What to wear to a wedding — according to Kate Middleton

Take your style cues from the Duchess of Cambridge when it comes to deciding what to wear to your next wedding
By Alyssa Ashton, Hello! Canada
What to wear to a wedding — according to Kate Middleton

From springtime ceremonies to fall affairs, the Duchess of Cambridge is always one fashionable wedding guest.

Here, we break down the style rules Kate follows when it comes to choosing appropriate wedding attire.

kate middleton summer wedding

You Can Wear White

Kate has worn white to multiple weddings, but she ensures she doesn’t steal attention from the bride by choosing patterned dresses.

While pregnant with Prince George in 2013, the Duchess of Cambridge wore this polka dot dress from Topshop to a friends’ wedding in Oxfordshire.

The polka dots and the black accessories added enough colour and pattern to her outfit to make it perfectly appropriate wedding wear.

Kate Middleton, what to wear to a wedding(Photo: Getty Images)

And Black is Fine, Too!

It used to be seen as a bad omen to wear black to a wedding, but Kate proves that it’s actually a sleek and modern look for guests.

Shortly after William and Kate’s engagement in 2010, the soon-to-be newlyweds attended the wedding of close friends Sarah and Harry.

Kate looked regal in an Issa dress (which she first wrote to William’s cousin Peter’s wedding) and a velvet coat from Libelula. All black can be a bit of a downer for such a happy occasion, so Kate brightened her look with colourful accessories — purple shoes and clutch in luxe velvet. 

Kate Middleton, what to wear to a wedding(Photo: Rex/Shutterstock)

Shop Your Closet

You don’t need to buy a new dress for that upcoming wedding, instead take a cue from the thrifty royal and shop your closet!

For the wedding of Princess Diana’s niece in 2012, Kate paired a lilac Jenny Packham dress with a silk Katherine Hooker coat. She first wore the floral frock in 2011 while on tour in California and premiered her tailored coat at the Order of the Garter ceremony the same year.

The senior royal makes her repeated outfits look brand new by switching up the accessories. Here, she swapped a pair of sandals for classic pumps and added drop pearls instead of studs. 

Kate Middleton, what to wear to a wedding(Photo: Getty Images)

Get a Blowout

When Kate gets a wedding invitation in the mail, she knows exactly how she will wear her hair — in her signature blowout.

Kate’s bouncy curls (sometimes pulled back in a half-up, half-down do) pair perfectly with every fascinator and cocktail hat in her large millinery collection.

Shortly after her own nuptials, Kate attended the wedding of friends Sam and Annabel in a Zara dress and a bold Lock and Co hat. Her hair, as always, looked amazing. 

Kate Middleton, what to wear to a wedding(Photo: Getty Images)

Don’t Buy New Shoes

A wedding and a night of dancing isn’t the place to break in a pair of new shoes. When Kate knows that she’s going to be on her feet all day, she breaks out her trusted L.K. Bennett pumps. She’s worn them for multiple royal engagements, royal tours and, of course, weddings.

For the wedding of William’s cousin Zara to her rugby-playing fiancé Mike, Kate looked understated in an all-cream outfit, including her comfy court shoes.

Kate Middleton, what to wear to a wedding(Photo: Getty Images)

Lace is Always in Style

When in doubt, wear lace. Duchess Kate has an enviable collection of lace dresses, which she tends to turn to come wedding season.

At the nuptials of her childhood pal, Kate repeated the navy Erdem shift dress she first wore when she arrived in Ottawa for the 2011 Royal Tour of Canada (seen here).

She added a bolero jacket, gold-plated belt and navy accessories, making for a romantic wedding look.

Kate Middleton, what to wear to a wedding(Photo: Getty Images)

You Need a Coat

It can be tricky to navigate a wedding that starts with a church ceremony and ends with a party, but Kate (the master of diplomatic dressing), manages this situation with ease.

She always chooses a wedding outfit that incorporates a coat — like this tweed M Missoni coat she wore to the wedding of friends Lucy and Charlie.

The coat allows her to cover up while in the church and then when it’s time for the reception she simply slips off the coat to reveal her party dress (in this case, a patterned Whistles frock). 

Kate Middleton, what to wear to a wedding(Photo: Getty Images)

Go for Classic Jewellery

Kate has a collection of show-stopping jewels, but she usually chooses not to break them out for weddings.

Instead she opts for understated pieces like drop pearls or diamond studs.

While attending her friends’ wedding in Switzerland, Kate looked cozy and chic in a MaxMara patterned dress and one of her favourite pairs of earrings — Annoushka pearls hanging from a Kiki McDonough hoop. Kate is keenly aware that photos of her will be around for years to come, so she always chooses classic jewels rather than trendy.

Kate Middleton, what to wear to a wedding(Photo: Getty Images)

More: 20 glam evening bags to wear to a wedding — all under $100 14 chic pieces of jewellery under $20 (that look like they cost way more) Spring dress guide: 50 midi dresses to wear from work to weekend


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