The appeal of Kate Middleton's style is lost on me. It's always felt just a little too... safe? Yes, she's refreshingly down-to-earth and sure, her ability to incorporate mass retailers like Zara is relatable to many. But iconic? No. I think ultimately, for me, it's that Kate Middleton doesn't really take chances with her clothes, or hair or makeup for that matter. Admittedly, she's someone whose every move is watched, and she is a member of the British monarchy, but she needs to "loosen up a bit" or "change course." Perhaps she should first look to Princess Diana for a few pointers.
Off-duty Diana (I'm talking early days) was as stylish as a princess can get. With her oversized tweed blazers and 501s, it felt so natural, effortless. All with a little edge. (Sorry Kate, but J. Brands and slouchy pirate boots do not a style icon make.) To me, great personal style never feels played-by-the-book. I think Kate Middleton is overthinking it. And the result of that? A style that looks more designed by committee than by personal preference.
For starters, it's time to toss those nude nylon pantyhose. (Incidentally, this is something hotly contested around here at the office.) But for real, why does she wear those? I get that she's a duchess, and they probably make her feel more polished, pulled-together and what not, but it's 2012, time to take a different approach.
Next, her hair: The half-up, half-down style is a relic of a bygone era. As are the bouncy, curled ends. It's confusing and pageant-y.
And the eyeliner! What's going on there? Lining her entire eye with black liner is a bold move (especially for daytime, as she seems to prefer). Eyeliner this dark only makes her eyes look smaller. It's not really doing her any favors. She should try something in a less-aggressive shade of bronze or brown.
Also, what's with all the shrunken blazers? Paired with mid-calf riding boots? Kate's in a style rut. I can understand that being in the spotlight and now being official royalty and all, there are some standards to uphold, but let loose a little. Once she relaxes, then her true sense of style (and potential style icon status) will begin to evolve. It should be noted that she recently wore vintage, which revealed a glimmer of hope for more adventurous, experimental outfits to come.
I will hand it to her though: Her perma-smile is genuinely charming. So she wins some points there.