How To Dress Like A Royal Country Woman

Thursday, 21 November 2019
How To Dress Like A Royal Country Woman

Off-duty style lessons from The Queen and Kate Middleton

The ladies of the Royal Family are frequently photographed in glittering gowns and jewelled tiaras. However, it’s their everyday and off-duty clothes that provide us with a real insight into their style and personality.

As leading members of British landed gentry, Royal women are naturally no stranger to country life. From Balmoral to Sandringham, their estates have provided them with a sanctuary and an opportunity to engage in outdoor leisure pursuits largely unencumbered by the prying lenses of paparazzi and devotees.

The Queen has always set the standard for modern country dressing, choosing traditional, well-made, practical clothing, worn with her own instantly recognisable stamp of flair and individuality. New royal recruit Kate Middleton shows astuteness in following her example by taking simple, classic country looks and adapting them to suit her age, her era and her personal interests and character.

Whether born to it or learned, the Royals have much to teach about making British country style contemporary and fresh, whatever your age.

The Queen

Queen Elizabeth II has long epitomised British upper crust country style while making it very much her own with her unmistakably fuss-free and characterful outfits. Her look is unique, so much so that in 2008 she inspired a Dolce & Gabbana catwalk collection with her roomy coats, tweed skirts, classic brogues and, of course, printed silk head scarves.

Cosy knits, tweeds, macs, quilted and waxed jackets are her stylish stalwarts for horse trials and walking the corgis at Windsor Castle or Balmoral. Her meet-and-greet daywear also belies her fondness for country dressing, often seen in tweed tailored coats and suits, although usually in bright and pastel shades so she can be spotted easily in the crowds. Get The Queen’s look with these pieces from Cordings.

The Tweed Skirt or Culottes

While you may consider trousers best suited for country walks, the Scots and the Queen, sharing in their love of kilts and tweed, would argue otherwise. A stranger nowadays to trousers, the Queen shows us that a-line tweed garments are perfectly suited to brisk country walks. Supremely practical, warm and comfortable, an a-line tweed skirt or culottes will allow you to amble unhampered across those vales and hills come rain or shine

Her Majesty taking a stroll in an a-line tweed skirt. Cordings Wincanton Tweed Culottes £199.

The British Tweed Jacket

A keen horsewoman, The Queen’s love for tweed does not extend to the bottom half alone. She has often been spotted in an equestrian tweed jacket, especially in her younger days. The fitted silhouette is both classic and flattering, whether riding across one’s land or striding through town.

The Queen in a tweed jacket
Her Majesty in a fitted tweed jacket. Cordings Wincanton Tweed Jacket £295

The Silk Scarf

Those colourful silk scarves favoured by The Queen have a practical purpose, saving her carefully coiffed hair for any later engagement in the Royal diary. With its striking design, this scarf elevates any country look while giving you the advantage of looking effortlessly put-to-together afterwards.

Her majesty in a silk scarf
Her Majesty in a classic silk square. Cordings Clare Haggas ‘Pastures’ British made silk square £175.

The Duchess of Cambridge

A tomboy at heart, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, is a natural when it comes to dressing like an English country woman. She had an extensive off-duty yomping wardrobe long before she married into the Royal family (frequently topped off with her signature nifty trilby hat). Understated and athletic, her must have outdoor key pieces include: a field coat, a tweed jacket, a fitted longline gilet, a long tailored coat, a fairisle jumper, slim-fit trousers and a selection of sturdy knee-high boots, including riding boots and Le Chameau.

Action woman Kate is not afraid to mix it up a bit and put her own stamp on traditional country wear, for example, swapping her riding boots for combat-style ankle boots. She is adept at keeping outfits tonal in earthy shades of khaki, tan, olive, chocolate and tobacco, occasionally offset with a cool white shirt. Get her look with these pieces from Cordings.

The Shooting Vest

Kate knows that a fitted waistcoat shows off her tiny waist, and this striking shooting vest would suit her perfectly. She would also love the practical details of those bellow pockets and Alcantara recoil patches. Team with jeans and knee-high boots.

Duchess of York, Kate Middleton, wears a tweed and alcantara shooting vest
The Duchess in a fitted shooting gilet. Cording T.Ba Tweed and Alcantara shooting vest £345.

The Long Tailored Coat

Kate understands the opportunity a smart tailored coat gives to add a show stopping finish to an outfit. Often seen sporting a long green coat which elongates the silhouette and brings out her eyes, this sweeping full length Tweed Coat would fit the bill perfectly. Complete the outfit with a matching fedora, brown gloves and knee-high boots.

Kate in a long green fitted coat. Cordings Green Long Tweed T.Ba Coat £595.

The Fairisle Jumper

Kate is an expert at breaking the earthy tones with flash of white or a pop of colour to lend freshness to the look. What is better than a crisp white shirt and a fairisle jumper to add interest to your country style?

The Duchess in a light-coloured fairisle jumper. Cordings Fairisle Shetland Cardigan £139.

The Classic Green Tweed Jacket

A classic green tweed blazer is all you need. A wardrobe staple for all complexions and perfect for every country engagement, Kate shows how green can lend a natural elegance to any outfit. Whether attending country fairs or watching a school match from the side-lines, this feminine and flattering tweed jacket will help you achieve the perfect balance of comfort, style and stature.

Kate in a green tailored jacket. Cordings Portland Tweed Hacking Jacket £295.

The Field Coat

A stalwart of the country wardrobe, owning a field coat shows that you are truly at home in the country. The best are waterproof, windproof and breathable, made for romping in all weathers. Whether opting for a lightweight performance fabric or a stylish tweed, this coat will be your friend for years.

The Duchess in a green field coat. Cordings Jarrow Cotswold Field Coat £575.