Kate Middleton's Absolute Best Looks Of 2023

Catherine, Princess of Wales, has long reigned as a style icon since becoming a royal family member in 2011 — and 2023 has been one of her most fashionable years yet. With Queen Elizabeth II's passing in September 2022 and the Waleses' increased presence in the spotlight since King Charles III was crowned sovereign ruler of Britain, Princess Catherine has taken her style game up a notch. While she's maintained her regality and largely stuck to the institution's rigid dress code, Catherine has notably begun to embrace more color, more daring cuts, and more captivating accessories. She's stepping into her own as future queen in more ways than one, and her sense of fashion has absolutely undergone a revolution as she prepares herself for her impending role.

The year of King Charles' coronation has seen Catherine refine some of her favorite characteristics in the clothes she wears. Almost every ensemble features her signature structured shoulders, and she's rarely seen in an outfit without a waist-cinching element. The princess still covets a chic pointed-toe heel, and she seems to be loving monochromatic looks more than ever. While certain aspects of her style preferences have been fine-tuned, Catherine remains keen on re-wearing her favorite pieces — an admirable habit she's stuck to in 2023. From new ensembles to well-loved garments, as well as a few outfits that appear to have taken inspiration from other royal family members, Princess Catherine's best looks of the year have been some of her best looks to date.

Looking radiant and absolutely red hot

During a January 2023 kick-off event for her "Shaping Us" campaign, which aims to highlight the importance of early childhood development, Princess Catherine looked jaw-droppingly gorgeous, confident, and poised in a stunning red pantsuit. The glamorous businesswear ensemble included wide-leg trousers that elegantly billowed as Catherine walked. A cherry-red V-neck blouse peeked out from beneath Catherine's blazer, which had a wrap-style closure, an edgy asymmetrical hem, a cinched waist, structured shoulders that came to a point atop her arms to lift her posture, and a plunging neckline that displayed her décolletage. Talk about a power suit.

For her accessories, Catherine stuck to the monochromatic red theme. The princess wore suede ruby red pointed-toe heels, and she carried a clutch that matched in color and material. Catherine kept her jewelry minimal, choosing to wear her iconic sapphire engagement ring that once belonged to Princess Diana, as well as a pair of geometric chandelier-style earrings. Her rich brown tresses were loosely curled and cascaded down her back, and her makeup subtly incorporated cherry tones via a juicy red-tinted gloss and dewy strawberry-colored cheeks.

Channeling Meghan Markle's elevated classic style

In February 2023, Catherine, Princess of Wales, visited Slough, Berkshire's Oxford House Nursing Home to celebrate Pancake Day with residents at the facility. For the heartwarming occasion, Catherine donned a chic outfit that was reminiscent of Meghan Markle's fashion-forward, neutral-toned aesthetic. The princess chose a stylish pair of navy trousers that hugged her curves and flared out at the knee, and she wore a deep blue reptile-textured belt around the waist. Catherine kept the navy theme going with a fitted turtleneck top, over which she wore a gorgeous camel-colored coat by Max & Co. The hem fell below her knees but wasn't so long that the coat took away from the drama of the flared pant legs.

The royal expertly accessorized with more blue pieces, including a suede pair of pointed-toe pumps by Emmy London, a darling micro handbag with gold hardware by Polène Paris, and a large circular pair of statement earrings with a gold geometric pattern. And, of course, Catherine's diamond and sapphire engagement ring was the perfect finishing touch for the navy ensemble. The princess' luxurious chocolate locks were styled in a sleek blowout, and she donned a very soft and subtle makeup look.

Expertly layered winterwear

Later in February, Princess Catherine and Prince William visited South Wales ahead of the Welsh national holiday, St. David's Day. For their scheduled engagements, the Princess of Wales wore a beautiful black and white outfit that was a masterclass in styling layers for winter. Catherine began with a fitted white turtleneck top, which she tucked into a gorgeous wool houndstooth midi skirt. The black and white skirt featured a modest slit up the center of the garment and a slightly frayed hem that fell at Catherine's mid-calf to expose her thigh-high black suede boots. A thick cream-colored peacoat sat atop the base layers, adding subtle contrast to the look while perfectly matching the skirt's length. 

