15 Of Kate Middleton’s Favorite Fashion Designers & Stores – Glam
After having undergone a spectacular style transformation from commoner to princess, Kate Middleton, officially Catherine, Princess of Wales, is now one of the world’s most influential fashion personalities.
Middleton is known for being a benefactor of British fashion. Newsweek reported that her style choices have inspired an estimated £1 billion (about $1.2 billion U.S. dollars) in incremental sales for the United Kingdom’s fashion industry. However, she has also been known to engage in style diplomacy. When she travels abroad, she often wears clothing made by local designers in the countries she visits. Beyond that, she has frequently chosen to show appreciation for the countries she travels to by wearing clothing in colors similar to those countries’ national flags.
The end result: You never know what to expect to see Middleton wearing next. She has her favorite stores and brands, many of which are British luxury designers. However, she also frequently wears clothing by purveyors the British refer to as “high street brands.” Basically, these are familiar, affordable, mass-market labels that ordinary people tend to wear. Middleton’s list of favorite stores and brands includes an interesting mix of high and low-end merchants.
Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen
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Sarah Burton is most famous for working alongside Kate Middleton to design the enchanting gown that Middleton wore when she married the man who is now William, Prince of Wales. You can see this distinctive gown, with its dainty handmade lace and long train, pictured above. According to the Royal Family’s website, Burton and Middleton were both involved in the gown’s design process. To make Middleton’s dream dress a reality, Burton had to oversee the work of a team of lace makers from the Royal Needlework School. The team used multiple lace-making techniques to incorporate into the gown including English Cluny lace, Irish Carrickmacross lace, and French Chantilly lace. This show-stopping dress tops the list of Kate Middleton’s best Alexander McQueen looks.
In 2012, Time magazine honored Sarah Burton by selecting her as one of the 100 Most Influential People. Writing for Time, “And Just Like That …” star Sarah Jessica Parker remarked about Burton, “And she did the undoable. A royal wedding dress that could never live up to the impossible dream. But it did. The whole world gasped in astonishment and sighed in reverie as she made one young woman’s fantasy a reality for everyone.”
The wedding gown isn’t the only item Burton designed for Middleton. Burton worked with Middleton again to create another custom-made dress for the princess to wear to her sister’s wedding. That dress was a soft, muted pink color with a deep V-neckline.
Jenny Packham is a successful independent British fashion designer whose ready-to-wear fashions and wedding dresses are available for sale in major cities including New York City, London, and Paris. Packham is best known for outfitting Hollywood’s A-list entertainers, both on-screen and at red-carpet events. Her client list includes many prominent people such as Kate Middleton, Rihanna, Angelina Jolie, Beyoncé, and Cameron Diaz. Packham’s professional specialties include bridal gowns, evening dresses, accessories, and lingerie.
Pictured above, you can see the floor-length Jenny Packham gown that Kate Middleton wore to a December 2022 Diplomatic Corps reception. The event took place at Buckingham Palace in London. The gown is intricately embellished with beadwork that forms eye-catching floral, hexagonal honeycomb, and starburst patterns.
Middleton has a long history of purchasing evening gowns from Packham. In 2013, Middleton dressed up in a silk tulle Jenny Packham gown to attend the 100 Women in Hedge Funds gala event. In 2014, Middleton pulled the same gown back out of her closet to wear to the National Portrait Gallery’s black tie fundraiser event.
Emilia Wickstead is a New Zealand native, but she has built her fashion design business in London. Wickstead’s ready-to-wear collections are typically presented at London Fashion Week and sold through the brand’s principal shop in London. Prestigious department stores also make Emilia Wickstead’s clothing available to the public. Wickstead’s styles are best known for being tasteful and polished yet completely current with today’s fashion trends.
Kate Middleton frequently wears Wickstead’s regal garments to a variety of functions. In the photo above, you can see a custom-made, lavender-colored version of a now-discontinued dress style that was named “Kate” in Middleton’s honor. Middleton also owns a few other colors of this dress style, one of which has a different neckline. Middleton wore this dress to the Global Ministerial Mental Health Summit that took place in London, England, in October of 2018. She wore the blue version of the dress during a 2021 Commonwealth Day video.
