Cathy Cambridge in Mulberry

Posted on November 28, 2012

If we were Duchess Cathy’s Gays-in-Waiting, we would have ripped this dress right out of her hands the moment she expressed a desire to try it on.


Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge attends the official opening of The Natural History Museums’s Treasures Gallery at Natural History Museum in London, England in a Mulberry dress.

Mulberry Cabbage Silk Dress

Because, even though these pseudo-1980s secretarial styles are back in fashion, anyone with half a brain could’ve figured out that the British press would scream “DIANA!!!!!!” at the sight of her wearing it. And sure enough, they did, hauling out some old pictures of The People’s Princess wearing a dress marginally similar to this one, back in the day.

Besides, it’s just not all that great a dress. The color’s nice; or to be more accurate, it’s nice to see her wearing a color. But that’s about the only complimentary thing we can say about it.

And while we’re being bitchy… does anyone else kind of hate her hairstyle?

[Photo Credit: Getty,]

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  • filmcricket

    Yeah, the new haircut is severely dated. If I thought it meant she’d be wearing more ponytails I could condone it, but I somehow doubt that’s the case.

    The dress is meh. I love the colour, but the sleeves and collar make it frumpy.

    • Just looked at the thumbnail photo at the main page and mentally screamed,  80s dress!

  • She looks normal from the side, but I don’t like her hair from the front. I can’t put my finger on it. And I just read that she gets her hair blown out 3 times a week at 75 dollars a pop- no wonder her hair always looks great! Even my thin hair would look pretty good if I had a pro do,it 3 times a week!

    • Sobaika

      Seriously?? I wish I could drop that kind of cash on blowouts. Her hair is damn good.

      • AR16

         When they mentioned on the radio this morning that the Powerball is half a billion dollars and I started fantasizing about what I’d do if I won, one of my first thoughts was that I’d get my hair blown out at least once a week. 

        After the requisite ‘start a charity’ and ‘take care of my loved ones’ thoughts, OF COURSE!

    • I doubt that she does, that a lot of heat on her hair and it would look damage and fry if she did that three time a week. 

      • 3boysful

         Isn’t that just a regular blow-dry?  I do it nearly every day.  The secret–Moroccan oil shampoo.  From the drugstore no less.

    • Aurumgirl

       My hair is the definition of irrational, but a good blow out makes it look fantastic.  Truly, the number of people hired to look after your hair is the difference between awful and awe-inspiring.

  • Reneesance

    Ouch, yeah Diana was my first thought.  The floppy bangs aren’t helping anything either.

    • DeborahJozayt

      Those bangs look horrible! If she did a side bang, it might be alright. As it stands, there’s just too much of a disconnect.

      • Kristin McNamara

        Awful bangs, combined with the center (or near-center) part that my once-lived-in-Ireland sister told me all her friends over there said they make fun of American guys for. They call them “curtains”. haha that’s exactly what Cathy has here! Hiddy.

        • 3boysful

           Plus, they make her look young.  Like, teen-ish.

  • She sort of looks like Laura Branigan.

    • poggi

       If she were to belt out “Calling Gloriaaa” I would totally forgive her for this hair style.

  • Judy_J

    Whoever did her hair needs to be banished to the Tower of London.  Off with their heads!

  • Yeah, she has worn this particular dress before, and I don’t recall loving it at the time either.  The color is nice, as you pointed out, but the dress itself is so dowdy on her.  Also, there are PEACE SIGNS ON THE DRESS.  Ugh.  And while her hair is normally gorgeous, those front layers + this dress = Charlie’s Angels (and not in a good way).  I hope that she styles it differently in the future, because the hair is not working here. 

    • Lilithcat

      Also, there are PEACE SIGNS ON THE DRESS.

      Oh, dear lord, so there are.  

      I guess I’m just an old curmudgeon, but when I see the CND symbol used like this, I want to grab whoever’s wearing it and ask them if they have any idea where it came from.   And is she even allowed to make political statements?  I thought that was a no-no.

      • Monabel

        When I lived in Britain in the 50s and 60s, the CND was also very associated with anti-Americanism. The marches were often to US bases. Are we to be nostalgic for the Cold War now?

    • MissMariRose

       Not just peace signs. PEACE SIGNS, HEARTS AND TREES!

      If there isn’t some kind of duchess protocol against this kind of dated twee shit, there should be.

