How Kate Middleton has (subtly) upper her fashion game

Since stepping into the spotlight the Duchess of Cambridge has established herself as an international style icon. Lauded for her impeccable dress sense she’s honed her image to perfection.  

But there’s no disputing 2019 has been her year.  There’s a new glow surrounding the Duchess and her fashion choices have garnered more praise than ever.

Subtle changes to her trademark look have elevated her style to a new level and she’s looking more confident than ever.  

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So what’s behind this change of gear?  It’s hard to pinpoint what’s new as the changes have been incredibly subtle.  The Duchess hasn’t deviated far from her signature style, she just seems to have modernised it.

For starters the Duchess has widened her scope of go-to designers making way for some more daring choices. 

The stunning dusky pink Gucci chiffon gown she wore to the V&A in February was Oscar worthy.  With her hair worn in tumbling curls and pulled over one shoulder she looked like a Hollywood A-lister.  Tuesdays cornflower blue Elie Saab Ascot gown was another sign that Kate’s enjoying experimenting with new styles. A fitted green Emilia Wickstead dress was another fashion highlight. 

Kate Middleton at Ascot

Interestingly when the Duchess stepped out wearing a Gucci pussy bow blouse in March everyone assumed she’s worn it back to front by mistake. But this was simply a confident styling decision made by the Duchess who thought it looked better worn the other way round. 

Wearing labels like Gucci, Missoni and Elie Saab have definitely added to the opinion she’s having a ‘fashion moment’. 

The past few months have also shown there are many sides to Kate. To unveil her Back To Nature Garden at this years Chelsea Flower show she wore a pair of Massimo Duitti culottes with a crisp white MIH floral shirt and a pair of white Superga plimsols. Looking every inch the off-duty mum this was a project she enjoyed and Kate had clearly dressed to have a fun day with her family.  Later that day Kate changed into a long Erdem dress teamed with a pair of casual wedges in keeping with her relaxed informal mood.  Perhaps it’s this ability the ability to dress for all occasions we love about her most. It’s relatively easy to look good in an expensive designer dress but when you’re in the spot light walking along a beach it’s a different matter. The true testimony to Kate’s style is how manages to look just as happy dressed in a navy parker and her faithful old Penelope Chilvers boots as when she’s wearing McQueen.

Interestingly the Duchess has worn a lot of trousers this year perhaps symbolising she’s taken control of her image.  A pair of black Jigsaw wide leg trousers made a reappearance and Kate wore a pair of skinny jeans and high heeled boots on a visit to North Wales. 

Another style note worth making is that Kate has finally traded in her trusty nude court shoes for more elegant designer heels.  A decision to recycle a Barbara Cassola dress to a charity dinner this month was elevated thanks to pair of silver sparkly Jimmy Choo heels. And a polka dot Alessandra Rich silk dress worn on D-Day looked even better second time round thanks to a pair of powder blue Gianvito Rossi heels.  And while Kate’s heel height may have gone up her hemlines seem to have come down. Her dress coats now seem to fall slightly lower on the knee and she’s also been wearing more fashionable midi lengths. 

Some have attributed to the Duchess’s new oomph to her new stylist Ginnie Chadwick-Healey who is covering her long-time PA and stylish Natasha Archer whilst she’s on maternity leave.

However it could simply be that Kate’s exuding the quiet air of confidence the comes with being a 37-year-old mother, wife and respected senior member of the royal family and future Queen consort.

Susan Kelly from website whatkatewore comments, “The Duchess's style has been more fashion-forward the last six to twelve months and there is one term that sums up Kate exploring more adventurous styles: self-confidence. This self-assurance has been increasingly apparent; it was evident at public appearances related to the Back to Nature garden she co-designed for the Chelsea Flower Show. The Duchess's self-assurance has been growing for some time, visible in a wide range of activities, be it the increase of public speaking roles or her radiance in the Alexander McQueen gown worn for the recent state dinner. The Duchess not only looks comfortable with her public commitments; she looks like she is flourishing”. 

Far from changing her style it could simply be the case that she’s settled into it.