Fab or Bridesmaid: Kate Middleton


Judging from the last two or three days, Kate is back to work. Here, she’s hosting a charity event at the National Portrait Gallery. You guys know I have a great and abiding fondness for her, but I’m not entirely sure I’m feeling this. Please do weigh in.

[Photos: Getty]



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Comments (57):

  1. Mouse

    The fabric of this dress in other pictures looks stiff and itchy…and it doesn’t look like it fits quite right in the boobs…but, you know, during pregnancy those suckers change size daily.

    • Christa

      Agreed. The seem up the front doesn’t help either. It looks like a Butterick pattern that my mom would have sewn for me when I was in high school and we lived in the country.

      • Michelle

        Haha! Yes! Butterick!

        The front view makes her chestular area look much wider than it really is, but the side view is great. Her tum has grown quite a bit over the past few weeks!

  2. goldfish

    She’s pregnant. I give her a pass, because it’s the waistline that makes it look bridesmaidy (it’s a word!). She would have skirted the issue altogether, though, if she had worn a color that was a little richer / darker.

  3. mary lou bethune

    I wish she was wearing one of her darling coats.

  4. D.O.T - is a lot

    She looks so fabulous during her pregnancy – she is a real princess:*
    Simple sometimes mean best – we love it:*


  5. Sarah

    I do think a necklace or a bracelet would’ve been a nice addition. But like goldfish said, she’s pregnant and I give her a pass – seems likely she’ll have a miss or two during these last few months before the baby arrives. The color is lovely on her and she is glowing and happy.

  6. Ruth

    This color is more icy than others she has worn and doesn’t do much for her coloring. (Imagine it on January Jones- that color works for her.) At least she’s not wearing peplum pants.

  7. AJ

    The fabric is what gets me. I’m just really not impressed with Emilia’s tailoring. For an expensive-ish bespoke piece, it should look a lot better.

    Hair, makeup, shoes, facial expressions? All fab.

  8. Pegmn

    I think she looks lovely. She doesn’t need any more jewelry as long as she has that RING! :-)

  9. Melanie

    Did they paint the picture of Harry sideways on purpose, so people can pose with it like they’re kissing? You know that’s going to happen.

    • AJ

      Excuse me while I book a plane ticket to London immediately, to go do just that.

      • Popcouver

        WHY DID I NOT THINK OF THAT!? You aren’t supposed to take photos but that didn’t stop me from taking a picture of the Anna Wintour Pointillism.

  10. Stefanie

    Things I want to steal in this set of photos: Kate’s hair, Kate’s earrings, The giant painting of William and Henry. I have the perfect place for all of these items.

    I dont dislike the dress but it isnt as good as we are used to seeing. She still looks great though. I think its one of those things where the bar is set so high it would be impossible to reach every time.

  11. Lizzy

    Lovely as always. Can’t even fault her on the lack of bling – she’s all class (and just imagine all of the jewels she could have worn!)
    And I can’t wait to see the results of your photobomb!

  12. michelle

    Two things:
    1) she could be at that stage in her pregnancy where the hormones make you hot ALL THE TIME. Not sure if other people had that but when I was about this far along it was winter and I could wander around without a coat in Washington State and still be warm.
    2) this dress could have been tailored even a couple weeks ago and it would still not look quite right. the tummy’s grown quite a bit the last couple weeks, that’s a little more common when you’re quite tall. It takes a little longer to show and then it seems overnight the little rascal has grown three pounds and 6 inches and you’ve got the tummy!
    Overall a pass, she looks comfy and happy and at this point that’s a great day.

    • loonytick

      Yep, my first thought when I saw this was that the dress was meant for a month or so from now when her boobs and belly will likely be bigger, probably with the intention of tailoring it once she got to that point…but she woke up feeling SO HOT and went with the bigger, not-yet-altered dress just to avoid sleeves.

  13. AM

    I LOVE this dress, even if it weren’t maternity. Her hair is fantastic. A necklace and maybe a jacket would be nice additions, but she still looks good. I wouldn’t want to be her because yeah, people are looking at her and judging and commenting, and it would all get on my nerves.

