Princess Style: All About Kate Middleton's Engagement Photo Looks

12/13/2010 at 03:20 PM ET

All About Kate Middleton's Engagement Photo Looks
Mario Testino (2)

Despite the similarities between Kate Middleton and Princess Diana’s pale silk blouses in their official engagement portraits, when it comes to fashion, these two princesses are cut from a different cloth. Whereas Princess Diana wore an oyster pink crepe silk chiffon blouse with a ruffled collar designed by Elizabeth Emanuel (who went on to design her wedding gown), Kate chose a more modest vintage-inspired silk blouse from London high street chain Whistles—likely pulled from her own chic closet. Retailing for 95 pounds (about $151) when she originally bought it from the line’s fall/winter 2008 collection, Whistles will reissue a limited-edition “Kate” blouse in time for the April 29 royal wedding, “due to a surge in customer interest,” says the company’s CEO Jane Shepherdson. “These are the type of clothes Kate feels comfortable in. She didn’t stray too far from her personal style at all,” says stylist Nikki Pennie, who has worked with Kate in the past, even introducing her to Daniella Issa Helayel, designer of that now iconic blue dress. “It’s obviously a conscious effort to represent British brands and ones that are affordable too,” says Pennie.

In the more formal portrait, Middleton chose Links of London jewelry and the “Nannette” dress by 39-year-old British label Reiss, pictured below, and also worn by celebs like Heidi Klum and Nicole Kidman. Purchased from the fall 2009 collection, then selling for 159 pounds (about $253), Kate’s dress is reportedly now selling on eBay for twice that price. Like Whistles, Reiss will reissue a similar dress for $325 on Jan. 11 at “Kate has been a customer of Reiss for some time now,” says founder David Reiss. “Having the eyes of the world upon her and subsequently her pick from national and international designers alike, we were delighted that Kate chose to show her support for British brand Reiss.” By picking two labels that don’t offer bridal collections, Kate seems uninterested in fueling speculation about who will design her wedding gown. “Kate has really thought of everything here,” says Pennie. “She didn’t do this big photo shoot with Testino and make it all glamour and glitz, with heaps of expensive items. It’s just simply her. And that’s the whole thing—it shows that is she is not changing for anyone.” –Suzanne Zuckerman; reporting by Monique Jessen and Simon Perry


All About Kate Middleton's Engagement Photo Looks

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Showing 39 comments

The Look for Less: Kate’s Formal Engagement Pixs | Style of Kate on

[…] retailed for $325 last fall, which puts it into the affordable upper-middle class range. Thanks to People for finally posting a better photo of her dress. I scoured the Interwebs looking for […]

Denise on

Lanita, the reason why they said it’s affordable is because those couture items can easily cost thousands of dollars. Just Louboutin shoes (those that are red on the bottom) retail for an average of $800.
It is affordable because if everyday people loved a 300 dollar dress to death, they could buy it without going broke. The same can’t be said about some of those 5000 thousand dollar dresses other celebs wear. Most people might have 5 grand in their bank accounts but not to buy a dress because they have bills to pay with that money. Believe me, in the couture world, 300 dollars is nothing.

Jon on

I’m glad Birthday Girl, Taylor Swift, got everything he wanted for his Birthday! I’m glad The Former TV Chef will serve 9 Years in Prison for The Murder Plot! I hope The Secret with Mona Lisa can be solved?

lan on

“all my blouses cost $115 altogether.”

You have a pricess’es wardrobe when compared to India or Africa. Over there, they don’t have the luxury to shop at Walmart or the Mall. So don’t compare the royalties to your own standard.

tesshan on

why reissue a limited edition of the blouse? I don’t get it.
she is rich and not a poor girl next door so it’s kind of normal that she spends so much for a dress…it’s not because she is a royal (she is going to be one after the wedding)

AB on

I live in the UK and that amount of money for a blouse and dress isn’t uncommon – if you want something with a bit of quality. Clothes cost so much more over here. I’m proud of her for sticking with something she already has in the wardrobe instead of going out and spending a fortune on something new.

fanofboardwalkempire on

Kate looks elegant and classy as a royal should.
I am very happy for them both- they seem very happy together and good for them!

scarlett on

That looks like something my grandmother would wear..

VictoriaPB on

@ Teeshan – why reissue the blouse? Because if the real vendor doesn’t the knock offs (not well made, cheap, etc) will. It’s business. A classic blouse will last several seasons. My 20 year old Escada coat looks as good now as the day it was given to me. Here’s a novel concept – buy well made classic pieces, wear them for years, keep trendy with accessories. Catherine’s got it right – thus, a classic style. She looks terrific. So happy for them – they don’t have to hide and actually hold hands in public. It must be so liberating.

D.K.Milgrim-Heath on

Just A Beautiful Girl Is Prince William’s Catherine
By D.K. Milgrim-Heath©2010
Just a beautiful girl is Prince William’s Catherine-
Whatever she wears she looks fabulous in!
Catherine and Princess Diana’s photos being similar by each pale silk top-
That’s where the clothing similarities of these formal engagement photos somewhat stop.
Of course the royal poses are quite close and they’re wearing the same engagement ring-
Their fashion senses are different by types of clothing they do bring.
Catherine having her worldwide iconic style she picks with care-
Copied worldwide for others to achieve her look by the clothes of what they wear!
Enjoyment of using national and international designers make her dressing varied-
Catherine seems not interested in changing for anyone because she’s getting married.
The Testino engagement photo shoots show her beauty with natural simplicity-
Will Catherine always be the same or will time change her styles by availability?
Being a royal one grows with styles as they become more mature-
The world saw that with Princess Diana yearly more and more.

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