20 Times Kate Middleton's Outfits Didn't Do Her Justice

Madison Breaux | Feb 13, 2020 Celebrities
20 Times Kate Middleton's Outfits Didn't Do Her Justice
Image: Splash News

Kate Middleton
Splash News

Since joining the royal family in 2011, Kate Middleton has been something of a fashion icon for us laypeople. The Duchess of Cambridge has perfected just about every look there is: coats, gowns, casual dresses, pants. You name it, she's owned it. But, every once in a while, a duchess is entitled to a slipup. We love our Kate, but she can't get it right every single time. It's just not in human nature! And if we're being honest, we're kind of relieved that Kate has made a few mistakes along the way -- puts less pressure on the rest of us. But of course, in true Kate fashion, she still manages to look amazing even in some of her outfits that haven't been the best or most fashionable. 

We don't know how she does it, but we'd really love to know her royal secrets. Now that she's been a royal for close to a decade, it's natural that she would experiment with her look occasionally. But the thing about experimenting is that it's all trial and error -- and there have been some errors. Whether it's choosing a busy pattern or just wearing something that isn't on the Kate Middleton brand, the duchess has made some missteps, but that doesn't mean we love her any less. 

So, here are 20 outfits that really just didn't do the duchess justice. Everyone makes mistakes, Kate! There's nothing to feel bad about. 

  • Ready for the Beach

    1
    Kate Middleton
    Splash News

    To us, it seems like Kate was really hoping for some sand and surf but was stuck with a stuffy garden party instead. Happens to the best of us! It also looks like the top of this dress is just a little too big for our duchess. We do love the attempt at something super colorful here, as this kind of dress is definitely out of Kate's wheelhouse. But sometimes, fashion risks end up not working out when they're put into practice.

  • Odd Pattern

    2
    Kate Middleton Prince William
    Splash News

    Kate was pregnant when she wore this dress, but this isn't the maternity ensemble we would have chosen for her. The busy pattern of the dress just kind of takes over. It's a classic situation where the dress is wearing her, not the other way around, and despite the fact that Kate was sporting an adorable bump at the time, this dress didn't give her the opportunity to really show it off. It's too bad!  

  • And More Pattern

    3
    Kate Middleton
    Splash News

    Look, we're all for a royal wearing patterns (although it doesn't happen very often), but it's imperative to choose the right one. This was not the right one. Not only were the colors dark and a bit odd together, but the pattern itself was a very busy one, which totally distracted us from admiring Kate's beauty -- and that's saying a lot. The belt holding it all together is a bit of a miss, as well.

  • Very Casual

    4
    Kate Middleton
    Splash News

    Kate does casual outfits like the best of them, but we think she missed the mark on this one. You can do better than a plain gray sweater, Kate. And it's not even that it's basic that makes it so it doesn't work. It's also kind of shapeless, so it's doing nothing flattering for her. Combine that with the loose locks she's sporting here, and the whole look just isn't working for us. At least she looks comfy?

  • Florals Gone Wrong

    5
    Kate Middleton Prince William
    Splash News

    The odd waistline of this gown is throwing us off. Kate has a tiny little waist, but this dress just hides it all and makes the duchess look completely straight -- which we know is definitely not how she actually looks in any other outfit. (Show off those curves, girl!) We'll give her some slack on this one, though, because choosing a dress for a formal occasion can sometimes be next to impossible.

  • The Cardigan

    6
    Kate Middleton
    Splash News

    We are suckers for Kate's impeccable coat choices, so forgive us if we get a little disappointed when she opts for a plain cardigan instead. There's nothing special about this particular outerwear item, and it ends up aging Kate for sure. This duchess is young and (usually) super stylish, so why is she wasting her time with such a bland cardigan? She's done better in the past, so we know she has a lot of awesome options in her closet! 

  • Too Many Layers

    7
    Kate Middleton Prince William
    Splash News

    This outfit is just a little ehhh, even for a more casual event. Let's keep this look in Kate's university days ... but even back then, this wouldn't have really been in style. It's a lot of layers going on at once, making Kate look a bit matronly. Even if she just lost the vest, it would be a much better look, if kind of boring. But boring is better than whatever is happening here! 

  • Miles High

    8
    Splash News

    This dress makes the duchess look too lanky. Although we're all for Kate showing off her height, we also want to see a little more structure to her outfits. We won't lie, we always like the off-the-shoulder look on Kate, because she has great shoulders she should definitely show off. But from the shoulders down, we're just not fans of the shapelessness of this plain dress.

