Kate’s Look for Less: ARK Gala

Yesterday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stepped out in formal attire to attend the ARK gala dinner in London. ARK (Absolute Return for Kids) is a charity in the UK, and the pair attended on behalf of the Princes Foundation. ARK galas have a history of being particularly posh with celebrities in attendance.

Since this was the first formal occasion for the pair, Kate brought it up a notch from her typical high-end retailers.

This dress is from British designer Jenny Packham from her 2011 Resort Collection.

Since Duchess Kate is extremely tall and — let’s face it — extremely skinny, there aren’t many differences between her appearance in the dress and the runway. The girl is sample size.

As usual, Duchess Kate paired the dress with her favorite brand of shoes, LK Bennett. Now, how to get this look?

Since this is a formal, and a formal that retails for $3,800, Kate’s Look for Less will be an inspiration rather than a copycat. That requires a range of looks. Actually, this is an excuse to use the Valentino dress below, which I’ve been in love with for a few months.

Kate's Look for Less: ARK Gala I


Next, I really like this Badgley Mischka dress from Bluefly for $259. If I had a dressy event coming up, I’d be tempted to buy it.

Kate's Look for Less: ARK Gala II


If you can spend a little more, this Sachin + Babi dress is fantastic.

Kate's Look for Less: ARK Gala III


Several notes: while I like Duchess Kate’s dress a lot, I couldn’t help but notice that this looks like something that Taylor Swift would wear. Sparkly and floaty. In fact, Taylor Swift wears a lot of Jenny Packham. Would I like it as much if Taylor Swift had worn it? I’m a fan of hers, but the Duchess of Cambridge and county music’s current sweetheart seem to be in different fashion stratospheres.

Also, will Kate every wear a non-British designer? These are all lessons that Jackie Kennedy, Princess Diana and Michelle Obama learned painfully, and she seems to have absorbed. No one will ever doubt this girl’s patriotism. Overall, it’s interesting. Since anything she wears sells out, it’s fun to learn more about British fashion.

Images: Daily Mail and Elle

Adrienne works in the conservative movement and blogs at Cosmopolitan Conservative and Adrienne Loves.