Cathy Cambridge Gives Up

Posted on April 22, 2013

Good lord, Duchess Cathy has taken the Grandma Betty drag to a whole new level:


Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the National Review of Queen’s Scouts at Windsor Castle in Berkshire in a Mulberry coat.

Mulberry Mint Cotton Tweed Coat

Serving up QEII circa 1968, bitches!

Yeah, we can’t really sign off on this one. We’ve said before that she appears determined to not mimic Diana in any way – and that makes perfect good sense to us. But choosing your 87-year-old grandmother-in-law as a style inspiration, we don’t care how iconic she is, is not the way to go, Miss Cathy. This is beyond dowdy to our eyes. And it’s somewhat shocking, because she’s usually at her best when she’s picking out outerwear.

This has nothing to do with the shape, by the way. It’s perfectly fine for her shape, but it’s all the mumsy little details, like the collar and the sleeve length and even the flower closures, not to mention the color, which all make it far more suitable for a septuagenarian. Although truth be told, we think this could be styled correctly for a younger gal, but it would have to be done in a way completely unavailable to Cathy: funky hipster. Since that’s off the table, she’s stuck with trying to pass it off conservatively and winds up adding half a century to her age. Not a good look for you, dear. If you have to be conservative, then find things with a tiny bit of edge, not a lot of whimsy.

Also, that hat simply does not go. Miss Cathy wants to lie down and do nothing until this little monarch makes its appearance. It’s written all over this dowdy look. Go home, dear. We understand. And don’t let Grandma Betty pick out any more clothes for you.


[Photo Credit: Getty,]

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  • But uncles, that Granma/Granpa shit is all the rage with those darn kids today. I work at an Independent Living community, you should see all the hipster, poser, fashion wannabe’s who flooded our recent flea market and who are “in the know” to stop into our our onsite thrift shop.

    • VioletFem

      I do see some young people wearing “Grandma Chic” but it is not typically interpreted in such a literal sense. There is usually some element to give it a bit of edge or some whimsy to it.

    • Yeah, but I think that was kind of TLo’s point when they said it might work if it were styled with the hipster touch.

      • Oh, I in no way, think she is attempting Hip & Cool. I was being somewhat facetious while also being sympathetic to her condition.

  • Grandma Betty would’ve at least had the sense to wear a hat that went with instead of that frowsy little beige number I swear I’ve seen on her before.

    And honestly, I’m 5ish years older than Kate, *and* the world’s most boring dresser. I would still know enough to put a pair of patterned Wolford tights with that coat rather than the L’Eggs “Sun Tan” pantyhose she always defaults to. And those shoes are gross. F on all counts.

    • JulieTy

      “Suntan L’eggs!!!” I’m having a simultaneous flashback/seizure!!! Hahahahhaha!

    • VanessaDK

      Are patterned tights back in? WAIT! I’m sure I can find my old box of tights from the 1980s….

    • pulpytomato

      She’s worn the beige number several times. And the shoes. I imagine she buys things that are neutral and work with everything because if she buys new shoes or a new hat, people start freaking out about their taxes (even if tax money isn’t spent on her wardrobe) and austerity, etc. etc.

      • I understand the theory, but loathe the fact that nude shoes have become anyone’s (much less everyone’s) go-to neutral. I hate them. The same shoes in black would also go with everything, and it wouldn’t look like smudgy Barbie-foot at the end of your leg.

    • MaryAtRealityTea

      The hose are awfully bad. Why does she do it? It just pains me. She’ll be looking all cute and then L’eggs strikes again! Is it a British thing?

      • Elleachaudaucul

        I’ve heard that she basically isn’t allowed to have bare legs. I was going to say that no one else in Britain under the age of 50 wears those things, but I think that Kate is actually bringing them back in a little.

  • I will ascribe this to the fact that just now, all her attention is on building a baby.

  • AwesomeMargie

    I guess since she’s working an event at Windsor Castle she has to go conservative. I wish they would just let her be.

  • She finally looks pregnant! Shame about the coat. Cute color, though.

  • gabbilevy

    To be fair, if QEII had worn this, the hat would have been a perfectly-matched mint green with silver details.

    The orthopedic-looking pumps aren’t helping.

    • A.W.

      To be fair, it’s the rare pregnant woman that teeters around on 6-inch heels like Her Royal Fierceness, Posh.

      • gabbilevy

        I don’t know how they do it. I can wear 5-inchers like the best of them, but for brief periods only and on rare occasions.

