If last year was all about one big white dress, 2012 has been a showcase of Kate Middleton’s entire wardrobe.
With a demanding diary of Diamond Jubilee celebrations, Olympic spectating, state dinners and charity engagements, the Duchess of Cambridge has stepped up her role as fashion queen.
Little wonder her high street, vintage and second-hand buys have been upgraded to designer pieces thanks to a reported £35,000 clothing allowance.
Luckily, you don’t need a royal budget to emulate her regal style. The high street is quick to leap on her every fashion move with affordable options. Middleton mania is rife – search engine ShopStyle.co.uk experienced a 114 per cent increase in hunts for “red dresses” following the outing of Kate’s Alexander McQueen scarlet frock for the Jubilee pageant.
Here’s how to copycat Kate. Get her look and then accessorise with your very own Prince Charming.
Kate proved to be a good sport during London 2012 with a string of supportive outings in her capacity as official Olympic ambassador.
She looked relaxed in Team GB tracksuit tops, and white fitted polo tops were one of her favoured spectator pieces. Try Esprit’s stretch polo top, £13.99.
Team with Kate’s current penchant for coloured skinny jeans, which show off her slender legs. Sales of coral jeans soared when she sported them to play hockey during a GB team training session. George at Asda has a similar pair for just £14.
The Duchess often smartens up a casual outfit with a fitted navy blazer. Pull on Peter Hahn’s gold button blazer, £59, for some instant princess chic.
Swimmer Rebecca Adlington was caught on camera admiring Kate’s Stuart Weitzman navy wedges. Raise your game with Dune’s Ghita closed toe wedges, £75.
When it comes to everyday dog walking and food shopping, Kate tends to veer towards a neutral palette. Channel her on-trend countryside style with John Lewis’s cashmere toast V-neck jumper, £69.
Occasionwear is where Kate really excels with her wardrobe choices. Refined and elegant, her choice of knee- grazing hems, long sleeves and demure necklines make her a fashion icon for any age.
Kate guaranteed she could be spotted on the Thames during the Queen’s Jubilee river pageant in eye-popping red. Fashion Union’s belted dress has the same peplum waist and skater skirt detail, £22.
Continuing the colour theme, Kate regularly wears cobalt blue. Replicate her familiar shift silhouette with BHS’s bargain blue dress, £25.
She uses blush and nude shades for special occasions. Cinch your waist like Kate in her ladylike lace Alexander McQueen number by adding a belt to Lipsy’s Amy Childs lace pencil dress, £65.
The Duchess isn’t afraid to recycle outfits and her blue collarless Missoni coat is one of her favourites. Transform any dress with Marks & Spencer’s Autograph sequin collarless coat, £135 (available October).
Whatever the outfit, you can bet a plain pair of court shoes will be involved. Step out in Kate’s leg-lengthening accessory staples, LK Bennett’s taupe patent Sledge heels, £195.
The Duchess doesn’t work a red carpet very often but when she does she knows exactly how to transform into red-hot royal.
Reminiscent of her Grace Kelly-esque wedding dress, Kate loves lace and the Temperley masterpiece she wore to the War Horse premiere echoed the same V-neckline. Get the look for a fraction of the price with Kaliko’s lace maxi dress, £180 (due September).
She wowed the crowds in an emerald green Jenny Packham gown at an Olympics dinner. Get the look with Mango’s green chiffon maxi dress, £89.99.
Floor-sweeping dresses may be Kate’s paparazzi pleaser but she isn’t averse to a shorter shape. Her Matthew Williamson dress dazzled with its bejewelled collar and sleeves. Try French Connection’s Winter Gems tunic dress, £165.
Contrasting with her voluminous blow dry, Kate maintains her style crown by keeping her shoes and evening clutches minimalistic so the focus is all on her and “The” dress.
GET THE LOOK
Monochrome, a la The OC actress Rachel Bilson, is set to be the colour combo of autumn. No need to break the bank on her Malene Birger blouse, try AX Paris’s chiffon contrast tie top, £20 (www.axparis.co.uk).
BUY IT NOW
Bag Mary Portas’s latest fashion project. The flame-haired style guru has extended her House of Fraser collection with a new range of bags.
Named after music genres, the bags are available in ten House of Fraser stores nationwide and online at www.houseoffraser.co.uk priced from £39.
• SHOE OBSESSION
Women are diving feet first into shopping. The average woman now owns 34 pairs of shoes – 50 per cent more than two years ago. Hot on the heels of a report from fashion bible Drapers that footwear was the fastest-growing retail sector last month, a new survey by bedroom retailer Betta Living claims women spend £10,000 in a lifetime on their fancy footwork. Men aren’t far behind female shoe obsessives, owning an average 14 pairs at any one time.
• RECESSIONISTA ALERT
Style stalk two of Kate Middleton’s favourite high street labels, Whistles and Reiss. Voucher Codes has free delivery deals and discounts on both brands to get Kate’s style for less.