Musings on the culture of keeping up appearances

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Category: royal visit

Pantone color-codes the queen for her Diamond Jubilee

Queen Elizabeth II Pantone

To mark Queen Elizabeth II’s 60 years on the throne, the folks at the Pantone Color Institute and the London branch of the Leo Burnett advertising agency have teamed up to compile a limited-edition color guide to the monochromatic monarch's most memorable moments.

Below are a few of the outfits that are included in the catalog, along with a bit of color commentary by the Pantone Color Institute's executive director Leatrice Eiseman.

Pantone 13-0755 Primrose Yellow: “The queen’s royal wedding outfit from 2011 was Primrose Yellow," writes Eisman. "Yellow is a color that speaks to the future with hope and optimism. William’s wedding was a time of national celebration and this choice of yellow complements the joyous mood of the occasion. It’s a color that is high visibility (befitting a queen), while still not detracting from the bride.”

Pantone 13-4411 Crystal Blue: “Blue is a color staple in the queen’s wardrobe, it’s a color that communicates constancy and it is also symbolic of her devotion to the British people. Blues traditionally have calming properties and she is often seen wearing them during difficult times. Blue is also seen as de-stressing so it’s no surprise she was sporting a serene blue to a Royal Garden Party in 2010.'

Pantone 13-5414 Ice Green: “During the Queen’s landmark state visit to Ireland, the first since the country gained independence in the 1920s, she was seen in a cool shade of green. Her color choice echoed the sentiment of her visit as green is widely seen to symbolise new beginnings, fresh thoughts and rejuvenation.”

Sticking with the theme of the queen's 60th year on the throne, the Diamond Jubilee Colour Guide has defined and deconstructed 60 of the most memorable outfits since her majesty's coronation (compete with date, location and Pantone's reference number).

But good luck getting your hands on one. They have been printed in a limited and numbered run of just 60 copies. And in deference to Buckingham Palace's policies on the use of the queen's image for commercial advertising purposes (and let's be honest, it's essentially a Pantone catalog that happens to feature the queen of England), they will not be available for purchase. One copy was presented to the queen, and the other 59 are destined to become the kind of coveted tchotchke that mysteriously makes its way to the coffee tables of the cool crowd of magazine editors, tastemakers and friends of the brand.

It's enough to make one Pantone 16-6444 with envy.


Pantone says 'tangerine tango' to be tops for 2012

Canada: Diamond Jubilee exhibit shows the queen through the ages

Diamond Jubilee: Surprising facts about Queen Elizabeth II's 60 years

 -- Adam Tschorn

Photos: At left, Queen Elizabeth II in Pantone 13-5414 (Ice Green) during a 2011 state visit to Ireland. Credit: EPA/STR. At right, the monarch in Pantone 13-0755 (Primrose Yellow) at last year's royal wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Credit: AP Photo/APTN

Frugal Fashion: William and Kate go cowboy chic on their overseas tour

CowboykatePrince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, might have finished their overseas tour of parts of Canada and California, but we're still buzzing. We just can't get enough of the duchess and her confident, elegant style.

The newlyweds are now old pros at dressing for public appearances. While in the U.S., Catherine wore a flowy Alexander McQueen gown to the BAFTA "Brits to Watch" gala, a hand-painted silver dress by Jenny Packham to a charity polo match in Santa Barbara and a white and navy ensemble to paint with kids at an art center in L.A.'s skid row. But who knew the royal couple would look so good when they went country in jeans and cowboy hats?

These outfits came out when Kate and William made an appearance at the BMO Centre in Calgary, Canada. The look was a far cry from something the duke and duchess would wear to tea with the queen, but it's difficult to watch a lively herd of livestock in heels.

William kicked off the Calgary Stampede in a blue and green tartan plaid shirt, a pair of blue jeans and boots, while Kate wore a pair of dark denim jeans, Temperley London rodeo shirt, boots and a silver buckled-belt. The couple stayed clear of the sun in matching crisp white cowboy hats.

To get Kate's look try a white blouse with a prairie feel like the French Connection vintage grace shirt (below, left) for $39.99 at For some country ruffles try the silk georgette blouse from for $24.80.


For a rodeo, a nightclub or even a leisurely Sunday afternoon, there's no need to throw down a couple of hundred dollars for jeans. For a great pair of jeans under $100 try the Frances 18 low-rise boot cut jeans by Silver Jeans Co. for $75, Meltin Pot jeans from for $45 or the 1969 perfect boot cut jeans by Gap for $69.50.

