Kate Middleton’s style is so popular that shops are constantly awash with convincing dupes, and on occasion, the Duchess of Cambridge will even wear high-street brands herself.
But whether it’s a designer label or a more accessible buy, we always assumed when experts tracked down a shoppable link to her outfit, it would be an exact match.
However, a new report has highlighted than even when Kate picks an off-the-peg piece, she’ll subsequently have it altered to suit her requirements, whether it’s adding sleeves, sewing up a slit in the skirt or even transforming the garment into another shape entirely.
The article, compiled by Mail Online, noted that one of the most recent examples was the red dress the mother-of-three wore while filming festive TV special A Berry Royal Christmas. The Alessandra Rich design, with its pussybow necktie and elegant midi length, looked beautiful on screen, but it wasn’t worn the way that Rich originally intended.
A quick look on the brand’s website reveals that the dress has a large open keyhole down the front and smaller bow at the top, meaning Kate’s team would have updated the details to produce her bespoke demure design.
The changes aren’t always this dramatic – if you admired the £550 Beulah London Yahvi dress Kate chose for an official engagement at the Family Action charity in London last January, you may have thought you could save up and get the same dress for yourself.
However, take a second look at Kate’s version compared to the one on the Beulah website, you’ll see the same button-down front, round neck and midi length – but you’ll also notice that the fluted shape has been removed from the sleeves to leave a more standard cuff.
Another example can be found in Kate’s 2019 Ascot ensemble, a pastel-blue Elie Saab gown which she wore with an elegantly coordinating fascinator. At least, at first glance it appeared to be a gown, but after much searching, watchers eventually deduced that it was a combination of two separates from the designer’s Resort collection from that year.
Not only did Kate’s custom alternative appear to have been made into a dress, it also featured full-length sheer sleeves, which were unlike the shorter lacy lines of the top as it appeared in the Elie Saab photoshoot.
It’s not know exactly why Kate’s outfits are adapted in this way – in some instances, it appears to be for modesty, while other changes may be made for comfort, or to make an item fit the strict dress codes members of the family must reportedly conform to. And hey, with designers around the world begging to kit her out, maybe Kate just likes knowing her pieces are one-of-a-kind.
But the next time you wonder ‘why doesn’t my wardrobe look fit for royalty?’, you can rest assured that it’s not just because you don’t have a team of stylists on your disposal. You also need expert seamstresses on hand to customise your purchases too. If only!