Category Archives: Shop Like Kate

Antiquing with Kate

Antiquing with Kate

Last weekend, we were excited to hear news of Kate out and about, even more excited with  the announcement of her whereabouts which we excitedly shared on the WWKD Facebook page:

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While Kate has been spotted before browsing for antiques, we can this time discern from the location that she was shopping for rugs at Knight’s Antiques, most definitely related to the renovation that Kate and William are undertaking at their new residence at Kensington Palace. I personally was quite excited to see this news as it meant that we could discuss one of my favourite pastimes – vintage and antique shopping.

Shopping at the shopping mall or at specialty stores is quite easier than shopping for antiques. You can pop in to a store and pick up a new vase for some flowers relatively easily, whereas the vintage masterpiece you stumbled across might have taken years to find and come with a chip in the edge that will need to be repaired. The difference, in my most humble of opinions, is in what you come out of the experience with – something that your neighbor could just as easily have stopped in to purchase or a unique, one of a kind conversation piece? This is definitely the allure of antique shopping and when you’re decorating a home with such historical significance as Kensington Palace, something Kate is also no doubt considering.You could think that vintage or antique shopping would be easy, but if you’re looking for something specific it can be an arduous task. Heck, it’s a challenge just to know the difference between vintage and antiques! (Widely accepted definition is that vintage is anything older than 30 years, antique is anything older than 100 years)Here are some of my tips which are certainly also used by Kate which will make your experience as fruitful as possible:

Antique Shop

Go into the search with an open mind

So many friends refuse to shop at antique or vintage stores for a variety of reasons, chief among them are concerns about smell (many stores have a distinctive musty smell), overwhelming amount of inventory (since every item is unique, there are lots of things to look through) and unclear pricing structures (many stores don’t even have price tags on the items and they are negotiable with the owner). To get over these, you’ll need to do a few things:

  • Smell: Appreciate that the musty smell means that the items inside the store are old! You are going to look for vintage collectibles, aren’t you? This smell is generally mildew, and will likely present wherever you may go to find yours. If you are worried that it will seep into your home, don’t be. If you’re buying higher end (read: expensive) antiques than the dealer may have ways of eliminating the odor prior to sale, but if not there are plenty of ways to get rid of the smell in most items either with DIY techniques you can find on the internet or through specialty cleaners.
  • Visual: Yes, it’s true; the majority of the vintage or antique stores I’ve been in are packed with inventory. Jury’s still out for me on determining if this is because everything is unique and therefore looks more overwhelming or if it’s because there is actually just more stuff. There are two ways you can overcome this: either know specifically what you are looking for and find someone who works in the shop to help point you in the right direction or give yourself ample time to browse without pressure.
  • Price: If you have a friend who has a knack for negotiation, this may be your lucky day. While some shops have price tags that clearly indicate the price of the treasures you sift through, others baffle you without a single mark. These shops are interesting as you can bring the item to the front counter and negotiate with the clerk on a fair price. This can be a very good thing or a very bad thing, depending on your knowledge, your eagerness to purchase the item and the clerk. If you know the approximate value of the item you’re bartering over, here is the math that I always use in negotiations. Pick the price you are willing to pay, divide by half and start the negotiation there. So if you’re looking at a first edition of a book by an author you collect, for example, and you’d be willing to pay $100 for the volume in question, start your negotiations at $50. I’ve found this to be the best way to barter a fair deal for both parties and have used it all over the world- from the beaches of Mexico to the night markets in Hong Kong.

 

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Fall in Love

If you’ve ever been out shopping and come across an item only to be swept away in the “I must have it, immediately” feeling, then you’ll appreciate this point. Vintage and antique shopping is a highly personal search for an object; otherwise chances are you’d have headed off to the nearest Ikea or shopping mall.  Take Kate as an example, hunting for a rug to be used to furnish a Palace – the rug she chooses will have the pitter patter of Prince George’s toes running to chase Lupo and witness the evolution of a Prince into a King. A rug from Ikea just would not insert the same history, class and life into the room as a rich antique piece. I can picture her sifting through piles of rugs and painstakingly waiting to view the one that will best match with the essence she is trying to breathe into her new home.Even if you don’t live in a castle which could entertain a large antique rug, you can take a look for things that make you stop and smile. My mother-in-law purchased antique china from an antiques dealer in a pattern, color and palette which she loved while on a daytrip away from home. Despite being miles from the car, she had to have it and carted it back to the car to drive home. I have another friend who collects pink-tinted crystal, and if you are lucky enough to attend her home for dinner you would be served at least one of your drinks in a beautiful pink crystal goblet, and none of the goblets are the same. She loves them and keeps them on display in her dining room when they’re not in use.

Vintage Cottage

 

Recreate History

One of the great things about antiques is thinking about the origins of the piece which you’re considering. Kensington Palace was built as a Jacobean mansion in 1605 and has housed various members of the Royal family since that time. Updating the traditional home with fresh modern décor would be very out of sync with the history and soul of the home, so it’s not surprising that Kate has chosen to look at furnishing the renovated quarters with antique pieces that have a history to them.If you have more modern tastes or a smaller renovation budget than our Duchess you can still merge some antiques into your décor without breaking the bank or comprimising your modern aesthetic. I’ve seen some fabulous examples of people who have showcased gorgeous flowers in antique trophies, vintage chandeliers hung over bathtubs and even incorporated old tins into their homes. As a fan of this technique and style, I can thoroughly attest that when combining this with our previous tip on falling in love with the piece, you’ll be destined for a home run.Unfortunately, very few of us will get to actually see the surely stunning rug – or other trinkets – that Kate chose for her home. Perhaps that’s another reason why she favors antiques, there can’t possibly be the “Kate Effect” normally attributed to her fashion selections on a one-of-a-kind rug. What we can do is emulate our Duchess and use these tips to track down our own vintage treasures, something we’ve now seen that Kate would do.