  14. Martha

    I’m not loving how this dress looks from the front, but I do think it looks great from the side. And the color is a nice change. A bracelet would have been nice, but with the ring and the earrings, and I’m assuming also something to hold her hair back, she doesn’t absolutely need it.

  15. Jenny

    I don’t know…I love her and usually love her clothes. But while she looks great, that dress really looks like a good home ec project, not a bespoke piece that cost a lot of money. The hem looks terrible, the front seam is terrible, and from other photos I’ve seen, the fit in the back is off.

    •  Beth

      This is where I am on this dress, too. I think a proper maternity piece wouldn’t look so…tent-y? I think? It’s too loose for my tastes, although I do think she’s trying to not make her bump front-and-center.

      I saw pictures of her from the back, and it looks almost sloppy. I like the color, though, as it’s an interesting shade and is refreshing to see amid a see of dark outfits.

  16. Sandra

    Is this a daytime or an evening event? That would influence my thoughts on jewelry or lack thereof. The dress isn’t as perfectly tailored as usual, but like everybody else said, that’s really hard to do when your body is different every single day. I’m just glad to see her happy and healthy after the rough time she had early in her pregnancy.

  17. Sajorina

    I think she looks tasteful, classic and beautiful! It reminds me of the dresses my mom wore in the 60s and I love it! Plus, as always, her hair & makeup are flawless and her jewelry is divine! And those shoes rock! FAB!!!

  18. angie

    I give her a pass too. She looks quite lovely and so so so happy.

    At least she didn’t have a matching ribbon in her hair.

  19. ErinE

    I think it’s fine. The top part looks a little too big or something – I think a more fitted top would make me even like the dress. It’s kind of old school pregnant princess.

  20. Elizabeth Kerri Maho

    I personally love this color on her. I agree though that a necklace or a bracelet would really pull the dress together or both. It’s rare that we see her in anything that is completely sleeveless, so I’m guessing that it was really warm yesterday in England. The Daily Mail said that this is the first dress that she’s worn that is actually a maternity dress as opposed to just a regular dress that fit over the bump.

  21. Gigi

    None of your photos show it, but that dress actually has back boobs. No. Otherwise, yes.

    Kate, sidebar? Please control your manic expressions, especially the weird underbite smile. Relax, you’re fine. However, thank you for not being afraid of gaining pregnancy weight. You look so much better as someone who seems to care about fetal development and have a positive relationship with carbs.

  22. Andy

    Copy editing nerd alert: technically she is standing on the podium while speaking behind the lectern. Regardless of her prepositional status, I think she looks amazing.

  23. Gine

    I like it, although she could’ve used some more jewelry. I LOVED her hair, though. It was all twisty in the back and looked really cool.

  24. Nancy

    Awful. Totally home sewn, from the 50s or 60s. Looks like the old bathrobe fabrics they had on Mad Men recently. A rare miss.

  25. greatwhitenorthchick

    It’s the colour that’s bad, I think. It’s cold, like Scandinavian wall colour, brrrrr.
    Would have looked great in navy blue. But I’m glad for her growing bimp (as Clouseau would say). Here’s hoping for a healthy chittlin’.

  26. Mary


    Surely an entire cupboard of commemorative cups will be available when the royal baby is born…?

  27. Lelde

    I like shopping at http://www.stylewhile.com as you can try on clothes before buying them! They have a great selection of designer clothes and accessories!:)

  28. Akit

    I think she looks divine, but granted a bangle would be banging here.
    FYI that painting off the brothers in the NPG is even more lovely in the ‘flesh’.I’ve stood before it several times.

    Greetings from London. Do come by! Always happy to have a fug gal in town. Quick, before London’s quitessential charm is totally eradicated by more American stuff! ha ha! No offense, but I’m sure you get my drift. ;-)

  29. minacornell

    She looks lovely and healthy and happy and, as usual, you’re right about the dress. It’s pretty and an unusual (and flattering) color for her but it just needed the punch of a necklace or a brooch or a bracelet or something. (Seems to me the royals have a jewelry collection, right?)

