Happy Birthday, Kate Middleton! Duchess Catherine's 12 Best Looks of 2011

Kate Middleton turns 30 today. Happy birthday, Kate! Here are our 12 favorite looks of yours from 2011.

-Lucia Peters, BettyConfidential.com


Kate Middleton best looksKate Middleton best looks

Today is special. Royally special, one might say. You know why? That's right: Today is a royal birthday. Kate Middleton-er, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge-turns 30 today. Happy birthday, Kate! You have not only successfully survived three decades on this crazy planet we call Earth, but even better, you've managed to become a member of a royal family. And, it seems, you did not do so for fame or glory-you did it because you're ridiculously in love, and you're taking the whole thing in stride. Good for you!

And if that wasn't enough, while you've been at it, you've also become major style icon. So in honor of your birthday, we've assembled our favorite looks of yours from 2011. We hope you celebrate in style!

1. The Wedding Dress

Kate Middleton weddingKate Middleton wedding

Of course this one would be on the list. Kate looked stunning in her now-famous Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen gown, a satin and lace confection with a fitted bodice, full skirt, and extra-long train. Wedding dresses with long sleeves can be a little bit of a risk-when they go wrong, they go really, really wrong-but this? This is how it's done. It's also a nice nod to Grace Kelly'sfabulous 1956 wedding gown. A dress fit for a princess, indeed!

2. The Reception Outfit

Kate Middleton receptionKate Middleton reception

Kate swapped out the long, elegant wedding dress for an equally elegant, though somewhat more manageable, dress for her and William's wedding reception at Buckingham palace. With a jeweled waist belt and a fuzzy crop jacket to cover her shoulders, she still looks every inch the princess. (And yes, I realize she's not actually a princess, but work with me, here.)

3. Lady in Red

Kate Middleton redKate Middleton red

Duchess Catherine is usually noted for her fabulous hats and fascinators, but she's also got quite an eye for coats-like this one here. When she and William visited their alma mater, Saint Andrews, she donned a lovely peplum jacket and skirt combo by Luisa Spagnoli in a gorgeous shade of red. She tied the look together by using the jacket's black buttons and belt as a bouncing off point, layering a black turtleneck, tights, boots, and gloves.

4. Royal Blue

Kate Middleton royal blueKate Middleton royal blue

We already knew that royal blue was a great color for her-how about that engagement dress?-but just in case we had forgotten, Kate donned this little beauty to remind us during her and William's North American tour this summer. The fitted Erdem dress has a lovely 3/4 length sleeve, and its color matches her sapphire engagement ring. Gorgeous!

5. O Canada!

Kate Middleton CanadaKate Middleton Canada

As luck would have it, William and Kate were in Canada for Canada Day, and Kate definitely dressed for the occasion. Here, she pulled off another of those white dresses she does so well, this one by Reiss, and topped it off with a red fascinator-making herself into a subtle but stylish Canadian flag. The maple leaves on the fascinator are a nice touch.

6. Casual Friday

Kate Middleton jeansKate Middleton jeans

Even dressed down, Duchess Catherine looks nicely pulled together. During her North American tour, she coupled her J Brand jeans with a ruffled, ladylike blouse and layered a navy blazer by Smythe, a Canadian label, on top. Cool, casual, and chic!

7. The Military Look

Kate Middleton militaryKate Middleton military

In June, Kate went with a military-inspired look on Armed Forces Day. Appropriate, given that she was presenting operational medals to the Irish Guards at Windsor that day! She matched her navy double-breasted coat (again by Alexander McQueen) with navy Prada pumps, a gorgeous blue clutch, of course a feathered fascinator. Another nice touch: her brass-colored accessories took their cues from the coat's buttons. Classy.

8. The Maritime Look

Kate Middleton maritimeKate Middleton maritime

Not to be confused with the Military Look, Kate went nautical in August with head-to-toe Alexander McQueen. Kate may be stylish, but she isn't always known for her fashion risks; for that reason, it was fun to see her pair this blouse with that pencil skirt, a move that might have looked overwhelming on the wrong person. Kate totally pulled it off, though.

9. Blushing Beauty

Kate Middleton ARKKate Middleton ARK

This is hands-down our favorite formal gown Kate sported this year. Blush-colored with pretty, romantic details like flutter sleeves and some subtle sparkle, the Jenny Packham gown stunned at the 10th Annual Absolute Return for Kids (ARK) gala in June. Of course, it didn't hurt that it was being worn by Duchess Catherine.

10. Cozy Sweater Dress

Kate Middleton sweater dressKate Middleton sweater dress

This sweater dress was a little polarizing in the fashion community, but to be honest, I rather like it. For a visit to the headquarters of the Centrepoint charity in December, Kate belted the olive-colored Ralph Lauren number and added black tights and boots. See? You can be stylish AND cozy in the winter!

11. Holiday Party

Kate Middleton black velvetKate Middleton black velvet

Yet another Alexander McQueen! Kate and William attended a military ball in December, for which she donned this sexy black velvet number. Velvet can be kind of hit or miss, but a holiday party is usually the just the right place for it; and guess what? It's a hit for Kate! She accessorized with a diamond collar necklace dotted with ruby flowers for the perfect holiday looked.

12. Merry Christmas!

Kate Middleton ChristmasKate Middleton Christmas

Sure, there may have been that little hiccup with a dead body being found on the Queen's property over the holidays, but hey, it's still the holidays, right? Kate actually attended two services on Christmas day this year; for the first one on the private Sandringham estate, she was spotted dressed down in a grey overcoat and knee-high boots. But when she popped down to the village church for a later service, she went all out in deep burgundy with (of course) a fabulous hat. How festive!

We can't wait to see what fab fashion Kate has in store for 2012!


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