31 July 2018

Royal Outfits of the Day: Letizia Eases Into Summer Casual

The Spanish royals have settled in for their annual summer residency in Palma de Mallorca. But before Queen Letizia got there, she took a baby step that (sartorial) direction...

Queen Letizia opened the International Music School Summer Courses by the Princess of Asturias Foundation in Oviedo, her hometown, last week.
House of HM the King
A denim shirt dress is exactly the way to inch yourself towards those more casual summer holidays. A couple of her royal colleagues have certainly agreed in the past couple weeks, at least!

The Spanish royal family held their annual photocall after arriving in Palma de Mallorca, this year at the Royal Palace of La Almudaina. 
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Maybe she's still easing into her summer casual mode, because this dress is a little more formal than what Letizia's worn for the past few years of these photo sessions. (A lot of capris and sleeveless tops, basically.) She also wouldn't have much trouble finding royal colleagues to share her affection for the eyelet look either. And it's another winner, I'm gonna say.

Both dresses by Hugo Boss

30 July 2018

Royal Outfit of the Day: Charlene at the Red Cross Ball

Prince Albert and Princess Charlene attended the 70th Red Cross Ball in Monaco.
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So we're doing The Little Mermaid of Monaco? That...is completely and totally fitting.

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The gown's a bit of a work of art itself, fully beaded with degradé Swarovski crystal scales in blue and gold, by Atelier Versace. For a state banquet? Nah. But this isn't that. This is a glitzy society event, and Charlene can get her mer-princess on any time.

25 July 2018

Royal Flashback of the Day: Peter and Autumn's Windsor Wedding

As the year of Windsor weddings continues, it's time for another look back. This couple just celebrated their tenth anniversary: Peter and Autumn Phillips.

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The Princess Royal's son married Canadian Autumn Kelly on May 17, 2008 at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. Following the service, the couple departed via open carriage for their reception at Frogmore House.

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Autumn's wedding gown was a bespoke design from Sassi Holford made of Italian duchesse satin and Chantilly lace. The dress featured a three-tier sash above an A-line skirt with a cathedral train decorated with bows and lace inserts. A beaded lace bolero covered the bride's shoulders.

Autumn wore the Festoon Tiara on loan from her new mother-in-law in her hair. The classic pearl and diamond earrings and matching necklace were the perfect basics for a new royal jewelry collection; fittingly, they were gifts from Peter.

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The bridesmaids wore strapless Vera Wang, and Princess Anne? Well, we just saw her festive brown outfit again earlier this month. No one-and-done special occasion outfits for her, thankyouverymuch.

Peter and Autumn's wedding kicked off the list of weddings of the Queen's grandchildren that's still growing. Of course, it was also the wedding where then-Kate Middleton flew solo as a guest (with Prince Harry's then-girlfriend) while Prince William was off at a different wedding, so some of the rest of this got a little overshadowed.

Psst: The blog will be back on Monday!

24 July 2018

Tuesday Tidbits for July 24: A Tiara and Some Birthdays

Sparkle and cuteness, coming right up:

--Royal wedding in Germany: Princess Theodora of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg married Count Nikolaus Bethlen de Bethlen, of Hungarian nobility, over the weekend. The bride wore a small diamond fringe tiara that we've previously seen worn by her sister, Princess Anna of Bavaria, to the weddings of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine. The bride's father is a cousin of the late Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, husband of Princess Benedikte of Denmark. [Vanity Fair, Zimbio]
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--Prince George turned 5, so Kensington Palace shared a snap of him cheesin' for the camera at his little brother's christening. Awww.
Matt Porteous/Kensington Palace

--Crown Prince Haakon turned 45, so the Norwegian royal family shared a few pictures of him celebrating his big day with the family at Mågerø.