For her accessories, Kate went the traditional western route with a bold silver-buckled belt and cowboy boots. Lasso the look with the Relic two-tone etched buckle belt from for $24 and the American Eagle Outfitters suede desert boot for $59.50.


The prince, looking more like a stylish Texas ranger in his rodeo gear, perfected the look of a modern cowboy. For a similar shirt, get the Polo Ralph Lauren slim custom-fit plaid sport shirt for $39.99 from, American Eagle Outfitters plaid button down for $39.50, Cockpit navy blue plaid shirt for $44.99 from or the eco-conscious Swell the Josh Organic flannel shirt for $39.50. from Just remember to roll up the sleeves!


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Royal Visit: Super spectator style at the polo fields

The royal couple may have had necks craning during the Foundation Polo Match at the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club on Saturday afternoon, but many of the accessories worn by the male spectators were also worth a second look. IMG_5482  Most were as manly and sophisticated as the fleet of Audi cars delivering guests to the field and others donned more dandy details that felt dapper yet perfectly appropriate for summer weather.

Savile Row tailor and designer Tony Lutwyche (whose menswear line hits Saks Fifth Avenue, Beverly Hills this fall) was sharp in a dark blazer, bright purple pants and two-toned oxfords he designed.

IMG_5548Another eye-catching accessory was a pair of gold lorgnette’s that Michael Saville wore around his neck –- perfect for an opera or, well, a polo match.

The Duke of Argyll paired a rich, floral Duchamp tie with his Clan of Campbell tartan, Duchamp tie and gray vest.

Team England polo player Malcolm Borwick wore his    team blazer (also designed by Tony Lutwych) emblazoned with a red rose patch and spoke of the grand tradition of polo and the style surrounding it. IMG_5610

“I love the extraordinary brand that the clothing  companies that support polo [like Ralph Lauren and Jack Wills, the latter of which made the team jerseys for the Foundation Tournament] bring to the game. “Everyone here today is living their own version of “Pretty Woman.”

-- Melissa Magsaysay


Royal Visit: Hats do double duty at the Foundation Polo Challenge

Royal Visit: Prince William gets polo trophy, kiss from Kate

Royal Visit: The Duchess of Cambridge wows the polo crowd in Santa Barbara

Photos: Top: The Duke of Argyll, right: Tony Lutwyche's two-tones oxfords, left: Michael Saville's gold lorgnette; right: Malcolm Borwick / Cory Desrosiers

Royal Visit: Hats do double duty at the Foundation Polo Challenge


Though the Duchess of Cambridge didn’t wear a hat to the Foundation Polo Challenge at the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club, plenty of spectators did, sporting floppy straw hats as well as custom-made fedoras and the feather fascinators the duchess herself helped make so popular. Most hats were festive and looked mainly to be just for show, but once everyone headed to the stands to watch the polo match, they were happy to have (at least a partial) shield from the sun.

Baron Michael Blakey wore a decidedly rock-and-roll-style black straw fedora festooned collage-style, with black leather patches, feathers and silver spikes. His wife, Sasha, wore an elaborate headpiece rivaling her husband’s as far as eye-catching detail, this one a tan wide-brimmed hat with brown and white feathers covering the entire surface.


Doug Spearman, an actor, writer and avid polo player, donned a black-and-white gingham shirt from Ralph Lauren and a summery white Gucci suit topped off with a white Bailey hat that had a black-and-white band.  His just-as-coordinated friend Susan Michals was put together in a navy-and-white printed Kay Unger wrap dress, a tan straw Louise Green hat with matching navy-blue bow and navy-blue espadrilles. 


For head gear that was much more decorative than functional, Linda Graham sported what she called a half-fascinator that matched her light-colored Azadeh Couture dress. And Margarita Landy wore an Arturo Rios hat that had fuchsia floral plumage jutting straight out of the base and looked just right with her short pixie crop.


Jessica Kantor wore a dramatically wide-brimmed straw hat by James Coviello for Club Monaco that nearly eclipsed her tiny frame but provided some coverage from the sun while looking very stylish.


