Don’t Mess With the Duchess of Cambridge

Ever since the debut of her Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen wedding dress, Kate Middleton has made fashion headlines. Her fashion choices crash designers’ websites. Most of the clothes she owns are on back order for years. As is the case with most mega-celebrities, the Duchess formerly known as Kate Middleton is now the subject of scrutiny for her fashion choices. God forbid we actually leave a well-dressed, friendly celebrity alone. Here’s what the Duchess of Cambridge has been criticized for in the fashion department:

1) Re-wearing her clothes. The Duchess made headlines when she appeared at her husband’s cousin’s wedding in a green dress that she had worn a few weeks ago while rubbing elbows with American celebs. In a recent interview on Jay Leno, Kelly Osbourne criticized Kate for re-wearing clothes, citing the fact that in Britain that is a huge fashion faux pas.

2) Her make-up choices. Designer Vivienne Westwood has a problem with Kate’s eye makeup. Westwood recently criticized the Duchess for the sharp lines around her eyes created by her eyeliner. Shortly after the royal wedding (for which Kate did her own make-up), critics thought Kate applied too much blush and eyeliner.

3) Dressing too conservatively. Vivienne Westwood also thinks that Kate’s style choices are boring. She said Kate’s image is “ordinary woman.” A post a few weeks ago on The Frisky further illustrated this point by saying that Kate should not be considered a fashion icon and her clothes are way too conservative. Uninspired. It looks like she buys her clothes from Talbots.

4) Wearing pantyhose. The Duchess of Cambridge wears pantyhose all the time and it was especially apparent during her North American visit. Wearing pantyhose in summer (or ever) hasn’t really been a fashion trend since the 1980s and Kate’s pantyhose habit has some fashionistas considering her old-fashioned.

These criticisms of Kate’s fashion are simply ridiculous. How can people be so critical of someone so chic, so stylish, so poised, and so demure? Here’s what I think about these crass judgments:

1) Re-wearing your old clothes? Really? That’s a problem? Because you know, that’s what the rest of us have been doing for centuries. With a tight economy and constantly changing styles, we should all be re-wearing our clothes. Just because you’re a wealthy celebrity and can afford to always buy new clothes doesn’t mean that you should. Thanks, Kate, for making me feel better about the fact that I’m re-wearing a Banana Republic jersey dress that I bought four years ago.

2) Kate is a duchess who owns half of Prince William’s worldly goods and she still does her own makeup. I applaud her for that. She doesn’t need ladies in waiting, she has her own two hands and a vanity. Not only does she do her own make-up, but her work is viewed by billions of people. Kudos, Kate. Kudos.

3) What’s wrong with dressing conservatively? Less is more. I’m so sick of people who barely put on clothes and then run around as if they invented style. Or what about those people who “dress different” to “make a statement”? I’m sorry, but leg warmers do not mittens make. What’s wrong with dressing like a distinguished woman? I salute your fashion choices, Kate. I would love to get my hands on that tan Reiss dress.

4) Only Kate Middleton has the fashion clout to rock sheer pantyhose. Before, I used to hate them, now I love them. Sheer pantyhose make your legs look shiny, covering up any dry or unshaved patches. Way to bring back an old trend, Kate. Well played.

To all those Kate Middleton critics out there, all I have to say is, don’t mess with the Duchess of Cambridge. She’s cool, she’s hot, she’s everything you’re not. You wish you could have her style and class. Or maybe just her husband.

Even Your First (Celebrity) Crush Grows Up and Gets Married One Day

Everyone that knew me well in my early high school days knew that Prince William was my first and most major celebrity crush. If you can remember back to how girls were at that age, you might remember that having a crush was serious stuff. Us adolescent girls were devoted to our crushes and we did not keep our devotions a secret. At our lunch table, my girlfriends and I gabbed about our latest crushes, both celebrity and non-celebrity, over peanut butter sandwiches and cookies. Prince William was the object of my affection and naturally I talked about my crush all of the time. Did you see Prince William on the cover of YM? I love him. I can’t wait to join the Royal Family one day.  I even talked about this crush to the school newspaper. For a symposium published around the time of the Homecoming dance, I was asked, “Who would you most like to take to the school dance and why?” I answered:

Forget about sounding self-centered and shallow, I wanted the world to know that I intended to become the next Princess of Wales. I had a serious crush here!

Then, of course, as my crush on Prince William grew, so did the collection of pictures of him plastered around my room. I devoted one closet door in my bedroom to a Prince William collage, which I adorned with magazine and newspaper cutouts and printed pictures from the Internet. (I had to stop printing color pictures from the Internet after I was reprimanded for using up too much ink in the family printer). Take a look:

The nice thing about having a well-known celebrity crush is that your friends start to pick up on the fact and then they give you pictures they’d saved from their teen magazines and newspapers. They might even buy you posters of your crush or copies of magazines featuring a story on your crush. My sister was kind enough to give me a Prince William poster as a Christmas present. Naturally, I hung the poster above my bed:

Along with verbal devotion and pictorial shrines, there was of course written devotion to the crush. I wrote unabashedly about my love for Prince William in my diary. I even scrawled Sonja + Prince William on the inside front cover. (Other names had to be crossed out for that.) See for yourself:


Of course, crushes don’t last forever and eventually, even I outgrew my crush on Prince William. I moved on from the celebrity crush phase and scoped out the boys sitting next to me in my classes. Magazine cutouts were replaced by photographs on my bedroom wall. I let go of my desire to become the next Princess of Wales and focused instead on joining as many extracurriculars that my schedule would permit.

I never thought about Prince William again until last year, when Prince William and longtime girlfriend Kate Middleton, announced their engagement. I couldn’t help but think about myself as a fourteen year-old girl. My fourteen year-old self would have been devastated by this news. I probably would have ripped down my Prince William collage in a fit of anger. What do you mean MY crush is getting married?!  Thinking about that version of myself made me smile. There is something wonderful about having a teenage crush. The feelings of having a crush at fourteen can never be replicated. There is an innocence in believing that you can have strong feelings for someone you’ve never met and that simply having strong feelings is enough to give you a chance with a total stranger like Prince William. Once you’re older and realize how silly that idea is, there’s no way to return to that innocence.

Or is there? Enter Prince William’s wedding day. I woke up at 4:15 in the morning and watched Prince William’s wedding ceremony live. I put on a dress and a fancy hat and headed over to the local British pub for a viewing party. I wanted to watch the wedding as a nod to my fourteen year-old self and the faded collage that still covers one closet door in my childhood bedroom.  In that brief moment of watching the ceremony, I returned to that innocence of being a fourteen year-old girl with a crush. It was the perfect epilogue to a much earlier chapter in my life.

I raise my glass to you, Prince William!