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Zara is an internationally-known fast-fashion brand. The company originated in Spain, but it has grown to operate stores in 96 countries. This retailer’s primary claim to fame is its ability to quickly identify high-interest style trends and beat other retailers to selling them. Its production turnaround times are as short as two weeks, when its competitors typically take six months to produce a new style and make it available on store shelves, per Forbes.
Kate Middleton and the other royals typically dress down before six o’clock in the evening. That hour is the cutoff point before which tiaras and ostentatious jewels are considered unseemly. For royal daytime engagements, Middleton frequently wears down-to-earth, affordable clothing made by fast-fashion brands. Zara is one of Middleton’s go-to brands for daytime wear. She was spotted wearing Zara dresses and separates at the 2013 Ring O’Fire Anglesey Coastal Ultra Marathon, the 2018 Maserati Royal Charity Polo Trophy, and many other outings.
Middleton is also frequently seen mixing higher-end designer garments with fast-fashion wardrobe pieces, as pictured above. Middleton utilized this approach for 2023’s community impact day, when she took a trip to the south of Wales in February of 2023. There she and William, Prince of Wales, visited the Aberavon Leisure & Fitness Centre. The princess wore a modest black-and-white Zara midi skirt layered under a long, custom-tailored cream-colored coat by Alexander McQueen. She carried a top-handle bag by Mulberry and wore imitation diamond earrings by the London-based brand Heavenly.
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Reiss is a British fashion brand that’s best known for bridging the gap between mainstream fashion and high-end, luxury apparel. This brand offers relatively affordable clothing made from luxurious fabrics.
Pictured above, Kate Middleton wore a double-breasted Reiss twill Larsoon blazer to an April 2023 charity engagement at the Baby Bank in Windsor, England. She paired the blazer with black trousers and flat black shoes made by Boden.
The Daily Mail reports that Middleton is a frequent customer at the Reiss discount clothing outlet in Oxfordshire’s Bicester Village. At that location, a Reiss store employee told Mark Ellwood, author of “Bargain Fever: How to Shop in a Discounted World,” a bit about the princess’ shopping habits. Ellwood repeated some of their conversation to the Daily Mail, noting that the Reiss employee told him, “Oh, it’s Kate Middleton — she’s in here all the time … You look up and there’ll be Kate and her same two friends going through the 60 per cent off rack.” The employee added, “You have no idea she’s there and security must be outside, but she comes in all the time.”
Reiss has enjoyed an upswing in interest as a result of Middleton’s patronage. “There is no question that Kate choosing to wear Reiss has impacted our brand,” Reiss Founder and Managing Director David Reiss tells Marie Claire. “We have noticed a significant increase in terms of brand interest and awareness globally, strengthening existing markets and attracting attention in markets we are yet to enter.”
Catherine Walker & Co. is a London-based couture house that was originally founded by the late Catherine Walker, along with her husband, Said Cyrus. The brand is best known for producing regal, elegant coat dresses, coats, suits, gowns, and stylish accessories. Catherine Walker is best remembered for outfitting Diana, Princess of Wales, the late mother of William, Prince of Wales. Unfortunately, Walker passed away in 2010. The brand has continued operations under the direction of Said Cyrus.
Newsweek reports that Kate Middleton has placed orders for hundreds of styles from Catherine Walker & Co. The princess has chosen Walker’s clothing to wear for some of her family’s most important milestones. For example, in the photo above, the princess stands beside her husband Prince William at the National Service of Thanksgiving and Dedication for King Charles III and Queen Camilla in Edinburgh, Scotland. This service was part of a sequence of festivities surrounding a symbolic, unofficial coronation recognizing King Charles’ position as monarch in Scotland. For this important occasion, the princess, whose official title when in Scotland is the Duchess of Rothesay, wore a tasteful button-front Catherine Walker coat.
Alessandra Rich is a native Italian fashion designer whose business is based in London. Rich’s signature styles are floor-length gowns that showcase the female figure to its best advantage. However, the brand also offers fashions in other categories including day dresses, jackets, jewelry, and shoes. Rich’s client list includes Kate Middleton, Meryl Streep, Olivia Wilde, and Rihanna.
