Royal Tour Wardrobes
While I know the work that the Royals do is paramount, and I will always do my best to center that work first, I have to admit that I love talking about the fashion as well. Yesterday, I had started sharing some of the outfits I'd love to see Catherine in for the Caribbean tour on Twitter. I shared some ideas based on what is already in her closet and brands she's worn in the past that I thought would fit the Caribbean vibe.
I started looking into past tour looks and in doing so I started thinking about what makes a great royal tour wardrobe. The most important thing that Catherine does really well on tour is centering the host country in her style choices and there are three main ways the Duchess does this:
1. Flags & Symbols: Catherine is a big fan of dressing in the colors of her host countries flag. She just did this in Denmark by wearing red and white on her first day of engagements. During her first royal tour of Canada, she wore a red fascinator and white dress with a maple leaf brooch for Canada day. During the March 2020 tour of Ireland, she wore a lot of green.
2. Traditional Dress: Perhaps the best example of this in recent memory was Pakistan in 2019. Catherine wore several Shalwar Kameez, the traditional dress of Pakistan. During every occasion she focused on traditional silhouettes or embroidery from the region making every look on the visit entirely unique in Catherine's closet.
3. Designers and Brands: The Duchess often works with popular designers and brands from the region and the "Kate Effect" is most noticeable here as designers report massive increase in traffic and interest once Catherine is spotted in their clothes. Catherine wore Maheen Khan and Zeen in Pakistan and Emilia Wickstead in New Zealand for just a few examples.
I don't know about anyone else, but when I think of the Caribbean three things come to mind: beaches and warm weather, fashion with bright colors, fun patterns and bold prints and then, of course, Pirates of the Caribbean (big Captain Jack Sparrow fan here). While I don't think Catherine is going to use Elizabeth Swann as inspiration, I imagine we will see some inspiration from traditional Caribbean styles or patterns on this tour.
They will be visiting Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas over the week long trip so a little bit about each country:
This doesn't mean that Catherine will be wearing an orchid brooch or that she's going to show up in a yellow, green and black ensemble of that she'll wear a dress with pink feathers to pay homage to the flamingo. However, Catherine and Natasha will no doubt have taken inspiration from the countries national symbols and will (hopefully) find a thoughtful way to incorporate it into her wardrobe.
As the Caribbean is known for its beautiful craftsmanship with their traditional dress which boasts vibrant colors and bold patterns, I would love to see Catherine lean into that. Especially as of late, the Duchess has been enjoying a more monochrome look and, while it is very in vogue right now, I'd love to see Catherine wear a few more patterns or lean into embroidery or embellishments for this tour.
Now, this is where I admit that I am wholly uneducated on Caribbean designers. I've begun preliminary research and have looked through a few brand sites but I do not feel any amount of confidence in writing on it yet. All I can say in this regard is that I hope Catherine will introduce us all to a few new designers with ties to Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas.
Overall, I think there is a ton of potential for royal fashion watchers on this tour. Royal fans have all been waiting patiently for two years for a return to "normal" royal watching (if there is such a thing) and this tour will be the first big royal tour since the pandemic plus the first of the Jubilee tours this year which means expectations are high and I'm sure that they won't let us down.
I would love to hear all of your thoughts on what you are hoping for style wise from the Duchess of Cambridge this tour!