Kate Middleton was arguably the most-watched woman of 2011. Of course her marriage to Prince William turned heads in April, but her wardrobe kept people looking all year long.
Middleton is anything but a typical duchess. Instead of draping herself in million-dollar exotic silks and all the Crown Jewels, Middleton opts for simpler, budget-friendly styles while performing her new role as Duchess of Cambridge.
She opts for High Street fashions instead of pricey designer duds. The 29-year-old effortlessly mixes her country girl roots with her new royal status to create a style that is entire her own. Thus, her outfits are sophisticated and timeless, yet still tangible and modern.
Most recently, on Christmas Day, Kate wore earrings by Kiki McDonough -- which retail at $3,000 -- and had a world of fashionistas clamoring for a pair. McDonough also designed jewelry for Prince William's mother, Diana. Once again, Middleton bridges classic and contemporary in one graceful swoop.
Middleton typically opts for a neutral palette of subdued colors like opal, beige and white. Sometimes she will add a pop of amazing color like burgundy, navy or forest green. She keeps her jewelry and accessories simple.
The duchess' wardrobe is accessible. Here is a list of Middleton's favorite designers and high street shops so you can fill your closet with some of her best.
Jenny Packham: British designer Jenny Packham is known for her feminine, ready-to-wear pieces. Middleton has been seen in some of the designer's flowing gowns, including a gorgeous one-should silk stunner at the reception in aid of the National Memorial Arboretum Appeal at St James's Palace on November 10. She also chose a shimmering pink Packham for her appearance at the 10th Annual ARK Gala Dinner at Kensington Palace.
Alexander McQueen: In 2011, Kate was photographed multiple times wearing Alexander McQueen threads. Most notably, she wore Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen in front of millions on her wedding day. Of course, these ensembles flew off the shelves. From her military silk-georgette blouse and embellished wool-crepe skirt to her crushed black velvet gown, McQueen's designs have highlighted the edgier side of the prim royal.
Kiki McDonough: Middleton wore Kiki McDonough's green amethyst drop earrings surrounded by diamonds on a diamond hoop on Christmas Day. That was not the first time she put on the jeweler's gems. She also wore the designers jewels - a part of eight-carat gold Citrine Drop earrings -- in July to the Epsom Derby.
Zara: The famous Spanish high street chain Zara is one of Kate's go-to labels. She wore a tulip-printed Zara frock (that cost just £69.99) to a charity concert in early Dec. and the dress sold out in hours. She was even photographed shopping at the High Street store in November. That must have been a revenue boost. Pippa Middleton is another fan of Zara. It must run in the family.
L.K. Bennett: London's L.K. Bennett defines itself as an international, accessible luxury brand. It is not wonder that Middleton is such a fan. With affordable prices and sharp chicness, L.K. Bennett is a must-have. Some of the duchess' favorite items include the Ami red wool coat and the Andie nude pumps.
Reiss: In another nod to affordability, Middleton can be seen sporting looks from Reiss, a popular UK chain. She famously wore a taupe bandage dress from the retailer when she met with Michelle Obama at Buckingham Palace in May 2011. The £175 dress sold out online and in Reiss shops overnight.
Whistles: Both Kate and Pippa can be seen wearing looks from this High Street boutique. Whistles is a womenswear fashion brand that was recently reinvented and is quickly becoming one of the must-have labels in London - no doubt, thanks to the Middleton sisters. Kate wore a Whistles top in her engagement photos and a skirt from store during her tour of the U.S. back in July. Now the Europe-based brand is contemplating a North American move.