While some associate the Princess of Wales with colorful coats and modest midi dresses, there’s one outfit that remains eternally synonymous with ‘Seasonal Kate.’ Worn in some iteration for years and years, the princess has been fiercely dedicated to slaying the seasonal style game with a simple outfit recipe.

Long before she was a practicing princess, Kate would grace the streets of London showing off her chic array of post college clothing and 20-something casual attire. At the time, the royal-to-be was pounding the pavement in more ways than one. While deciding on her future career, the British beauty was regularly spotted on urban treks near her five-story apartment on Old Church Street in the Chelsea neighborhood of West London.

The princess was then employed at British retailer Jigsaw, where she acquired her worldwide fashion influencer status just by strolling down the street. The part-time  accessory buyer position allowed the 26-year-old bachelorette enough time and flexibility to maintain a romance with a special suitor named William.

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While her job often entailed less than glamorous ‘personal assistant’ tasks like fetching coffee and tea or helping with photo shoots, the budding royal Cinderella was already in the first stage of her rise to royal status.

And what did this pre-princess wear when heading out on the city catwalks? The future POW preferred a working uniform that was less fussy and more festive.

Kate’s winning fashion formula included a tartan or houndstooth mini skirt, black tights (plain or printed) and suede black heeled or riding boots often by Aquatalia. She would often shun a coat in favor of a blazer and added strategic accessories like leather gloves, scarves and shoulder bags to her winter skirt ensembles.


Over the years, Kate has remained loyal to the same outfit combination — a printed skirt, fitted sweater or cozy cropped cardigan and soft suede boots.

While she previously wore Dorthy Perkins black and white houndstooth mini skirts — today, she steps out in longer designer A-line or midi styles, often with pleats and buckles. She remains committed to her ‘Christmas Catherine’ lookbook and will wear long skirts, simple sweaters and knee-high boots for seasonal parties and holiday functions.

Then and Now: Kate’s Houndstooth Evolution (Pinterest/Getty)

In recent years, the princess has stepped out in tailored tartan coats by McQueen rather than tiny checked skirts. She still embraces the Scottish print for the Christmas season and even wears tartan ruched wrap dresses and Heather Tartan longline trench coats.

Princess Kate still loves a tartan fashion moment (Pinterest/Getty)

To Replikate Kate’s seasonal sartorial story — pair a classic plaid skirt with a cotton cardigan and suede tall boots. Get the look from JCrew. Shop the Plaid Pleated Midi Skirt//Cotton Cardigan Sweater and Knee High Heeled Boots.