--And finally, Luxembourg on parade in the U.K.: Prince Sébastien, a graduate of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, participated in the Changing of the Guard Ceremony at Buckingham Palace as flag-bearer of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards. His proud parents, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, attended the ceremony. Sébastien's grandfather, Grand Duke Jean, served in the Irish Guards in World War II and was later appointed Colonel. That's Jean in the portrait behind them (and regimental mascot Domhnall hanging out in front). The court's Twitter account has more from the day.
Cour grand-ducale/Collection privée

Tidbits is your spot for royal topics we haven't covered separately on the blog, all week long. Please mind the comment policy, and enjoy!

23 July 2018

Royal Event of the Day: National Day in Belgium

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The Belgian royal family was front and center this weekend to celebrate Belgium's National Day, which also marked the fifth anniversary of King Philippe taking the throne. (We covered the new portraits they released for the occasion last week.) They marked the event with a fair bit of family coordination and a fair few prints.

Royal Palace
But we'll start with Queen Mathilde's single color entry to the weekend's sartorial lineup, a Natan dress with Fabienne Delvigne hat. It's a pretty solid addition to her file of National Day looks. Although I do think the hat seems precariously perched in many shots. A tilt too far.

Princess Eléonore, Prince Gabriel, Princess Elisabeth, and Prince Emmanuel
Royal Palace
Combined with their mother, Princesses Elisabeth and Eléonore very nearly form a royal rendition of the black, yellow, and red Belgian flag. Which makes me extra glad for the lovely floral embellishment on Elisabeth's dress, just to keep things from being too literal.

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Prince Lorenz, Princess Astrid, Prince Laurent, Princess Claire
Princess Claire's commitment to red and white matched her sister-in-law Mathilde's commitment to the color, though I think Claire's look might have benefited from a solid color hat.

Royal Palace
One quick outfit change later, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde headed to the park for more National Day fun. I said it wouldn't be shocking if this green dress turned up in another royal closet, and here it is! We first saw this L.K.Bennett print on Princess Sofia.

Royal Palace
Mathilde was also mad for print at two pre-National Day activities. Yes, that's a jumpsuit up there, and...

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...yes, that's unmistakably an Erdem up there. Ruffles and shine and flowers and a high neckline, not unlike the divisive Erdem evening dress worn by the Duchess of Cambridge in Sweden in January. I don't know if this one is better or if I've just accepted this trend as our new reality, but I'm not minding Mathilde's version. I'm sure you'll set me straight in the comments.

20 July 2018

Royal Dresses of the Day: Letizia and Eugenie's Double Bests

I hereby declare the best dress of the week to be a tie between these two repeats, both summery and swishy and all that good stuff. Let's send ourselves off to the weekend with a pair of bests:

King Felipe and Queen Letizia visited Bailen.
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See? SWISHY. This dress is so ready to twirl, it'll do it on its own if Letizia's not feeling game. These divine polka dots are from Carolina Herrera, and we first saw the dress during a solo trip a couple months ago.

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We can't have an ode to perfect summer dresses without a little bit of #TeamShades, now can we? Of course we can't. Living her best shampoo commercial life, as always.

Princess Eugenie attended Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday celebrations in London. 
Princess Eugenie also wowed in a repeat, the great green dress by Osman she debuted at Trooping the Colour last month. I loved it from the waist up during that event and it does not disappoint in full length. I am particularly swooning over the color. Keep building that good dress momentum right up to the big wedding day, Eugenie.

Eugenie's dress by Osman, Letizia's dress by Carolina Herrera

19 July 2018

Royal Outfits of the Day: Seeing Double with Máxima and Mathilde

Our most consistent royal style twins are back at it again.

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Queen Mathilde and King Philippe paid a visit to Windsor Castle last weekend, where Mathilde sported a lovely, soft dress with a scattered print and a soft green purse. That dress, though, was a double take from one we'd already seen:

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Queen Máxima wore it for an engagement in Utrecht last month, also pulling some sage out for some of her accessories. Or she wore a version of the dress, I should say; the designer has differentiated between these twin queens by gathering Mathilde's print at the hem and Máxima's at the waist. The designer, of course, is Natan.

