This is a fashion column, not an etiquette column. Frankly, though, I have no other platform on which to express my views and so I'll sling them about as I see fit. First up: Dear readers, when you send out an invitation it is cruel to the common invitee to request dress codes like "Festive" or "Creative Black Tie." Most people (read: those without a stylist) do NOT want to spend oodles of time decrypting your sartorial expectations. Most people have go-to items for "Black Tie," "Cocktail" or "Casual" but not for "Smart Casual" or "Elegant Casual." Have mercy, people, the masses still cannot wrap their heads around "Business Casual." Kate here is attending a Garden Party for the Queen's 90th Birthday. (Why Do I Feel Like Anything Referring To The Queen Has To Be In Caps??) Truth be told, I've been asked many times but I've never advised a client to wear a long gown to a garden party. Chiefly this is because most garden parties are slightly less formal than this one appears to be and also because long gowns work best with heels but heels don't work best with grass (although wedges do!). However, if we are still telling the truth, I have never advised on a garden party wardrobe for a QUEEN'S birthday extravaganza. In this case, given the Royal element, I think this Temperley number works wonderfully. It's intricate but not overly so, it's sheer but not scandalous, it's white and detailed and fitted and lovely. I'm not over the moon for the chandelier earrings but their role is not prominent so I forgive them. But, WAIT:
For the Queen's pleasure, Will slices Kate's gown in half!? This alternate photo was a surprise to me because I thought we were viewing a gown, not a skirt and top. But I actually prefer this notion. It's modern and even more appropriate for being less formal. It's "Queen's Birthday Slightly Formal" or maybe "Royal Garden Dressy Casual." Whatever the invitation said, this is a damn good interpretation of the request.