Duchess of Cambridge presents trophy to William, the Foundation Team

Royal Visit: The Duchess of Cambridge wows the polo crowd in Santa Barbara

Photos, from the top down: Baron Michael Blakey's hat; Susan Michals and Doug Spearman; Linda Graham and Margarita Landy; Jessica Kantor. Credit: Cory Desrosiers

Royal Visit: Prince William gets polo trophy, kiss from Kate


As if we needed more proof of royal mania, consider the polo crowd that swarmed to see Prince William receive a trophy. The prince was presented with a 15-pound, 18-inch-high, sterling-silver award (with decorative horseshoe motifs) by Tiffany and Co. for winning the Foundation Polo Challenge (in which he was one of the highest-scoring players).

Wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, handed out the awards. (She shook each player's hand, but William got a kiss on each cheek.)

Indeed, it was a good day to be royal: The Prince's Foundation team beat team Audi 5-3. All players received a Tiffany and Co. silver and mahogany bowl.

And it was a good day for a photo op: The trophy presentation was definitely one of the highlights of the day.

-- Melissa Magsaysay

Photo: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, receives a kiss from her husband, Britain's Prince William, after his team won a charity polo match. Credit: Phil Noble / Reuters.

Royal Visit: The Duchess of Cambridge wows the polo crowd in Santa Barbara


Sometimes, it's all about the clothes and today was one of those days. Dressed in a silver-gray hand-painted chinoiserie silk dress from British designer Jenny Packham's Spring 2011 collection, the Duchess of Cambridge arrived for The Foundation Polo Challenge at the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club via helicopter with her husband Prince William, who was casual in his pre-polo garb-a navy blue linen blazer, white pants and a white pocket square. The couple attracted so much attention from guests trying to catch a glimpse that one man standing on a chair to snap a picture stumbled off the platform of the seat (and the champagne had only just started to flow).

While the royal couple were certainly the main attraction, celebrities roamed the grounds as well, causing quite a stir among polo enthusiasts who were sporting colorful summer dresses and festive hats.


Joe Zoe Saldana was elegant in a pale peach floral floor length dress from Chloe and Molly Sims wore a short dress by Templerley London and Alice Eve donned a crisp white suit with a gray chiffon blouse.

As lovely as the ladies looked, the men were quite dapper as well. Rob Lowe wore a light tan suit and pale blue shirt, while Joe Jonas sported a vibrant hot pink cable knit cardigan with a white button down, khakis and shiny gold Ray Ban sunglasses.

Before the match, Prince William changed out of his blazer and white pants to his polo uniform (his jersey number is 4). His wife watched from the center stands sans hat, but shielded by a white canopy and not a hair out of place.

--Melissa Magsaysay

Top photo: Prince William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, left, arrive with former Ambassador to Jamaica, Glen Holden, right, and Gloria Holden. Credit: Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times.

Middle photo: From left, Zoe Saldana. Credit: Matt Sayles / AP Photo; Molly Sims. Credit: John Shearer / Getty Images for Audi; Alice Eve. Credit: Matt Sayles / AP Photo.

Bottom photo: Joe Jonas. Credit: John Shearer / Getty Images for Audi.

[Updated] William and Kate in North America: The royal fashion tour begins

KatePrince William and wife Kate (The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge) have boarded a Royal Canadian Air Force plane to travel to Ottawa, Canada, the first stop on their nine-day North American tour.

No sloppy plane sweats for Kate. She chose a sleek Roland Mouret navy blue sheath and double-breasted Smythe blazer for her travel outfit. The bag is the new Polly Push Lock style from Mulberry. It's one of her higher-end outfits, for sure.

It will be interesting to see what Kate  wears during the trip. She reportedly hired a personal shopper from Selfridges to help her plan but says she will only wear one look per day. In other words, no diva outfit changes.

Someone on the news Thursday morning suggested she don a Toronto Maple Leafs sweatshirt while in Canada. Maybe not. But Kate could wear an American designer or two while she's here. The couple will visit Los Angeles for a gala on July 8, so Rodarte perhaps? If sticks with a British designer, my pick would be Erdem.

--Booth Moore


Designers recommend California looks for Kate and William's U.S. visit

Meeting Prince William and Catherine on the polo field

Royal wedding: Taking a closer look at Kate Middleton's jewels

Photo: Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, arrives at London's Heathrow Airport to travel to Ottawa, Canada, on June 30, 2011. Credit: Steve Parsons / AFP/Getty Images

[Updated at 11:30 AM July 1, 2011 An earlier version of the post named the Mulberry bag Polly Push Love.]


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