      • MoHub

        When you’re pregnant, comfortable flats are your best friends.

    • Yes – Grandma Betty always matches her shoes, hat and purse to her coat.

    • The pumps are her default LK Bennett nude platforms. She has worn these EVERYWHERE. They’re a nice shoe, and have a healthy 4-inch heel, but for the love of all that is holy, can she please wear a different shoe every once in a while?!

      • 3boysful

        I’ve stated before my theory that those shoes must be incredibly comfortable, she defaults to them so often.

        • Which is in itself impressive, because the only LK Bennett shoes I’ve ever tried on have been hideously uncomfortable.

  • Mismarker

    I actually don’t mind that coat. It’s the hat that ruins this for me. That brown swirl looks like a curled up cat poo.

  • azil O

    I like the color pairing of the hat and coat

  • This is one of those rare times I actually want to eat a hat. It looks like a sliver of those elaborate chocolate shavings on a fancypants cake.

    She does look all glowy though. Maybe because the coat is the color I turn after I eat bad shrimp.

    • HomeOfficeGirl

      I want to eat that hat! That’s funny!

  • I agree with you, the poor thing needs to just go lie down. Hyperemeses, even when controlled so you don’t die of thirst, leaves you feeling lousy — clearly it’s affected her taste.

  • Squarah

    Her makeup forever pains me. It’s just so incredibly dated and aging! It is completely possible to do a classic, conservative look without making your eyes look tiny and tired.

    • Vickiefantastico

      Yeah, her severe makeup was the first thing I noticed. That blush is just wrong.

      • Mismarker

        It’s all so very 80s, isn’t it? Like she’s trying to use her Aziza blusher as contour.

    • Melissa Snyder

      Yeah, she’s always spackled it on like a Real Housewife, and three shades too dark; that’s nothing new.

  • That hat should be returned to it’s hatbox and shoved unceremoniously back under the bed.

  • Sobaika

    I wish I looked this good pregnant and having given up.

    Not her most fashion forward, but she looks pretty. I like the color of the suit, hate the accessorizing.

    • I agree with you. Once I hit seven months, a lot of yoga pants were purchased and paired with my husband’s old frat tees.

    • VanessaDK

      Absolutely–she looks like she feels maternal and the whole outfit, especially the flower closures are very “nesting”

  • Poor love. She needs a muumuu and some earth shoes. This is what she did instead. I’m totes ok with it.

    • StellaZafella

      Oh. My. Gawd! heeheehee! That visual alone on the Dutchess Cathy has me giggling, .. just giggling!!!

      “Oh noooo! Not the comfy chair!”

  • pulpytomato

    I think she looks beautiful. Some of the coat’s quirky details are very British, so while this may not fly in New York, it works in Britain.

    I have to say, that picture of just her belly makes me stabby. Pan up photographer. It’s like a guy staring at your chest…I have a face!

    • xmixiex

      no. sorry. that’s not british quirk.

  • The closures are what kill it for me. Switch those out, and the only real problem I have with the look is the lack of contrast in the shoes.

  • YourBaloneyDontGotNoSecondName

    i kind of like this. plus, HBC played her grandmother in law in a movie, i believe, which makes it crazy-adjacent (crayjacent?) enough for an IN from me. i also like how she’s not glued her hands to her belly in a ‘yes, i’m pregnant’ pose. letting her purse do that job for her is just fabulously resourceful.

    • alyce1213

      HBC played her great-grandmother-in-law, QEII’s mother. Either way, I like the coat too.

      • YourBaloneyDontGotNoSecondName

        i thought i might be mistaken and i was too lazy to look it up. but hey, if HBCrazy portrays anybody in your family, I’m going to like you.

  • Angela_the_Librarian

    The color of the coat paired with the brown hat is giving off a girl scouts/mint chocolate chip vibe.

    • Snailstsichr

      Well, she is doing an event with scouts. let’s hope she got to go home and pig out on thin mints and milk. (That was my default setting when pregnant, but I’m guessing Miss Cathy is eating a little more healthy than I did.)

  • BrooklynBomber

    “mumsy” 🙂 Those flower buttons are killing me. And that hat, oy gevalt.

  • xmixiex

    oh man she looks tired. her brows could really, really use some arch, and the closely lined eyes are just over.

    • Celandine1

      Both she and SJP need an eyeliner intervention.

      • DEFINITELY, about SJP.