Catherine, Princess of Wales, has frequently worn Rich’s polka-dotted dress and skirt designs for various outings and appearances. When she and her husband, William, Prince of Wales, watched the July 2022 Wimbledon tennis championships, the princess wore a blue and white polka dotted Alessandra Rich dress. Less than a week later, at the men’s finals, she wore a navy blue and white polka dotted silk dress by Alessandra Rich.
Besides her Alessandra Rich dresses and skirt, Kate Middleton owns at least two pairs of the designer’s Fab slingback pumps. Middleton’s feet have recently attracted attention thanks to the stylish Mary Janes she’s been sporting. Pictured above, you can see the princess rocking yet another polka dotted Alessandra Rich dress with Mary Janes at the June 2023 Order Of The Garter Service that was held at Windsor Castle. However, the Mary Janes she’s wearing in the photo are by a different designer, Jennifer Chamandi.
British brand Beulah is a socially-conscious purveyor of sustainably sourced fashions. It’s associated with a charitable division known as The Beulah Trust. This brand exists as a means to raise funds for empowering women who have been slavery or abuse victims.
In 2016, William, Prince of Wales, and Catherine, Princess of Wales, traveled abroad to India and Bhutan. One of the high points of their trip was a reception recognizing Bhutan’s strong relationship with the United Kingdom. Princess Catherine wore a striking red Beulah dress featuring a floral poppy print.
When Kate Middleton attended the July 2023 Royal Charity Polo Cup in Windsor, England, she wore a printed blue and white Beulah midi dress, pictured above. In June of 2023, Middleton, who is a museum patron at the Young V&A museum, selected a solid-colored pale pink Beulah dress to wear when she presided over the reopening of the newly remodeled facility.
Beulah’s co-founder Natasha Rufus Isaacs spoke with Marie Claire about the princess’ patronage: “She’s a wonderful ambassador for British fashion and her support definitely raises awareness and recognition of the brand.”
Alice Temperley for Temperley London
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Alice Temperley is best known for creating sensational dresses that have been worn on many red carpets.
Kate Middleton’s love affair with the Temperley London fashion brand began in 2010 when she selected a Temperley ensemble to wear to a charity engagement. She was photographed in 2011 wearing another Temperley style in the form of a blouse when she and her husband, William, Prince of Wales, made an appearance at a government reception in Calgary, Canada.
In 2014, Middleton reportedly teamed up with a fashion stylist with the goals of dressing more regally and more like a future queen, per Express. Natasha Archer became her stylist, and Archer played an important role in influencing Middleton to choose Temperley’s designs for more of her royal engagements. With Archer’s guidance, Middleton selected the stunning Temperley London maternity dress pictured above to wear to an October 2014 Action on Addiction charity gala event. In 2017, Middleton looked elegant wearing a Temperley London Honeycomb sweater when she attended a royal engagement at the Robin Hood Primary School.
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Erdem is an independent British fashion brand offering ready-to-wear collections. The brand has earned recognition for impeccable craftsmanship and innovative use of textile prints.
Recently, William, Prince of Wales, and Catherine, Princess of Wales, attended the March 2023 Commonwealth Day service together at London’s Westminster Abbey. Princess Catherine dressed in a printed floral Erdem ensemble which she paired with black pumps.
In August of 2022, she made a grand entrance at the Sail Grand Prix catamaran sailing event wearing a navy blue and white striped crew-neck cashmere sweater by Erdem. She paired the sweater with white shorts by Holland Cooper.
In October of 2016, Prince William and Princess Catherine traveled to Manchester for a reception at the National Football Museum. They also paid a visit to Manchester’s Town Hall for more royal undertakings. For the day’s outing, Princess Catherine wore a richly textured, tactile-looking pink and blue woven coat by Erdem.
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Gap is best known for offering affordable clothing that’s easy to wear and also widely available. The brand’s heyday happened back when 1990s shopping mall culture was alive and well. Although Gap’s sales have dipped since those days, it still has many fans. Notably, Kate Middleton is one of them.
Pictured above, in September of 2016, Catherine, Princess of Wales, poses with her husband, William, Prince of Wales; she’s wearing enchanting printed pants by Gap to check out Cornwall’s Eden Project.
