Kate Middleton's Best Casual Looks Ever

While Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, might step out in elegant skirt suits and show-stopping evening gowns and tiaras, she also dresses down just as frequently. The mother of three is frequently seen in comfy staples, like jeans, sneakers, and tees, but manages to elevate her casual wear to make it looked pulled together at the same time.

The Daily Mail noted her love for a blue-and-white Breton striped top, and Kate also has a penchant for making a blazer look more laid-back and relaxed. She can often be found at more casual events in a blazer/jeans combination, and she even paired a high-end Chloé blazer with affordable denim and sneakers in 2021. While she can afford the best designers in the world, the down-to-earth duchess also chooses brands like J. Crew, Zara, and Gap, making it easy for us commoners to get her look on a budget. 

Over the years, Kate has shown women everywhere that everyday outfits don't have to be boring or basic. Let's take a look at some of her best casual looks ever.

Kate played with her kids in a breezy striped dress

The quest for the perfect casual summer sundress has eluded many women, but, in June 2018, inspiration came from an unlikely source when Kate Middleton wore an affordable look you could find at your local mall.

Photographed playing with her children at a charity polo match, Kate wore a breezy, light blue-and-white striped dress from Zara (via Today). The button-front, midi-length style with a tie-waist was ideal for lounging in the grass at the Tetbury-based Beaufort Polo Club, where Prince William was playing for the Maserati Royal Charity Polo Trophy, per Today. Kate paired the $69.90 dress with tan espadrilles and sunglasses, along with a white tote bag for a laid-back summer outfit any woman could recreate at home (minus the polo match and prince).

This was actually the second time Kate pulled out a bargain-priced Zara sundress for an equestrian day out — a month before, she wore a just-as-cute (and affordable) style to the Houghton Horse Trials, per Hello! 

Boat shoes and skinny jeans always work for the duchess

We've seen Kate Middleton in many a boat shoe and denim combination through the years, and her beloved Sebago 'Bala' style (per Page Six) costs under $100. She's worn the shoes off-duty to polo matches and even on official overseas visits, according to the media outlet, but Kate wore one of her best outfits with the casual shoes while on tour in India. 

According to Hello!, Prince William and Kate were visiting the country's Kaziranga National Park, where they embarked on a safari to view endangered wildlife. The royal chose a laid-back look for the occasion, which included her trusty Sebago boat shoes, Ray-Ban sunglasses, and a pair of moto-style skinny jeans from Zara, per the magazine. She also wore a white polka dot blouse which coordinated perfectly with the traditional pink-and-white Indian scarf she was gifted on the visit. Of course, a duchess has to add at least a little bit of royal sparkle, and Kate wore a pair of Kiki McDonough gemstone earrings, per Hello!. This casual outfit is one any woman can "repliKate" at home, even if the only wildlife you're viewing is in your backyard. 

Patterned Gap trousers were a winner for the duchess

Shopping at The Gap is something most of us wouldn't think twice about, but it's not exactly a store that comes to mind when thinking of members of the royal family. In 2016, Kate Middleton sent women around the world flying to their local Gap store (or at least the retailer's website) when she stepped out in a pair of printed trousers from the brand (via InStyle). 

Coordinating with her husband, Prince William, in a navy Smythe blazer, the duchess arrived for a visit to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly in the bold pants, per the magazine. The store's skinny ankle pants retailed at just $25 at the time, according to Refinery29, which praised the thrifty royal for wearing accessible pieces "despite having the means and access to go high-end all the time." She chose a pair of neutral wedges and a ribbed ivory top to finish off her look — perfect for meeting the locals, including a baby dinosaur (per InStyle). It was nice to see an actual duchess shopping for a bargain from a typical store you'd find at the mall, as who doesn't want to feel like a royal once in a while, even when wearing $25 pants to run errands?

She rocked patriotic stripes to meet London Marathon runners

It seems as if Kate Middleton has never met a stripe she didn't like, and we could hardly count the number of times she's appeared wearing a stripy top over the years. One of her stand-out stripes moments happened during the 2017 London Marathon when she invited participants of the upcoming race to Kensington Palace for a meet-and-greet (via the Mirror).

Dressed in a comfy sweater by Luisa Spagnoli, along with her trademark skinny jeans, gemstone drop earrings, and Superga sneakers, the duchess chatted with runners taking part in the annual race, per the newspaper. The red, white, and blue stripes were a patriotic — and sporty — look to welcome those taking part in the British event, during which she unveiled one of 70 very special postboxes (via the Mirror) adorned with headbands from Heads Together, the charity launched by Kate, Prince William, and Prince Harry, according to the publication. The mental health charity was the marathon's charity of the year for 2017, which Harry dubbed a "mental health marathon" in a video featuring the royal trio (via The London Marathon on Twitter). Kate wore her Luisa Spagnoli sweater for the clip, during which she talked about mental health struggles along with Harry and William. What is it about stripes that seems to elevate a simple tee or sweater into something a bit more pulled together? 

