Kate Middleton's Best Fashion Moments Ever

Whenever Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, appears in public, the world wants to know exactly what she's wearing. From sparkling evening gowns to casual jeans, she rarely gets it wrong when it comes to style — and her impact on the fashion industry shows it. The "Kate Effect" — when Kate wears something, it sells out, crashes websites, and sends women searching for similar styles — has been growing strong ever since she stepped onto the royal scene. Designer Matthew Williamson told Marie Claire how the brand "just couldn't make enough" — selling out of all their stock — after Kate wore one of his designs.


In addition to boosting the British fashion world, Bethan Holt, fashion news and feature director at The Telegraph, told Harper's Bazaar how Kate uses fashion to draw attention to her charity work. Holt said if Kate wears a stunning new outfit to an event, that many more people will learn about the charity just by seeing Kate's photos. 

While we've seen Kate's style evolve throughout the years, it just seems to keep getting better. We admit it was tough to narrow down, but we're taking a look at some of Kate Middleton's best outfits so far.

Her iconic wedding dress is Kate Middleton's best look ever

When royal wedding bells rang on April 29, 2011, everyone waited with bated breath to see what the bride would wear. When Kate Middleton stepped out in a stunning Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen wedding gown, it drew instant comparisons to Grace Kelly's lace wedding dress with its high lace neck, long sleeves, and full skirt. Clarence House released a statement (via WWD) sharing Middleton's desire to combine elements of royal tradition with modern style in her wedding day look, and she managed to do this beautifully. Speaking of tradition, the bride's "something old" was quite a special one: the Cartier Halo tiara, first owned by the Queen Mother. For something new, she wore custom-made Robinson Pelham diamond drop earrings gifted by her parents, per Express.


What many people don't know is that Kate's wedding dress has a touching element to it: The lace pattern includes patriotic designs close to her heart. Per Royal Central,​ the lace, made by the Royal School of Needlework, features ​"the national flowers of all four nations in the United Kingdom: the English rose, the Scottish thistle, the Irish Shamrock, and the Welsh daffodil." 

Brides-to-be were so influenced by the new Duchess of Cambridge's wedding gown that, years later, the dress is still impacting today's bridal trends — salons have even seen many more women requesting long sleeves and traditional styles (per Hello! Canada). Could it be the "Kate Effect"?

Kate's Issa engagement dress sold out worldwide

Ever since the announcement of her engagement to Prince William in 2010, Kate Middleton became a fashion icon — and her classic blue wrap dress started it all. When stepping out in front of the press for the first time as an engaged couple, Kate chose a simple but striking blue wrap dress by Issa London — selling out in an astounding five minutes, according to the Daily Mail. Daniella Helayel, the brand's head designer, told the publication she had no idea Kate was going to wear an Issa dress for the announcement until a friend called her after seeing it on television. Women around the world wanted the Issa dress, but plenty of others copied the look with lower-priced options (raise your hand if you dressed like Kate for Halloween 2011). Banana Republic even released a copy of the famous engagement dress in 2013, per Racked.


However, all of this attention actually came at a cost. According to Helayel, Kate's popularity helped, in part, to drive Issa out of business. The brand was unable to keep up with the skyrocketing demand, and Helayel told the Daily Mail she "didn't have the money to finance production on that scale." The label, unfortunately, closed its doors in 2015, but the blue wrap dress lives on as a classic Kate piece that will never go out of style.

The duchess glittered in gold for a James Bond premiere

The knockout gold gown she wore to the September 2021 premiere of the James Bond flick, "No Time to Die," is one of Kate Middleton's strongest looks ever. Wearing a sequin-and-bead encrusted Jenny Packham dress with a cape detail, per Marie Claire, Kate sent jaws dropping on the red carpet at London's Royal Albert Hall. Town & Country noted the Hollywood-style dress was a step out of the comfort zone for Kate, "who normally tends towar[d] simpler pieces." She paired the new gown with a repeat in terms of jewelry, choosing the gold Onitaa statement earrings she'd worn previously on a tour of Pakistan, per Hello! Canada.