  • Too Much Skirt

    9
    Kate Middleton
    Splash News

    This skirt is swallowing Kate up and she gets lost under it. Let's give the duchess a lesson in prints, shall we? It seems like she needs it, because many of her fashion misses include patterns like this one that end up being far too busy to look good on Kate, let alone anybody else. Is this really the best her stylists could do that day? That top would have gone with almost anything else!

  • Too Much Bling

    10
    Kate Middleton
    Splash News

    We hardly notice Kate's beautiful face while she's wearing this distracting gown. Color overload! Not to mention the fact that this is yet another pattern that we're not a fan of -- something that Kate and her stylists seem to be really struggling with in these photos. Thankfully, William kept it much more low key in a simple blue suit, because this would have been an even worse look if he had been wearing a pattern himself.

  • Overcoat

    11
    Kate Middleton
    Splash News

    Nothing about this outfit is doing Kate justice. We're sure the dress underneath her red coat is beautiful, but unfortunately, we can't see it! And of all the gorgeous red coats we're sure Kate owns or has access too, this was just the wrong one for the outfit that she was wearing underneath. The sleeves seem to be an awkward length, and so does the coat itself. What's going on here?!

  • Hats Off

    12
    Kate Middleton
    Splash News

    Something about this hat is throwing off Kate's whole outfit. We're getting more western vibes than royal ones... and being that we doubt she was going for any kind of cowgirl look, we think she'd agree that's a very bad thing. Don't get us wrong, we've seen Kate in a lot of amazing hats, which are pretty much a must as part of the royal family. But this one just ain't one of them.

  • When on the Island

    13
    Prince William
    Splash News

    Now, of course we'd expect the duke and duchess to opt for a more tropical theme with their clothing during their trip to the Solomon Islands, but this might be a little too far. There's just a lot going on with that dress, Kate -- and even though William's Hawaiian patterned shirt is a lot, it's low key compared to what Kate's wearing. Once again, patterns are working against this duchess.

  • More Dress Than Duchess

    14
    Kate Middleton
    Splash News

    OK, Kate, one more time: Be careful when it comes to big floral prints! Not only is the pattern itself (as well as all of the colors involved) overwhelming to look at, but it's not much better to see how the dress is overtaking her entire body. It's another case of a dress wearing her, instead of the other way around, and there's no reason for that when we've seen Kate pull off much more incredible looks.

  • Animal Print?

    15
    Kate Middleton
    Splash News

    This technically might not be animal print, but it looks close enough -- and while there's nothing inherently wrong with an animal print done right, we're not sure this is a good example of that. We may be biased, but we prefer Kate's more classic coats, and the fact that she wore this while pregnant really didn't do any favors for her shape (or her adorable bump), which is a huge bummer.

  • The Wrong Suit

    16
    Kate Middleton, Camilla, Prince Charles
    Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

    Here, Kate's out with Prince Charles and Camilla, and all we can think about is how that two-piece suit is not her best. Of course, we're usually drooling over her coats, because when winter comes around, Kate pulls out all the stops. But this suit is just boring and shapeless, making Kate look like a straight line -- and that neckline is giving her an unflattering "floating head" kind of look.

  • Looking Stuffy

    17
    Kate Middleton
    Charlotte Graham - WPA Pool/Getty Images

    We get it, being a member of the royal family means adhering to a bit more of a conservative dress code than many people might subscribe to otherwise -- Kate included. Usually, this is something that she makes work for her very well, but unfortunately, this dress was not one of those times. Instead, it made her look very old and stuffy,  and we know that Kate is neither of those things. 

  • An Odd Church Outfit

    18
    Kate Middleton, Prince William
    Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

    When we first saw this photo of Will and Kate heading off to church at Sandringham in early January 2020, we had to do a double take, because that does not look like an outfit our beloved Kate would ever wear. But yet, she did... and even though the colors coordinated well, that hat with that jacket is a lot to take in, and not quite what we'd imagine a church-y outfit whatsoever. What's going on? 

  • This Patterned Dress

    19
    Kate Middleton
    Karwai Tang/WireImage

    Once again, we must get on to Kate about her patterns, but at least this one is a bit less abrasive than the ones we've seen her wearing in the past. This kind of retro floral is a tough one to get right, even for a world-famous duchess. Here, it ended up coming off kind of blah, even though cute flutter sleeves were involved. Is it just us, or does this dress look like it was made from someone's curtains?

  • Very Buttoned Up

    20
    Kate Middleton
    Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

    On one hand, we want to love this look. Blue is a color that always looks amazing on Kate, and there's so much attention to detail on this dress. But in the end, it's registering as a miss. The hat and dress combo are a lot to take in, and it makes her look much older and stodgier than she actually is in real life. Maybe with fewer layers of fabric and a smaller hat this would have worked.

More Slideshows