Kate screamed Christmas in a red puffer and green sweater

When it comes time for the holidays, who doesn't love some festive sweater vibes? Kate Middleton took holiday dressing up a notch by not only wearing a Christmassy green sweater to a children's event in 2019 but also adding a puffy red parka with it (via Marie Claire). Visiting the Peterley Manor Farm, per the magazine, Kate sweetly interacted with children involved with the charity Family Action while wearing the cheery red-and-green combo.

The duchess sported the 'mini duvet' jacket from the brand Perfect Moment, which she'd worn previously, per Marie Claire. She added dark-wash skinny jeans and a pair of sturdy hiking boots, perfect for walking through muddy grounds, to help children pick out Christmas trees. As for her cheery sweater, What Kate Wore identified it as the long crewneck jumper by Really Wild. The event was a milestone for Kate, who took over as royal patron of Family Action from the queen, a post she'd held for an impressive 65 years (via Hello!). Her bold combo surely helped the kids get into the holiday mood and showed you don't have to wear an over-the-top, tacky Christmas sweater to look festively fun. 

Kate greeted baby animals in the perfect casual dress

Finding just the right day dress for an event can be tough, let alone when you have to choose something that's appropriate for a modest culture and suitable for feeding baby elephants — but Kate Middleton struck just the right balance on an April 2016 tour of India (via Us Weekly). Wearing a gorgeous (and affordable!) long-sleeved pink floral dress with black embroidery by Topshop, Kate joined Prince William for a day out meeting animals at the Kaziranga National Park, per the publication. 

Unsurprisingly, the dress, which originally retailed for $140, sold out, per Us Weekly. Kate paired her outfit with an even more thrifty buy, choosing dangly gold-tone beaded earrings from British high-street retailer Accessorize that cost a mere £8 (roughly $10), according to Hello! The couple also took part in meeting locals at the village close to Kaziranga National Park, where Kate received a traditional scarf that happened to coordinate with the embroidery on her dress. Her bargain look and welcoming manner were a hit, with a villager saying, "She acts like a simple girl, not a princess" (per Hello!).

She sent shoppers on a quest for coral jeans in 2012

The 2012 Olympic Summer Games were a huge event for London, and the entire royal family made sure to roll out the red carpet for athletes from around the world. In fact, one of their own even participated (and medaled) in the games, with Princess Anne's daughter, Zara Phillipswinning silver as part of Great Britain's equestrian team. Kate Middleton also got into the Olympic spirit ahead of the Games when she met up with British athletes for a game of hockey in March 2012 (via The Hollywood Reporter). 

Dressed in white Adidas sneakers and a casual gray Olympic Games hoodie, Kate played with members of the Great Britain women's team — and even scored a goal, per The Hollywood Reporter. But it was her trendy jeans that scored fashion points. Kate sported a $169 pair of bright coral J Brand jeans, according to the publication, noting the color of the pitch and saying that "my trousers really clash!" The springy pants were such a hit, in fact, that the Mirror reported sales of coral jeans at U.K. retailer Asda shot up by an astounding 88% after Kate made her hockey-playing appearance. Raise your hand if you also bought a pair of coral jeans back in 2012, because we certainly did.

Kate restyled pink trousers to meet fellow parents

COVID-19 presented all of us with challenges, and, in September 2020, Kate Middleton met with parents for a socially distanced visit in London's Battersea Park to talk about life with children during the pandemic (via Hello!). During the meetup, she chose to give an entirely new look to an older pair of pants, restyling her mauve-colored Marks & Spencer suit trousers with a puffed-sleeved white tee by Ralph Lauren, per the magazine.

Interestingly, back in March 2020, Kate wore the same trousers with a matching suit jacket by Marks & Spencer for a visit to the London Ambulance Center. Showing a simple way to make a business suit a more everyday look, Kate looked fresh and casual in the tee and trousers for the September garden event. She accessorized with white sneakers, a gold bangle, gold hoops, and a dainty two-strand, gold beaded chain necklace from the brand Spells of Love, which, as Hello! reported, retailed for £85 at the time (it now retails for £110, or roughly $146). The magazine also noted that Kate added another chain, thought to be from Missoma, to the look and personalized her necklace with the initials of her children for a special touch. Restyling a dressier trouser with a t-shirt and sneakers might not be top of mind for many women, but it's a great trick to get more wear out of your work pants. 

The royal rocked a casual blazer and wedges combo in 2013

A blazer can be a tricky piece to work into a casual wardrobe, but Kate Middleton always excels at dressing down a good blazer — especially when she made an appearance wearing an old favorite piece in August 2013. The duchess repeated a muted-green tweed jacket by Ralph Lauren, stepping out for her first public event since the birth of Prince George (via Hello!).

Kate joined Prince William for the kickoff of an ultramarathon which took place in their then-hometown of Anglesey, Wales, per the magazine. With a roughly 5-week-old baby George back at home with grandma, Kate enjoyed the day out in her classic tweed ensemble, pairing it with black jeans and L.K. Bennett wedges (via Hello!). The then-first-time mom chose a loose white patterned blouse from Zara that she'd worn previously, according to the publication, giving new moms everywhere some postpartum wardrobe inspiration.

