Kate Middleton’s fashion influence can be felt far and wide, from the boutiques of luxury ateliers to mass market brands on High Street. Her ability to swing her style between pricey custom pieces and approachable, everyday basics is what makes the Duchess of Cambridge at once relatable and distinctly royal. Though you may not have Alexander McQueen's Sarah Burton on call, you can still take cues from Middleton's polished looks to better inform your own end-of-season celebrations. Specifically, much-needed wedding guest outfit ideas can be found in Middleton's own semi-formal appearances this summer. Chances are, every type of ceremony on your calendar calls for a dress style that the young royal has already sported.
Laidback nuptials are the opportunity to break out breezy floral dresses with flutter sleeves and romantic ruffle detailing paired with Middleton’s go-to lace-up espadrille wedges. More refined affairs — think formal daytime ceremonies or conservative events — mean structured, modest styles that royal engagements often require. But black tie-ready ensembles are where Middleton shines brightest. If you want to bypass her favored coat dress or skirt suit choices, you can set your sights on any of her recent wins including sleek, body-con columns that show just a little decolletage or diaphanous, pleated numbers with loads of intricate, monochromatic details.
Below, find five of Kate Middleton’s most recent fashionable outfits that are destined to inspire your own late summer wedding guest look.
If you're headed to a trendy cocktails only reception where the couple has sidestepped a sit-down meal in favor of a less formal set-up, then Middleton's fit and flare Emilia Wickstead dress might do the trick. The light blue square-necked style made an appearance at the 2019 Men's Final at Wimbledon. The ensemble gets a flirty upgrade thanks to femme touches like retro-inspired twisted shoulders, sculpted bodice details, and a fit-and-flare silhouette. Look for intriguing details or texture-rich fabrication to spice up your party outfit.
Though Middleton typically accessorizes with her preferred nude heels, consider stilettos or block heels in bold, contrasting hues like fuschia or chartreuse to make the overall effect that much more special.
Though Middleton doesn't typically go for flowy dress styles, the Duchess of Cambridge recently visited one of her royal patronages, Action for Children, wearing a breezy patterned dress by Ridley London. For a backyard ceremony, opt for a similar flowy dresses with fluttery sleeves and a relaxed fit that moves with you on the dance floor. Botanical prints are a more sophisticated alternative to all-over blooms that might compete with the setting.
Middleton stuck with more muted tones here, but for outdoor nuptials feel free to turn up the volume on your color palette with petite patterns (think toile or abstract prints) in saturated tones. Look for footwear that won't get stuck in the grass like espadrille wedges or upgraded flats to finish the ensemble.
In June, the Cambridges attended the Royal Ascot, a daytime affair that calls for a more dressed-up aesthetic. Middleton wore a bespoke Elie Saab dress with coordinating clutch, Gianvito Rossi heels, and a Philip Treacy hat for the day. Take a cue from her look and opt for dusty shades of lavender, dove grey, or rose — which can be just as stunning as in-your-face brights when there are multiple textures and sheer details at play. Look for a mid-or ankle-length style that keeps you covered for more traditional ceremonies, and opt for sheer sleeves if you're concerned about overheating. The secret to capturing the modern royal affect is to keep your accessories — especially a fascinator or statement hat — in the exact same color as the rest of our ensemble.
Big City Black Tie
Sleek, elegant ceremonies with a view of the city skyline call for fitted, sculptural looks in luxe fabrications. The Duchess first wore this Barbara Casasola off-the-shoulder dress in 2016, but this year she broke it out for the 2019 Action on Addiction Gala dinner, styling it with Jimmy Choo Dégradé Glitter Pumps and slate gray satin clutch by Wilbur & Gussie. For an upcoming urban ceremony and reception, reach for a similarly fitted style with boning in the bodice or tailoring — it better fits the aesthetic than something breezy and boho. Off-the-shoulder or one-shoulder dresses are welcome, as are asymmetrical hems and refined cutout details.
Vineyard "I dos"
Bring on the blooms, dots, and even animal prints for vineyard or luxury barn-set "I dos" but be sure to choose looks with a slight throwback appeal. For the 2019 Chelsea Flower Show, Middleton wore a printed maxi dress with lattice-trimmed tiers by Erdem coupled with her essential espadrilles. 70's-inspired silhouettes like Middleton's, angled waists with a 40's feel, or flared sleeves with an old-school influence all take a look above and beyond a standard A-Line fit. Style with sleek flats or textured wedges to make your entire look as functional as it is fashionable. You don't want anything getting in the way of you sipping wine under the stars.