    Re the painting of the boys, oddly enough, I just saw it last week in London. So bummed to have missed Kate. The painting looks great. Vibrant, fun, and alive…as opposed to the dreary, dull and totally off portrait of Kate which is down the hall and in another gallery. That one’s really superyikes.

    • Susan

      Is her portrait as bad as it looks? I was hoping it was better in real life.

      I like cut of this dress — perfect for a preggers duchess — but I agree that it looks poorly made and I don’t love the fabric.

      • minacornell

        The Kate portrait is weirdly soft-focus and makes her look disconnected and alien (and not in that good Tilda Swinton-alien way) – and much older than she is!. She is such a pretty young woman who seems to have a sense of humor and a sense of reality. You don’t see any of that in the portrait.

  30. Helen

    It’s fine, it’s just, I think I’d like it better on Samantha Stevens.

  31. hb

    never a fan of the front seam, looks cheap

  32.  ringthing

    Pregnancy gives her an all inclusive pass, in my book. Her makeup looks kind of harsh, but then again, she might be in need of some extra color right now? Hormones do weird things.

    • Helen

      Her makeup always looks harsh (brow grooming, too). It’s simply the way she likes it. She’s so very pretty, while I love that she unpretentiously does her own face, I do wish she’d let a makeup artist teach her how to make it a little more soft and flattering.

  33. TonyG

    Not a fan of this one. I like the skirt portion but the top is not tailored correctly for her. Also, very broad piece of a fabric at the waist doesn’t make sense to me.

  34. katkin74

    I love it. I think she always looks elegant. The color is great on her, the fabric is interesting – the top could use a bit of tailoring but she’s pregnant; kudos for being out of sweatpants kid!

  35. Jen from cincy

    My judgment is clouded! I always think she looks so classy and appropriate. Pregnancy agrees with her – she is so beautiful. I can’t bring myself to criticize.

  36. Cat

    I don’t love this. I don’t like the length and the dress is just aggressively “fine” but not really anything else. And it’s very plain without any sort of accessories. I also don’t like that it seems to pooch under her boobs, but part of that may just be the fact that it’s very difficult to tailor things when you’re body changes everyday, especially since this fabric doesn’t seem to have a lot of stretch to it.

    I will say, though, that I like the color and I love how it looks from the side.

  37. Susu

    At least her hair looks cute, right? I like that she has it pulled back, but casual.

  38. Edith

    Love the dress, but it desperately needs accessories – a nice necklace would be great. But ugh, I hate her hair pulled back in this little-girlie style. I don’t know any grown women who do this, except for the Duchess.

  39. Jane

    Not feeling it. No doubt it’s a-coupla-three-months’-rent expensive, but it somehow looks cheap and home-made. The fabric looks synthetic and prickly and the seams don’t seem (sorry!) to have been introduced to an iron at any point.

  40. googler

    I love the color on her, but I don’t love the design. I don’t hate it, though.


    It looks like a flower corsage made out of a medical waste bag. I am not a fan. But JEEZ is she pretty.

  42. Hooples

    Jessica, If you come to the UK please don’t spend all your time in London! There are so many beautiful parts of the UK that are outside of our nations capital. Like The Lake District, and the welsh valleys, and the Scottish highlands, and the Yorkshire Moors. And there are other cities like Manchester and Birmingham and Liverpool that are just as interesting, but with friendlier people ;)

  43. Mary

    Oh come on. She looks fresh, young, pretty and classy. The colour is great on her. I love the back. The dress is flattering to her bump (doesn’t hide it, but doesn’t cling). Much better than the horrendous sleazy maternity wear I’m seeing on a lot of other celebs.

  44. Guerra

    If this was on anyone else people would not be so kind.. I understand she has to look conservative but can she look a little bit more modern?

  45. Noel

    The real problem here is the fabric. Imagine it in silk and you have a drastic improvement. The seams would be much less noticeable and the gathered waist would form soft waves instead of stiff peaks.

    I’m not too sure that sleeveless is appropriate for anything that isn’t beach-related, but I understand that her hormones could make her uncomfortably warm.

  46.  Vandalfan

    Oh! The boys!

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