For my British and even American readers, there was little doubt that for many years Kate Middleton, The Duchess of Cambridge, was the best of the best among fashion icons. Since her marriage to Prince William she has set the fashion world on fire. “The Kate Effect”, as it has become known, has had a global impact on women’s fashions and she has turned the image of the British royals, which had been declining since the death of Princess Di, into a positive one.
But now she has some serious competition from the royal families on the continent. Hello Magazine asked its readers to vote on ten royal women which are listed below in order of total votes
WHO ARE THE MOST STYLISH ROYALS?
Crown Princess Mary of Denmark
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Queen Letizia of Spain
Sophie, Countess of Wessex
Princess Madeleine of Sweden
Queen Rania of Jordan
Queen Maxima of the Netherlands
Princess Charlene of Monaco
Princess Victoria of Sweden
Princess Mette-Marit of Norway
Nearly 29 percent of the 30,000 readers voted for Crown Princess Mary as the best dressed, putting her on the top of the list, above the Duchess of Cambridge, Queen Maxima of the Netherlands and Queen Letizia of Spain. Mary truly outclassed her Scandinavian rivals, and Princess Mary, who is the Australian born wife of Crown Prince Frederik, also topped the Hello! poll last year. I suspect it was a difficult decision because Kate and Mary are almost like sisters in their style and dress.
This article will focus on Crown Princess Mary, Catherine the Duchess of Cambridge, Queen Letizia, and Queen Maxima and I admittedly have a soft spot for Dutch Queen possibly because she is a bit more mature. Our purpose of course is to learn what style lessons can be learned from these ladies
Two years ago I wrote about the style lessons that cross-dressers can learn from Kate Middleton in an article titled The Duchess Speaks to Crossdressers published in TG Forum. Many of those 10 lessons still apply today and we’ll re-examine them as we look at each of these royal ladies.
Princess Mary of Denmark
Princess Mary is married to Prince Frederik of Denmark She was born and raised in Tasmania, Australia. She met the prince at a pub during the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. She has a background in advertising and once taught business English in Paris. She has two children and now conducts tours aboard the Royal Yacht Dannebrog
Go-to brands: Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Hugo Boss.
Princess proclivity: Great shoes. Whether its racy snakeskin Christian Louboutin court shoes, Rupert Sanderson patent stilettos, Isabel Marant ankle boots or Gianvito Rossi leopard print heels, Mary knows the shoe maketh the outfit.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, UK
A Duchess by name, but a princess in every other sense, Kate Middleton has morphed from a Home Counties belle into the beautiful yardstick by which all other royals are judged. Kate has redefined the definition of the people’s princess. She’s really changed the game for how people view the Royal Family and especially the younger generation of the Royal Family.
She has evolved into a model of royal modernity and simple elegance seemingly impervious to a misstep and ready to make style statements and even take interesting fashion risks. Kate Middleton has a distinctive style and has started multiple fashion trends with her clothing choices.
Go-to brands: Alexander McQueen, Emilia Wickstead, LK Bennett - all topped off with a Kings Road blow-dry.
Princess proclivity: The raised-waist tactic. Kate is a master of alterations, regularly getting her high street purchases taken in by the Buckingham Palace mice so that they sit a centimetre or so above her natural waist to give the illusion of longer legs.
Queen Letizia of Spain
Queen Letizia of Spain is elegant, beautiful and intelligent. Letizia’s Signature Style is a blend of Chic punctuated with Glam. Her relatable and strategic style comes from a template she follows that is to shine in complete alignment and authenticity.
Letizia’s brand style follows these criteria for success to get the look of the leader:
- Conveys her Chic/Glam Signature Style
- Chooses styles that flatter her hourglass body shape
- Maintains a focused brand palette of six colours in beige, black, red, blue, purple, blue and gray
- Wears primarily camera-friendly solids and timeless evergreen styling
Go-to brands: Spanish high-street fashion brands such as Zara and Mango, as well as couturiers such as Felipe Varela and Lorenzo Caprile
Princess proclivity: Lace. Guipere lace, to be precise, and usually in the form of a figure-hugging sheath dress. It looks traditional but not stuffy, and allows for a hint of Spanish sassiness when worn off the shoulders.
Queen Maxima of the Netherlands
Queen Maxima is a fashion plate we love keeping tabs on (she's so impeccably turned out, we've yet to see the woman wear a pair of jeans!). The year was filled with chic moments for her, but there's one that deserves extra attention: Yes, that's a pair of satiny slick culottes, worn with a bold floral top to a children's concert.
