Oh my goodness I cannot believe I sat down one night five years ago at a very cluttered desk and hit “Publish” on what was supposed to be the first in a series of 10 articles on my personal blog. The response over the next 24 hours shocked me and totally altered the course of that series into the site that you see here today.
I had spent the weekend at NASCAR Races in Sparta, Kentucky with family. Yes, your humble correspondent loves cars that go FAST and only turn left when operating correctly. But in the mornings before we left the hotel or in the evenings after we got back from the day at the track, I was googling to find out what the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had been up to on their tour of Canada and California. That was where I got to know the site that so many of us LOVE and TRUST for our Kate Fashion News, What Kate Wore.
It was at What Kate Wore that I first saw THE DRESS, the one that really started it all for me and the one that started a conversation that led to a friendship that has spanned these past five years.
When I first saw the purple Issa dress that was worn to the Canada Day Celebrations, I fell in love. I knew that I wanted it, that I wanted to wear a dress that made me feel the way Catherine looked that night…stunning.
I WANTED this dress. There were just 3 pesky problems, not that they were going to stop me…but they had to be overcome.
1) Catherine is 5’8″ and I am 4’8 1/2…on a good day where I can stand up
tall straight. Petite clothing was going to be a must and it would make this a challenge royale.
2) I have Cerebral Palsy and use a walker or wheelchair any time I want to leave the cozy comfort of my bed. I have no choice the walker or the chair are ALWAYS with me and always within reach. The Cerebral Palsy does not in and of itself dictate what I can and cannot wear but it does mean that there are certain things that are more challenging for me to put on and or walk in than they would be for most. Plus, I like the added independence and privacy of being able to dress myself, so I had to look for something I would not need help with.
3) My budget was not, and still is not that of a Princess. Sadly, there would be no bespoke creation for me. I’d have to find something off the rack and within my budget (I really want to stay under $100 for a dress, especially one I’m not likely to wear out to events all that often).
Over the years the hunt has not been all that successful but as I began to write this I decided to go on another hunt for my “Purple Petite Princess Dress” and this year I found this at Macy’s.
With the Pullover Style that means that I should be able to get it on and off by myself, leaving only my shoes as a source of needed assistance. Now the big question is which size do I try, (I am currently a 10P, but am losing weight) and which color? The Eggplant and Burgundy are both stunning!
There are a couple of other looks from Catherine in 2011 that I feel driven to find ways to recreate.
This black and white one
I have found this dress twice but both times I had the same problem, it fit my hips and waist like a glove but it would not zip round my shoulders (I swear my shoulders would make a great pair for a linebacker). If anyone finds it in an XL please let me know…it just might fit the shoulders and I can have the waist tailored.
And her Epsom Derby Look:
I love so many of the little details of this outfit…and it is one I have wanted to recreate from the start but, there are a few changes that I have to make. For me to make this one work the biggest change can be summed up in one word : FLATS. Catherine may have loved her L.K. Bennett Sledge heels, but they would be guaranteed suicide for me. I don’t even think my feet are flexible enough for those.
As it stands, I am still on the hunt for the perfect dress and jacket combo, but I do have a pair of nude flats, along with Catherine’s L. K. Bennett Natalie Clutch and her Whiteley Hat in Cappuccino Brown. You can read all about my excitement over finding and purchasing the hat in this post. One year I WILL attend the Kentucky Derby and this will be my outfit….or maybe the next outfit I have to show you…
My next Catherine-inspired choice came from British brand Ted Baker. I waited until I saw both pieces on sale at Amazon (yes, it was quite the shock to find the pieces there, but hey it saved me a few bucks)
This Jacket and dress pairing struck me as something that Catherine might try if she were to go shopping at the brand. It really is quite lovely in person, I bought it 2 years ago today….guess I should get around to wearing it. I’ll have to have the dress altered a bit so by the time I wear it, this dress will be more of a “Ted X Trisha”…I hope Ted doesn’t mind too much
Okay, so now I’ve shown you a few of the looks worn by the Duchess that I really want and the options that are available to me or the reasons they are still not in my closet. With that last cream ensemble being one that I adore and need to find a reason to tweak it and give it a night on the town.
Now let’s talk about the pieces worn by the Duchess that I DO own and that need no alterations. I have found over the past 5 years that it is best if I stick to owning shirts, blouses and accessories that we see on the Duchess.
and here are my most recent additions to my Duchess-Curated wardrobe
When I bought the pieces above I did it either because they would help me put together a Duchess-Inspired outfit, because they were a great and easy way to support a great cause, because they were great pieces I could wear almost any time therefore making their price tag super reasonable, or because a girl deserves a splurge of a present every now and then.
These past five years may not have been easy and there were times I felt I was out of my depth, but I would not trade one single second of the time that I spent blogging. There are days that I swear this blog was my only bright spot and the friends I have made through it were the only ones who could make me smile.
I thank you for your time spent reading and for your friendship and support I am blessed beyond measure. Thanks for 5 wonderful, exciting and challenging years, and here’s to many many more.