Royals

Frugal and fashionable: Duchess Kate’s best recycled style moments

Duchess Catherine may be the future Queen, but she still knows a thing or two about being frugal with her fashion choices.
Duchess Catherine

Duchess Catherine may be the future Queen, but she still knows a thing or two about being frugal with her fashion choices.

Just like the rest of us, Catherine has no qualms about wearing her purchases over and over again… if ain’t broke!

The mother-of-two does love her high-end designers like Alexander McQueen and Jenny Packman but she isn’t afraid to shop like a commoner and rock everyday designs from the likes of Zara and Topshop.

The 33-year-old regularly gives royals watchers déjà vu as she revamps and repeats many of her favourite and classic looks. Not many people in the public eye, let alone a royal can effortlessly recycle an outfit and give it a fresh new look.

Whether it’s the addition of a new clutch or some royal jewels, the Duchess of Cambridge will give you some royally good inspiration on how to rework your favourite looks.

Click through to check out the frugal style Queen’s best fashion repeats!

Duchess Catherine

Prepare to become obsessed with Catherine’s fashion philosophy: What’s old is new again! The Duchess simply adores this powder blue Christopher Kane coat which she originally wore (L) in 2012 London Summer Olympic. Two years later in 2014, Catherine wore the lavish design (R) for the Order of the Garter ceremony.

Catherine graces grey in a Matthew Williamson design. She first rocked the elegant beaded dress on April 25th 2012 (L), for the charity UK premiere of Disney Nature’s African Cats. The dress made another charitable appearance last year (R) in November while the mother-of-two continued her ongoing work with mental health issues.

Blue us away! The 33-year-old originally showed off her pins in the teal Emilia Wickstead dress with a pleated skirt (L) in April 2014 during a visit to the Cathedral Church at St. Paul in Dunedin, New Zealand. The dress was revamped with a new haircut with Catherine wearing it in December 2015 (R) as she visited the Action on Addiction charity’s Center for Addiction Treatment Studies

Why should only dresses ride the fashion coattails? When she was just Kate Middleton (L), she wore her Jane Troughton blue brocade coat for a friend’s wedding in 2009 and then again (R) in 2011 for Price Philip’s birthday party.

All aboard! Kate goes nautical: Wearing her beloved Alexander McQueen blouse and skirt combo first in 2011 (L), the outfit was so good it had to make another appearance. In 2014 (R) it got a starring role as Catherine visited Great Britain’s World War II code-breaking site.

Sometimes Middy likes to keep thrifty! Catherine adored this Topshop dress, Ralph Lauren blazer, and Episode Angel heels so much during her pregnancy with Prince George that she work it twice in a matter of weeks! She first work it (L) in April 2013 during a tour of London’s Warner Bros. Studio with Princes William and Harry. The following month in May (R) Catherine continued her maternity chic choice with the addition of fascinator for a friend’s wedding.

By George she’s got it! This Tory Burch dress sold out everywhere back in April 2014 (L) after Kate sported it with Prince George here in New Zealand. It would be cruel to not repeat such a beloved look. Despite the lack of cute factor (aka Prince George) Catherine still looked sublime (R) in October 2015 during a charity event for World Mental Health Day.

Refresh and renew: This classic Hobbs dress made it from Uluru in Ayers Rock (L) to the 2012 London Olympics (R).

In bloom: This charming Orla Kiely dress originally made the rounds in 2012 (L) before Catherine wore it again (R) in October 2015 for a charity event.

Missoni magic: The Duchess j’adores her M Missoni coat. The addition of a blue tweed topper made it fit for tea with the Queen (L) in March 2012. Her grandmother-in-law loved the design so much, Catherine wore a few months later (R) in June for a Jubilee event.

Lady in lace: This stunning Alice Temperley floor-length gown first got the royal treatment (L) at the London premiere of War Horse in August 2012. Catherine wore the dress later that year (R) in Novemeber to the University of St Andrew’s 600th anniversary. Still wearing her brunette locks down with loose waves, the stylish royal accessorised with a red box clutch.