  • OrigamiRose

    It’s not her best look, yet I didn’t think it was terrible. Given how miserable she was early in her pregnancy (and how generally unpleasant I imagine being pregnant must be, even under ideal circumstances), she’s remained pretty darn snappy looking. I can let go a “eh, to hell it with it” moment 🙂

  • alyce1213

    I could go for the dowdy/chic coat if she’d worn it with cute tights and booties.
    What kills it is the turd-like hat and other accessories, which bring it to dull grandma territory.

  • xmixiex

    “i wear your grand[ma]’s coat, i look incredible”

    • 3boysful

      Oh, you made me laugh! The problem with this rare misstep is the yoke, patch pockets and huge, goofy buttons do indeed combine to read “Grandma’s housecoat.” A very expensive ($3k) housecoat.

  • I can’t help but be a little disappointed in Mrs Cathy. All the fabulous maternity wear that I so desperately wanted when I was gestating my lord and master, it’s at her disposal, and she wears this??

  • It looks actually cute in the runway picture. I was shocked at how hip it looked. She completely ruined it in her styling. Ick.

  • jw_ny

    The closures, collar and that hat…ugh! I’m gonna guess it was a gift from Granny and push came to shove where Cathy sucked it up and finally decided she needed to wear it so as not to insult her.

    • The flower closures make this coat seem both childish/juvenile AND elderly at the same time. Quite an accomplishment.

  • TAGinMO

    I’m a little uncomfortable with a put-together-looking mother-to-be as the subject of a “Gives Up” post. If her pregnancy has been as difficult as other commenters have indicated, then I think Miss Cathy should get a TLo pass absent the worst possible sorts of offenses against fashion.

  • I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought this was hiddy. The Tumblr-verse was in love with this thing.

  • carnush

    To me, the worst offense here is the shoes, but the rest of it isn’t working either.

  • I can’t tell if the sleeves are normal sleeves or trying to be raglan sleeves, and the design slightly irritates me. Is it supposed to be a trapeze coat – if so, then our dear princess here might have sized up and gone for the full 1960s triangular silhouette.
    My other gripe is the horizontal seam at the chest and the patch pockets, which just function to make the coat-wearer look shorter and wider, which is funny because even pregnant, Cathy Cambridge is basically tall and skinny.
    It just doesn’t look comfortable OR flattering.

  • I agree that it is not a good look, but that mint color is actually very popular right now

  • Angela_the_Librarian

    Oh, and is that Bear Grylls in the first picture (on her right)? I used to love watching Man Vs. Wild because he would strip down to his skivvies in almost every show (to demonstrate surviving in arctic waters, etc.). Sorry for the random post!

    • Yep – that’s him. He’s the head or the Queen’s Scouts, or something like that.

  • stubbornthoughts

    This is definitely mumsy, but she’s far from giving up. I can’t imagine the wear and tear this woman goes through, and to be doing it while pregnant. I’ll easily give her a pass with this outfit, which – c’mon Uncles – could be SO much worse.

    She’s really showing now, though. How exciting for her!

    • She has “people” who can buy/alter whatever she wants, and she ok-ed THIS? It would be ugly, whether or not she was pregnant.

  • MilaXX

    Can we talk about that drag queen makeup she is wearing? It’s as if she went overboard with the blush/contouring in attempting to combate the fuller face due to baby weight and it’s awful.

  • MsALVA

    Oh! and if you research what the queen wore to this same event last year, it is basically identical. except betty wore a mint green hat to match her mint green coat. I would link but I am on my phone.

  • VeryClaire

    Mint tweed. ‘Nuff said.

  • Kate4queen

    I think it’s the hat. If she wasn’t wearing that beige horror, she’d look just fine. I actually covet that coat. 🙂

  • I think she looks lovely.

  • Carrieanno

    She’s not on a red carpet at a movie premiere. She looks happy and occasion-appropriate. She’s doing The Firm proud.

  • Janet B

    Just opening up the coat would help her look less buttoned up. (ha!)
    The styling is horrible; change out the hat, shoes, stocking and clutch.

  • Carla_Charlton

    Don’t you think that with a different hat and shoes this would have looked good? The coat in the close-up shot (5th photo) is cute.

  • Sara__B

    Yes, the hat is wrong for the coat, and, yes, she needs to figure out a different way to do her eyes (why do so many lovely women insist on that harsh ring of black eyeliner?), but I love that coat and it’s crazy flower closures. (I admit to an irrational fondness for both Cathy Cambridge and coats.)