As usual, the "Kate Effect" went into full force after the event: Shoppers were so eager to copy Kate's look that retailer Pretty Little Thing saw a 550% increase in searches for gold sequin dresses (via Hello! Canada). The good news (if you have $5,488 to spare) is that you can buy Kate's dress for yourself. According to People, Jenny Packham's 007 collection features a slightly different version of the Kate Middleton gown and is available at retailers like Neiman Marcus and Net-a-Porter.

She looked chic in a Chloé blazer and mom jeans

Kate Middleton manages to be a fashion icon even when she wears jeans and sneakers, as she proved on a June 2021 visit to the Natural History Museum in London. Sporting a $2,550 salmon-colored Chloé blazer and white Ralph Lauren top (per Harper's Bazaar), Kate learned more about the museum's Urban Nature Project on her day out in London. She sat on the ground and walked through a wooded garden with local school children taking part in the project, according to the Daily Mail, so it was natural she wanted to choose something comfortable for the trip: a pair of high-waisted, cropped jeans and Veja sneakers.


The jeans, from & Other Stories (via Parade), stood out since Kate "is known for her affection for skinny jeans" and showed Kate's willingness to adapt her wardrobe to new trends. For her relaxed look, Kate chose simple accessories, pairing a gold Daniella Draper necklace with small gold hoop earrings, per Harper's Bazaar. Once again, Kate showed that casual doesn't have to be basic or boring — and that a blazer can elevate an everyday pair of jeans.

Kate delivered Christmas vibes in Catherine Walker

Royal fans look forward to seeing the whole family turn up to church on Christmas Day each year, and, of course, what Kate Middleton is going to wear is always a source of conversation. In 2019, Kate pulled out all the fashion stops when she brought Prince George and Princess Charlotte along for the traditional church walk for the very first time. Looking warm and incredibly chic, Kate wore a gray Catherine Walker coat with fur trim at the cuffs and collar, per Hello!. The belted coat features two rows of military-inspired buttons at the top and a full skirt, ideal for keeping cozy on a cold Christmas morning.


She paired it with a festive green hat, green Emmy London heels (via Hello!), and a matching clutch, coordinating perfectly with Charlotte's green coat. Underneath her coat, Kate wore a repeat Michael Kors peacock-pattern dress, first worn to a day of engagements in Blackpool, England, according to the publication. This fancy, vintage-style coat and hat might be hard for the average woman to pull off on Christmas day, but it certainly gave us some great holiday inspiration.

The royal stunned in a Jenny Packham gown (twice!)

One of Kate Middleton's most memorable eveningwear looks came early in her role as the Duchess of Cambridge when she attended a 2012 London Olympics gala. Walking the red carpet in a gorgeous turquoise gown by Jenny Packham (via The Hollywood Reporter), Kate looked every part the glamorous royal. Featuring lace cap sleeves and a crystal-detailed belted waist, the gown was a stand-out choice for an elegant event. The dress was a modified version of a runway style from Packham, including a slightly more modest bustline. Kate teamed the gown with Jimmy Choo heels and a handbag "made from the same brocade as the side panels of the gown" per The Hollywood Reporter.


The look was such a hit, Kate wore it again, donning the gown to the Tusk Conservation Awards in 2018 (via Harper's Bazaar), giving women around the world an excuse to not spend money on a pricey evening dress for every event. The second time around, she kept her shoes and clutch the same, but mixed things up by choosing a different hairstyle, leaving her hair down versus the updo she sported for the 2012 event.

