28 December 2011

2011 in Review: The Duchess of Cambridge

Best of the Year
Boom! The late entry wins the game at the buzzer! Yeah, I lurve it. The dress is just divine, I think this is the most flattering thing she wore the whole year. Like so many of you noted, I have some reservations about the necklace (I'd take the ruby flower deals off, that's too wee and twee for my tastes), but: she wore it. And what did I say about that? Step 1: put the diamonds on. Step 2: do other things. Here's hoping for a blingy new year!

Runners Up
I love a killer shoe and I love purple - these are not secrets well kept. Therefore, the very first Kate appearance of the year must make my list of runners up. Nods also go to what I found to be two of her most young, fresh, and feminine takes on the old school jacket and dress/skirt combo, the blue and black and the crochet look (which I know some of you will very much disagree with me on). At the time of the big tour, I favored her lilac Roksanda Ilicnic dress, but fickle me has now switched my affections to the twirly purple McQueen. The pink Jenny Packham was actually going to be my #1 until the black velvet slinked in at the buzzer because, well, I love a sparkly "Look at me!" number. I just do. Sue me.

And then there's the wedding gown. The wedding gown is in here simply because I recognize that it would be ludicrous not to include it, though I still agree with my first impressions. Thus, I include my favorite view: the train, which is and was perfection.

Worst of the Year
Nobody has a perfect year, alas. I thought about the Salmon Stella, which is probably the only thing I'd call an actual hot mess for the Duchess' whole year, and I thought about a couple of the entirely oatmeal ones - seriously, contrast is your friend - but I'm giving my title to the Alexander McQueen outfit worn to visit the aftermath of the riots. And that actually has nothing to do with how the thing looks (though I do stand by my initial assessment, which was: work it or go home).

No, this is about public relations. Katemania dictates that everything she wears will be analyzed to death and just a hair beyond that, and there's nothing she can do to stop it. It's a monster, and it's coming for all of us. But the newest Duchess on the block is a careful player in the sartorial game. She's done her best to restrain the debate over her outfits...except for this one. Debuting a pricey ensemble on this particular occasion was a misstep. I don't care if it personally offended you or not (it didn't bother me), but it was a rare PR mistake, and for that, I hereby dub it the Worst of the Year.

Which outfits make your best and worst lists for Catherine in 2011?

Photos: Daylife/Getty Images/Hello/AP