Multiple media outlets have reported seeing the princess shopping at Gap, both for herself and her oldest child Prince George of Wales. In March of 2014, Hello! reported that the princess had been seen selecting clothes for Prince George at the Kensington High Street Gap location. The same month, a company representative at Gap confirmed the story to E! News, saying, “We were delighted to serve the Duchess of Cambridge at our Kensington High Street store yesterday.” However, Gap’s representative did not mention which items the princess actually purchased.
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Hobbs began as a British fashion brand, and the label is best known for making timeless designs. In 2017, the company was acquired by TFG Group, which is under the umbrella of the South African Foschini Group.
Kate Middleton owns multiple Hobbs styles. One example is the chestnut brown-colored Celeste Coat. The princess began wearing this garment in 2012. Since then, she has worn it frequently, taking it with her to various engagements including a September 2015 church prayer service in Scotland. She also wore an extremely similar, but longer, coat when she traveled to Cornwall in February of 2023.
Pictured above, Catherine, Princess of Wales, and her husband, William, Prince of Wales, were photographed on their way to Dedworth Green Baptist Church. Their objective was to volunteer at the Windsor Foodshare. For this engagement, Princess Catherine wore a different Hobbs outer garment, this time in a style known as the Tilde coat. She paired with Hobbs’ Lara roll-neck sweater made of merino wool. Both pieces are a rich, gorgeous wine color that complements the princess’ complexion beautifully.
Boden is a British fashion brand renowned for offering reasonably-priced apparel that fits well and looks well-tailored and stylish. The brand offers clothing sized for women, girls, boys, babies, and toddlers.
In January of 2018, Kate Middleton wore Boden’s classy red coat style known as Lena to a royal engagement at the Great Ormond Street Hospital. The Lena is a vaguely retro-looking silhouette featuring girlish ruffled details on the collar, sleeves, and pockets.
Middleton wore Boden’s clothing to broadcast multiple video engagements in 2020 and 2021 during the COVID-19 crisis. On International Women’s Day, Middleton wore a lovely Boden blouse featuring a pink printed fabric and a bow tied at the neck. The style name is the Dora Tie Neck Blouse, and the color name is Azalea Splash.
In a 2023 video post, Middleton wore a similar vibrant pink-colored sweater by Boden. The style is called the Hambleden Scallop Jumper.
The Vampire’s Wife
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Former 1990s fashion model Susie Cave founded The Vampire’s Wife with partners. This brand’s best-known style is the Falconetti dress, which Kate Middleton owns in shimmering metallic green. When William, the Prince of Wales, and Catherine, Princess of Wales, had their portraits painted together by artist Jamie Coreth in 2022, the princess chose to wear her Falconetti dress for the occasion. She had previously worn the dress for a trip to Ireland in March of 2020, where the Falconetti was her choice of attire for visiting Dublin’s Guinness Storehouse Gravity Bar.
Pictured above, you can see her wearing a similar style, dubbed the “Light Sleeper.” Princess Catherine wore this dress when she traveled with her husband to Belize as part of their royal Caribbean tour. During the tour, she and Prince William attended a reception with Belize’s Governor General to acknowledge Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. The princess’ long, shimmering pink dress has flutter sleeves, a flattering fitted waistline, and a flowing, floor-length skirt.
The British fashion brand Burberry produces luxurious clothing and accessories made using top-quality materials. In particular, the brand’s distinctive plaid-patterned textiles are Burberry’s most recognizable hallmark. The Burberry Check was introduced in the 1920s and was first used in linings for the raincoats the company produced. Nowadays, it’s frequently observed on cashmere or wool-blended scarves but also appears on just about any kind of garments, ranging from swimsuits to trenchcoats.
Pictured above, you can see how Catherine, Princess of Wales, dressed for a November 2022 trip to Boston, Massachusetts with her husband, William, Prince of Wales. Princess Catherine wore a green plaid Burberry midi dress for the couple’s meeting with the Mayor of Boston Michelle Wu at Boston’s City Hall.
The princess had previously been spotted wearing Burberry in March of 2011, before her marriage to Prince William. When the couple traveled to Northern Ireland, they were photographed at Greenmount Agricultural College. That day, Princess Catherine wore a wool-cashmere blend coat by Burberry and carried an umbrella. She accessorized with black tights and tall black boots.