Dressing By Numbers: How Kate's Literal Wardrobe Has Become Her Signature Style

16 April 2014 by

The Duchess Of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, Literal Dressing For Australia & New Zealand Tour

Is Kate the queen of literal dressing? [Getty]

It's no secret that the Duchess of Cambridge is a fan of literal dressing - a cowboy hat for the rodeo, tartan in Glasgow, a maple leaf on her head for Canada Day... you get the picture. But now that Kate is on her first tour with Prince George, we've noticed her dressing by numbers more than ever. To be fair, when you're avec baby, another coat dress is probably not top of your priorities, but of course there's more to it than that.

In fact, the DoC's public wardrobe has been carefully constructed as she trailblazes through New Zealand and Australia, in order to pay respect on each and every occasion. She's made like the Queen herself by wearing national colours and supporting local designers while continuing to back British, stay true to her recycling ways AND stay thrifty by throwing in a touch of high-street. Phewf! It's not easy to dress when you're a Duchess, but Kate hasn't put one sartorial foot wrong. Here are the best examples thus far...

1. Grazia Australia yellow for the Sydney arrival

You'd be right to think Kate has literally dressed like a ray of sunshine because it's so blinking hot in Sydney (hello 22 degrees!), but the bold colour choice is also because the Australian national colour is, yup, yellow. As well as giving a nod to her host country, she's stayed true to Blighty by wearing a London Fashion Week designer in the form of Roksanda Ilincic, who custom-made this dress, so it's a double whammy. Very well played, Duchess.

kate middleton yellow roksanda dress

2. Navy blue for the Royal New Zealand Police College

How better to make friends at the Royal New Zealand Police College than by dressing just like them? That's exactly what Kate did when she arrived in Wellington on Wednesday to lay a wreath at the Remembrance Wall. She cracked out an ensemble we've seen before consisting of a navy blue tweed jacket and matching skirt with frayed trim by Rebecca Taylor, which perfectly matches the officers' uniforms. Genius! Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all. Oh, and Rebecca Taylor was born in New Zealand too.

Kate Middleton Duchess Of Cambridge Australia New Zealand Tour Style

3. Tributary colours for a visit to Christchurch

Following the city's February 2011 earthquake, New Zealanders hold a red and black day to show their support with Christchurch. So, appropriatley enough, Kate appropriately opted for a red Luisa Spagnoli suit cinched in at the waist by a black belt for a day in the city. The occasion also provided another chance for recycling as the Duchess first wore this ensemble during a visit to St Andrews back in 2011.

Kate Middleton Duchess Of Cambridge Australia New Zealand Tour Style

4. A Breton top for a spot of yachting

In Auckland, the Duchess helmed an actual yacht, so what did she wear? A breton top, of course! She certainly let her wardrobe do the talking - don't you know that sailor stripes mean you're a bonafide yachter? Oh, and Kate’s top is by London-based company ME+EM so she's backing British while she's at it. Score!

kate middleton breton top sailing

5. Cabin chic for Aviation Heritage Centre visit

While some may have expected Kate to don an aviator jacket for a trip to Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, she went one step further and dressed like an actual trolley dolly! Yes, as the DoC clambered onto a commemorative WW1 plane, she looked just the part in this powder blue coat dress by Alexander McQueen. All she needed was a neck scarf, white gloves and she'd be ready for take-off. But her cabin chic is not only a tribute to the venue, but also to her mother Carole Middleton who kick-started her ascent to royalty as an air stewardness. Once again, it's two birds, one stone.

6. National colours for New Zealand play date

You might think that the Tory Burch dress which Kate wore to Prince George's play date was entirely innocent, but oh no. In fact, Kate cannily chose this outfit because it once again pays tribute to her host nation. Yes, she's wearing black and white. Yes, New Zealand's national colours are black and white. A coincidence? We think not.

kate middleton new zealand tory burch dress

7. An home-grown designer in New Zealand

Here's another nifty style move from the Duchess. For a visit to Cathedral Church at St Paul, the 32-year-old wore an aquamarine dress by Emillia Wickstead, who not only shows at London Fashion Week (tick one), but was born in Auckland, New Zealand (tick two).

Dressing By Numbers: How Kate's Literal Wardrobe Has Become Her Signature Style

8. Bright green to visit the Rainbow Place

Our final example of diplomatic dressing comes when Kate visited Rainbow Place, a children’s hospice. Of course, she couldn't wear EVERY colour of the rainbow (although we would love to see her in a rainbow fascinator), but she DID wear a vibrant green coat dress. It was so brilliantly hued, in fact, that Wills labelled it 'too bright', proving that it's miles away from her usual colour spectrum of navy, white and beige. What's more, this number comes courtesy of Erdem, another LFW designer who has done her proud on tours gone by.

Dressing By Numbers: How Kate's Literal Wardrobe Has Become Her Signature Style

So we say bravo, K-Middy! Political dressing has become Kate's signature style statement and she's well and truly made it her own. Need more proof? There's a whole gallery of photos of the Duchess dressing to impress over the years below...


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