  • Saturnine

    Maybe saved by the above-the-knee skirt length? The coat looks so sad in the website photo–I wonder how it got past her stylist. She looks pretty (unfortunate hat, though).

  • TheAmericaness

    Considering how sick she’s been, and the schedule she’s keeping, she can wear whatever thing she likes. Leave the pregger ladies alone. You look lovely dear. 🙂

    • l_c_ann

      And the color, such as it is, does let her stand out when photographed against gray buildings and crowds. To her audience there, this sort of thing is important.

  • hotpaprika

    Nope, I don’t like her look. It seems like forever since I last saw a celebrity pregnant lady looking comfortable and true to herself. Also I don’t think this shade of green flatters her skin tone. AND please, can the stupid-nude-ugly pumps die already?

  • teensmom99

    Fun buttons do not a fun coat make. & surprised that you didn’t mention that the putty shoes ain’t helping.

    • I think TLo have given up on her and the sillyputty shoes.

  • The Queen has some rocking good looking suits and coats. This one would have made it to the back of the Queens closet. And hell no to that hat.

  • gsk241

    She probably had to borrow QEII’s old coat because none of hers will fit over that bump.

  • unbornfawn

    This is why I love you guys. I thought she borrowed this coat from Grandma’s closet the minute I saw it.

  • Mopsy

    Urgh, Mulberry, the company may be a huge British success story but they produce some hideous things.

  • conniemd

    It’s not just the color and the material and the buttons, it’s the fringe on the collar, pockets, etc. It reminds me of an easter coat I’d buy for an 8 year old. I agree it could be made funky, but why bother?

  • The Princess version of IDGAF.

  • LauraWL

    I place the blame firmly on the hat and shoes. I actually think the coat is kind of cute with those buttons if it had been accessorized differently. In general though I think this woman dresses rather boring. (I realize I am in the minority on this and that she dresses mostly that way bc she is a royal now.)

  • For a minute I thought the flower buttons had little smiley faces on them, which would have made me very happy.

  • sleepycat

    I am crushing hard on the scout with the brown hair in the foreground. He looks like Arthur Danville (Are my Whoivan senses right?). Oh British gene pool, why do you have to drive me crazy?

    • lrhg

      Hee, that’s Bear Grylls.

      • lobsterlen

        Yes it is Bear Grylls. thank goodness. I feel better now because I thought I was having impure thoughts about a Boy Scott.

  • mrspotts66

    love the coat. she’s wearing it like she owns it.
    the hat, as someone else said, looks like a cat poo’d on it, and she said, “huh! i think i’ll wear it anyway.”
    the shoes? yes, she wears them everywhere, but she’s pregnant. if they’re comfy, and they’re her go-to shoe. i give her a pass for that.

  • twocee

    Finally she wears a coat I don’t covet.

  • Joyce VG

    For the very first time my brow furrowed when I saw this coat. I don’t like the color or the pattern or any of it. And I don’t really like her hat. She’s worn that fascinator a few times but it isn’t my favorite. And it doesn’t go with the ugly coat. There I said it. It’s an ugly coat. She is glowing pretty though.

  • Wow. It’s a heavy tweed housecoat.

  • Aurumgirl

    Nothing is off limits to her, really. She may be told not to look like the Diana, but that doesn’t mean she has to avoid looking and dressing her age. It’s not like mumsy octagenarian is her only option, and beyond that all is off limits. This is a woman who truly needs to fire her stylists, once and for all.

  • formerlyAnon

    Those buttons are the worst sin. Color comes next. Still hanging in with the shoes, though, and looks great. And good for her, it looks like she’s let herself gain a little weight. I did wonder if she’d be able to relax enough to do so.

  • MK03

    Oh dear. That hat is terrible. It looks like a really unfortunate hairdo.

  • One size up in coat would have helped….

  • ringthing

    She looks exhausted. Her eyes have that Please Get Me Out of Here expression. I kind of like the coat, just not the hat.

  • VictoriaDiNardo

    I can’t stand those little hats with the “abstract” trim – from a millinery point of view I think they’re lazy design: make a little disk and plop a little gew-gaw on top made from the same straw. It’s not flattering and it looks silly, and not in a fun way. It’s also cheap.
    The coat might have had a chance if she’d worn maybe a white felt brimmed hat with a slightly “flower-child”vibe. It would at least look younger.

  • Molly

    She looks fine! I actually love the daisy button closures. Plus any woman incubating an impending human person gets a free pass in my book!