Kate made school dropoff stylish in 2019

Most parents agree that dropping the kids off at school is a fairly mundane task, but Kate Middleton amped up the glamorous mum factor for Princess Charlotte's first day of school in September 2019. The Cambridge family arrived hand-in-hand at Thomas' Battersea school with Kate choosing a belted floral shirt dress by Michael Kors (via Marie Claire). The magazine noted that Kate first wore the dress to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding rehearsal in 2018, but the frock was only spied in a photo of her driving to the event. Featuring a red, white, and blue floral print, Kate cleverly matched George and Charlotte's navy and red school uniforms, proving she always thinks to dress for the perfect photo op (note William's coordinating blue blazer and shirt, too). 


Although we're pretty sure she doesn't turn up to school looking like this every day, Kate showed that throwing on a pretty dress once in a while can make a mundane task like school dropoff feel a little bit more special.

The duchess wowed in a twirly blue Emilia Wickstead coat

One of Kate Middleton's prettiest coat moments happened during an overseas visit in 2017, paying a trip to Luxembourg as a "Brexit ambassador" (via Elle). Per the publication, Kate wore a pastel blue Emilia Wickstead coat dress for the solo visit, during which she met the prime minister of Luxembourg, along with members of the country's royal family. With its blazer-like top and swingy bottom, the coat struck just the right balance of dressy and business-like for meeting these VIPs. Vogue praised Kate's outfit, saying it "projected quiet elegance and polished sophistication."


Although the coat gave off a bit of a vintage 1950s feel with its twirly skirt, the duchess kept it modern with her signature bouncy hair, beige pumps, and sparkling accessories. To match the Cinderella blue shade of her coat, Kate rocked some serious bling, debuting a new pair of Kiki McDonough blue topaz and diamond earrings for the visit. She paired the $3,500 earrings with a diamond pendant from Mappin & Webb (via What Kate Wore).

Kate's berry look at Princess Eugenie's wedding was a winner

When Princess Eugenie got married in October 2018, she wowed royal watchers with her Peter Pilotto wedding day look (via USA Today), but fashion fans were also excited about what the wedding guests were wearing, too. Kate Middleton failed to disappoint with her outfit at the royal wedding, choosing a berry-hued, long-sleeve dress by Alexander McQueen (per Harper's Bazaar). The rich color looked stunning for an autumnal wedding and certainly made Kate stand out from the crowd while still looking appropriate. However, the surprising fact about the outfit is she actually already wore an almost identical dress in a different shade, per Insider. The Alexander McQueen frock is a near clone of the pale pink one Kate wore to Trooping the Colour in 2017, minus the slightly different puffed sleeves.


Kate's matching fuschia headpiece (designed by Philip Treacy, per Harper's Bazaar) featured vintage-style netting and tonal flowers to match her dress — and the cascading fall flowers outside the church's entrance — perfectly. The only problem: It was so windy she literally had to hold on to her hat (and her skirt!) while standing outside St. George's Chapel.

Her L.K. Bennett dress was poppy perfection

British retailer L.K. Bennett has been one of Kate Middleton's go-to brands since she first became a member of the royal family. From her signature beige patent heels to various dresses and bags, she's worn numerous L.K. Bennett pieces over the years. One of her best L.K. Bennett moments happened in 2014 when she wore the brand's 'Lasa' white-and-blue poppy-print dress — and it was so good, she wore it twice (via Us Weekly).


The summery, floral knee-length dress made its first appearance when the Cambridges visited Brisbane, Australia, on their 2014 tour of the continent, per the magazine. Despite wearing heels and the elegant dress, Kate climbed into the cockpit of a fighter jet while they stopped by the Royal Australian Airforce Base at Amberley (via HuffPost). In 2016, the dress made a repeat showing when William and Kate headed to Luton, England, for a day of appearances, including a trip to a hospice and a youth charity, per the Mirror. This time, she swapped out a blue handbag and blue heels for a beige L.K. Bennett clutch and matching beige heels, per Us Weekly, and wore her hair differently.

