Kate Middleton's white jeans and sheer tie-up cardigan encapsulated 2006 - and they're back in style

The Princess of Wales's white jeans and cardigan combination for a day at the polo in 2006 showcased noughties styling at its best

Composite of Kate Middleton wearing white jeans in 2006 and her at the Out-Sourcing Inc. Royal Charity Polo Cup in 2022
(Image credit: Image 1: Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images //Image 2: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

The Princess of Wales’s white jeans and sheer tie-up cardigan from a day watching the polo are back in style nearly two decades later. 

When you’re putting together your spring capsule wardrobe it’s hard not to start thinking about pieces that will also work for summer and it doesn’t come much more versatile than denim. White jeans outfits particularly come into their own this time of year and whilst the Princess of Wales favours blue denim more now, her white jeans from 2006 remain an iconic summer look for us. She was pictured alongside Prince Harry’s then-girlfriend Chelsy Davy as the pair watched Prince William and Prince Harry compete in a charity polo match in Tetbury.

Stepping out at the Beaufort Polo Club all those years ago, Kate’s white jeans made a real statement and couldn’t have been a bigger contrast to her often-seen skinny jeans. This pair was low-rise, a style that’s become increasingly popular again in recent years and is right on trend.

Kate Middleton watches Prince Harry and Prince William play in a charity polo match

(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

The Princess of Wales’s white jeans were fitted around her hips but flared at the bottom hems, giving them a wonderfully leg-lengthening effect. They were also a lot more casual in appearance than the jeans we’re accustomed to seeing Kate wear nowadays, channelling a relaxed energy with a loose silhouette. 

Shop White Jeans For Summer

White jeans work beautifully for the warmer months with their bright, light colour palette that lifts an outfit instantly. Their block colour also means white jeans can also be dressed up easily with a smart shirt or blouse to elevate an outfit into something a little more formal, giving the appearance of trousers rather than blue jeans which often have a contrasting wash to them.

On that sunny day back in July 2006, Kate went for a matching white sleeveless top that fell to just above the waistband of her jeans. Over the top she wore a sheer beige cardigan with a crochet-style design. Sheer fabrics, especially for jumpers or cardigans, have been in style once again over the past few years and this one is a lovely example of this trend.

Kate Middleton watch Prince Harry and Prince William play in a charity polo match

(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

So often even in the UK summer we’re reaching for our best wellies and coats in the unpredictable weather, but here a light layer was enough for Kate and the cardigan also added softness to her look. It had a V-neck cut, scalloped edging and was secured at the front with a tie and little buttons. 

The neutral tone looked stunning with the Princess of Wales’s otherwise all-white outfit and she finished off her polo watching look with tortoiseshell sunglasses pushed up onto her loose brunette tresses, dark brown boots and lots of silver jewellery. Since then the Princess of Wales’s go-to polo watching look has changed quite considerably and Kate’s white jeans haven’t been seen in public in recent years.

Catherine, Princess of Wales attends the Out-Sourcing Inc. Royal Charity Polo Cup 2023

(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Instead, she opted for a more formal white and black dress with a pair of slingback flats to watch Prince William compete in the Out-Sourcing Inc. Royal Charity Polo Cup in 2022. Last summer when he played, Kate wore a powder blue and white patterned midi dress with elegant puff sleeves and beige slingback heels. 

Whilst she might have moved away from wearing her white flared jeans and sheer cardigan in public, they are back in style right now and who knows if she might ever be tempted to put her own regal twist on this look again. Either way, we still love this throwback summer look from the Princess of Wales as it’s such a lovely example of more relaxed styling. 

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!