Five Ways to Build a Royal Wardrobe (On a Not-So-Royal Budget)

I have always respected Kate Middleton’s “put-togetherness.”  She always looks great.  Never interesting enough for me to follow her on any social media feeds, but great.  Then Meghan Markle came onto the royal scene.  That was the impetus for me to click that Kensington Palace “Follow” button.  Now, I truly look forward to the weekly photos, from baptismal portraits to international tours.

Princess Kate surely has her traditional “go-to” looks, and Meghan (although less predictable) is beginning to as well.  Although they have very different styles, they both ALWAYS look polished, put together, timeless, “classy”… whatever you want to call it.  They always look like a million dollars.

We may never have the clothing budget of a royal, but hell… fake it ’til you make it, right?  Here are five tips to polish up your wardrobe on a not-so-royal budget.  Details are in the links under the photos.  Remember, many of these items are offered in a variety of colors and prints so be sure to click through for all the options!

Make a neutral suede heel your “go-to” shoe.  Have you ever heard that expression “You can tell a lot about a person from their shoes”?  Well a perfect neutral suede heel will not only go with just about any print, color and style, but it ALWAYS looks great.  Whether low, high, block or stiletto heel, you can count on this closet staple to be there for you no matter what the non-royal occasion.


  1. Sam Edelman Margie Pointed Toe Suede Pump in Oatmeal Suede
  2. Marc Fischer (Zappos)  Zala Pointy Toe Pump
  3. Lord and Taylor Steve Madden Heart Tied Suede Pump
  4. J.Crew Lucie Suede Pumps
  5. Nine West (Macy’s) McFally D’Orsay

Choose unique items with interesting details.    Nobody wants to be boring.  Choose pieces that have unique piping, pintucking, lining, ruffles, trim, buttons, bows… or anything that makes it even a tiny bit more special.  You don’t have to pay royal prices to find details like these.


  1. ZARA Basic Sweater with Metallic Buttons
  2. Boden Anya Waterproof Jacket
  3. Brooks Brothers Ruffled Crepe Blouse
  4. Boden Mia Ottoman Dress
  5. H&M Tie-Front Blouse

Structured blazers = instant polish.  Blazers are what excite me most about fall.  When paired with everything including trousers, jeans, skirts and dresses, they always make you feel put together… even on your schleppiest of days.


  1. ZARA Double Lapel Frock Coat
  2. WHBM Tweed Moto Jacket
  3. J.Crew Regent Blazer
  4. Chelsea28 (Nordstrom) Plaid Blazer
  5. H&M Short Woven Jacket

Wrap it up!  Kate Middleton very often steps out in a wrap dress, whether it be “faux” or the real deal.  They are comfortable, easy, flattering on most shapes and such a timeless wardrobe staple.  I personally love a true wrap dress for its ability to fine-tune the belt to perfect the fit.


  1. Patty Boutik (Amazon) Long Sleeve Knit Faux Wrap (Steal!)
  2. PURE Collection Jersey Faux Wrap Dress
  3. Boden Elodie Jersey Wrap Dress
  4. J. Crew Wrap Dress is 365 Crepe (Many Colors Available!)
  5. EVERLANE Japanese GoWeave Wrap Dress

Grab a structured bag and go!  No matter what type of event, a gorgeous structured bag always completes the outfit.  Meghan usually chooses smaller satchels and mini bags with handles, which have been known to sell out within hours of her appearances.  You don’t have pay for a Strathberry or Chloe to achieve the look.  If you choose the right combination of color, shape and hardware, your less expensive handbag can look just as good as its designer counterpart (with, of course, the right outfit AND attitude).


  1. Rebecca Minkoff Small Darren Messenger
  2. Michael Michael Kors Ava Satchel
  3. J.Crew Harper Mini Satchel
  4. Kate Spade Hayes Street Suede Sam Satchel
  5. MANGO Round Small Bag

Now go treat yourself to a little something.  Everyone deserves to be a princess for a day.


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