But don't make your judgement call on which version is best just yet. There's yet another option to consider:

Royal Palace
The Belgian monarchy released new official photos to mark five years of King Philippe's reign, and Mathilde's wearing the same dress - just with a whole different top. A collar, looks like a button down, plus straight sleeves. (Also making me see double: the Law & Order strut toward the camera pose, not unlike the one used by the Dutch royal family for the portraits they released for their own fifth anniversary earlier this year.)

Which collar? Which pattern arrangement? To hat or not to hat? One dress, so many options. Sometimes this twin act turns into grown up Fashion Plates. Maybe that's their master plan.

While we're at it, the rest of those fifth anniversary portraits:

Royal Palace
King Philippe, looking stately. Belgium, as always, trying to win my heart with their purple sashes. (It's the Order of Leopold.)

Royal Palace
Máxima owns this dress, too, plus another in the same fabric style.

Royal Palace
And finally, awwwww.

P.S.: Yes, I know some of you are unhappy that we have not had a Tiara Thursday feature in a while. The feature isn't dead, and your patience is appreciated.

18 July 2018

Royal Outfits of the Day: Crown Princess Victoria's 41st Birthday

You know the equation: birthday + one of the Scandinavian monarchies = new birthday portrait!

Linda Broström/Kungahuset.se
Crown Princess Victoria's portrait for her 41st birthday is a bit of a blank canvas all around. Using a blank canvas to showcase the delicate diamond floral brooch she received from Princess Lilian's not a bad idea, though.

When you're Crown Princess Victoria, your birthday equation also means a full day of public festivities, first greeting well wishers outside Solliden Palace, the royal family's summer home on the island of Öland, and then a public concert.

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You can add in a dress fresh from the prairie to your birthday celebrations, if you must. It's your birthday, be as trendy as you want.

Princess Estelle's first dress would be the lone non-floral pattern of the day, as it turned out.

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At the evening concert, Queen Silvia and Crown Princess Victoria wore the folk dress of the region, as they always do (and as we just saw them do earlier this month), while everyone else went floral and flowy. (Except the men. They wore suits.)

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Princess Madeleine came prepared to prevent dangerous upper arm overheating, with what I like to imagine is an itsy bitsy picnic basket at the side. Toss in some minibar-sized drinks, and your summer concert experience just improved exponentially.

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If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Princess Sofia was paying direct homage to her sister-in-law on her birthday. Victoria wore this same print (by the brand & Other Stories) on a different style of dress back in April. Sofia's version leaves a little more room to breathe, so I think she got the upper hand of this floral double act.

17 July 2018

Tuesday Tidbits for July 17: Summer Family Fun

Summer always brings quality royal family time. For example:

--The Danish crown princely family disappeared for a while there (summer vacation, I assumes), but now they're at Gråsten Palace, the royal family's summer residence. Crown Prince Frederik, Crown Princess Mary, and the kids popped out to the gates to greet riders participating in an equestrian event. [YouTube]
Billed-Bladet screencap

--A family appearance for the Dutch royals too, as King Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima, and the A-team did their annual summer photocall. I like this denim dress on Máx.
RVD/Albert Nieboer

--Over at the Jewel Vault: the long-awaited debut of one of QEII's newer brooches!

--And finally, the photos from Prince Louis' christening were released. You can check them out at Kensington Palace's Instagram page.

Coming up this week: A birthday in Sweden, and more...

Tidbits is your spot for royal topics we haven't covered separately on the blog, all week long. Please mind the comment policy, and enjoy! 

16 July 2018

Royal Outfits of the Day: The Duchesses at Wimbledon

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The royals grabbed their spots for the Wimbledon finals this weekend, kicking it off with a double duchess act on Saturday for the ladies' final. The Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex donned their own versions of tennis whites and headed out for their first engagement together without their husbands.

They both stayed in their respective wheelhouses, basically. A new bespoke Jenny Packham dress for Kate, with a print one could liken to tennis balls if one was feeling in the themed mood, plus a new Dolce & Gabbana purse.

