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Kate Middleton: The style secrets of a princess-in-waiting

10 NOVEMBER 2010

When Kate Middleton first came into the public eye in 2003, she was a conservative cowboy boot-wearing student, who favoured jeans and jumpers to floor-length frocks.

But by 2006, and in keeping with her high-profile romance, Kate's style had evolved. Casting aside her more casual wardrobe, William's girlfriend began to favour more elegant ensembles entirely fitting that of a potential princess.

Already influenced by her mother's penchant for tailored jackets and silk scarves, the pretty brunette employed the services of Leesa Whisker, an Ireland-born stylist who became a key figure in dressing Kate for a potentially active role in the royal family.

And since then, Kate's fashion credentials have gone from strength to strength.

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Now 28, she has remained loyal to her favourite brands, sticking to a classic formula that has worked so well for her. And the fact of the matter is that Kate prefers assiduously non-designer clothes - with, perhaps, just two exceptions.

First up – Katherine Hooker and her bespoke tailored coast and jackets. Available on the Fulham High Street from around £425, Katherine's structured outerwear has been a staple part of Kate's wardrobe (pictured above) since they met in 2005.

Kate is also known to be a big fan of Daniella Issa Helayel – the creator of the blue dress she recently wore to a wedding - favouring her conservative yet attractive ensembles (see below).

Retailing between £400 and £600, Issa's gowns have been worn by the likes of Madonna, Jennifer Lopez and Princess Beatrice and Eugenie, who have both been seen attending her fashion shows.

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Designer labels aside, Kate's staple garments come from high-street stores including Jigsaw – for whom she used to work as an assistant accessories buyer – Kew, Whistles and LK Bennett.

Her love of affordable fashion will have worked in Kate's favour since she quietly moved to a remote farmhouse in Wales with William six-months ago.

The Reading-born beauty – said to be keeping a low profile until an engagement announcement is made - has swapped her usual shopping haunts in Chelsea for the coastal town of Holyhead.

What remains to be seen, however, is whether she will make the 227 mile journey back to London to visit her usual hair stylist.

When it comes to her tresses, Kate's one-stop salon belongs to celebrity hairdresser Richard Ward, located in Sloane Square. Although her hair is usually styled loose and natural, it's thought she spends £105 every six weeks for her regular appointments.

And taking steps to make sure she is well prepared for the moment a diamond ring is slipped on her finger, Kate is said to also pay £55 for a manicure and pedicure when she visits Richard's salon.

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