      • Monabel

        Not just for duchesses, a universal protocol?

      • Oh my god, I didn’t even see the other heart/tree nonsense.  I was so blinded by the hideous peace signs that I missed the others.  SO AWFUL. 

  • mechanical_orange

    omg she looks like Karen Carpenter

    • Got it in one.

    • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

      Rainy days, 70’s dresses and ugly hairdos always get me down.

  • deathandthestrawberry

    No me gusta.

  • ChiKat67

    The Jacklyn Smith hair has got to go!

  • sk8tfan

    It’s the Jessica Biel “I must hide my beauty, I’m ashamed of it” hair. And I wore that dress in the 80’s, while climbing the corporate ladder. Not a time I wish to live through again, fashion wise or other.

  • The color is FANTASTIC with her coloring. Everything else is wrong.

  • NC_Meg

    I hated the dress the first time she wore it and I hate it this time. Also not crazy about the bangs. You make me sad, Cathy, and you never make me sad.

  • siriuslover

    yes and yes TLo. Hated the dress when I saw it on her, can’t stand the hair. The hair and the dress combined, sheesh.

  • zenobar

    The legs are to die, the color is pretty; but that prissy little collar is hiddy, hiddy, hiddy.

  • gsk241

    Yeah.  That dress is way frumpy.  And she needs to give Zooey Deschanel her hair back.

  • She looks like she needs a trim already…horrible cut

  • Dot

    Ech. I’m not liking this 70s hair curtain thing she has going on. It doesn’t flatter her face at all — deeper sweeping side part with fringe on one side would suite her much better, I think.

  • geans

    Is that a shiny peace-sign print? Oh no no. 

  • claudemtl777

    Dorothy Michaels wore it better in Tootsie…

  • I do wish she’d pull her hair back more often, or just flip it back behind her shoulders.  That’s a lot of shiny, distracting hair to have hanging down the front.

  • PeggyOC

    Totally in agreement.  Nice color, but that style was terrible in the 80s, and definitely doesn’t need to zombie back now.  And yeah, it looks like something Diana would have worn, which is odd and kinda creepy.

  • As someone who was born in 1989, I think it’s all fine – I can see why she chose the dress, it’s a little cheeky with the print

  • LauraWL

    I got a more mod/swinging-60s vibe from it at first but agree that the sleeves definitely remind me of a lot of blouses my mom wore to the office in the 80s and yeah, not a style I really want to emulate. I’ve never particularly liked her hair or style but both are looking remarkably dull and dated in these photos. 

  • Judy_S

    The hair looks too little-girl, especially with that dress. The dress didn’t remind me of Diana but it did remind me of a dress I used to have in Diana days….

  • traceyishere

    She may be using the dress to distract from the fact that she may be preggers.

    • tereliz

      LOL, I figured that was the reason for the haircut. 😉

    • Kristin McNamara

      I HATED to think it…. but I did wonder, when I saw how loose-fitting a dress this was. (Plus, her face looks kinda… different, no? I can’t tell if it’s the bangs or if it might be because she’s pregnant. But I’m just spitballin, here. I’d hate to feed any rumors haha)

  • VioletFem

    I actually like the dress. It’s in a gorgeous color which complements her quite well. If she had worn her hair in a more modern style she could have pulled it off. 

  • MzzPants

     Yeah, what’s up with her hair??  It makes her look ordinary.

  • Tina Petek

    What do you expect from a dress that has “cabbage” in its name?

  • Monkey Toe

    I don’t love the dress, but Mulberry Cabbage may be my new drag name.

  • Srw27

    MIchael K. on Dlisted called her “Tootsie” and I think that’s the best way to describe this look.  1980 called and wants its awful hairstyle & dress back.  

  • Tatiana Luján

    That neckline with that hairstyle…ugh, dominical school.

  • BeaDee

    I desperately want to get her some hairclips to pull that floppy mess out of her eyes.

    • formerlyAnon

       Mom? Is that you?

      • H2olovngrl

        I am not sure you are intentonally refeencing Michael J. Fox in drag as his sister/daughter? in Back to the Future 2, but if you are, kudos, and thanks for giving me a laugh.

  • frannyprof

    I would say a good fashion rule is to avoid wearing anything using the word “cabbage” as a descriptor.

