The Duchess of Cambridge adds two new British classics to her wardrobe

·2-min read
Duchess of Cambridge
Duchess of Cambridge

Whenever the Duchess of Cambridge adds something new to her public wardrobe, she takes a considered approach.

As this week’s rewearing of the £125 Whistles blouse which she first wore for her engagement photographs in 2010 demonstrates, Kate is looking for pieces with serious longevity when she shops. How might this item fare over the next decade?

On Friday, Kate wore two new pieces in public for the first time; a coat by Eponine and a bag by DeMellier, styled with Ralph Lauren shoes that she has owned since September 2020.

The Duchess was promoting the launch of her photography book Hold Still, and she appeared to take a leaf out of Her Majesty the Queen’s book in choosing to wear an unmissable colour for her big moment.

The Duchess of Cambridge on 7th May
The Duchess of Cambridge on 7th May

Over 10 years of marriage to Prince William (and, ergo, 10 years in the spotlight as a working member of the Royal family) the Duchess has championed an ethos that was previously unpopular among those in the public eye; she ignores the adage that a new outfit is only good for one appearance, and re-wears old favourites again and again.

With hindsight, we can appreciate that her messaging was well ahead of its time. Fashion designers and celebrities now have warmed to the idea of ‘buying less and buying better’, but when Kate first started rewearing outfits to public occasions there was still a stigma attached (ironic, of course, as it’s what normal people do). Kate has been shopping with this mantra in mind for 17 years - her Penelope Chilvers tassel boots, debuted in 2004, also got a poignant outing last month.

The Duchess of Cambridge wearing the same Whistles blouse in her engagement portrait (2010) and on 6th May 2021
The Duchess of Cambridge wearing the same Whistles blouse in her engagement portrait (2010) and on 6th May 2021

And so to the new additions.

The coat is a streamlined cut in a striking red by Jet Shenkman, who founded Eponine London in 2011. The Duchess already has several other Eponine outfits in her wardrobe, including a Jackie Kennedy-like houndstooth two-piece and a black tweed dress with crystal buttons. The bag is the £295 neat brown top handle 'Nano' style from DeMellier, with gold hardware.

Both are buys from small, independent British makers, who will undoubtedly be fizzing with excitement at the high profile show of support.

Eponine's double wool crêpe coat
Eponine's double wool crêpe coat

Both are also quality pieces that have clearly been bought because of their polish, and their versatility. Neither plays into current fashion fads (although the very small bag is having a moment).

Expect to see a lot more of the Duchess’s new classics.

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