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Wardrobe Oxygen: Kate Middleton Travel Fashion

By (view all posts by AlisonGary)
at 7:56AM Monday July 11, 2011
under Shop Smarter

Unless you live under a rock, you know that Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge just finished up a tour of North America. Every blog, newspaper, and morning talk show has broken down not only the royal couple's itinerary and activities, but Kate's sartorial choices.

We all don't have a royal jet or royal funds (or an on-call hair stylist), but we can learn from Kate Middleton and her travel wardrobe. Throughout the entire trip, she always looked effortlessly chic, comfortable, and completely appropriate for every situation.

  • Pack Solid Colors. I always believe in choosing more solid colors than prints for any wardrobe--they are easier to mix and match, less memorable, and less likely to go out of fashion at the end of the season. Solids make even more sense when traveling as they can be dressed up and down more easily, can be worn multiple days without looking obvious, and usually look more chic. Kate's choices of solid colors meant her ensembles would be more likely appropriate for situations, not trying to draw attention away from events and dignitaries, but still look stylish.

  • Dress for the Location. When in Canada, Kate wore Canadian designers such as Erdem and wore a maple leaf brooch which belonged to Queen Elizabeth. When she visited Montreal, she wore French-born designer Catherine Walker. On Canada day, she wore a red and white ensemble, topped with a red fascinator decorated with maple leaves. At the Calgary Stampede, the Duchess wore jeans and a Western-inspired shirt with boots and a cowboy hat.

    We don't all have the opportunity to attend special events and holidays, but it is in good taste to dress appropriately for what events you have planned on your travels. Cover shoulders (and often your head) when visiting houses of worship, wear the local team's colors at a sporting event, steer clear of historically unlucky or inappropriate colors like red and black when attending weddings and other religious events.

  • Pick a Neutral palette with pops of color. Kate's travel wardrobe mainly consisted of navy, red, and soft shades of whites and grays. She occasionally had a pop of color such as her green Diane von Furstenberg dress, or a bright purple piece by Issa, but by keeping to a simple color palette with the occasional pop of color, you need to bring fewer shoes and bags to coordinate appropriately.

  • Pack a Neutral Shoe for Versatility. Kate was often seen during this tour wearing a pair of nude pumps or black espadrilles. Both shoe was simple, on-trend but not trendy and extremely versatile. From suits to shifts, the pumps looked elegant and flattering; the espadrilles looked great with a polka-dot dress as well as a trim pair of jeans. The more versatile your shoe, the fewer pairs you need to pack and the more room you have in your luggage.

  • Pack Pieces that May be Worn Multiple Times and Ways. The Duchess packed a navy blazer which she paired one day with a ruffled blouse and dark skinny jeans; another day she wore the same blazer with a navy shift as an elegant suit.. Those same skinny jeans had a different effect another day when she wore them with a khaki fitted camp shirt and Sebago flats one day and yet another time with a windbreaker for the dragon boat races.

  • Pack for any Weather. Kate brought a navy trench from Ted Baker and was seen with navy and clear umbrellas (I love clear umbrellas--on trend, easy to see where you are going, and the dome effect keeps you and your bag dry in the worst storms). Kate was also seen with a cranberry-colored pashima knotted at her throat with the trench. I adore pashminas for travel--they can be worn for warmth, as a shawl with a dress in the evening, and can even pull double-duty as a cozy blanket on a chilly airplane.


What travel fashion tips and tricks do you utilize? Share them with us in the comments!

Alison Gary has over ten years experience as a personal shopper, stylist, and visual merchandiser. Her blog Wardrobe Oxygen provides fashion advice to all women, regardless of age, size, budget, or lifestyle. She is a full-time working mother, blogger, wife, and frugal fashionista located in the Washington D.C. area.