19 December 2013

Year in Review: 2013's Bests From Our Regulars

We have a handful of leading ladies around here that we follow regularly, and now it's time to reminisce about the best they looked this whole year - one of my favorite things to do. So! Much! Pretty!

I always enjoy going back through the year as a refresher, but in truth, I'm looking for the outfits that made such an impression they require absolutely no refresher. We're talking about the best of the whole year, after all. And you guessed it, those often come from those extra special events. These are my personal favorites, one for each lady...

Queen Máxima
Look at that, I'm sneaking two in right away: I think the glory that was Queen Máxima on inauguration day deserves a second best, which is excellent because I've recently decided that I am just as enchanted by the lace gown she wore during the evening celebrations as I was by the caped wonder she sported for the inauguration ceremony. (Both by Jan Taminiau, of course.) We know now that she has dipped back to her old ways in the months since, but never mind. We'll always have April 30th.

Queen Mathilde
Mathilde took a much lower key approach to her outfit the day her husband became king, but the official portrait they released included all the regal fierceness you could want: a simple Natan gown done in a strong color which played beautifully off of the purple of her Order of Leopold, a mega diamond brooch, and a new-to-her tiara development in the form of the bandeau from the Nine Provinces Tiara. A queen indeed!

Crown Princess Victoria
This one is easy. Soooo easy. Victoria's stunning Fadi El Khoury gown at her sister's wedding has certainly earned a spot on my list of all-time royal faves, right up there with Máxima's double best. Plus, everyone knows that WEE ESTELLE and a purse- and pacifier-toting Prince Daniel are the ultimate accessories. We got some jewel news out of it, too: this was a first appearance for Victoria in Lilian's Laurel Wreath Tiara and in the necklace Lilian so loved to wear.

Crown Princess Mette-Marit
Another number from Madeleine's wedding, Mette-Marit and her Emilio Pucci gown paired with her amethyst tiara. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: all this one has to do is bust out a train in pastel and there's a 95% chance I'll be sold.

Crown Princess Mary
Mary's Birgit Hallstein gown for the pre-inauguration dinner in the Netherlands took my breath away when she wore it, and it still does. Just so darn elegant. Add this to the list of all-time faves.

Princess Letizia
I'm surprising myself here, but the heart wants what it wants. This is the lone best of the year that came from a regular event (an audience) and not a big fancy special occasion. And yet there's something about her Felipe Varela combo that just sticks - it's classic, but the animal print makes sure it still has that Letizia stamp on it.

The Duchess of Cambridge
As much as I would like to put her second-ever tiara appearance here, we don't know much about what that dress looked like! I'm going with wee George's christening instead, in custom cream Alexander McQueen.

Yes, we will have a look at some bests from other ladies (and also some worsts...), so stay tuned for those. Until then:

Which outfits make your list of personal bests for our leading ladies this year?

Photos: Getty Images/Jan Taminiau/Belgian Monarchy/Fadi El Khoury/Felipe Varela/PA