Don’t live near an antique store? One King’s Lane is a great online source, lots of great items to browse – and get a good sense of prices!

 

Kate’s Grocery List

Kate’s Grocery List

One of the most enduring things about The Duchess of Cambridge, at least to me, is the woman, who is to be the future Queen of England mind you, actually does her own grocery shopping!  Seriously, how cute is that?! And beyond the fact that these outings give us a chance to look at herContinue Reading

Holiday Hostess Gifts

Holiday Hostess Gifts

With the holiday season upon us, our social calendars are quickly filling up with many fabulous parties to attend.  Whether it’s a formal dinner or open house, each hostess puts so much effort into the event that it’s only proper to thank her with a hostess gift.  Our suggestion is to stock up on aContinue Reading

A Kate Inspired Gift Guide

A Kate Inspired Gift Guide

Shopping for a Kate fan – or needing to share a wish list with someone shopping for you? Look no further, we’ve got you covered! Today features my take on Kate’s wish list, and in a couple of weeks you’ll get to see Christine’s as well for more inspiration. While appreciating that Kate is aContinue Reading

Wardrobe Wednesday: Kate’s Cozy Coats

Wardrobe Wednesday: Kate’s Cozy Coats

Who could deny that Kate loves her coats? Many an engagement has been spent wrapped in a chic winter coat, while many an onlooker has snapped the Duchess of Cambridge casually warm in a jacket. We love coats – they make an outfit look instantly chic. When Spring rolls around, I honestly have no ideaContinue Reading

Meet the WWKD Shop!

Meet the WWKD Shop!

What Would Kate Do? is proud, pleased and excited to announce the addition of an online shop to their website. The WWKD Shop is designed with inspirations from Kate.  We thought of what she might enjoy, and what her fans might love. The shop is created by and for royal watchers, “mini Middletons,” and anglophilesContinue Reading

The Prince George Effect

The Prince George Effect

Anyone who follows Duchess Kate, is well aware of the “Kate Effect.”  We feel that sweet longing for hair as bouncy and full as hers, and don’t even get us started on that amazing wardrobe.  So it would seem obvious that her son, Prince George, would have an effect of his own. I’m not suggestingContinue Reading

Wardrobe Wednesday: Kate’s Cambridge Family Portrait Style

Wardrobe Wednesday: Kate’s Cambridge Family Portrait Style

From left to right: Photo (c) The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge | Seraphine Maternity | Boston Proper | Oasis On Monday evening, we were thrilled to see the latest official portraits of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge. Oh, and Lupo! The photos were a great treat for royalContinue Reading

Wardrobe Wednesday : Shopping the Nordstrom Sale with Kate

Wardrobe Wednesday : Shopping the Nordstrom Sale with Kate

While perhaps not a store she’s even stepped foot in (seeing as there are none in the UK), it’s not hard for us North Americans to see how Kate would no doubt fancy one of our favorite stores, Nordstrom. There is no better time to shop at Nordstrom than their #Nsale Anniversary Sale, where they markContinue Reading

Wardrobe Wednesday: The Nude Shoe

Wardrobe Wednesday: The Nude Shoe

“Nude pumps” have practically become synonymous with Kate. Nude pumps, sapphire ring, Kate. But the style doesn’t stop at pumps – Kate has also been seen in nude wedges and flats as well. Why? Because they are the perfect shoe – they go with everything, elongate the leg, and have a timelessly chic quality aboutContinue Reading

Wardrobe Wednesday: Tropical Holiday

Wardrobe Wednesday: Tropical Holiday

The WWKD team is so ready for a summer holiday (Mustique, anyone?!), somewhere sunny and warm with white sandy beaches. No tourists, no Wi-Fi, just friends and family and umbrella drinks. We can look to Kate’s style for inspiration on what to pack. Kate always sticks to classic cut bathing suits in colors that flatterContinue Reading

Wardrobe Wednesday

Wardrobe Wednesday

Kate stepped out yesterday looking spectacular in blush pink at the Queen’s 60th Coronation Service at Westminster Abbey. Her bespoke Jenny Packham coat and dress, Jane Taylor millinery hat, LK Bennett pumps and Alexander McQueen box clutch were positively perfect for such an event. While you may not be attending any coronation services anytime soon,Continue Reading

Wardrobe Wednesday: Relaxed Glamour with Mint Velvet!

Wardrobe Wednesday: Relaxed Glamour with Mint Velvet!

 We were so excited to see Kate out and about in Chelsea last week, and even more ecstatic to see her rocking a relaxed glamour look. Her outfit was so casual chic, from her jacket to her cuffed jeans to her Mint Velvet plimsolls. Mint Velvet is a fabulous new brand based in the UK, andContinue Reading

Wardrobe Wednesday: J.Brand Jeans

Wardrobe Wednesday: J.Brand Jeans

Every woman deserves the perfect pair of jeans, and Kate is no exception. She L-O-V-E-S her J.Brand 811 jeans. At $150+ a pair, the brand boasts great quality with great style. I had heard fabulous things about J.Brand jeans. They have a quiet chicness to them. Unlike a Louis Vuitton bag, the only tell ofContinue Reading

Wardrobe Wednesday: Classy Casual

Wardrobe Wednesday: Classy Casual

We just LOVE older pics of Kate, living a “normal” life in London. These more casual outfits really shed light on her style. On a lazy weekend, Kate was spotted in a lovely casual outfit. No where to be seen were sweat pants, slouchy t-shirts or (oh God no) foam flip flops. While the weatherContinue Reading