She turned to cowboy boots and a wrap coat in Canada

In September 2016, Prince William and Kate Middleton headed out on a royal tour of Canada, and, although Kate wore plenty of eye-catching looks on the trip, one of them stood out. On Day 5, HuffPost noted that William and Kate visited Whitehorse, Yukon, with the duchess flying the flag for Canada in a stunning gray belted coat by Canadian designer Sentaler.

The brand's distinctive ribbed sleeves gave the coat an extra fashion-forward twist, and Kate paired it with jeans and the same cowboy boots she wore in Calgary back in 2011, per HuffPost. Despite the coat retailing for a whopping $1,195, per the publication, it was an instant sell-out. The brand's designer, Bojana Sentaler, commented that she had always hoped Kate would wear one of her pieces, saying "that wish came true and I couldn't be happier" (via HuffPost). Later, Kate's future sister-in-law, Meghan Markle, would wear a coat from the same brand during the filming of "Suits," giving the designer an additional royal stamp of approval (per InStyle).

Kate chose a pretty floral sundress to garden with children

Kate Middleton has always enjoyed the outdoors and gardening, even helping to design a special garden for the Chelsea Flower Show in 2019. She continued to show her love for plants and working with families when she pitched in on a June 2020 gardening session at a children's hospice (via Glamour). The royal chose a cheerful purple floral day dress for the occasion, meeting families in her role as royal patron of East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH), per the magazine. The puff-sleeved dress, by ethical designer Faithfull the Brand, sold out in classic Kate fashion, according to Glamour.

Wearing a pair of comfy tan wedges, Kate bent down, sticking her ungloved hands (and famous engagement ring) right into the dirt as she chatted with staff and families planting a garden at EACH's Nook hospice, which Kate officially opened in 2019. Finishing off the look, the down-to-earth royal chose a pair of gold Accessorize drop earrings that cost just $7, according to Harper's Bazaar.

She looked country cool on the farm in 2021

A cozy knit sweater is always a classic winter staple, but, in the U.K., chilly temperatures can continue far into spring. In April 2021, Kate Middleton stayed warm, showing her fondness for fair isle patterns when she joined Prince William for a day at Manor Farm in Darlington, England (via Refinery29). Her cream-colored Brora x Troy London sweater featured a cheerful red-and-navy pattern, and she added extra interest with a lace piecrust collar blouse by the French label Sézane layered underneath, per Refinery29. Kate coordinated with her husband, adding a green utility jacket by Seeland over her sweater for their day out, part of their 10th wedding anniversary celebrations, according to the media outlet.

It wouldn't be odd to see the duchess in her trusty skinny jeans for any event, but Refinery29 reported this was "one of the first times we've seen her wearing skinny jeans since the TikTok crowd deemed the silhouette 'uncool' back in February." You've heard it, folks, Kate said it's okay to wear your skinnies. 

Kate mixed high-end designer with high street at the Natural History Museum

While Kate Middleton might have worn her favorite skinny jeans silhouette in spring 2021, she brought out a more fashion-forward style in June, arriving at London's Natural History Museum in a pair of on-trend, high-waisted mom jeans (via the Daily Mail). The duchess visited the museum's gardens to take part in their Urban Nature Project, sitting on the ground to tell stories and engage in nature with local children, per the newspaper. Her ensemble of a coral-colored blazer, bargain & Other Stories jeans, and sneakers proved to be the ideal outfit for an outdoor event requiring lots of interaction in nature. 

Even though her Chloé jacket cost an eye-watering £1,795, per the Daily Mail, its casual cargo-style pockets and ribbed cuffs fit right in with the natural setting and her laid-back look. The color also coordinated with the rose gold detail on her white Veja sneakers, which, according to the Daily Mail, retailed for £90. She brought back a familiar top, choosing the same Ralph Lauren ribbed white shirt she wore to meet parents at another garden event back in September 2020 (and, as seen, above). In terms of accessories, the royal added simple gold jewelry for her casual day at the museum, wearing a Daniella Draper necklace and gold hoop earrings, per the Daily Mail. Pardon us while we hunt for our own casual-cool blazer ASAP.

The duchess played volleyball in Breton stripes and sky-high wedges

When most people decide to play a game of volleyball, they grab shorts, t-shirts, and, most importantly, sneakers — but most people aren't members of the royal family. Kate Middleton chose a decidedly different pair of footwear when taking part in an October 2013 volleyball match as part of a SportsAid workshop (via HuffPost). The duchess, who serves as patron of the sports charity, got right into the thick of things, playing volleyball in navy cork-heeled wedges by Stuart Weitzman, which the publication noted she wore frequently during the 2012 Olympic Games.

The 4.5-inch high wedges might have raised some eyebrows on the volleyball court, but one sport is where Kate drew the line, telling participants "I've brought the wrong shoes" when asked to try out fencing (via The Telegraph). The event was Kate's first solo public royal duty since the birth of Prince George, per the newspaper, and her look was strikingly similar to a casual outfit she repeated several times during the Olympics, wearing dark skinny jeans, a navy blazer, and striped top with her tall navy wedges. Hey, if it's not broke, don't fix it!