Catherine's accessories were very minimal — she opted for a black leather micro handbag embossed with a reptilian pattern, and she wore delicate drop earrings. Her dark strands were styled in a shiny blowout with the ends curled inward, and her makeup was a radiant "your skin but better" look.

Regal in royal blue

The day before King Charles III's coronation, Princess Catherine attended a star-studded reception at Buckingham Palace in honor of the king's official crowning ceremony. For the May 2023 event, during which the princess mingled with esteemed guests including United States first lady Jill Biden, Princess Charlene and Prince Albert of Monaco, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, and more, Catherine wore a mesmerizing royal blue number. The long-sleeve azure dress designed by Self Portrait featured a ruched bodice that twisted at the beck, creating a faux-halter silhouette. The shoulders were rounded cap sleeve-style with ruching, which nicely coordinated with the bunched fabric in the bodice. Gold buttons were adorned across the tops of the shoulders and down the sleeve cuffs, and a slim built-in belt with a rectangular buckle cinched the waist. 

It isn't clear what shoes Catherine chose to wear, but her visible accessories included the Queen Mother's diamond and sapphire fringe earrings. The princess's hair was parted to the side and curled in billowing waves that cascaded from her chin to her chest, and her makeup was understated with a modest amount of eyeliner sweeping her lower lash line. 

Acing the cottagecore aesthetic at a garden party

Just after King Charles' coronation weekend, Princess Catherine and Prince William hosted a garden party at Buckingham Palace alongside Princess Anne, Prince Edward, Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. For the festive springtime event, Catherine re-wore an enchanting ensemble that, as People noted, she first debuted in 2019 at Royal Ascot. The ethereal cottagecore number included a whimsical powder blue dress, which was originally designed by Elie Saab as a two-piece set. The garment was updated to fit Catherine's style ahead of Royal Ascot, and the alterations resulted in a dress with a gauzy layered skirt, sheer bishop sleeves, a pussy-bow tie at the neck, macrame-style lace down the bodice and arms, and dainty polka-dotted embellishments throughout the material. 

Catherine styled the glamorous garden party dress with silver pointed-toe heels — quite adventurous for the princess — and a metallic clutch. She wore silver drop-style earrings with aquamarine-encrusted dangling wreaths, and atop her low chignon, the royal donned her wide-brimmed Philip Treacy fascinator with a large floral adornment affixed beneath the brim of the hat. Catherine's soft glam makeup included her usual rosy cheeks and taupe smoky eyes with black liner, but she opted for a slightly deeper berry lip for this occasion.

Blushing in a Barbiecore dress

At the end of May 2023, Princess Catherine's outfit choice for the Chelsea Flower Show proved this Barbie is a fashionista. Like so many people around the world, the royal seemed to embrace her inner Barbie ahead of the summer theater release of Greta Gerwig's smash hit "Barbie" movie. At the garden show picnic for schoolchildren, Catherine debuted a chic multi-tonal shirt dress with mid-toned pink fabric down the center of the garment from the neck to the hem, while a lighter pink fabric fashioned the sides, back, and sleeves of the dress. The feminine midi-length number, designed by ME + EM, featured a collared neckline, bishop sleeves, pleating in the bodice and at the front of the skirt, buttons from the neck to the knees, and a mid-toned pink sash around the waist, which Catherine tied in a knot at her back. 

The princess opted for minimal accessories, wearing a pair of beige espadrilles with crisscrossing ties around her ankles, as well as a pair of gold leaf-shaped earrings dangling from her lobes. Catherine's shiny strands were styled in a wispy blowout with one side tucked behind her ear, and her makeup included her usual soft pink and neutral brown tones.

A royal boss in a blush pink power suit

Just a few days after her first Barbie-inspired fashion moment, Catherine, Princess of Wales, donned another show-stopping pink ensemble while visiting two London organizations in support of her early childhood advocacy efforts. For the cause-driven occasion, Catherine wore a chic pale pink pantsuit with white accessories. A tailored pair of cigarette trousers and a plunging button-up blouse comprised the base of the look. The deep V-neckline in the top was quite daring for Catherine, who has traditionally dressed quite modestly in adherence with the royal family attire guidelines. Atop the low-cut blouse, the princess donned a crisp blazer with structured shoulders — one of her favorite characteristics of a jacket. 

