After looking at Elizabeth Olsen's quirky, cute style last week, it was hard to choose a follow-up. This happens after pretty much every Style Obsession post because at the time, they are the person who's style I admire the most.. But then perfect timing struck - as Kate Middleton turns 30, it makes perfect sense to look at her best outfits to date. And there have been a lot. Kate lives her entire life under the scrutiny of the world (well, she is a princess after all) and therefore has to keep up her stylish reputation. Kate fever has not personally caught me, in that I didn't even watch the royal wedding (I was on holiday) and I basically am only interested in her outfits, but her popularity is striking. There are thousands of 'Mini Middletons' out there who really look up to her, and admire her. Sartorially, I can understand why. She effortlessly mixes high street pieces from Reiss, Whistles and Zara with incredible haute couture pieces from Alexander McQueen, creating covetable looks that for once are not all about flashing the flesh. Her royal-appropriate, classically chic style sets the perfect example for girls out there who want to look timelessly elegant, and who don't feel the need to 'get it all out' to look stunning.
There is also a certain amount of lust centred around her always-perfect, perpetually-blow-dried brunette locks - Kate almost always wears her hair down, and with shiny, waved tresses like that I understand why. I do slightly envy her hair. That and the fact that she never seems to turn to dramatic or OTT makeup to make a statement, she lets her natural beauty shine through and doesn't feel the need to mask her features. Here are my favourite Middleton ensembles so far..
Way, way back in 2008, Kate had an eye for the perfect evening dress, and her hair was already glossy and perfect. I adore the candy-pink shade on her, which suits her skin tone gorgeously. Another thing that Kate has down is accessorizing - she never over-accessorises, and prefers to let the clothes do the talking, simply accenting them cleverly with chic, simple accessories. I love the black clutch and shoes, and glam silver earrings.
Kate loves to rock a blue dress (royal connotations maybe?), and it really does work for her in all shades. This is a very classic, chic outfit - the black shoes and blazer frame the blue dress gorgeously and simply, while the big, bold hat revs it up no end. I'm not sure I'd do a hat like that, but on her, it works.
The world and his wife remembers this Issa dress that Kate wore when her engagement to Prince William was announced. It sold out in a few hours, due to the 'Kate effect' - simply put, everyone wants to dress like a Middleton. Admittedly, it is perfect on her.. that colour, the wrap-effect waist, everything about this just makes her shine. And I love the way she even styled up Wills a little, getting him into a co-ordinating navy blue suit. Clever girl.
Possibly the biggest fashion moment of 2011, and the biggest one of Kate's life, was the royal wedding back in April 2011. The whole world was watching with baited breath to see her wedding dress, bets had been placed on the designer and it was basically the sartorial mystery of the year. And nobody was disappointed. When Kate emerged in this absolutely stunning Alexander McQueen dress the fashion world went wild - it was understated, classic and at the same time made a beautiful statement. I adore the lace overlay and the sweeping train, which makes this dress look right out of a fairytale.
After their wedding, Kate & Wills had a lot of public appearances to do, and all eyes were on what Kate would wear, to see if she could keep up the stylish rep she had already gathered. I think it's safe to say she pulled it off. I love this powder-blue dress, which shows off her gorgeous figure and long legs, but subtly. Her raffia wedges are also a winner in my book, because for once we can see a celebrity wearing sensible shoes on a day out.
Meeting the Obamas has got to be a bit nerve-wracking, since Michelle Obama is notoriously stylish and Barack is a political giant, but Kate didn't let that put her off her fashion stride. This nude dress is simply perfect - another one that sold out within hours of her being seen in it! It is classic, chic, and again fairly conservative, falling just above the knee, but still shows off that slender frame that everyone is so jealous of. Flawless hair and makeup again..
This dress is probably my favourite of all of Kate's looks. The pastel hue and stunning sequins just scream celebrity, but in the timeless way of the screen sirens. They also set off her natural peachy complexion perfectly. I can't quite describe exactly why I love this ensemble, but every time I look at the photo she just looks so gorgeous that I can't take my eyes off her.
She's also one for dressing for the occasion - what better choice to meet the army than a gorgeous military-inspired outfit? I can't get enough of this fitted military coat-dress with gorgeous gold buttons, which Kate has accessorized perfectly with a matching navy fascinator and navy shoes (she is clearly way ahead of the top-to-toe colour trend).
Not many of us could look this fresh while stepping off a plane! At best I look crumpled, sleep-deprived and bored when arriving at an airport, but somehow Kate looks resplendent in nude and pale pink, with a gorgeous smile for the crowds. I do like a good tonal outfit, and here she has matched her hues faultlessly.
The blue dress strikes again, this time an Erdem number with gorgeous lace on the decolletage/sleeves and a little slit just above the knee. Again, the shade is stunning on her, and her accessories are flawless. A classic nude shoe and clutch are wardrobe staples which Kate is unafraid to work time and time again because she knows how good they look. My favourite part of this outfit however, is her super-bouncy curls - gorgeous.
A very sweet, delicate look here in Jenny Packham - that dress is simply stunning. There are no other words for it. Perfect on Kate's willowy form.
Someone is way ahead of the uber-girlie trend of SS'12.. This romantic, full-skirted, floor-sweeping pastel gown is another example of timeless elegance, a look that again harks back to the screen sirens of old Hollywood, and suits Kate perfectly.
Kate doesn't often do black, which makes it even more striking when she does. This gorgeous Alexander McQueen dress is simplicity itself, but still has a super-luxe feel, especially when put on Kate Middleton. Her iconic status, glossy blow-dry and natural beauty are the perfect compliments to this gown - kudos to Kate for making a black dress feel anything but boring and 'been-there-done-that'.