The key to Carole Middleton’s chic Wimbledon style is already in your closet

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The key to Carole Middleton’s chic Wimbledon style – and it’s already in your closet - Getty Images
The key to Carole Middleton’s chic Wimbledon style – and it’s already in your closet - Getty Images

If the last few years have taught us anything about fashion, it’s that comfort should never be skimped upon. Trousers that are too tight, tops that are too low and heels that are too painful feel like spectres from an all-too-recent past when women hid ballet flats in their handbags and sighed in relief as they unclasped their underwire bras at the end of a long day.

A surprising figurehead for stylish but comfortable dressing has emerged over the last few years from the lesser-known fashion capital of Bucklebury village.

Carole Middleton is often photographed in the holy grail of comfort dressing – straight-leg trousers, fitted tops with sleeves and low block heels. Now, she’s shown that a jumpsuit is the logical next step by stepping out in a floral design that looks roomy enough to do yoga in but smart enough to choose for a party.

Aptly, really, as Middleton wore it this week to what is arguably the most glamorous event on the sporting calendar: Wimbledon. Dressing for the royal box at Wimbledon means adhering to a few rules (bare shoulders, jeans, short skirts and trainers are banned); equally, anything too dressy looks wrong at midday in midsummer. Potential rain showers and sudden sweat-inducing heat waves are also factors to consider.

In the 1980s and ‘90s, Princess Diana and Princess Anne responded to this with lots of colourful linen skirt suits and pretty separates; thirty years on, and the dress undoubtedly reigns supreme. Although with the windy, unsettled weather we’ve been having this week, a floral jumpsuit is arguably the thinking woman’s floral dress.

It’s also the ideal choice for anyone in midlife. For years, jumpsuits were either boiler suits or catsuits (and therefore essentially unwearable for anyone over university age); now they’re a trend we can all pull off, particularly when, like this Boden design, they’re cut on the bias in a flattering floral print with cap sleeves and a waist-enhancing tie.

Carole wore a floral jumpsuit with a Osprey London crossbody bag and the Fold London low heels - Getty Images
Carole wore a floral jumpsuit with a Osprey London crossbody bag and the Fold London low heels - Getty Images

There are a few things to look out for when shopping for a jumpsuit. Some kind of concealed zip on the side, or buttons up the front, make the one terrible downside of a jumpsuit (going to the loo) a lot more manageable. Most women suit an hourglass shape, so look for a flattering cut, or one with a waist tie.

Small prints, like the one in this Boden design, are also particularly good as they distract from any areas you may not want to accentuate – and if you want a piece that’s easy to wear in autumn and spring, find one that’s loose enough to put a thin white poloneck on underneath, or slimline enough to wear with a navy cardigan or jacket on top.

Middleton has shown how easy it is to sling something warm on top by wearing her jumpsuit with a denim jacket from Hobbs – follow her lead and forget the OTT Liz Hurley associations, as white denim can be a casual but glamorous summer saviour. She paired them with an Osprey London crossbody bag and the Fold London low heels.

In a nod to her eldest daughter, Middleton finished off her outfit with a Kiki McDonough topaz necklace that Kate has previously been photographed in. More importantly, the two women have clearly been inspired by those years when hair straighteners were the hardest working products on our dressing tables.

First, the Duchess of Cambridge stepped out with such poker-straight locks, we wondered whether this spelled the end of princess bouncy waves. Now, midlife guru Carole Middleton has followed suit, suggesting this is a trend that’s here to stay.

Comfort first, except for hair…

Six jumpsuits to wear this summer

From left: floral jumpsuit, £66, Boden; linen jumpsuit, £175 Jigsaw; pink jumpsuit, £135, Baukjen; leopard-print jumpsuit £135, Scotch & Soda; white denim jumpsuit, £250, Me+Em; polka dot jumpsuit, £19.99, Mango
From left: floral jumpsuit, £66, Boden; linen jumpsuit, £175 Jigsaw; pink jumpsuit, £135, Baukjen; leopard-print jumpsuit £135, Scotch & Soda; white denim jumpsuit, £250, Me+Em; polka dot jumpsuit, £19.99, Mango

From left: floral jumpsuit, £66, Boden; linen jumpsuit, £175 Jigsaw; pink jumpsuit, £135, Baukjen; leopard-print jumpsuit £135, Scotch & Soda; white denim jumpsuit, £250, Me+Em; polka dot jumpsuit, £19.99, Mango

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