The Argentina-born queen is constantly surprising us with her versatility, one day wearing a very classic skirt suit and the next showing off a printed jumpsuit or incredible designer dress. Believe us, though, that ability to try different trends isn't the only reason you should be following her.
Not only does the Dutch royal woo us with her fearless, colour-centric style choices, but the woman knows when it’s time for an outfit to make a second (or third or fourth) appearance
So what style lessons are to be learnt. Here are some that I gleaned from all the many fashion articles on these four fabulous ladies. They may be royalty, but when it comes to fashion; they own their looks and dress right for the occasion with style and grace’
Dress with at Least One Standout Accessory
If there is anything we've learned from watching royalty from around the world, it's that every outfit needs at least one standout or statement accessory. Their love of accessories extends from hats, crowns, and headpieces to bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and more. If you're an accessory novice, start with one standout piece. As you get an idea of your own style, you can start experimenting with multiple pieces and mix and match.
And hats may be the best accessory. Boy, I wish I could teach the Americans this for no outfit is complete without a hat or fascinator -- hair clips decorated with flowers, feathers or lace. While it's customary to wear fashionable headwear at big events, these ladies hats are often their most-talked-about accessories. Here in Mexico, hair clips of various types are the favourite, especially when wearing traditional dress.
.It's OK to Wear an Outfit More than Once
Just because they live at a royal residence and have their own personal dressmakers, these ladies are not above wearing an outfit more than once. In fact these ladies are very adept at recycling their looks with the same dress and often reuse or reinvent items to give them new meaning.
No Need For A Fairy Godmother
Nothing feels worse than being underdressed or overdressed for an event. Before settling on an outfit, ask friends what they'll be wearing to get a better idea of what's appropriate. If the event's invite gives a specific dress code, search online for inspiration and to get an idea of what's expected. If you're still not sure, it's better to be a little overdressed so you're sure to be the best-looking guest there. Depending on your preferences, be sure to check out the more than 100 Pinterest boards on Sister House. Good fashion sense in not necessarily intuitive.
Navy is the New Black
Who needs a little black dress? Navy is quickly becoming the go-to colour for fashionable women everywhere, thanks to the classic, stylish pieces of these royal ladies. They say purple is the shade of royalty, but these ladies don’t let silly out-of-date rules box them in. Their fashionable ensembles always pack a punch. From fire-engine red to canary yellow, these queens make dramatic statements by injecting bold pops of colour into their wardrobes.
Tailor an Outfit to Flatter Your Figure
Altering your clothing to fit your body shape can make all the difference. No matter how simple or glamorous an outfit or gown may be, always choose to wear clothes that are tailored to suit your figure. Never wear anything too tight or revealing, but instead choose to don classic, well-structured jackets, coats and dresses that flatter your waistline and long legs. The secret behind the polished royal look is expert tailoring. Though their sleek silhouettes are probably about mostly genetics, they’re taught that some expert pinning and tucking can offer a world of difference, too.
Sheer Hosiery is Practical and Chic
Pantyhose can be flattering, as it smoothes skin and covers unsightly cellulite, bruises or veins, but be mindful to buy a hue that matches your skin tone. These ladies would never wear hose that made her legs stand out from the rest of her body.
While women in the United States begrudgingly wear hosiery if it’s required, the trend has definitely caught fire across the pond. From 2010 to 2011, L'eggs and Hanes reported that in the United Kingdom, sales have increased 85 percent for nude hosiery, and Middleton inarguably helped the trend take off.
Less is Not Always More
These royal styles tend to be more classic and ladylike and less monarchical monotony, and can probably be described as minimalistic chic. They keep it simple by relying on perfectly fitted sheath dresses, structured skirt suits, and flirty coatdresses with occasional bursts of colour and other trendy pieces.
Be True to your Individual Sense of Style
Although many designers are knocking down the door for the chance to dress these ladies, these down-to-queens have the reputation for staying true to her own sense of style, often choosing affordable clothing and accessories that they would've worn in her past life as a commoner. They also has the reputation of collaborating with clothing designers to achieve a desired look. Unlike many royals before her, many of these ladies refused the help of professional stylists in the past and opted to choose outfits on her own instead. They have a knack for selecting garments that are comfortable, flattering and often glamorous -- all reflective of a unique sense of style that each of them can call their own
And Across the Atlantic
Too soon to tell, but our new American First Lady, Melanie Trump, and her stepdaughters, Ivanka and Tiffany, are rocking the fashion scene in the U.S. We may again see fashion like it hasn't been seen since Jackie Kennedy
L-R Melanie Trump, Tiffany and Ivanka Trump