A feminine white belt with a pearl-encrusted buckle added contrast between the top and bottom halves of the outfit, and Catherine brought balance to the pop of color (or lack of) with a pair of white pointed-toe pumps. She let her décolletage work as an accessory itself, choosing to go sans necklace, but she did add a pair of drop-style, teardrop-shaped pearl earrings to her lobes. Catherine wore a pale pink lip and blush to stick with the monochromatic Barbiecore theme, and her chocolate tresses were set in big, voluminous curls. 

Romantic as ever at a royal wedding

When Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah and Princess Rajwa Al Hussein of Jordan tied the knot on June 1, 2023, Princess Catherine and Prince William were amongst the guests who witnessed the couple exchange vows. For the romantic summertime gathering, Catherine wore a breathtaking Elie Saab gown from the designer's 2017 collection — which prompted speculation that the stunning floor-length dress may be a re-wear from the princess, though she'd never previously worn it in public. As People noted, some royal watchers thought it might be the same blush pink frock she wore to Pippa Middleton's wedding. While the garments boast a similar color, they are not the same: The dress Catherine wore for her sister's big day was designed by Alexander McQueen. 

The dramatic long-sleeved gown Catherine picked for the Crown Prince of Jordan's wedding featured a high neck, structured shoulders, ornate bishop sleeves with trumpet-style cuffs, ruching in the bodice, skirt, and arms, and intricate floral embroidery throughout the bodice, neck, and forearms. Catherine's shoes were hidden by her voluminous maxi skirt, but her visible accessories included a gold clutch with a decorative closure and massive pear-shaped diamond drop earrings — très magnifique, indeed. The princess' long locks were styled in large barrel curls that cascaded away from her face, and her makeup mimicked the rosy tone of her glamorous gown. It's one of Catherine's most princess-esque looks to date; it's giving Disney.

Princess of polka dots

At the June 2023 Garter Day service and procession at Windsor Castle, Princess Catherine looked classy and fashion-forward in a black and white polka-dotted ensemble. She wore a light-weight long-sleeve dress by Alessandra Rich, which featured Catherine's signature structured shoulders, as well as a ruched mock neck, a wide ruched band around the waist, bishop sleeves, tailored cuffs, and a straight hem landing just below the knees. Though it wasn't what we'd traditionally think of for elevated summerwear, the feminine dress worked surprisingly well for the celebratory occasion. 

Catherine stuck to the black and white theme with her accessories — she loves a color-coordinated moment just as much as she lives for structured shoulders, it seems. The princess carried a cream-colored clutch, and she wore ivory heels with black-capped pointed-toes and a delicate strap around the ankle. Catherine's hair was woven into a beautifully intricate updo at one side of her head, and she wore a black fascinator on the opposite side of her plaited tresses. The hat, designed by Philip Treacy, featured polka-dotted florals and feathers both under and atop the wide brim. Catherine's jewelry included Princess Diana's iconic Collingwood pearl and diamond earrings, as well as the late princess' triple-strand pearl bracelet. Her makeup included a pretty pink blush and lip, as well as a brown smoky eye.

Captivating in crimson at Royal Ascot

Catherine, Princess of Wales, stepped out for the first day of Royal Ascot 2023 wearing an enthralling crimson-colored dress that stole the attention of every guest. The long-sleeved scarlet frock was designed by Alexander McQueen, and it featured a wrap-style bodice with a plunging V-neckline, structured shoulders with a slight puff at the top of the arms, billowing bishop sleeves with a minute cuff, a waist-cinching band above the hips, and pleating in the A-line skirt. Catherine rocked another wide-brimmed fascinator by Philip Treacy for the occasion, this one a matching cherry red with large floral adornments spanning one side of the shallow hat. 

Additional accessories worn by the princess included a red satin clutch with a tortoise button clasp, ruby-colored pointed-toe heels, and gold chandelier earrings with small black beads dangling from the gilded metal. Catherine's hair was styled in an intricate low chignon — her go-to look when wearing a fascinator — and her makeup included a soft complexion with a slightly smokier eye than usual.

