Unlike her more rebellious royal ex-sis Meghan Markle, Kate Middleton is generally known for being pretty prim and proper. However, she’s definitely had her more risqué fashion moments, and loves dressing up in designer garb that shows off her waif-like figure and fabulous sense of style. Here are her best fashion looks that break boundaries, show some skin, and contribute to making her an overall icon.
1. Middleton wore this gold cape dress to the premiere of “No Time to Die” in 2021. She looked like a bond girl herself in this 1970s inspired look with shining gold sequins, and a sheer overlay that created a cascading cape and train down her back. She stole the show that night — especially with that dress’s plunging neckline.
2. When you don’t want the neckline to plunge but want to show some skin, consider a strapless dress, like this form-fitting Alexander McQueen one worn by Middleton with a matching black velvet clutch. The dress features a uniquely hemmed bust-line, and has a stunning feminine shape that blossoms out after it hugs her hips. She paired the look with dreamy red rubies.
3. Kate made this gold and white McQueen dress her own, adding a non-sheer layer to the sleeves but still showing a little peek of cleavage. As always, her accessories impeccably matched her dress. She actually wore this look as seen in a 2012 dinner hosted by Malaysia’s Head of State, and loved it so much she wore it again at the 2020 BAFTAs.
4. Although this is one of Middleton’s less skin-baring looks, it has a cheeky undertone that we’re seriously in love with. Black lace sits over a nude base with sheer sleeves, giving off an undeniable boudoir and lingerie vibe, made even sexier with a pair of sky-high black heels. As always, the Duchess slayed the vibe and served us a smoldering yet elegant look.
5. When you have legs like this, why not show it off? She looked more like an A-lister actress than a member of the Royal family with these gorgeous heels and a high-low dress in sky blue by Jenny Packham. The year was 2014, and this silhouette was trending (although we still think she’d look amazing in it in 2021) and the event was for Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards.
6. Kate always has an eye on designers that can accomplish jaw-dropping, minimalist designs with a focus on customized fit. She did exactly that with this Roland Mouret cream dress, worn to a dinner at The Thirty Club in 2012. The look was timeless, paired with silver platform heels, and gave us a flash of skin with its subtly integrated middle slit.
7. Kate Middleton looks like a Greek goddess in this periwinkle, semi-sheer gown that drapes around her upper body effortlessly. The look was livened up by a bedazzled waist belt, which matched her tiny silver clutch. This outfit was worn to the “Spectre” premiere back in 2015.
8. She doesn’t stray from neutrals and wears statement colors not too often, but did exactly that with this incredible blue polka-dotted dress by Solini, which was altered to remove excessive sheer paneling and an open back. Instead, Middleton wore the Mary Illusion Dot Dress with a nude panel of fabric added to the originally sheer bodice, but it still gave a dazzling effect.
9. Kate showed off her figure and her slender shoulders with this well-fitted black floral dress worn to the 2017 BAFTAs. The Duchess of Cambridge loved the look so much, she wore off-the-shoulder dress once again in 2019, freshening it up with some cap sleeves. This is one of our favorite Middleton gowns — it looks like it was made for her.
10. This look was as sexy and graceful as it was comfy, which is why it always remained on our radar. The chic look by Barbara Casasola was worn in 2019 to a gala dinner, and hit right above the ankle, with subtle ribbed detailing and glitter Jimmy Choo heels that even Cinderella would be jealous of.
11. This was one of Kate Middleton’s more daring looks, featuring a very high thigh slit and a lace bodice with peekaboo detailing that made us swoon. This dress was by Self Portrait, and was worn to the 2016 premiere of “A Street Cat Named Bob” in the United Kingdom, paired with understated plum heels.
12. If there’s one way that this royal likes to show some skin, it’s with a classic off-the-shoulder silhouette and some girlish details, as indicated by this ruffled, peasant-style red dress with billowed sleeves. It’s one of the only times we’ve seen Kate in such a laid-back look yet a bold, bright color — with her hair styled in a very relaxed manner. No wonder she has a smile on her face — her outfit is full of cheer.
13. When she was pregnant during the 2018 BAFTAs, Middleton opted for an empire waist rather than her more figure-hugging outfits. As always, she pulled the dark olive look off perfectly, remaining in a familiar color scheme, but pairing with some radiant gems which gave way to some daring cleavage. The look was designed by one of her all-time favorites, Jenny Packham.
14. If a classic off-the-shoulder silhouette gets boring or predictable, switch to a one-shouldered white gown like this angelic Alexander McQueen masterpiece that screamed Hollywood glam. Kate looked like a ballerina out of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake in this dreamy ensemble, paired with a sparkling diamond bracelet and tiny white purse.