KATE’S COAT DRESS OF MANY COLOURS

The Duchess has turned her work wardrobe into a uni­form,

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - INSIDER - writes Kerry Par­nell

She’s found her sig­na­ture style and is stick­ing with it. The only time we see Cather­ine, Duchess of Cam­bridge, de­vi­ate from her repet­i­tive dress­ing is when she is out do­ing fun things with her fam­ily.

Cather­ine, who next week re­turns to of­fi­cial du­ties af­ter ma­ter­nity leave fol­low­ing the birth of Prince Louis in April, re­cently ap­peared at a friend’s wed­ding wear­ing a Cather­ine Walker coat dress in blue. If you had a sense of deja vu, you’d be right: She wore the same dress in Ber­lin in July 2017 and has sported the same style over and over for years.

The coat dress has be­come Cather­ine’s go-to out­fit, a smart but con­ser­va­tive choice, which by its very uni­for­mity means she lessens some of the style scru­tiny.

So, is she mak­ing a canny move to sim­plify her de­ci­sions, or just fed up with the at­ten­tion?

“Cather­ine is prac­tis­ing Rep­e­ti­tious Wardrobe Com­plex/Ac­u­men — which is the ten­dency to wear the same out­fits ha­bit­u­ally to neu­tralise mood,” ex­plains fash­ion psy­chol­o­gist Dawnn Karen. “Sim­pli­fy­ing her cloth­ing de­ci­sions lessens anx­i­ety and stress.”

In fact, on­look­ers could be for­given for think­ing she’s try­ing to blend into the back­ground — per­haps happy Meghan, Duchess of Sus­sex, is de­flect­ing some of the spot­light.

Since giv­ing birth to her third child, for ex­am­ple, Cather­ine has worn a coat dress al­most every time she’s ap­peared in pub­lic. She sported a grey Cather­ine Walker one at Bal­moral in Au­gust, a white Alexan­der Mc­Queen dress to Prince Louis’ chris­ten­ing in July, and a prim­rose ver­sion to Prince Harry and Meghan’s wed­ding in May.

She is a devo­tee of the la­bel — she wore an Alexan­der Mc­Queen dress to her sis­ter Pippa’s wed­ding in May 2017, an­other Mc­Queen coat dress to Princess Char­lotte’s chris­ten­ing in July 2015 and a Mc­Queen dress to Prince Ge­orge’s chris­ten­ing in 2013.

And she has worn Alexan­der Mc­Queen to Troop­ing the Colour every year since 2011, bar­ring 2015 when her coat dress was by Cather­ine Walker and 2012 when she went crazy and rocked a flo­ral Er­dem frock.

The only time she selects some­thing dif­fer­ent is when she’s at­tend­ing a re­laxed event — like her yel­low Dolce & Gab­bana dress at Wim­ble­don in July and a Zara sum­mer frock at the polo in June.

Per­haps, now she’s a mother of three, she’s look­ing to take some of the stress out of her wardrobe de­ci­sions. Pos­si­bly her per­spec­tive has changed and her love of fash­ion moved slightly into the back­ground. Cer­tainly, you get the sense she’s look­ing for easy out­fits that do the job, but don’t in­volve too much choice — like a uni­form.

Maybe she’s us­ing her sig­na­ture style like ar­mour — in the same way the Queen has worn a vari­a­tion of rain­bow-coloured dresses and coats for the past 50 years. Even­tu­ally no­body no­tices the clothes, just the per­son.

And while the world analy­ses sis­ter-in-law Meghan’s hits and misses, Cather­ine, most likely, is breath­ing a sar­to­rial sigh of re­lief.

SEPTEM­BER 2018: CATHER­INE WALKER

JULY 2017: CATHER­INE WALKER

JULY 2015: ALEXAN­DER Mc­QUEEN

MAY 2018: ALEXAN­DER Mc­QUEEN

JUNE 2013: ALEXAN­DER Mc­QUEEN

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