Meghan went crisp and classic with long trousers and a striped shirt from Ralph Lauren. The trousers did go a little overboard with an extra wide leg and long length, but I'm just pretending that's not there, because I love the rest of this look. Right down to the white hat she carried with her. More Panama style hats!

Kate was back for Sunday's final for the men, with William as her date this time.

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More Dolce & Gabbana was on tap, doubling up on the Italian label for the weekend with a new yellow dress. Yellow's the royal color of the summer, huh? Two examples is absolute proof of a trend, I'm pretty sure that's how the math works.

13 July 2018

Royal Outfits of the Day: Letizia, at Last

I know, I know, we haven't seen much of Queen Letizia around here lately. Even though her trip with King Felipe to the United States was a while back (they visited Louisiana, Texas, and Washington, D.C.), I'm still going to show you my two fave outfits. And then we'll do a couple with a slightly more current date.

House of HM the King
As it happens, my two favorite outfits from the US trip both happened in San Antonio. Letizia got twirly for a formal dinner with this fresh and fun Carolina Herrera dress with a tiered skirt - and it didn't hurt that she threw in some of the joyas de pasar for good measure. She wore the earrings and one of the bracelets (on the arm you can't see in this picture).

House of HM the King
Also, you KNOW I'm here for the polka dot dresses! Adding a red clutch upped the fun factor in a most pleasing way. This dress comes from Matilde Cano, another new Spanish designer for the Queen.

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Fast forward to our current month and the Spains are back home, meetin' and greetin' like crazy with a series of audiences. This one was last week and this one is the best appearance of these Hugo Boss pants yet. Like I said when she wore them at Easter, you can never really go wrong with a yacht-ready ensemble - and there's nothing like a sleeveless top to inch you closer to your yachting goals.

House of HM the King
This happened yesterday. Maybe I shouldn't send us off for the weekend on such a sad note, but too late. It's dishwater and droopy and the frayed edges add to the impression that this dress just GAVE UP HOPE.

Adolfo Dominguez dress
I think it needs to be worn to a beach party or something. I dunno. You're gonna have to take this one to a happy place, it's not bringing the happy to you.

12 July 2018

Royal Trip of the Day: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex in Ireland

The Windsors are keeping the big events coming this week, and we're just trying to keep up. Right after attending the events for the RAF's centenary, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex hit the road (er, the skies, I guess) for their first international trip together: two days in Ireland.

Kensington Palace
Green Givenchy separates marked the start of the trip, and would be the closest to a non-neutral this trip got. I am not showing her bag here because if I look at it any longer, my wallet might get itself into trouble. I trust you understand my plight.

Kensington Palace
For a summer garden party at the British Ambassador's residence, Meghan wore a FAB black dress by Emilia Wickstead! I'm so glad she returned to the designer. Meghan's shown great support for women designers, and this makes two great Wickstead looks.

Kensington Palace
Speaking of FAB: that hair.

Kensington Palace
On day 2, the couple had a very important meeting with Ireland's First Dogs, Bród and Síoda. Also they met with President Higgins and his spouse, Sabina Coyne.

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Roland Mouret blending right into all that stone doesn't do it for me, I'm afraid. Nor do I think it's doing it for her. So moving on...

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The couple squeezed in a bunch of other stops before they wrapped it up, which meant that this last outfit had to do everything from hanging out with kids on an athletic field to visiting the Famine Memorial. I don't love the boxier style of this black Givenchy suit, but I find myself leaning towards a well played simply for being a solution that looked at home in each situation.

And that's it! A tiny tour handled, like a warm up for their tour this autumn.

11 July 2018

Royal Outfits of the Day: British Royals Celebrate the RAF Centenary

Royal Family
Big time gathering of the Windsors yesterday! They all met up to do their usual thing (watch military parades, attend church services, watch flypasts, all that jazz) in honor of the 100th birthday of the Royal Air Force.

