The Princess of Wales and Her Effortless Casual Look

It’s Business As Usual In The Princess Of Wales’s Wardrobe

Samir Hussein

Woman posts Photoshopped picture on Instagram; woman is vilified in the comments section. In this modern, FaceTuned media landscape, this could have referred to any number of Kardashian-Jenners, but in this instance, the woman in question is a member of the royal family. During an already tumultuous time for The Firm, with conspiracy theories swirling around the Princess of Wales – who is on hiatus from public duties to recover from an operation – the picture editing disaster was a PR blow to an already wounded institution.

Eight days after the Mother’s Day post debacle, which saw Kate admit to “occasionally experimenting with editing” – and weeks into X’s #katemiddletonmissing hysteria – the world has had its first full body (!) sighting of the Princess since Christmas. Reader (but of course you know this), the internet once again lost its mind. She was buying groceries.

The image of Kate and William picking up supplies at the picturesque Windsor Farm Shop has been analysed by body language experts already. The Prince and Princess seemed to be in good spirits basking in the spring sunshine, said one outlet, putting paid to rumours that they might have separated. Kate looked healthy, remarked another, feigning concern for her convalescence after the scheduled abdominal surgery that the Palace specifically stated would put her out of action until April. She looked, as per the Mothering Sunday image that some news agencies said threatened their integrity, the same. No Brazilian butt lift. Zero obvious signs of having grown out her bangs – or worse, being in the devastating no man’s land between fringe and exposed forehead. And unquestionably not heavily pregnant with twins.

Her look suggested that it’s business as usual, thank you very much, for the Waleses. In classic downtime Kate mode (she had reportedly been watching the kids play sport before ducking into the Windsor equivalent of Daylesford), the Princess wore black leggings, a zip-up hoodie, trainers and sports socks pulled up. Aside from the uncharacteristic absence of this low-top fan’s signature trainer socks, there was no shock reveal, no new look, no beauty transformation. She was simply a woman popping into a posh grocery store perhaps for a cheese straw after cheering from the pitch sidelines for hours. She might well have been purchasing treats for her children, who couldn’t come to the farm shop for fear of them being embroiled further in the media frenzy.

We all have clothes we feel safe in. Pieces to throw on when you need to be bolstered by some form of personal armour. Unlike many Vogue editors who feel their best in a fresh white tee, a black blazer, crisp-yet-slouchy denim and the shoe of the moment, Kate’s uniform will always be centred around her version of athleisure. Specifically, the sportswear- and countrywear-adjacent pieces that mean she can take on a trip to see the King’s Guard and the school run in one afternoon. She’s a Barbour girl. A lone Penelope Chilvers stan. A die-hard skinny jeans and Veja sneaker wearer. Despite significant efforts to kit Kate out in meaningful contemporary brands – from The Vampire’s Wife to Miu Miu – for publicity ops, her personal wardrobe hinges on Cotswolds chic. Holland Cooper, Me + Em and Troy London are her friends. In an industry that thrives off and drives newness, there is something commendable about finding what works for you – and, more importantly, what you feel good in – and sticking to it. Those Chilvers are built to last!

While the papers are surely salivating at the prospect of Kate’s comeback, where she will emerge in some sort of official capacity looking pristine as per, we hope she continues to wear her leggings and she continues to go food shopping. (Radical! Right?) There should be no new Erdem commission or money spent on a delicious Chanel archival coup, but Kate just as she is in her trusty Zara tailoring and Emmy London flats. The Princess never gets a day off from public scrutiny, so she should at least be allowed the courtesy of looking like Kate.

This article was originally published on British Vogue.

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