Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Seeking style inspiration: Kate Middleton

Everyone doesn't need a style icon in life. Most people go through life without one and do just fine when it comes to dressing themselves actually. 

But I'm not one of those people. I'm actually someone who are just the right blend of clueless, tomboy and lazy that without some help and positive reinforcement, would leave home looking a bit like a walking fashion disaster on most days. 

So for the last few years, and moreso since I got a proper job in a place that can be best described as professionally super casual, I've been desperately seeking a style icon in which to both stabilize my wardrobe from funky and random trends that doesn't actually go together to a good foundation of go-to staples that will make getting dressed in five minutes (a frankly frequent and terribly bad habit of mine) a little less stressful.

Why a few years? Because finding the right style icon is actually hard. And I went through the full gamut of ideas from Lauren Conrad to Alexa Chung for the right balance of casual and professional and never quite found something I felt suited my tastes or turned out to be a touch too trendy.

Until recently when I realized that there was one person I kept referring back to in my wardrobe and particularly shoe choices: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. AKA Kate Middleton.

How did a tomboy end up settling on a princess as a style icon and inspiration?

Well let's start with the fact that I found her casual wardrobe of jeans and a button to be both really cute but also really put together and comfortable looking - perfect for working days. And I loved how she recycled pieces like a real live person, unlike television characters and enough actual celebrities who never seem to wear the same piece more than once.

And all her design choices aren't super trendy or reliant on the times - she chooses solid staples that will last through ages - from striped shirts to navy blazers to black pumps, she makes it easy to mix and match pieces for every occasion and they are pieces that will last you years regardless of fashion's fickle mind.

But what of her actual princess event attire? The ones in skirts, dresses and shoes that honestly is a little too dressy for life at my office? 

Well first, I learned not to look at the dresses (although I love love LOVE her preference for lace inlaid dresses) but the accessories, outerwear and make-up. 

While her hats are out of the question, her jackets makes me wish I could actually afford a Burberry jacket (HAH!) and are easy to emulate using other brands (Although realistically, people don't need more than three or four winter coats) . The shoes she wears as well as transitions really smartly with other more casual outfits.

And her make-up and hair is always super easy to handle and manageable.

Already I can see my closet make that slow transition to her easy, mix-and-match British sensibility that she has. It's a new feeling to embrace, in addition to getting my head around the value of layering, but I can't say I don't really like how my style has matured of late.

Despite the hit it takes on my wallet from time to time. 

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