Back for another Barbie moment

For the third time in one summer, Princess Catherine donned another darling Barbie-esque outfit while visiting London's Young V&A Museum at the end of June 2023. While mingling with schoolchildren and touring new exhibits at the renovated museum, Catherine dressed in a pretty pink frock. As People noted, she actually wore it once before at Wimbledon in 2021. The feminine dress, designed by Beulah, featured slightly elongated short sleeves, puffed shoulders, a belted waist, and a flowy A-line skirt with a below-the-knee hem. The pastel bubblegum-colored dress was buttoned from the waist to the collar, and the sleeves were adorned with a button on each side below small keyhole cutouts. 

Catherine also wore white leather pointed-toe stilettos by Gianvito Rossi, and her sole accessory (other than her ever-present heirloom engagement ring) was a pair of drop-style diamond earrings by Mappin & Webb. The princess' chocolate tresses were styled in loose ringlets, and her makeup was natural with pale pink elements.

Looking breathtaking in black and white

In early July 2023, Catherine, Princess of Wales, attended London's National Portrait Gallery reopening after a multi-year renovation. For the artsy occasion, the princess chose a white ensemble with black detailing — it was an outfit that felt very Paris chic. Catherine wore a pleated white midi skirt with a slightly ruffled hem, and she paired the garment with a stylish tweed jacket. The cream-colored covering was lined in black stitching around the neck and sleeve cuffs, as well as down the center of the fabric and overtop the pockets at the front of the bodice. Ornate silver and black brocade buttons fastened the jacket and lined the inside of the sleeves, and a wide tweed belt slightly cinched the waist.

Catherine carried a quilted black clutch by Chanel, and she wore black velvet pointed-toe pumps with strappy bow-tied detailing at the back of the heel. She again secured Princess Diana's Collingwood diamond and pearl drop earrings to her lobes, and she interestingly swapped her diamond and sapphire engagement ring for two simple gold bands. The princess' chocolate strands were styled in curls that cascaded down her back, and her makeup included a pink lip and brown smokey eyes.

Mixing vintage menswear with a midi skirt

Princess Catherine wore a variety of green-themed looks at Wimbledon in 2023, and one of our favorites was a Princess Diana-inspired ensemble she debuted on the first day of the summer sporting event. The royal embraced vintage menswear with a long mint green blazer by Balmain. White lapels, as well as oversized white buttons lined up in double-breasted formation down the bodice, gave the jacket a retro feel. In fact, the garment reminded many of Diana's seafoam green and white Catherine Walker blazer dress. Prince William's mother paired the dress with a matching hat for Trooping the Colour in 1988.

Catherine paired the '80s power suit-style blazer with a pleated white maxi skirt, which was also very Lady Di — particularly the way the late princess loved to pair long tops with flowing pleated skirts. Catherine finished the throwback look with a towering pair of white pointed-toe stilettos, and she wore a beaded bracelet and pearl drop earrings as well. The Princess of Wales' long locks were blown out in a relaxed, sweeping style, and her makeup was done in her signature neutral look.

Donning a tennis ball green two-piece for Wimbledon

In mid-July, Princess Catherine donned one of our top favorite looks of 2023 at Wimbledon's women's singles final match. The Princess of Wales donned another pleated midi skirt, this time in a pale pistachio shade. The top half of Catherine's outfit included a short-sleeved tweed jacket in the same pastel tennis ball color. The collared garment included chic utility pockets, round monochromatic buttons, a matching slim belt to cinch the waist, and a stiff funnel-shaped hem. 

Catherine paired neutral-toned accessories with the bright green ensemble — suede taupe heels covered her feet, and she carried a beige handbag with a gold chain strap. Additionally, the princess wore a gold bangle around one wrist, and clustered pearl statement earrings framed her face. A dark green and purple bow was pinned above Catherine's breast pocket, signifying her position as patron of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. While her makeup was no variation from her norm, the royal's hair was pulled back into a rare half-updo, which let her pretty earrings shine.