  • YoungSally

    TLo — consider it a retro homage to Mad Men….does that help.

  • LaSylphide

    Mainly I don’t like the sort-of Peter Pan collar. It would look less dowdy with a shawl collar, or tuxedo lapel. Love the color, though. Hat is cute, but not the color. She needs a pop of color on her head.

  • I think when she sees the pictures she is going to be unhappy. The coat up close, looks kinda; cute. The green is more vibrant, the little flower detail. I would almost say it’s twee. But outside, in the daylight, oh my, it looks so very frumpy. Get that gal a proper a-line or swing coat and rip that hat off her pretty little head.

  • lobsterlen

    The coat is aging because of the way it is accessorized. Furthermore, the hat really ruins it. If the coat was worn with jeans or skinny pants it wouldn’t have looked so old. Finally I think being pregnant has somehow made this coat look so old ladyish. She has it buttoned up to her neck. The last thing I would want to do is be chipper when pregnant so I would give Kate some slack here. Maybe she is entered the time of pregnancy when she wants to be presentable and comfortable and get these bloody events over and done.

  • mznormann

    I think she looks sweet! And appropriate.

  • another_laura

    I feel very let down by this look. She usually has such fab coats. It is to sigh.

  • Martha Jones

    Is it just me, or is one of the cute flower buttons at an awkward place where her belly button should be, giving off the appearance of an outie bellybutton if you squint at it?

  • Joy

    Is anyone else bothered by the length of the coat? The material appears too heavy for it to be that short.
    I can forgive everything else; she is growing a human, after all.

  • Anniebet

    Yep, da Queen would have worn that in a second. The only change would be the length and a matching hat. Oh, and a big honking diamond brooch.

  • Jessica Goldstein

    I agree with EVERYTHING you two said here. Between the color, collar, and buttons, my first thought was that she borrowed this from her mother-in-law. If Taylor Swift had worn this, I’d be rolling my eyes over the tweeness. I think her maternity clothes should all be very crisp; it’s a look that suits her always and will counter any softening or rounding that comes along with pregnancy.

    • DonnaL

      I hope you mean her grandmother-in-law.

  • bellafigura1

    I actually like the coat, it’s the color, the hose and the accessories that’s sent it all Mumsy. Also, nice girl, RETIRE THE NUDE SHOES.

  • myristica_fragrans

    pippa has no ass, kate’s style is basic and sleep inducing, but i feel like the media won’t be happy until i believe that they’re amazing and fabulous and aspirational. kate needs to check out what other princesses are doing so she can see that it’s actually possible to be conservative and stylish.

  • Not her best look by a long shot, and the hat really doesn’t work, but she doesn’t look terrible.

  • MaryAtRealityTea

    I don’t mind the sleeves, but the color, buttons, and collar are incredibly twee and unflattering. It’s hard with maternity. You never feel “right” in anything after a certain point in your pregnancy and she’s just at that point where the bump is becoming unweidly and hard to dress. Even though she has professional stylists presumably she’s still a pregnant girl probably feeling frumpy, tired, and awkward. But mint green is not her color!

  • nannypoo

    After the baby is born she can use this as a bathrobe.

  • ZnSD

    I can’t really agree that something that is *that* short can be called “dowdy”. We’re looking at almost 5 inches above the knee. She’s pregnant, and it was probably chilly. The hat looks suspiciously like Treacy to me. But I’m not the fashionista that TLO is, plus I think she looks crappy in that coat so yeah. I don’t like it either. Plus, fucking beige pumps. GRR.

  • All she needs is a big, heavy brooch on her left collar and a pearl choker to complete the look. First time I ever really said ‘yeech’ to a Kate original — and I’ve never liked that brown mushroom cap hat. But hey, I still never looked this good pregnant. I’d lose the flower closures, the seaming across the top and make it a less frumpy (and brighter or darker) fabric. The outfits can’t all be winners, but her smile makes up for it. (and her gorgeous legs) Maybe next time.

  • Indigo54

    This outfit makes me cry! sniff, sniff…’s just, just awful! ‘Scuse me, gotta get a kleenex…

  • buddy100

    I agree that this coat would make for a great funky hipster look. I’m from Portland, and I can see a ton of girls from the Pearl/other trendy hipster breeding grounds rocking (perhaps) this with bright leggings, long waves, and some twee details. I feel that you really have to have fun with stuffy material in order to make it look fresh and youthful.

  • lets talk more about scout bear 😀