Royal Family
Leading the way was the Queen, of course, but since she has a whole blog to herself (you know the drill, clicky click for Jewel Vault fun), we'll kick it off with the Duchess of Cornwall and the second version this week of her personal summer white uniform. Prince Charles headed up the royal men, almost all of them wearing their Royal Air Force uniforms. (One of my faves!)

Westminster Abbey
I don't think the Duchess of Cambridge was on the advance list of royals expected, but how could she miss an opportunity to debut the third in this series of almost-the-same-but-not bespoke Alexander McQueen coats? She paired it with a hat by Sean Barrett.

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The bigger story was her jewels. Like many of the royal ladies, she wore the badge of an RAF organization with which she's affiliated: she's Honorary Air Commandant of the RAF Air Cadets, and this is the Air Cadets Dacre Brooch. (More on the brooch and a close up here, when she first wore it.) Her earrings are the Diamond Pendant Earrings on loan from the Queen.

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The Duchess of Sussex wore Dior with two things we know she loves: a boat neck and a belt. Feels like classic Dior, very elegant. The Stephen Jones hat added the right amount of interest. (Because the But What Color Is It REALLY? debate always seems to consume some folks, let's handle it: Dior calls it black in their press release, and it looks deep navy in action. Doesn't really matter either way.)

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The Countess of Wessex also enjoyed a bit of hat foof (technical term) for the RAF's big day. Both the Jane Taylor hat and the Suzannah dress are repeats here. She doubled up on her brooches, wearing a Dior brooch underneath her small RAF badge.

Westminster Abbey
Every time the Princess Royal wears this outfit (which is a lot because, you know, Anne), I think she's pinned a prize rosette at her waist. A prize rosette in the festive color of brown.

Royal Family
Rounding out the rest of the fam, the Duchess of Gloucester made sure they filled their mandatory navy quota for the day, Princess Michael wouldn't have been hurt by a shorter jacket, and Princess Alexandra smiling in purple will certainly make me smile in return.

Westminster Abbey, Royal Family
Ending this on the rest of the uniforms feels about right: the Duke of York, the Duke of Kent, and Prince Michael.

10 July 2018

Royal Outfits of the Day: The Christening of Prince Louis

Prince Louis of Cambridge was christened yesterday at St. James' Palace, and it was cream on cream on cream. (With an olive accent.)

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This was the first occasion to see the Cambridges together as a family of five, so clearly their constant family matching strategy was going to be in high gear. William managed George and Charlotte with a blue palette to unite the three. Kate managed Louis and once again matched her own outfit to the family christening gown.

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The star of the show enjoyed a nice snooze while wearing the christening gown of Honiton lace lined with white satin created by the Queen's dressmaker, Angela Kelly. It's a replica of the original family gown used beginning in Queen Victoria's reign. This new version was first worn by Viscount Severn, son of the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

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Another christening meant another cream bespoke McQueen outfit and Jane Taylor hat for the Duchess, exactly as she did for the christenings of George and Charlotte. The kokoshnik-esque hat is a departure, for sure; I'm not convinced it's a great shape for her, but I am glad to have any point of interest to differentiate from all the other cream outfits.

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The Duchess of Cornwall was also on the cream bandwagon, in a repeated dress by Fiona Clare. I like this take on her usual hat shape, using a more casual summer material.

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The Duchess of Sussex wore Ralph Lauren with a Stephen Jones hat. Fabulous dress shape on her, and in spite of my feeling that this is just a WHOLE LOT OF OLIVE, I can't deny it's a good color for her.

All these outfits feel very...gentle. Colorwise and otherwise. Same goes for most of the guests (in the video above). Three quiet ensembles for a somewhat quiet occasion, really.

09 July 2018

Monday Tidbits for July 9: Upcoming Sparkle and More

Let's go:

--A promising announcement from last week: King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will make a state visit to the United Kingdom, visiting the British royal family on October 23 and 24! Bring on the bling. Interested in what past Dutch/U.K. visits have brought in the sparkle department? Check out them out at the Jewel Vault: Britain visits the Netherlands in 1958, the Netherlands visits Britain in 1972 and again in 1982, and a couple official visits from Britain to the Netherlands.