Just one day after Prince George’s christening (L) in October 2013, Catherine donned this exquisite Jenny Packham navy gown. Months later in February 2014 (R) wore the full-length dress with a wrap-style bodice again to the National Portrait Gallery Gala with the addition of the Queen’s diamond necklace.

A case of déjà vu: There aren’t many occasions where you can waltz around in Roland Mouret frock. Making the most of it (L) Catherine looked divine as she attended a royal dinner in 2012 before jazzing it up in 2013 for a royal film premiere (R). We adore the transformation, pulling back her signature locks into a ponytail and showcasing the neckline with a silver necklace. All hail the frugal Queen!

Prince William’s princess wore this Alexander McQueen double-breasted coat (L) to her very first Trooping the Colour in June 2011. In fact she loved it so much that just a week later on 18 June, Catherine donned the same outfit (R) with a different hat to the Order of the Garter service.

She might be the future queen but there’s one designer the reigns supreme for the former Miss Middleton and that’s Alexander McQueen. She wore this quintessentially British cable knit dress during her July 2011 visit to Canada. And it was game, set, match when Catherine rocked the frock (R) at the 2012 Wimbledon men’s quarter-final.

Aussie designer Zimmerman made it onto the Duchess’ list of favourite things. Wearing (L) during a visit to Australia in April 2014, Catherine brushed off the sand and took the lace design out for a twirl (R) in July the same year to Wimbledon.

The lady loves lace: Catherine first wore (L) this Alexander McQueen to 2012’s St. Paul’s Jubilee Service. It made another regal appearance sans belt (R) at a Buckingham Palace garden party in June 2014.

This Orla Kiely dress got its first run (L) in 2012 before bringing it out again in November 2013 (R), just five months after giving birth to Prince George. We have to say the new-mum looks fabulous.

Rugging up, the Duchess of Cambridge first donned this chocolate brown Hobbs coat in February in 2012 (L) during an appearance in Liverpool. Bringing it out of her closet, but leaving the tights at home, she wore it in March 203 (R),

What can I say, it’s a good dress! If you think this dress looks familiar, then you’re right! The Duchess of Cambridge owns this Emilia Wickstead pleated design in teal (in Slide Three). Looking pretty in pink (L), Catherine joined Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, and Camilla for tea at Buckingham Palace ahead of the Queen’s 2012 Diamond Jubilee. 11 days later (R) the pale pink frock was the perfect outdoor event outfit.

While we may be used to seeing this royal in neutrals, Catherine looks California-cool in a green dress by Diane von Furstenberg (L), worn in July 2011 during a trip to LA. Just a few weeks later the DVF frock sailed the high seas for yacht party before Zara Phillips’ wedding.

Why mess with a classic? It’s clear Catherine can’t help but bat for Alexander McQueen, first wearing this iconic tartan coat (L) in November 2012 during a visit to her old prep school. Transforming into Sandringham chic, the addition of a fascintor made it the perfect Scottish Christmas outfit (R) in 2013.

Princess in waiting: When she was Prince William’s girlfriend, Kate Middleton caught everyone’s attention in 2006 (L) in her red Versace wool coat at Will’s passing-out parade – commemorating his completion of basic training at Sandhurst. The royal taught us the Versace is forever, wearing it during her pregnancy (R) with Prince George in 2013.

Feeling peppy for peplum: Kate got plenty of mileage out of her red skirt-suit by Italian designer Luisa Spagnoli (L) which she wore back in 2011 during a trip with William to their Alma Mater, St. Andrews. The power look returned in April 2014 during her trip to New Zealand.

Another McQueen classic. Hats off to Catherine in this ravishing red dress (L) worn back in 2012 at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee River Pageant Flotilla event. Taking from day to night with the addition of sparkly chandelier earrings, Catherine donned the dress again (R) in 2014 at the Dramatic Arts reception.

You don’t have to a royal to know that a striped tee paired with a great pair of jeans and a fitted blazer is a great casual chic go-to outfit. And Kate loves her wardrobe classics!

But the only thing that can top a striped tee uniform is the addition of one VERY adorable Prince George.

Get Woman’s Day home delivered!  

Subscribe and save up to 29% on a magazine subscription.

Related stories