  • Vera L-

    She looks like Jaclyn Smith on Charlie’s Angels. 

  • Kristy Evans

    Yikes, her normally magnificent hair (it’s like an 8 on the Connie Britton scale) looks awful. The dress isn’t so bad, but you’re right – it’s too reminiscent of the 80s (and thus, Diana). 

  • Mazenderan

    It is a *very* Diana dress – glaring to any Brit looking at the pictures.

    I like that she’s wearing colour – but I think that green is very hard and makes her complexion look a bit tired.

  • Kristy Evans

    Oh Christ, I just realized that dress has PEACE SIGNS ON IT. And hearts. And trees. Oh, honey, no. NOOOOOOO.

  • Dagney

    Hmmm, yeah, you guys, I think she might be pregnant.  I saw a couple of magazine covers at the grocery store with headlines saying something akin to “her close friends are expecting an announcement soon…”  That dress is a distinct departure from her usual, neat and trim, style choices.

  • kikisayshi

    OMG at first glance I thought Jaclyn Smith!

  • schadenfreudelicious

    hate the Charlie’s Angels bangs, please grow them out and lets never speak of them again…

  • I applaud the Tootsie comment. Before I read it, I was thinking a secretary from the classic film 9 to 5.

  • I love the dress, and the hair.  My teenage daughter just got a dress similar from Forever 21.  

  • Oof.  The First time I have actively cringed from one of her public appearances.  The feathered bangs are not her friend.  She looks so dowdy and chubby-cheeked, like a similar-looking but not identical cousin stepped in for her today.  That with the dress is an 80s disaster, even without the Lady Di comparisons. 

  • Joyce VG

    I love the dress (well – it’s better with the top two buttons unbuttoned) and the color is fabulous.  I ADORE her hair.  Very very cute!  She looks beautiful!

  • decormaven

    Boy, if that dress doesn’t scream Monkey Ward catalog, I don’t know what does. Flip the page for bras & girdles.

  • tallgirl1204

    It’s just so unflattering on her tiny little self.  Dare I say it:  matronly?

  • Samantha Zito

    Confused booms, that’s for sure. The hair… it’s just awful. The scissors should have been ripped from the hair stylists hands immediately following taking the dress from her in a similar fashion. I would give this her worst dressed moment since that boulder was slipped onto her pretty little finger.

  • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

    She looks like Pamela Sue Martin in her “Nancy Drew” days.

  • She’s gonna regret those layers and bangs. Soon.

  • crash1212

    And while you were at it, you should’ve slapped a bit of make-up on her. I don’t hate this dress and don’t much care about the Diana connection, I just wish she had left a couple of buttons un-done. Also…what did she do to her hair? It’s still beautiful and shiny and lovely…but….is it the bangs? Something’s off.

  • neofashionista

    she looks like she time travelled from another era or at least her bangs did
    no bueno

  • Totally unlike her usual polished outfits. Peace signs? And those billowy sleeves? What happened here?

  • shanna bowie

    I was just remarking that she feels REALLY buttoned up lately. I don’t really follow her so I don’t know if this is new or more of the same but it felt really old ad conservative. 

  • The hair reminds me of Karen Carpenter 

  • stubbornthoughts

    Love her hair. I’m glad she kept her bangs long and didn’t go all Jessica Biel on us. And this is coming from someone who sports bangs.

    Love the color of this dress but would have preferred short sleeves, or no sleeves at all. But overall, I still think she looks fantastic. That woman can do no wrong in my eyes.

  • charlotte

    We will remember today as the day Cathy Cambridge had bad hair.

  • elleg929

    The hair is too dated for her.  It’s very Charlie’s Angels.

  • It’s a lovely color, but the shape is so Betty Deuce, not Cathy C.

  • kimmeister

    I was actually shocked at how frumpy her hair looked in the thumbnail, considering how glorious it normally is.

    That dress, holy mackerel.  I love me some pleats, but in the sleeves, bodice, and skirt is way too much.

  • I think her hair looks like they were going to cut it into Zooey Deschanel bangs but she freaked out and made them stop after the first snip, so they had to make the best of it.  If is was a deliberate decision to cut it that way, for shame!  It looks like someone with growing-out bangs.

    • makeityourself

      That’s what I thought too.  Like, “I’m ready for a change, but not too much of a change, because I will never hear the end of it, so let’s cut off a little, no that’s too much, oh shit what are we going to do now,”  kind of thing.

