Expert on Everything Kate Middleton Has Worn Explains Her 'Classic' Style & How It Evolves
Susan E. Kelley is the founder of WhatKateWore.com, one of the most extensive online fashion archives for everything the Duchess of Cambridge has worn
Dresses are synonymous with summer, while cozy sweaters are most often associated with fall. But that certainly doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to work a variation of either into your wardrobe during their, well, “off-seasons” — i.e. sweaters in the summer and dresses in the fall. Lightweight knits are a must during chilly summertime bonfires, while easygoing mini, midi, and maxis made from slightly heavier fabrics are sure to make getting dressed during autumn’s funk a breeze, even if it is just for that morning Zoom meeting.
Shutterstock Kate Middleton
And you didn’t just hear it from us. Kate Middleton is here for fall dresses, and she may have found the internet’s most fall-friendly style, which she wore during a special outing with her family. Earlier last week, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with their three children, met with a very special friend, Sir David Attenborough, and successfully took family outfit coordination to the next level. They all wore some variation of a calm, earthy-blue hue — a fitting color of choice — but it was Middleton’s chambray dress that really stood out.
The Duchess of Cambridge stunned in a Gabriela Hearst dress that’s not just easy on the eyes, but easy on the earth, too, as it's actually made from repurposed denim. Aside from making a strong case for eco-friendly fashion, Middleton also demonstrated the no-fail way to wear dresses in the fall, because we bet you’re missing the easy, breezy staple right about now. The key? Go with minis, midis, and maxis made from thicker fabrics, like chambray, and if you need to, layer up.
Shop Middleton-Inspired Chambray Dresses
- 1901 Chambray Tie Waist Shirtdress, $89; nordstrom.com
- Daily Ritual Tencel Long-Sleeve Utility Dress, $13.77–$39; amazon.com
- Michael Stars Leann Splay Neck Shirt Dress, $198; verishop.com
- Allegra K Peter Pan Collar Denim Shirt Dress, $25.99–$26.99; amazon.com
- Ann Taylor Chambray Flounce Shift Dress, $109.99 (orig. $139); anntaylor.com
- Daily Ritual Women's Tencel Long-Sleeve Shirt Dress, $34; amazon.com
- Ética Shanti Chambray High-Low Tank Dress, $158; nordstrom.com
- Madewell Indigo Button-Wrap Midi Dress, $89.99 (orig. $138); madewell.com
While Middleton’s $1,590 Gabriela Hearst number is already sold out (no surprise there), there are tons of similar options on the market that are still in stock and a bit more budget friendly. There’s this classic 1901 Chambray Tie Waist Shirtdress that looks oh-so-cool with sneakers and this eco-friendly, high-low number from sustainable, celeb-loved Ética that can easily be thrown over a long-sleeve bodysuit. High-knee boots optional, though recommended.
Like her sister-in-law, Meghan Markle is also a fan of all-things chambray — double bonus. She wore a J.Crew chambray shirtdress last September while cheering on Serena Williams in the 2019 U.S. Open and donned a chambray blouse to celebrate Archie’s first birthday.
If you’re not ready to part ways with the easy-going dress trend just yet, make like Middleton (and Markle) and go with a chambray number that seamlessly fits into your fall wardrobe. Shop our favorites below.
Buy It! 1901 Chambray Tie Waist Shirtdress, $89; nordstrom.com
Buy It! Allegra K Peter Pan Collar Denim Shirt Dress, $25.99–$26.99; amazon.com
Buy It! Daily Ritual Women's Tencel Long-Sleeve Shirt Dress, $34; amazon.com
Buy It! Michael Stars Leann Splay Neck Shirt Dress, $198; verishop.com
Buy It! Daily Ritual Tencel Long-Sleeve Utility Dress, $13.77–$39; amazon.com
Buy It! Madewell Denim Seamed Courier Tie Waist Shirtdress, $69.99 (orig. $118); madewell.com
Buy It! Karen Kane Wrap Front Chambray Dress, $139; nordstrom.com
Buy It! Goodthreads Denim Flutter-Sleeve Dress, $35; amazon.com
Buy It! Alex Mill Camilla Shirt Dress, $185; shopbop.com
Buy It! Ética Shanti Chambray High-Low Tank Dress, $158; nordstrom.com
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