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Amazing fashion style of Kate Middleton’s: How to Wear a Coat with an Evening Gown (Part 1)

Today, we’ll examine several evening gowns suggested by readers for inclusion in our One-Hit Wonder category and review three distinctive coats that many believe deserve a second appearance.

We begin with the Amanda Wakeley design worn by the Duchess of Cambridge in October 2011 for her first solo engagement. The event was a small dinner at Clarence House for In Kind Direct, an organization that takes surplus goods and redistributes them to appropriate charities. The Duchess was filling in for Prince Charles, who was in Saudi Arabia following the death of that country’s Crown Prince.

The Duchess chose a soft aqua or seafoam gown dating back to Amanda Wakeley’s autumn/winter 2006-2007 collection.

The draped, floor-length Empire Line gown featured sparkling trim at the waist and shoulder straps. In the center photo showing the runway version of the gown, you can see the waistline alteration to the Duchess’s dress, raising the belt several inches.

The Duchess wore her hair partially up.

She accessorized with the diamond bracelet and earring set believed to be a wedding gift and her ‘Vamp’ heels by Jimmy Choo. 

Another gown receiving many mentions was the Jenny Packham design worn for a November 2011 fundraiser.  

The Duke and Duchess hosted the event at St. James’s Palace.

The one-shoulder Grecian-style dress by Jenny Packham was made of silvery chiffon and satin. It featured a draped bodice and self-belt. A similar Jenny Packham style in red was available at the time, likely the inspiration for the Duchess’s dress. 

The Duchess wore her hair mostly down with just a small portion pulled back.

She wore vintage-style earrings by Beaut Jewellery and a poppy pin. We saw the same diamond bracelet and Jimmy Choo ‘Vamp’ sandals as shown above.

Our third gown today is the Gucci design seen at a 100 Women in Finance gala dinner.

That function was held in February 2019 at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.

The off-the-shoulder Gucci design showcased a crisscrossed deep V-neck bodice with bands of pale pink and mauve and a floaty, flowing skirt in layers of pleated tulle with a sheer chiffon overlay.

The Duchess accented the waistline with a velvet band.

The Duchess wore her ‘Cabrina’ pumps by Oscar de la Renta and carried the Prada clutch we first saw at Princess Eugenie’s wedding.

She wore her hair partially back. 

And repeated the Kiki McDonough diamond and morganite earrings that were first noted at her sister Pippa’s wedding.

Today we also look at three One-Hit Wonder coats, all of them worn by the Princess of Wales when visiting Scotland. The design mentioned most frequently by readers is the Holland Cooper trench coat worn for an outdoor movie screening at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

The special showing of Disney’s Cruella was for NHS (National Health Service) staff in May 2021 to thank them for their vital work throughout the pandemic. The royals arrived for the event in a 1966 Land Rover that belonged to The Duke of Edinburgh. 

The Duchess delivered remarks before the movie started. You can see how the colors of the coat popped against the red background. 

Holland Cooper’s Marlborough Trench Coat (£849, about $1075 today’s exchange rates) was in a pattern called Heather Tartan.

The double-breasted design was 100% wool with a fitted silhouette, belted waist, buckle fastenings at the cuff, epaulets on the shoulders, back storm flap, deep back vent, and piped trim on the angled front pockets. 

I think the fabric deserves a close-up.

Arguably, the most notable accessory that evening was the sapphire and diamond earrings on loan from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.

The Duchess also wore a pair of Manolo Blahnik’s BB Point Toe Pumps ($725) in deep green velvet.

Our next design from a Scotland trip is a Christopher Kane ensemble worn during an October 2015 visit to Dundee. 

The look included a knee-length coat and skirt by the designer and a black turtleneck sweater.

These photos provide a look at the outfit beneath the coat.

The coat was described as “a slim-fitted dogtooth wool tailored coat with belt.”

It was very much like the icy blue satin Christopher Kane coat the Duchess wore to the Olympic Games opening ceremony in 2012, at Order of the Garter in 2014 (photo below left), and a 2017 garden party. This graphic points out some of the similar design elements. The silhouette is much the same; other shared elements include princess seaming, the hidden/covered placket, small lapels, on-seam pockets, and slim self-belt.

This offers a good look at the fabric used in the pieces, a royal blue houndstooth (also called dogtooth, primarily when used in a smaller pattern) in royal blue.

The Duchess was wearing her Rhumba boots by Aquatalia. She also carried her Cornelia James Imogen gloves ($175) and her Muse clutch by Stuart Weitzman.

Our final coat was seen during a May 2014 visit to Scotland. The Duchess was in a vibrant red and coral style by Scottish-born designer Jonathan Saunders.  

The Duke and Duchess had several engagements during their visit, including a stop at the Strathearn Community Campus, an area with a mix of leisure and sports facilities. The Duchess was given a kilt in the Strathearn tartan for Prince George, modeled by a large teddy bear.

They also stopped by the Famous Grouse, the country’s oldest distillery.

The Duchess’s Jonathan Saunders coat was the ‘Athena’ style from the designer’s autumn/winter 2013 collection.

The single-breasted style was made in the UK of a jacquard weave in a wool and mohair blend (86% wool, 11% mohair, and 3% polyamide). It had a notch collar, a single breast pocket, two front flap pockets, and a back vent. It was also offered in a deep olive green.

Here, you can see how the buttons were matched to the different colors in the graduated stripe pattern.

Beneath the coat, the Duchess wore the ‘Scarlett pleat front dress’ in a color called ‘geranium’ by Jane Atelier, formerly GOAT Fashion. She accessorized with two standbys: her Avona clutch and Sledge heels, both by LK Bennett.

The Duchess wore a brooch showcasing a Celtic knot, believed to have been a wedding gift from Prince William. She also wore another stalwart piece in her jewelry collection, her Citrine Drop Earrings (£695, about $875 today’s exchange rates) by Kiki McDonough. (I have added some repliKates for these to the Earrings page.)

There are still several gowns I think deserve a post and a smattering of other pieces.

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