  • The hair is pretty but I feel like it doesn’t do anything for her face, just not flattering. I think on someone else we might call this amazing hair.

  • B_C_J

    This is a HORRIBLY aging dress.  It’s retro in a ghastly way. The hair is also not helping her cause. Burn the dress, now!

  • jmorino08

    I am getting a major Diana vibe from the hair. Seriously, cover her up from the shoulders down with your and hand and imagine that hair blond. Totally 80s Diana.

    ps If you Google Princess Diana 80s, you don’t have to scroll to far through the images to find these pics!

  • bookish

    It’s the peace symbols I really can’t stand. What the fuck?

  • PaperPusher2

    Everything just ages her.  No on the hair and no on the dress.  

  • formerlyAnon

    This dress and hairstyle combine to make her look very young, very (wait for it . . .) primary school teacher, and not at all the polished chip of adamantine perfection we’re used to from her.

  • Anathema_Device

    I don’t mind the dress, but she should have undone the first couple of buttons. With the buttoned-up collar and the hair hanging in her face, she looks like she is sticking her head through a cardboard cut out. Also, while that is a fun shade of green, it isn’t doing her complexion any favors. 

  • Yeah…that dress is more than “marginally” similar. How did no one get that?

  • twocee

    No.  Just. No.  No to that god-awful style of dress (is that REALLY coming back in?).  No to the Charlie’s Angels hair.  No to that skinny matchy belt.  No to channeling her dead mother-in-law.  Just no.

  • You hit it on the mark.  Dress is very dated, screaming “Diana” and yeah, not too crazy about the new “do”

  • GorgeousThings

    Well, any dress that is called a “Cabbage Dress” should be flung from the tower window.

    And yes – hiddy hair. Really bad. What up with the Lea Michele do, Cathy?

  • BayTampaBay

    That new hairdo makes her look like Margo Kidder in the 80’s Superman movies.

  • It’s so…demure.

  • twocee

    One more thing that struck me as super weird: in the thumbnail I swear Kate looks like Sarah Ferguson with brunette hair.  Maybe it’s the bizarre deer-in-the-headlights expression.

  • kolokOlchik

    This is not her color AND it’s not her hairstyle

  • Sara__B

    Yep. I hate her new haircut, too. And that dress is too prim and dated for even a member of the British royal family. But I still irrationally adore Cathy Cambridge and her husband.

  • nannypoo

    Maybe it would be better with a different belt. Her hair looks awful, but her makeup is worse. She looks exhausted.

  • Laura Nugent

    Thank you, HATE the hair.  It just is not flattering at all.  Ugh.

  • MrsMaxPower

    If this dress was longer it would be my sister’s 1983 prom look, right down to the hair. Not the best look for her.

  • DesertRodent

    She looks like she hasn’t been sleeping well. And she’s definitely off her game with her hair and face. And her clothes aren’t fitting her well.  Hmmm…wonder what’s up with her?

    • ASH

      Or she is suffering from morning sickness

  • Sweetpea176

    I hope the bangs are a prelude to a major overhaul with her hair (although I don’t think they’re an improvement).  She’d look more modern and sharp if she lost 6-8 inches — don’t like the cheerleader/senior prom hair. 

  • Sing4yursupper

    My initial thought was “NO, she’s in jewel-toned ’80’s. The entire look is dated. 

  • PrunellaV

    Wow, it’s like Will dared her to go out looking like a dork. Hope it was worth it.

  • I like the hair. I dislike the dress – hated it the first time she wore it, too. The color is fantastic but the style is hiddy.

  • H2olovngrl

    My first thought was Laurie Partridege, and now I can’t unsee it.

  • I’d like the hair if it wasn’t paired with such a frumpy dress. The color is ok, but it’s really the FABRIC that’s making my eyes twitch. I hate the shiny tone-on-tone effect. It just doesn’t work for me. If this same dress were made in a more modern fabric/print, it could almost work.

  • …but it’s good for covering a bump.


  • LittleKarnak

    Yes to the your haircut comment!!! Something’s just night right about it…

  • bitchybitchybitchy

    It’s rather mumsy isn’t it?

  • Zippypie

    Circa 1978 and not in a good way!  Oh, Cathy, WTF?

