Dress Like a Royal With Kate Middleton’s Travel Wardrobe Essentials
Business travel as the Duchess of Cambridge isn’t exactly the easiest gig to pack for. The 35-year-old mother of two has to be sartorially prepared for both black-tie receptions as well as more active pursuits like archery lessons and hours-long hikes — sometimes just a few hours later.
As this month's royal tour of Germany and Poland wrapped up, we were inspired to take a look back at some of Duchess Kate’s best travel style in hopes of channeling some of her fashion sense on our next trips.
Kate balances designer investment pieces with affordable finds and repeats clothes and shoes — just like a normal human. While this could be considered uncouth for an international style icon, it's really only made us adore her more. She has her favorite English design houses (McQueen, Erdem, Jenny Packham) but she also takes care to honor designers from the countries to which she travels. And most evidently, she knows which styles and silhouettes work for her, relies on them as a uniform, and is able to truly stun when she takes a departure from her signature look.
Because Kate has a way of immediately selling out everything she wears that isn’t custom-made — a.k.a. the Kate effect — we sought pieces similar to her mainstays. And to keep in line with the world’s favorite high-low style diplomat, the Duchess herself, our finds fit a range of price points. Here are the clothes and shoes Duchess Kate rarely travels without.
Easy Button-Up Shirts
Kate the Great still manages to looks polished even when she dresses down, opting for long-sleeved, tucked-in button-ups while touring with Prince William in Canada (left), India (center), and Malaysia (right).
Shop Kate's Button-down Shirt Style
Breton Stripe Shirts
The Duchess of Cambridge is a clear fan of this wardrobe staple. She’s worn three-quarter-sleeved, boat-necked stripes for a number of years, both standalone with skinny jeans and layered beneath blazers.
Shop Kate's Breton Stripe Style
A Great-Fitting Pair of Skinny Jeans
During the royals’ 2011 North American Tour (pictured left and right), Kate wore a pair of J Brand skinny jeans when visiting Yellowknife, Canada. She opted for a similar pair of dark-wash, slim-fit denim during the 2016 America's Cup World Series (center) in Portsmouth, England.
Shop Kate’s Skinny Jeans Style
Well Made Knee-High Riding Boots
While touring Bhutan in April 2016, Kate wore a pair of riding boots to hike to the Tiger’s Nest monastery. Her tasseled, side-zip boots are made by Penelope Chilvers, a much sought after English footwear brand known for superb quality and iconic styles. The pair is clearly designed to last, as she’s been photographed in them as early as 2004 and they made an encore appearance—yet another reason why we love her—in Canada during a trip to the Great Bear Rainforest in Bella Bella, British Colombia.
Shop Kate’s Riding Boot Style
Comfortable Boat Shoes
Shop Kate’s Boat Shoe Style
Her Royal Highness has been photographed countless times in Ray Ban’s classic Wayfarers. Here, she pairs them with a hand-embroidered Naeem Khan dress that retails for $4000 while visiting the Taj Mahal with Prince William on the final day of their 2016 India tour.
Shop Kate’s Sunglasses Style
Kate’s go-to pair of Superga trainers were actually a dressed-down favorite of Princess Diana’s, as well. Kate has worn these practical cotton kicks for many casual appearances, from walking across the Old Bridge in Heidelberg during the July 2017 royal visit to Germany (center) to greeting the Canadian public on the last day of her September 2016 visit (left).
Shop Kate's White Sneakers
A Tailored Blazer
Kate knows the perfect way to button up a shift dress or a pair of jeans is a fitted blazer. Double-breasted or single-button, worn open or closed, it always adds that extra hint of polish required of a royal.
Shop Kate's Blazer Style
Printed Tunic Dresses
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s week-long tour of India and Bhutan showed Kate in some of her most colorful looks yet. She boldly mixed prints for a delightful departure from the demure solids she typically wears. She sported graphic dresses while playing cricket in Mumbai (left), watching a ceremonial dance at a Bihu Festival (center), and feeding a baby elephant in Kaziranga National Park (right).
Shop Kate's Printed Dress Style
The Duchess knows a versatile suede, closed-toe wedge will score tons of cost-per-wear points. Pictured here on a recent visit to Truro Cathedral in Cornwall, England, she’s also worn the sensible style during a slew of public appearances with Prince William and, you know, to casually play a cricket match in India.
Shop Kate's Espadrille Wedge Style
A Go-to Dress
When traveling, it’s wise to have a uniform silhouette that's both flattering as well as comfortable. For Kate, that’s a knee-length dress with a nipped-in waist and modest neckline.