I’ll admit it… like many girls in my generation, I had a little crush on Prince William, as a teenager. Charming, attractive, and classy, I think my admiration for Britain’s heir to the throne paralleled my mom and her friends’ admiration for JFK Jr. From the time I was thirteen up until I started college, I was probably one among millions of young women who actually believed, I had a shot at becoming a princess… and when a pretty, doe eyed coed from St. Andrews University stole his heart, mine was crushed… a little… okay, a lot! Like many girls, I thought, “who is this Kate Middleton?"
Being a college romance, I’m sure there are many girls who were right there with me, holding their breath to see if his royal highness would leave one commoner for another… but after a while, as my crush crashed, burned, and the teenage dream faded away, I grew quite fond of Miss Middleton. As her romance with Prince William blossomed, so did her style…
(Kate looks radiant in a sapphire blue Issa London wrap dress to match her new 18-carat sapphire and diamond engagement ring that once belonged to the late-Princess Diana)
Through the eight-year courtship, Middleton has become a style icon, but looking good never came easy. In her early years dating Wills, royal watchers were critical of her appearance. Although naturally pretty, Middleton was often labeled by critics as “too common” for a prince.
(Sporting a summery version of her signature wrap dress at a polo match)
Needless to say, she enlisted some help for a makeover. Under the guidance of British style-maven Leesa Whisker, Middleton, the belle of St. Andrews University, developed a clean, conservative style fit for royalty, and captured worldwide attention. She has made several international best-dressed lists, including “Vanity Fair” in 2008, and “People Magazine’s Top 10 Best Dressed” in 2010.
(Kate is often known to wear creations from British designers, like Issa, featured on the left, but dazzled the crowd in a simple plunging turquoise gown by American label, BCBG Max Azria)
Standing at 5’10” with sparkling hazel eyes, chestnut hair, and reported measurements of 30-23-33 according to one style source, Middleton’s eight-year courtship with the future king isn’t the only cause for envy among women. The English Rose is just about any stylist's dream come true.
Over the years “Team Kate,” has developed several signature looks that put a new millennium twist on royal tradition. So as the royal couple prepares for what may perhaps be the wedding of the 21st Century, let’s take a look back at some of my favorite looks in Middleton’s “style file”…
1) Evening Elegance
From clean coed to royal bombshell in a gunmetal silk Issa London gown. A black clutch and pumps complete the outfit.
2) A Royal Affair
One of her first public appearances with the royal family at the 2006 Sovereign’s Parade. I’m a firm believer that every woman should have one bright coat in her closet. Kate caps off British tradition in a custom made hat and smart leather gloves. She keeps the conservative look young and modern with her signature black suede boots, opaque tights, and clutch.
3) All That Glitters
Kate sparkles in a daring, black sequined mini-dress with her signature black suede boots showing off her long legs and svelte frame.
4) Smart and Chic
A contemporary twist to the jackets and dresses you would see at many wedding ceremonies for English Aristocrats. Kate pairs an electric blue silk cocktail dress with a fitted single button blazer and custom designed hat.
5) Iconic “White-Hot” Coat
Perhaps the most sought after item from Kate’s closet. A simple white, double-breasted wool coat, perfectly fitted with a swing cut, A-line bottom that allows the garment to hang like a dress.
With a look that’s prim, proper, but still young and contemporary, Middleton paints the portrait of a modern princess. The world may be watching as she prepares for her wedding, but there’s no doubt that the 28-year old icon is ready to assume her responsibilities in public life, and do it all—in style.
Middleton, like most girls, was not born of royal or aristocratic blood, but I think her story resonates with every girl who wants to believe in fairy tales. Some girls would be lucky to meet someone that treats her like a princess, but Middleton found a real prince, and shows all the single girls who lost hope in love that there can be a "happily ever after."
Priscilla Luong thinks once Kate marries into Britain’s royal family and has unlimited access to all the royal couturiers, she will need to clean out her single girl’s closet. If her highness decides on a public auction for the single, common girls who could use some of her shoes, wardrobe, and pure fabulosity… Priscilla will be first in line. If you plan to outbid Priscilla, or happen to find that gorgeous Issa wrap dress, drop a courtesy note at email@example.com, she’s looking for one to wear on-air…