  • HATE her hair. It looks like a wig. Maybe it is; bad dye job underneath? 

  • margaret meyers

    Yep.  SHE is why we are seeing all these too prim and ladylike secretary/prairie/granny dresses. 

  • librarygrrl64

    The hair, the dress, the color — 1981 yearbook photo.

  • Jackie4g

    I had that dress in high school in 1967. It’s even older than you thought it was.  The color is good, though.

  • briecee

    Are those… peace signs?  I’d have thought that was politically risky for a duchess.  I thought she was supposed to be arm candy and produce heirs and basically not comment on the other stuff.

    Anyway, the rest of it is terrible.

  • pulpytomato

    I really like the hair. It looks healthy, soft and flowy. It frames her face well. It’s really not all that different than her normal layered ‘do though. Short hair would not suit her at all, nor would short bangs.  I also like the dress. A fierce pair of boots would make it work, but this wasn’t the event for that. Eh, she working the retro look and looks lovely, as always.

  • I swear I hardly recognized this as Mrs. Cambridge.  So very unflattering.  Which is hard to believe, considering how she’s rocked a great array of looks in the past.  Rip this one out of her hands, indeed, and then burn it.  A girl is certainly entitled to a new hairdo now and then–I just got mine cut today–but I predict a short life for this style.  Not good for her.

  • I love her hose and her nice, practical black pumps.  No to the dress and hair.  What was she thinking?

  • I love the era and she is quite suited to it! The archetype brunette.

  • HATE the hair.

  • rainwood1

    This didn’t say Diana to me, but it did say ugly.

  • Louise Bryan

    The dress is a pretty color.  The neckline and the hair make her look pubescent.  The dress looks top-heavy.  The print is jumping the shark.
    C’mon, Kate, you can do better.  Much better.

  • Terrible dress, and yet I kind of want to see it on Karen Gillan.

  • Ann-Alan Callahan

    HATE the bangs and the hot roller curls. She needs a sleek Gwyneth bob.

  • Valdri8

    She is pregnant, no doubt; her nose and face are dead giveaways.

  • It’s just too demure. Desperately in need of a soupcon of sass.

  • Cathy S

    The color’s nice but the dress makes her look frumpy.

  • f_yeah_marie

    I’m not a fan of the bangs.

  • The hair is so 70s Charlie’s Angels. SO tired of it. Sure, it is beautiful and healthy, but I am SO over it!

  • marilyn

    She forgot to have her makeup done.  She looks okay, but she is supposed to always be spectacular.

  • I wouldn’t hate it if she would cut three inches off the bottom and stop using hot rollers. Some nice finishing layers would be much more modern. The curls….oy…now you went and got me started.

  • fiestyfashionfem

    hair = curling iron curls

  • mozzer0906

    Hate the hair.  Hate it.

  • kalisa

    Those photos look like they were taken in 1979. 

  • I think pretty much everybody hates her hair.

  • myristica_fragrans

    i think her style needs a major overhaul. she dresses too old and ever looks as good as she could.

  • MaryAtRealityTea

    Oh sweet lord, that hair is SO aging! It’s time-warp hair. Eeks. No Cathy. 

  • MilaXX

    The dress looks homemade & the hair is awful. 

  • guest2visits

    The bangs are just not working for her, at least not the way she’s wearing them. And paired with the dress, the whole look
    is very dated.   If she opened a few buttons at the top and did some different styling of the hair (maybe loosely pinned up);
    this would be very nice.  After all, it is not a state function, no?   She could be a bit less buttoned down and formal.

  • Abba.

  • melanie0866

    Yes, it is a really, really ugly, 80’s, frumpy, shiny office dress.

  • HomeOfficeGirl

    Hooray for Princess Kate – mom to be!!

  • Girl_With_a_Pearl

    Now we know that the poor girl was not feeling well.  I had morning sickness too way back when and I don’t think I could even think about what I was wearing when I was feeling that way.  The fact that she was at that event and greeting all those people was more than most people could do.  Wishing her well and hope she is out of the hospital soon.

    • blondie65

      oh yes… When feeling like that, it is all you can do to put one foot in front of the other. I remember wearing dresses like this just bc they were so light…you want nothing tight, constricting or heavy.  It’s been years, but I remember that feeling like it was yesterday.  Wishing her the best….

  • ShayShay

    Girl that is not your dress!