5 Times Kate Middleton Was The Queen Of Athleisure

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As a working royal, Catherine, Princess of Wales is often out and about attending events across the UK, and she pretty much always looks impeccable. Kate's best fashion moments ever of course include her beautiful ivory wedding dress designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen and the blue wrap dress by Issa that she wore to announce her engagement. That dress was so popular that it sold out within five minutes, per Vanity Fair. Kate's also not afraid to re-wear her looks, and even if we've seen her in it before, she still looks stunning.

Kate's fashion choices are so influential that there's a phrase for it — the "Kate effect." When she wears something, it often sells out quickly, and Harper's Bazaar UK estimates that Kate has single-handedly boosted the British fashion industry by £1 billion. 

She saves her fanciest looks for events like state dinners and red-carpet appearances, but Kate is also able to rock a more casual, athletic look. Here are five times that Kate rocked the athleisure look, reminding everyone that princesses are just like us.

Kate Middleton in Lululemon sneakers on the rugby pitch

In 2022, Catherine, Princess of Wales took over as the royal patron for England's Rugby Football Union and Rugby Football League; the previous royal patron was Prince Harry. As a part of her role as patron, Kate stopped by the Maidenhead Rugby Club in June 2023, and she definitely dressed for the occasion. 

Kate wore a short-sleeved blue England Rugby training shirt, emblazoned with the red rose emblem of English rugby, tucked into a pair of navy tapered joggers by Sweaty Betty. As for sneakers, she chose Lululemon's Chargefeel Low Workout Shoes in white. She accessorized with a pair of small hoop earrings, delicate enough to not get in the way as she got in on some rugby drills and a game of non-contact rugby.

People appreciated that Kate didn't just dress the part of a rugby player, but she actually played. One of the club's coaches, Zoe Cox, explained to People just how much it meant: "Kate being female and coming in and playing sport and being so involved with the Rugby Football Union that she is — it's massive for young girls to see that."

Kate Middleton rocked a red puffer jacket to race her husband

In 2017, Catherine, Princess of Wales joined her husband and brother-in-law to launch the Heads Together campaign that helped promote mental health awareness. And at a marathon training day for the campaign at London's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, she competed in a short race against both Prince William and Prince Harry on the track. She may have come in last (you can watch on YouTube), but she definitely had a stylish athleisure look.

Kate wore the Mini Duvet II red puffer jacket by Perfect Moment, per Marie Claire. And while that particular jacket is sold out, Perfect Moment has a number of other down jackets that will leave you feeling like a princess. She paired the jacket with black skinny jeans — we're hoping there was some stretch to them for her race down the track! — and a pair of New Balance sneakers. 

The red puffer jacket became a bit of a wardrobe staple for Kate; she was seen wearing it a few different times over the years. And on Kate, the jacket managed to combine both casual comfort and fitted style. What more could you want from a future queen?

Kate's monochrome outfit blended fashion and comfort

Catherine, Princess of Wales showed why she's the most athletic royal at a London SportsAid event in 2020. Kate has been a patron of SportsAid since 2013; the organization "helps young British sportsmen and women aspiring to be the country's next Olympic, Paralympic, Commonwealth and World Champions." In a speech for the 40th anniversary of SportsAid, Kate noted her own love of sports and said the organization was helping to "ensure there is a strong pipeline of inspirational heroes," via YouTube.

At the 2020 event, Kate arrived wearing a navy blazer and her hair loose. Now, a blazer doesn't exactly scream athleisure, but once she took the blazer off and pulled her hair back, she was clearly ready to move. Kate wore stretchy, high-waisted, dark green culottes from Zara with a matching green knit top. The green carried through in the ribbon detail on her Marks & Spencer lace-up trainers. Not the most conventional of athletic gear, but with the stretch of the fabric, the trainers, and the fact that Kate sprinted on the track and practiced some taekwondo, Kate made it work — showing how she can be sporty, comfy, and fashionable all at the same time.

Kate took to the sea and looked amazing doing so

It's not often that Catherine, Princess of Wales is seen in shorts, but she's been spotted wearing them when she's around boats. And for her appearance at a sailing event in Plymouth, England in 2022, she wore three different outfits, including two different pairs of shorts, and they ranged from super athletic to the ideal athleisure combo. She was the picture of a chic sailor when she arrived in a blue and white striped shirt, white shorts, and white Superga sneakers, which are pretty much the peak of athleisure footwear.

Kate changed into a wetsuit, ball cap, and black Adidas Pureboost X running shoes with bright teal laces to sail with the Great Britain SailGP Team in a friendly race against Team New Zealand. After winning, she was back in her Supergas, and this time she wore them with a fitted black windbreaker, and Helly Hansen Maridalen hiking shorts in navy, which are sophisticated enough to wear around town but with the stretch and durability for whatever outdoor adventure you're up for.

Kate looked impeccable in a track jacket and track pants

Catherine, Princess of Wales was pregnant with Prince Louis when she visited the Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative at London elementary school in January 2018 while wearing a comfy but still stylish athleisure look. Her black and white track pants were by Monreal London. Designer Stefani Grosse told The Press and Journal that she started the luxury activewear brand so she, and other women, could have fashionable items to wear while exercising. That's definitely the look that Kate was giving off on her visit — athletic, but make it fashion. The pants seem to be a clear favorite for Kate, as she was seen wearing them at other tennis events in 2016 and 2017. And with the elastic waist, she was clearly able to keep wearing them during pregnancy.

Kate also wore a PlayBrave Clarice Track Jacket. It's another favorite of hers, as she has it in both white and black. She finished the look with a pair of Nike Air VaporMax FlyKnit shoes. If you want the look yourself, the pants are sadly not being made by Monreal London anymore, but both the jacket and a 2023 version of the shoes are available.