Kate Middleton’s fashion famously runs the gamut. You’ll often spot her performing her royal duties in a designer cocktail dress paired with opulent jewelry and heels of the same high-end caliber. Conversely, it’s equally as likely the next day you’d find her outfitted head-to-toe in items (perhaps a pair of blue jeans or a leisurely day dress) sourced from accessible, low-end brands. For these relatable and pared-down looks, Middleton turns to her favorite affordable brands — some of which may also be spots you frequent during your budgeted shopping excursions.
At the top of her well-curated list of tried-and-true and low-cost brands sits Zara. The Spanish retailer can be found throughout Middleton’s style file, dating back to April 2011 when she wore a $133 bright blue dress while departing for her honeymoon in the Seychelles Islands. Turning the clock forward to 2021, the royal recently wore an ivory-colored waffle blazer from Zara just last month while attending an England versus Italy football match (aka, a soccer game for the Americans out there). Time and time again, Middleton proves Zara’s budget-friendly apparel works in various contexts, from traditional royal engagements to a relaxed sports game, and they succinctly fit into her put-together yet relatable style.
Aside from Zara, Middleton’s closet overflows with items from other popular retailers, including ASOS, J.Crew, and, of course, Britain’s iconic high street spot, Boden. And regardless of exactly which retailer Middleton is repping, the items she wears rarely exceed past $100, which makes shopping her pre-approved pieces a sound decision that won’t smash your wallet into smithereens. Ahead, you’ll find a streamlined list of Middleton’s favorite affordable retailers, as well as a few TZR-selected items you can shop to recreate the duchess’ looks for yourself.
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Perhaps one of her most frequented retailers, Middleton adores Zara for its reliable blazers and sleek trousers, as well as its selection of casual-meets-preppy day dresses in various eye-catching prints and hues. Pictured above, Middleton wore a black and white herringbone dress with a bow collar and romantic balloon sleeves when speaking at Bradford Town Hall back in January 2020. You’ll find similar printed Zara dresses below, some of which feature a black and white print, while others tap into a few bolder color palettes Middleton’s has proven to love.
Middleton loves herself a reliable pump and turns to the preppy fashion hot spot, J. Crew, to source the shoes. Typically in shades of natural nudes, she wears the footwear staple in a variety of outfits for a range of activities. (Check out Middleton above, in 2019, when she participated in a game of cricket while wearing her J.Crew heels for a visit to Lahore, Pakistan.) Below you’ll find a selection of pumps from J.Crew, some in neutral colorways, others in more vivid shades, that you can easily imagine the duchess dressing up or down.
& Other Stories
While & Other Stories is typically known for its trendy collabs with pioneering indie designers and dreamy collection of sundresses and blouses, Middleton loves the retailer for its blue jeans. She wore medium-wash, cropped jeans in early June for a visit to The Natural History Museum and paired the pants with another go-to — white Veja sneakers — for a pared-back look that tapped into her occasionally casual aesthetic. Unfortunately, the duchess’ exact pair of jeans is no longer available (blame the Kate Middleton effect). TZR did, however, find a few similar-looking pairs she’d likely sport for any upcoming public outings, below.
As well as being a retail staple of Britain’s high street, Boden has long been a favorite of Middleton’s. Her most common Boden pieces are lightweight sweaters and dressy blouses, though she also owns a collection of floral dresses and colorful outerwear from the brand. Middleton’s rose-colored scalloped sweater, which she wore back in spring 2021, sold out immediately after photos of her wearing the top hit the internet. (This is par for the course when it comes to the clothes she sports.) Still, you’ll find a few similar knit tops below, as well as a few formal blouses that embody Middleton’s sharp and preppy style.
When she’s not donning centuries-old jewels and baubles that carry a royal history (see her sapphire engagement ring, which first belonged to Princess Diana), Middleton, surprisingly enough, turns to retailer ASOS for its selection of jewelry. She’s especially fond of ASOS’ golden twisted hoops, likely due to the earrings timeless design and wearability. Pictured here, Middleton wore the intricate hoops while visiting the V&A Museum in London back in May 2021. A few weeks later, the duchess donned the twisted earrings again for a meeting with U.S. First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.