When being royal is your job, the holiday season doesn’t mean a slow-down cruising into vacation time spent vegging out with family. Rather, December is busy, with festive visits to charities, meet-and-greets with the populace, and lots of formal Christmas parties. Because today’s crop of princesses (and duchesses and countesses) is so impressively well-dressed, we’re taking a second to study what they’ve been wearing to all of it. If you’ve still got holiday fun times on the calendar, your outfit inspiration has arrived.
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Princess Charlene of Monaco took to the streets in a crazy chic cape and flat over-the-knee boots. She picked the outfit to hand out Christmas gifts to hundreds of the country’s children, but we say the combo works for pretty much anything you’ve got coming up (from a cocktail party to an afternoon of errands—a chic outfit always improves the mundane).
That most princess of wardrobe staples, the coatdress, makes an appearance on Sophie, Countess of Wessex. As daughter-in-law to the queen, Sophie’s had years to perfect stylish, demure outfits like this one, and it’s a style worth playing with. Smart coatdresses don’t necessarily crowd the racks at your local mall, but you can capture the same tailored, retro-inspired shape with a full A-line dress nipped in at the waist.
When Kate Middleton was the guest at a Christmas party hosted by a charity she supports, the Duchess went all-in, re-wearing a festive Alexander McQueen dress (psst—this is the same dress that Kim Kardashian West has worn!). The crisp pleating and notched peplum detail would look lovely in any shade, but we like the festive pick of holly berry-red.
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The Swedish royals had a black-tie celebration to attend, and pregnant Princess Sofia picked a fluid Viktoria Chan dress (and her clutch is from H&M!). We love the pretty teal color, a nice twist on the more typical forest green you see popping up this time of year. And while her gown is made formal with family jewels and a glossy blow-out, a pick like this could work for a more casual family dinner if worn with flats, minimal accessories, and a topknot.
Her sister-in-law Princess Madeleine went with a gown from Swedish designer Ida Sjosted that used a sheer, dotted overlay to add intrigue and a tiny dose of sex appeal. If you live in a chilly clime, pay attention to her choice of topper too: A fuzzy, waist-length coat is a reliable piece to pick if you need another layer but are dressed too formally to pull on a fleece or the black basic you wear into the office.