Rarely missing a beat when it comes to her looks, Kate consistently sports timeless ensembles for public outings and video calls, earning her a reputation as a trendsetter.
But, are her wardrobe choices attainable for the rest of us?
As a royal, it’s only natural that she’s often dressed in big names, with the likes of Erdem, Emilia Wickstead and Alexander McQueen among her all-time favourites, but that doesn’t stop the duchess from snapping up pieces from the high street too.
Most recently, she made a case for tonal dressing while visiting Newham ambulance station in east London wearing a camel-coloured turtleneck from Reiss, while a blue scalloped cardigan from Boden that she wore during a video call in November 2020 has sold out every time the brand has tried to restock it. It’s a phenomenon now known as the “Kate effect”.
And the same goes for her jewellery box, too. While many of the duchess’s jewels are out of reach for the majority of us due to their price tags, she also owns plenty of affordable bling from contemporary brands like Monica Vinader, Missoma and even Accessorize.
Getting Kate’s royal seal of approval is the ultimate honour for any brand and we’re not complaining, because it makes it much easier for us to emulate her sleek style on a budget.
If you’re a fan of the duchess’s wardrobe, keep reading to find out her top 10 go-to high street brands.
You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
In May 2019, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge shared some photos on Instagram of their family at the Chelsea Flower Show.
In one of the images, Kate could be seen wearing a summery, floaty floral midi dress that featured a ruffled bib neckline and trendy balloon sleeves. The royal’s exact style was from & Other Stories and cost just £89. The dress proved so popular that the brand brought it out in a mini version, and made a separate pleated skirt and blouse in the same fabric.
A stalwart on the British high street for many years, Accessorize is well-known for its range of stylish and affordable jewellery, and it turns out that Kate is a big fan.
During a video appearance to mark Volunteers’ Week in June 2020, the duchess sported a pair of pretty gold circle studs from the retailer, which cost just £5. She’s also been seen wearing a pair of the brand’s filigree earrings (£15, Accessorize.com) that feature a delicate floral patterned charm.
In February 2021, Kate took part in a video call with student nurses and opted for a cream knit and sleek tuxedo jacket designed by Alexander McQueen for the occasion. However, it was the duchess’s gemstone necklace that really caught her fans' eyes.
The piece, designed by Astley Clarke, is the round stilla lapis lazuli pendant necklace (£160, Astleyclarke.com), and costs under £200.
This wasn’t the first time she had been spotted wearing the necklace either. The first time was for a call marking Holocaust Remembrance Day, and she wore it again while she spoke with nurses from the Midlands.
Boden has been one of the duchess’s most-worn brands in recent months. She was first spotted wearing the shop’s knitwear in November 2020 while speaking on a video call with frontline workers in a baby-blue cardigan with scalloped trims (£75, Boden.com). It promptly sold out, of course, but, has come back into stock a few times since and is currently available in all sizes.
A few months later, Kate wore a pink printed pussy-bow blouse (£56, Boden.com) from Boden during another video call to mark International Women’s Day. Her exact colourway is out of stock but there are two other options, including yellow and green ditzy florals, which are still available and currently in the sale.
Just days later, the duchess wore Boden again while visiting a recently re-opened school in Stratford with Prince William. She teamed a pink Max&Co coat teamed with a similarly coloured jumper from Boden, which came complete with a scalloped crew neckline (£65, Boden.com). The pink shade has limited stock but there are plenty of other hues to choose from, including black, green and cream.
In April 2020, Kate stepped out for the Clap for Carers event to celebrate the heroes of the NHS amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Alongside her family, the duchess wore blue as a nod to the NHS, opting for the Anouk dress from Ghost London, which featured a midi length, floral detailing and pretty ruffled collar.
The brand later revealed that all sales of the dress would contribute towards a donation for NHS causes.
Kate has a long-standing love affair with high street hero L.K. Bennett, first wearing a blue and white poppy print midi dress, which retailed at £245, during a visit to Brisbane in 2014.
She also religiously wore the label’s nude court heels during her first few years as a royal, which sparked countless sell-outs.
Another stalwart brand that Kate has continued to champion over the years is M&S. In February 2020, she was spotted wearing a £30 pair of trainers from the high street store while visiting the London Stadium, promptly causing them to sell out. Owing to their popularity, the retailer recently restocked the style in three new colourways – silver, navy and white – and, surprisingly, they’re still in stock (£29.50, Marksandspencer.com) .
Other items the duchess has been spotted in from M&S recently include a pink trouser suit and a blue floral print midi dress that featured a 1980s-inspired peplum shape.
A brand that has risen to cult status in the UK, Missoma is one of Kate’s go-to jewellers.
The royal was first seen wearing Missoma in 2019 during a tour of Pakistan, when she opted for the zenyu earrings (£125, Missoma.com). The gold-plated pair feature a double drop into a beaded fan pendant and are still available to buy now.
Another pair of earrings that Kate regularly wears are the mini pyramid hoops that drop to a pink rhodochrosite stone (£85, Missoma.com). The duchess first wore them back in September during a trip to London’s Brick Lane, and they’ve since re-appeared for several public video call appearances. While the earrings are currently sold out, you can sign up to be notified when they come back in stock.
By far the most affordable Missoma earrings Kate’s ever worn are the mini molten hoops (£49, Missoma.com), made from gold-plated sterling silver. She teamed her pink M&S suit (mentioned above) with this £65 find, making it one of her most down-to-earth looks yet. These beautiful earrings are luckily still in stock, so you can bag a pair right now.
While Monica Vinader’s jewellery can be expensive – some of the brand’s diamond-encrusted items retail around the £1,000 mark – Kate’s go-to pair of earrings from the designer cost just £135.
Called the siren earrings (£135, Monicavinader.com), they are made with a thick layer of 18ct gold and feature an emerald green gemstone, but you can also buy them in other hues. Kate has got some serious wear out of her pair, complementing everything from satin evening dresses to her favourite Barbour jacket.
The now-duchess wore the Nanette dress by Reiss for her official engagement photo alongside Prince William in 2010, and went on to recycle the look with a purple blazer to a hospice opening in 2012.
Kate also wore the brand when meeting with the Obamas in 2011, when she opted for the nude origami shola dress, which not only sold out within hours but caused Reiss’s website to crash as fans tried to get their hands on one. More recently, the duchess stepped out wearing her favourite white Reiss overcoat during the second day of her visit to Ireland in early March 2020.
For more royal style inspiration, read our guide on where to buy Meghan Markle’s affordable sunglasses