--Crown Princess Victoria was named Öland Inhabitant of the Year in a ceremony at Solliden Palace, the Swedish royal family's summer home on the island. Victoria and her mother wore the folk dress of the area, which we also see them wear during Victoria's annual birthday celebrations.

--Wimbledon is underway and the daily watch of the royal box is ongoing. Here's an interview with the Duchess of Kent, who presented the trophies for many years. Among the Wimbledon memories shared are her thoughts on the moment she famously comforted Jana Novotná in 1993.

--Just a lovely picture of the Princess Royal at the Highland Theological College Graduation Ceremony and Foundation Day, that's all. Nice when one's robes work out to match one's dress.

--And finally, it was Holyrood Week over at the Jewel Vault. Highlights included a garden party, a lovely repeat outfit, and the splendor of the Order of the Thistle Service.

Coming up this week: Prince Louis' christening is today and you know we'll have coverage of that, plus other stuff...

Tidbits is your spot for royal topics we haven't covered separately on the blog, all week long. Please mind the comment policy, and enjoy! 

06 July 2018

Royal Outfit of the Day: The Duchess of Sussex Opts for Sunshine

As noted on Monday, we aren't having a full week of posts due to the holiday. There's nothing like a much-awaited for occasion to bring us back.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attended a Commonwealth Youth reception at Marlborough House yesterday.
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That occasion being the Duchess of Sussex in a bright color! A moment many have been waiting for. (Not all, I'm sure several of you will need noted.) As one who has been waiting for such a moment, I don't think it disappoints.

The couple with Tijani Christian, Chair of the Commonwealth Youth Council
Commonwealth Secretariat Flickr via CC BY-NC 2.0
Interestingly, Meghan's use of a bold, bright color has cancelled out her usual interesting accessories; she seems to have left the purses at home and the shoes are a basic beige suede.

The couple were welcomed by Secretary-General Patricia Scotland
Commonwealth Secretariat Flickr via CC BY-NC 2.0
But if you're going to let a dress stand on its own, best you make it one in a color like this. This brightness doesn't need much more than the simple line this Brandon Maxwell sheath dress provides. That color is enough. (Though I, being card-carrying member of the Interesting Shoe Club, think it certainly could have handled a more in that department. Maybe a touch of metallic.)

Brandon Maxwell crepe midi dress, retail and runway

02 July 2018

Monday Tidbits for July 2: Good Dresses and Other News

I hope you had a great holiday if you were among those celebrating this past weekend (hi, Canada and any getting their 4th on early), or I hope you will have a good holiday if you've yet to celebrate. A holiday on a Wednesday is a holiday week in my book, so we might be in and out a little bit this week. But first:

--Princess Eugenie visited her old school, Marlborough College, to open the newly refurbished Memorial Hall and I love this perfectly summery dress. On a more emotional note, Eugenie also posted her x-rays for Scoliosis Awareness Day. She had corrective surgery for scoliosis in 2002. [Instagram]

--Zara and Mike Tindall announced the name of their second daughter: Lena (pronounced lay-na) Elizabeth! Meanwhile, Zara and first daughter Mia were out this weekend to support Mike at a charity golf tournament. [Hello]

--Another imperial engagement in Japan: Princess Ayako, the third daughter of Princess Hisako and the late Prince Takamado, is to marry Kei Moriya. The formal announcement is set to happen today, the traditional ceremony making their engagement official will happen on August 12, and they'll marry on October 29. The couple were introduced by Princess Hisako. [Japan Times]

--And finally, in other Good Dress news, Queen Margrethe looks great here, no? She attended an anniversary dinner for the Royal Life Guard.

Tidbits is your spot for royal topics we haven't covered separately on the blog, all week long. Please mind the comment policy, and enjoy!