REX/ShutterstockQueen Elizabeth may be the Queen of the United Kingdom, but Kate Middleton is definitely the unofficial queen of style. And for good reason; somehow, she always manages to make old looks come off as entirely new ensembles.
The Duchess of Cambridge exudes no shame in the outfit-repeating game. She has consistently proven that a simple switch in hairstyle and accessories can make a huge difference—and Kate has a go-to trick for duplicating her outfits without appearing outdated or redundant.
Although exchanging for different shoes or adding more jewelry can create a new look, the key lies in switching out (or adding) a big, fancy hat. (Queen Elizabeth frequently tops off her looks with this, too). Case in point: Kate has shown up at various memorial services, christenings, and weddings, repeating identical outfits (sometimes up to three times!) with slightly altered accessories and a wide-brim hat.
We all love Kate’s fashion recycling; it’s an indication of her practicality and pragmatic character. This isn’t the only sartorial symbol the royals utilize; this is the reason why Queen Elizabeth wears neon colors all the time.
Fashion writer Simon Glazin tells the Daily Mail that there could there be more to the Duchess’ high-low wardrobe than her love of a bargain. According to him, a desire to please a public fed up with viewing high-spending politicians “splash out” could also be a factor.
By frequently reusing outfits she’s already worn at high profile events, it shows the public that she’s not squandering the public purse away on excessively opulent designer clothes. She might be taking a cue from Princess Anne—the notoriously thrifty Princess Royal also regularly sports a dress she first wore 40 years ago.
“There has been lots written about the Duchess and Prince William’s spending,” Glazin explains. “It’s likely to be the reason why she is thrifty with her wardrobe and often recycles dresses and coats. Even a Princess has to dress on a budget.”
Indeed, a woman after our own hearts. Even the royals seem to appreciate getting their money’s worth, particularly when it comes to timeless wardrobe favorites. So don’t stop yourself from donning your favorite dress to your next party—take a cue from Kate and just add a hat. (And find out how to find the perfect hat for your face shape).