Kate rocked tweed Gucci at a London museum

While Kate Middleton often favors British designers, she delighted fashion fans by expanding her fashion horizons during a trip to the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in June 2017. Wearing a short, retro-style Gucci dress, Kate stopped by the V&A to tour and officially open the museum's new spaces (via Express). Featuring a chic tweed fabric with bright ribbon trim and button accents, Kate's look was ideal for visiting an institution with the world's largest fashion collection in the world (per the V&A). As she often does, Kate carried a clutch, matching it perfectly to the red trim of her dress, pairing it with a chunky black heel. 


Glamour drew comparisons between Kate's Gucci dress and First Lady Jackie Kennedy, stating that tweed outfits often remind people of Jackie O's elegant style. Even the museum itself commented on Kate's stylish look that day, tweeting that her outfit "demonstrates the continuing influence of 1960s style on contemporary fashion."

The duchess chose floaty florals for World Mental Health Day

One of Kate Middleton's prettiest day dresses is the pink tie-neck style she wore for World Mental Health Day in 2016. And it was also the first time she ever wore Kate Spade (via PopSugar) – a surprising choice of designer (an American) for the royal to wear. The brand spoke to People about their delight over Kate's choosing their style, with Deborah Lloyd, Kate Spade's president and chief creative officer, telling the magazine how the duchess "embodies all of the qualities of the Kate Spade New York girl — she is quick, curious, playful and strong."


Joining her husband, Prince William, along with Prince Harry for a day out at the London Eye, Kate looked fresh and feminine in the chiffon rose-print dress, which retailed for $498, per People. For her beige clutch, she opted for one of her go-to brands, L.K. Bennett, and wore matching Gianvito Rossi heels to tie the look together, according to PopSugar. A fun detail of the outfit is the meaning behind the print, which PopSugar shared was created by the brand to look like the flowers people throw on stage following a performance.

She looked perfect in powder blue at Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot is always a feast for the eyes in terms of style, and each year the royal family arrives to cheer on their favorite horses. Described by Town & Country as "a cross between a royal wedding and the Kentucky Derby, except boozier," the event always draws memorable and elegant fashion from the royals, with Kate Middleton as no exception. In 2019, the duchess wore one of her most striking Ascot looks when she chose a powder blue Elie Saab dress and an oversized Philip Treacy floral hat, per Elle. By wearing the hat on an angle, Today noted, Kate was able to show off her chic braided hairstyle, which was twisted off to the side.


The dress features Kate's signature pussybow neck tie, a full chiffon skirt, and gorgeous sheer detailing on the sleeves and bodice while still remaining modest. Pairing it with metallic silver heels and a matching silver clutch made the outfit extra elegant for a day at the races. The designer frock was so popular with royal fans that Shein even made an affordable copy of it, according to Hello!.

Kate wore festive holiday plaid in 2018

The holiday season is a fabulous time to bring out the festive red tartans, and, in 2018, Kate Middleton showed her affinity for plaid by bringing out one of her cheeriest Christmas looks ever. Debuting a new £1,450 (roughly $1,900) Emilia Wickstead skirt at a Royal Air Force Christmas party at Kensington Palace, Kate looked extra Christmassy without wearing a tacky sweater (via The Sun).


She wore the long, red plaid skirt with a pair of black high-heeled boots and a buttoned-up, cropped, black cashmere cardigan from Scottish brand Brora, per The Sun, which called the outfit "a blueprint of how to dress for the festive season." Kate added some extra holiday sparkle to the look with a stunning pair of Mappin & Webb diamond earrings, per the publication. Walking through a storm of fake snow, Kate and William spread Christmas cheer to everyone around them. Wearing bright plaid made her stand out in the fun photos, too (she may have even been inspired from Queen Elizabeth, herself, who's known for wearing bright colors). The colorful holiday season look also likely brightened the spirits of the Air Force families attending the party, which Harper's Bazaar noted was for loved ones of British military serving in Cyprus at the time.