Kate Middleton Shops her Closet for Engagement Photos

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Pictured: Prince William and Kate Middleton. Photo by Mario Testino/Clarence House Press Office via WireImage (Copyright 2010 Mario Testino).

Readers, have you seen the amazing new engagement photos of Kate Middleton with Prince William? The photos are by Mario Testino who took the beautiful photos of Princess Diana for Vanity Fair.  In the more formal portrait (above) commoner Kate looks uncommonly chic in a dress that she has owned for 2 years from her very own closet.  The dress is a rich looking winter white by UK store Reiss. I think the savvy marketing people at Reiss just hit the style jackpot.  According to their blog, they will be reissuing the dress soon.

Kate’s Reiss  Nanette dress photo from

  “The Nannette dress that Kate is wearing comes as part of our core dress offering that we are renowned for,” says Reiss via their blog. “While this particular style is not currently available, there will be a version coming out mid January as part of our SS11 collection.” I predict a wait list and a sell-out of the upcoming Nannette dress.

I’ve written before about Kate’s style essentials.  She has always been one to buy off-the rack from popular retailers (the High Street) but wearing an off-the rack dress from two years ago ushers in a new era of royal fashion accessibility. When Diana Spencer was still  Lady Diana she also choose an off-the rack garment for her engagement photo.  Remember the charmingly demure blue suit she wore from Harrod’s with the blouse with the little tie bow at the neck?  Reiss is surely upscale but it is not couture priced and they do have sales. If you haven’t heard of Reiss, you can check them out online.  They have stores in the US (one right here in Los Angeles), the UK, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Russia, China and the UAE.  I’m sure Reiss retail sales are  skyrocketing as we speak.  Take a look at their holiday sales with shipping  guaranteed for Christmas if ordered before Dec. 16th.  Not bad.

Another item that is now in high demand, is the blouse Kate wore in the more casual engagement photo. That  is the below pictured blouse from UK store Whistles.  In the second engagement photo, Kate was wearing a cream blouse from Whistles. Whistles will also be reissuing the blouse,  two years after it first went on sale.  Jane Shepherdson, chief executive officer of Whistles, said: “We are delighted that Katherine has chosen to wear Whistles in her engagement photographs. “Due to a surge of customer interest, we will be re-releasing the ‘Kate’ blouse as a limited edition in early 2011.”

A more casual engagement photo shows  Kate in a Whistles Blouse. Photo by Mario Testino/Clarence House Press Office via WireImage (Copyright 2010 Mario Testino).

Pictured: Kate’s Whistle’s silk blouse from 2008, retailed for £ 85 (Photo from ELLE UK)

Despite being offered highly priced designer wear, Kate choose her own style essentials, from her own closet with pieces from Whistles and Reiss.  She also reportedly did her own makeup.  I love her style confidence! In the US, we have a recessionista in the White House in Michelle Obama, who shops the Gap, White House Black Market, J. Crew, Talbot’s, H&M and other retailers.  Now it looks like a recessionista may just step into the Palace….although, Kate’s style may change when she becomes Princess of Wales, as did Diana’s. Stay tuned as the evolution of style continues.


Since 2008, Mary Hall has been the author of The Recessionista Blog, which is read by thousands of regular readers in over 160 countries. An internationally recognized expert on the art of the living the good life for less, she has been a commentator on local, national, and international radio and TV shows. Her advice has been featured in over 2,000 media outlets, including The New York Times, Reuters, Life & Style magazine, ABC News, NBC News and now The Huffington Post, among many others.

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