Prom season is almost upon us, which means many young ladies will be searching for the perfect prom dress. Unfortunately, I never went to a prom myself. But if I had I would have probably looked to European royal ladies for inspiration. I think we all would like to look like a princess for a day, but most of us do not necessarily have a royal budget. So here are some of my favorite royal ladies wearing their best gowns along with a guide for where to find similar gowns for much less. Whether you are going to a prom, a formal wedding, or a romantic date every woman deserves to look and feel like a princess. 🙂
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
By now, most people who follow the British royal family will be familiar with Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge’s love of lace. This Alice Temperley black lace overlay dress has been one of her favorites for years. Here she is wearing the gown at the Natural History Museum in London in December of 2013.
And here is a close-up of the lace details on her dress.
This particular Temperley gown is no longer available although when it was available it probably sold for about $8,000-$9,000. However, I have found a gorgeous lookalike dress by Miusol for under $100. It comes in sizes small to 3X and you could get the black version that looks exactly like Kate’s or a red version for something a little different. It also has amazing reviews.
Queen Maxima of the Netherlands
On April 30, 2013, Crown Princess Maxima became Queen Consort Maxima of the Netherlands when her husband, Willem-Alexander, was inaugurated as king. For King Willem-Alexander’s inauguration, Maxima wore a gorgeous cobalt blue gown and matching cape by Dutch designer Jan Taminiau.
Here is a look at the gown without the cape.
I love this color and the lace overlay detailing of the bodice and sleeves. Maxima’s gown was custom made for her, so there is no way to really put a price tag on it. But this pretty gown looks similar to Maxima’s iconic inauguration gown and it is under $100.
Sizes 2 through 16 can be found via this link:
Crown Princess Victoria
Princess Victoria of Sweden is one of my favorite royal ladies. I think she is going to be an amazing queen. I also think she is very fashionable. I think this look is one of Victoria’s best. She is wearing a gown by Pronovias and a hair accessory by Jenny Packham, one of the Duchess of Cambridge’s favorite designers. The gown is an unusual color, it can appear teal or green depending on the lighting in the photo.
But I especially like the lace detailing on the neckline of this gown. It makes the sweetheart neckline seem a little more modest but still youthful.
And the hair accessory is so great. It looks regal, but not as formal as a tiara.
Here is a pretty green lookalike gown for under $100. I think it’s very elegant.
Find it here for under $100 in sizes up to a 16. It has multiple color options as well.
If you would like to wear a pretty hair comb to accessorize I like this one at Nordstrom.
Find it here:
Princess Madeleine of Sweden
Princess Madeleine, who happens to be Victoria’s little sister, has also worn some pretty amazing gowns. I guess style must run in the family, and it helps that she is married to a billionaire. 😉 Here is Madeleine wearing a gorgeous Elie Saab gown. It has a retro 1940s feel with some amazing beaded work throughout the gown. This is a couture piece and probably cost about $8,000-$10,000.
When it comes to reasonably priced beaded gowns, I think that Adrianna Papell is the best way to go. This beautiful gown is on sale right now. It goes up to a size 14.
Find it here:
And this Adrianna Papell gown looks a lot like Madeleine’s gown as well. It is also on sale and is available up to size 14.
Find it here:
Princess Beatrice of York
Some ladies may prefer wearing a shorter dress for a school dance. I personally love this gorgeous Nicholas Oakwell couture white organza dress that Princess Beatrice wore to a Serpentine Gallery party. It has a lovely princess-y 1950s vibe. If you have ever watched West Side Story, you’ll know that Natalie Wood’s character, Maria, originally objected to wearing a white dress to a dance. But when she realized that probably no one else would be wearing white, she changed her mind because she knew that she would be the only one in a white dress so she would stand out more. So maybe white would be the right way to go if you want to make a bit of a fashion statement?
I also like the way that Beatrice styled her makeup with this dress. The red lipstick with subtle eye makeup completes the retro look.
Here is a pretty dress from ASOS that reminds me of Beatrice’s. It’s only $114 and is available in limited sizes.
Find it here:
The same company also makes some pretty dresses in plus sizes. This dress is similar to Beatrice’s and it is available up to a size 20.
Find it for $116 here:
Princess Sofia of Sweden
Next, we have Princess Sofia of Sweden. Like Kate Middleton, Sofia was also born a commoner. She was lucky enough to find an Orlando Bloom lookalike who just so happened to be a prince. 🙂 She marred Prince Carl-Phillip last year. Carl-Phillip and Sofia are expecting their first baby any day now.
I like the raspberry color of this gown that Sofia wore at the Nobel Peace Prize banquet in 2014.
I think that this lace dress from Modcloth is a similar color. Very feminine.
It is available in sizes 2-10 here:
The same company makes a similar dress in a 3/4 sleeve version available in sizes 8-20.
It is available on sale for $87 here:
Queen Mathilde of Belgium and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark
Speaking of Princess Sofia, at Sofia’s wedding to Carl-Phillip last year two very fashionable royal women showed up to the wedding ceremony wearing the same color. This pretty, icy light blue was also worn by the Queen Mother and Princess Diana on multiple occasions. Maybe because it photographs well? Or maybe it is because this is the color that Cinderella is associated with? Whatever the case, this color seems to be universally flattering on ladies with various hair colors and skin tones.
This dress comes in a ‘sky blue’ color that is reminiscent of the gowns that both Mathilde and Mary wore to Sofia’s wedding last year. It comes in sizes 2-18.
Find it here on sale for $89:
I hope that these royal ladies inspire you when shopping for your prom or special occasion dress. Don’t forget to ‘like’ My Frugal Lady on Facebook! 🙂
The Frugal Lady