sharp stilettos, but when she is doing an activity or is outdoors, she generally turns to a trusty wedge — proving that your fancy heels can be comfortable and stylish.

Pairing them either with a flirty dress, her favourite jeans, or even a date-night maxi dress, Kate elongates her legs and adds height without compromising on her comfort or balance. She runs, jumps, and plays soccer (!) in these super comfy wedges.

Wedges 2

Your fancy heels can be super comfortable

If you want to invest in a pair, we suggest following Kate’s lead and going for a cork wedge, which go well with anything and give off a more relaxed vibe. Look for a stacked platform sole (under the instep of your foot) — this is what raises your foot up so the heel isn’t uncomfortable, but still gives the illusion of height.

Kate loves to turn to Stuart Weitzman for her wedges — she owns three different pairs by the designer. If you don’t want to splash out that much, this pair by Spurr, $59.95, is a great alternative.

Earrings

A stylish pair of statement earrings will go with everything

Kate does indeed wear a lot of earrings when out on engagements, from flashy diamond pieces borrowed from the Queen’s vaults, to big gemstone pieces in pale pink and green. But she does have a few pairs of simple drop-style earrings that are show-y enough to stand out, but simple enough to be versatile.

These sapphire and diamond earrings were created to match her famous engagement ring, and Kate wears them constantly. The deep blue colour brings out her green eyes, and the size of them is the right balance between eye-catching and subtle.

Earrings 2

A stylish pair of statement earrings will go with everything

Thinking of buying a pair? Look for a good-quality metal, like silver, or gold or platinum – materials like copper, brass or even silver-plate won’t last as long. Gemstone colours like sapphire, emerald, ruby or topaz are good options because they will complement your outfits without drawing focus. When considering colour options, always think about your skin tone and hair colour and how the stone will look on – where possible, try on the earrings before buying.

These created sapphire and diamond earrings from Michael Hill, $349, are a great size and shape.

Boots

Invest in a good pair of boots to last you forever

You may not be able to tell, but Kate has been wearing these Penelope Chilvers boots for over 14 years! She was first pictured in them in 2004, and has worn them for outdoor and walking/hiking engagements in the years since.

The Spanish leather boots, hers are in the style ‘Long Tassel’ in ‘conker brown,’ are the perfect knee-high length and have a great solid platform for durability.

Over the years, Kate has styled hers with skirts, jeans and pants, proving they’re as versatile as they are comfortable. Boots like these are perfect for weekend trips and outdoorsy activities, and their rich brown colour means they pair well with other neutral tones in black, brown, grey, green, white or cream.

Boots 2

Invest in a good pair of boots to last you forever

If you’re shopping for a pair for your own, look for good quality leather — this will ensure they last you, like Kate’s has.

This pair by Jane Debster, $299.95, has a classic buckle detail and aren’t too flashy that they’ll date easily.

Striped Top

A long-sleeve striped top never goes out of style

While we don’t often get to see Kate in her casual attire, when we do, a striped tee is a regular sight. Kate has several different variations on the blue-and-white striped long sleeve t-shirt, from wool pullover options from M.I.H., to light blue Hugo Boss versions and classic navy ME+EMs.

We usually see Kate sporting hers with a pair of dark blue or black jeans and a simple loafer. This approach to weekend styling is relaxed, stylish and comfortable – perfect for a mum-of-three on the go.

When it comes to the fit, Kate always goes for a close-fitting shirt that accentuates her waist and arms, but isn’t constricting. Although these shirts come in all sorts of colours, the Duchess loves the blue-and-white colour way, echoing the classic Breton style.

Striped Top 2

A long-sleeve striped top never goes out of style

When picking your own, look for wool or cotton blend, which will ensure the shirt keeps its shape and lasts longer, and is breathable. Always look for a thin stripe, and always go horizontal — never vertical!

We like this one by MARCS, $89.95, as it’s 100% cotton and has a flattering scoop neckline.

Bright Dress

A well-fitted, bright dress can be worn a thousand ways

We all know Kate loves to re-wear her clothes. From coats to dresses to entire looks, the Duchess is the master of recycling something and making it look great every time. But you’ll notice the things she re-wears are usually perfectly-fitted, bold and bright.

This Stella McCartney ‘Ridley’ dress is a definite favourite — she’s worn it four times already! The knee-length and capped-sleeved fit of the dress is flattering and versatile, while the punchy cobalt colour is eye-catching.

Over the years, Kate has worn this dress with a blazer, styled with a long necklace and on its own with a pair sheer tights. The colour works well with her complexion and the fit isn’t too figure-hugging that it would stretch or pull.

Bright Dress 2

A well-fitted, bright dress can be worn a thousand ways

If you’re thinking about purchasing a similar dress for yourself, look for a classic shape with a single element of interest. Where in Kate’s Stella McCartney dress, the fanned pleats under the bust add some freshness, the asymmetrical peplum hem on this Ginger & Smart, $399, dress does the same.

It’s royal blue colour is wearable but elegant.

Sunglasses

One good pair of sunglasses is all you need

After a new pair of sunnies? Kate knows all about it. Although she doesn’t usually wear them, when she does, she turns to her Ray-Ban Wayfarer Folding Classic frames in tortoise. The polarised lens and the classic brown colour mean they’re super wearable but classic.

Kate has been known to pair these with everything from Dolce & Gabbana dresses, to her off-duty jeans and tees, with her hair both up and down.

The tortoise and brown colour means they aren’t as dark and heavy as a straight black, and work beautifully with her brunette hair.

Sunglasses 2

One good pair of sunglasses is all you need

Luckily, Ray-Bans are readily available – these Wayfarer Ease, $209, sunnies in ‘Havana’ are about a perfect match. Ray-Bans come in several different sizes, so head into a shop to try them on to make sure they fit your face shape and size before buying.

Bag

Make sure your bag matches everything

She might not carry around a lot of stuff when she’s out and about, but Kate usually has a handbag on her at all times. Be it a little clutch or a top-handle bag, purses help keep Kate’s hands busy and tie her outfits together.

The Duchess has been spotted with this Jaeger quilted bag (named “The Kate” in her honour) several times, as it’s a great size and complements her outfits, no matter what she’s wearing. The gold-look clasp detail ties in well with the leather-look fabric, and the bag can be worn with or without the accompanying chain.

Bag 2

Make sure your bag matches everything

Look for one with a detachable chain — wear with it attached for most casual outfits, and take off the chain to wear it as a clutch for going out to dinner. A real leather bag will last longer, so think about investing in a beautifully-made bag that won’t date.

This Michael Michael Kors version, $432, is very similar and comes with gold-tone details.

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