How Kate Middleton's Love for Plaid Grew Over a Decade

Kate Middleton's latest outfit this week in an engagement with William—the to-die-for Emily Wickstead tartan midi skirt and perfectly tailored Brora black button up cardigan—was perfect for the holidays. But as it turns out, Princess Kate's love affair with tartan is actually long and well-documented.

Kate Middleton's latest outfit this week for an engagement with William—the to-die-for Emily Wickstead plaid midi skirt and perfectly tailored Brora black button up cardigan—was perfect for the holidays. But, as it turns out, Princess Kate's love affair with plaid is actually long and well-documented.

Per People, Kate actually wore a similar red skirt with a black blazer and boots a decade ago, styled in almost exactly the same way. Kate loves plaid and has been steadily ramping up her strategic use of the classic, yet stylish pattern since then. Just take a look at some of her plaid outfits over the years (and shop similar pieces below).

As seen from the snap above, where Kate's in a plaid skirt and on her phone (before she married William), the Duchess of Cambridge has come into her own style. From the way she holds her bag, to her posture, to the improvement of the fit and style of her outfits, she's really evolved. (I'm sure having a royal clothes budget helps.)

In 2012, Kate showed off this green and blue number at St. Andrew's Day at St. Andrew's School, which she actually attended as a child.

Sport venue, Games, Design, Stick and Ball Games, Recreation, Golf, Leg, Grass, Golf club, Sports equipment,

(Image credit: WPA Pool)

Kate loves a coat-dress—in this case, a navy and beige one she wore in 2013 to tour the Emirates Arena with William.

Plaid, Clothing, Tartan, Street fashion, Pattern, Fashion, Outerwear, Textile, Design, Coat,

(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo)

Polished in navy and pink, Kate tours the National Football Stadium in Manchester in 2016.

Plaid, Clothing, Street fashion, Fashion, Pattern, Tartan, Outerwear, Fashion model, Design, Textile,

(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo)

For Christmas 2017, Kate was full of holiday cheer (look at that hat!) for Christmas Day Church service at St. Mary Magdalene in red and green.

Plaid, Tartan, Clothing, Pattern, Textile, Design, Kilt, Street fashion, Plant, Sleeve,

(Image credit: Chris Jackson)

Finally, last week's outfit

Plaid, Tartan, Clothing, Pattern, Fashion, Street fashion, Kilt, Textile, Fashion show, Design,

(Image credit: Samir Hussein)

Now that's a plaid style evolution.

For more celebrity news, beauty and fashion advice, savvy political commentary, and fascinating features, sign up for the Marie Claire newsletter.


Katherine J. Igoe

Katherine’s a Boston-based contributor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle—from “Clueless” to Everlane to news about Lizzo. She’s been a freelancer for 11 years and has had roles with Cosmopolitan and Bustle, with bylines in Parents, Seventeen, and elsewhere. It’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.