Royal fashion bloggers were ready when Prince William, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge and their children, George and Charlotte, touched down in Warsaw today for the start of their five-day visit to Poland and Germany.
For a few minutes, they wondered Kate had repeated one of her many white outfits. Then they realized it was new. Through a rapid exchange of tweets and Facebook postings, they’d narrowed down the make of Kate’s white jacket and skirt to Alexander McQueen. Almost immediately, the almost-clairvoyant, super-fast @PerthsFashions posted a picture of the correct outfit, using a blurry TV screengrab for reference.
— MF Stylist Perth (@PerthsFashion) July 17, 2017
“Alexander McQueen’s coat has been impeccably tailored in Italy from mid-weight ivory wool and silk-blend twill,” describes the shopping site Net-a-Porter. “This style has a feminine V-neckline and gently kicks out at the waist into a rippling peplum that softly folds at the back.” Kate customized the back peplum to make it more streamlined, but otherwise, her outfit was an exact match to the off-the-rack suit. Its regular price of US$3,000 had been reduced by 50 per cent.
One can forgive the royal fashion bloggers their initial confusion as to whether the outfit was new or old. For Kate has a spectacular, and costly collection of white, off-white and cream Alexander McQueen outfits. It’s not that she likes white McQueen outfits, or that she loves white McQueen outfits. It’s beyond that. it’s an obsession. Using websites such Kate’s Clothes, which has a detailed encyclopedia of her fashions, it’s possible to track her obsession.
Counting Kate’s love for white outfits
Including today’s outfit, the Duchess of Cambridge has at least nine coats and dresses in shades of white by the London-based designer, each of which bear such similarities to the other that it’s hard to separate one ruffled peplum from another. She’s wore white McQueen outfits to the christenings of her children, as well as many major events. She’s got a Peter Pan collared coat, two lace dresses, one of which she wore at Ascot last month, and a summer-weight broderie Anglaise dress. (That’s not including the blue-trimmed cream sailor dress that Kate wore in Prince Edward Island in 2011.)
Assuming each of those outfits cost around the same as today’s outfit (and it’s a fair bet that custom designs have much higher price tags), Kate has US$30,000 worth of white McQueens* handing in her closet. That’s a lot of money for dresses and coats in one hue from one designer.
But her love of white outfits doesn’t end with McQueen. Kate’s Clothes features another 20 coats and dresses including the Catherine Walker dress she wore at the end of the Canadian tour last year, and excluding pregnancy outfits, which is a whole other category. Some are designer outfits, others are from less-expensive shops, such as the oatmeal (or “winter white” tweed dress from the Fold that retailed for about US$550. Assuming an average of US$1,000 per outfit, that’s another US$20,000. (Some she’s worn several times, such as the sailor dress, others have been worn just once.)
In total, Kate has around 30 white-hued outfits, costing an estimated US$50,000. Surely that’s enough.
July 31, 2017 update: Kate wore another new Catherine Walker coat dress that is, yes, white, with grey embroidery on the skirt. So the white count now sits at 10 McQueen, 21 other white day outfits. A total of $53,000.
*(Excluded are Kate Middleton’s wedding dress or her wedding evening party dress, as well as the white-and-gold evening gown worn in Malaysia.)