Though the profession "Duchess of Cambridge" is a hefty one to bear on occasion, it must be wonderful to be Kate Middleton. Between a classic wardrobe any mildly preppy girl would flip for, a physique which looks toned even mere hours after birthing the next royal monarch, and a mane which appears to have its own attached wind machine, Middleton is clearly one of the world's modern style icons.
However, the Duchess herself has a team of stylists, tailors, and artists at the ready when she will appear in the public eye, a luxury which few laypeople can afford on a daily basis. But when it comes to Middleton's style, a few quick tricks are all it takes to master the look. With few exceptions, Middleton's style is figure-flattering, timeless, and above all, sophisticated. Whether taking a stroll with her hubby or beginning a tour of Australia and New Zealand, the Duchess maintains a prim, preppy look with a few quirky accents for good measure. Terms like "flashy" and "gaudy" are reserved for those who don't have the future ruler of Britain as a child and a prince for a husband. No matter what the activity, Kate is always ready to jump in headfirst, clad in only the very best mixture of high street and designer wares. Read on for five essential items you need to be the next Queen of England (or at least look like one).
1. A TAILORED-TO-PERFECTION SHEATH DRESS
The duchess's dress is actually a shockingly affordable piece by British brand Jaeger, but if the piece in question has sold out in seconds thanks to Middleton's royal stamp of approval, a well-cut sheath dress in white or cream with subtle piping will also do the trick. Though her hemlines may have dropped over the past several months, Middleton's dresses remain fitted to a T, perfectly accenting her svelte frame without appearing too tight. Black Halo's Kinsey Combination Dress provides a similarly refined style without any extraneous bells and whistles.
2. A PAIR OF BLACK OR NAVY PUMPS
If Middleton's trademark Sledge Pumps by L.K. Bennett are a bit out of your price range, a pair of narrow navy suede heels will also accent your dress perfectly. Pour La Victoire's Chantel Pumps offer the same elegant style for a fraction of the price.
3. A BLACK RECTANGULAR CLUTCH
If you have the capacity to forgo your oversized satchel for a few hours, substitute in a black rectangular clutch with a few essentials for a more streamlined look. See By Chloe's Nora Black Leather Clutch is both sleek and quirky, thanks to the addition of a tiny golden bow clasp at the top.
4. A MENSWEAR-INSPIRED WATCH
Middleton keeps her jewelry to a minimum, but the pieces she does choose are tasteful, chic, and elegant. Middleton's simple bracelet link watch adds a touch of sparkle to her ladylike ensemble. Try Michael Kors' Darci Round Bracelet Watch for a similar look without the exorbitant price tag.
5. THE NAME OF A FABULOUS HAIR STYLIST
What would a Kate Middleton look be without that well-styled mane? To truly embody the Duchess's chic style, enlist the help of a talented hair stylist — or at the very least a good hairdryer. Though Middleton's hair is typically sleek and straight, her former hairstylist James Pryce always left a bit of volume and bounce, curling the ends for a more healthy look, which the Duchess has continued since parting ways with Pryce. To channel Middleton's well-coiffed look, spritz wet hair with a volumizing cream like Sachajuan Volume Cream to protect strands from heat, and use a round brush while blowing out hair in sections.
Images: Black Halo Kinsley Combo Sheath Dress, $375, saksfifthavenue.com; Pour La Victoire Chantel Pumps, $112.50, 6pm.com; See By Chloe Nora Black Leather Clutch $220.50, forzieri.com; Michael Kors Darci Round Bracelet Watch, $195, shop.nordstrom.com; Sachajuan Volume Cream, $29, net-a-porter.com