When it comes to style, the Duchess of Cambridge (formerly Kate Middleton) is the reigning queen of the British royal family. Her every outfit, pair of shoes and earrings, her hats (or lack thereof) and even her use of hairnets to keep more formal hair styles in place are analyzed, evaluated and priced. Some think Kate is boring, some think she’s a fashion icon—no one is neutral.
While I’m not going to rank the 70 outfits she wore to official engagements in order of style (I’m one of the few who really liked the edgy black-trimmed white dress by Gosia Baczynska worn in Warsaw, Poland—so much that it’s the first outfit in the photo montage), this article will explore the facts behind her wardrobe.
KATE LIKES CHECKS, FLORALS AND LOTS AND LOTS OF BLUE
After wearing a lot of plain outfits in the early years of her life as a royal, Kate has bought a lot of patterned outfits lately. In Paris she wore a Chanel coat dress in shades of blue and purple, at Wimbledon she donned a white and black polka dot Dolce & Gabbana dress while at the former Stuffhoff concentration camp in Poland she wore a subdued floral two-piece outfit by Erdem.
Blue was in second place because, well, she looks good in almost every shade of the colour, though sometimes she takes her affection a bit too far: who needs two glittering ice blue gowns that look way too much like Elsa?
Readers commenting Kate’s dress tonight is reminiscent of the blue Packham she wore in Paris….and Elsa ðŸ™‚ pic.twitter.com/E9pMtes5sy
â€” Duchess Kate Blog (@HRHDuchesskate) November 24, 2017
White lands in third place with 12 outfits. She’s so fond of the shade that she has at least 10 white outfits by one designer, Alexander McQueen.
CATHERINE WALKER WINS TOP PLACE
While Kate is branching out into new designers—Gucci, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana–she’s also staying true to her favourites. Of the 70 outfits she wore publicly to official events in 2017, nearly half were created from tried and true designers, led by the couture houses of Catherine Walker, Alexander McQueen and Canadian-born Erdem (who is my choice to design Meghan Markle’s wedding gown.)
NOT REALLY A ROYAL RECYCLER
Ever since she was just plain Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge has had a reputation as the ultimate frugal royal, frequently pulling old outfits out of her closets. Yet, focus just on official engagements, and that reputation falls by the wayside. As she entered her seventh year as member of the House of Windsor, Kate possesses a large wardrobe suitable for every season and every occasion, including formal gowns to wear while pregnant. Yet of the 70 outfits she wore in 2017, almost three quarters were new.
AND THEN THERE’S HER CROWNING GLORY (HER HAIR, NOT THE QUEEN’S TIARAS)
After lopping a good 15 cm (6 inches) off her hair, Kate seemed to relish the shorter length. Letting her blown-out tresses lie loose on her shoulders was her most frequent hair style. Yet she still possessed enough length to have it swirled and pinned into elaborate chignons, often covered with fine hair nets to keep the hair-dos in place.
So what will 2018 bring? She’s due to give birth to her third child in April, and then, the next month, she’ll be a family guest to the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Early money is on an upswept hair style with an Alexander McQueen outfit (though not white…that would be just wrong.)