If there’s one type of clothing in Kate Middleton’s wardrobe that’s worn on repeat, it’s a coat dress.
Elegant and timeless, the coat dress is part sharp tailoring, part softness and favoured by not just Kate, but fellow royals Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, Zara Tindall and sisters Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice.
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Kate's Alexander McQueen coat dress made for a dreamy outfit earlier this year
What is a coat dress?
Not to state the obvious, but a coat dress is a dress that resembles a coat. Usually with a collar or lapel, they can be opened by a front enclosure, typically buttons. A coat dress is often made from slightly thicker material than cotton, and most commonly has long or three-quarter sleeves.
The most popular type of coat dress is the style Duchess Kate wears, with a fit-and-flare silhouette that nips in at the waist with long or half-sleeves, and has either has a collar or wider neckline with lapel.
Meghan chose a stylish Judith and Charles tuxedo dress for a performance of Hamilton in London
If Kate’s style is a little too classic for you, look to Meghan Markle for your more modern coat dress inspo. The mum of two is a big believer in a tuxedo dress, a cooler version of the classic coat dress that is essentially an elongated version of a blazer or tuxedo suit jacket.
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When to wear a coat dress
Occasion wear and coat dresses go hand in hand – you can wear one to Ascot, a christening or a wedding. A coat dress is a popular choice for a mother of the bride outfit too.
How to wear a coat dress
Wearing a coat dress is easy – it’s a one and done type of outfit.
They work best with a closed-toe heeled shoe, like a court shoe, or a heeled espadrille (yes, Kate and her Catherine Walker coat dresses really are your best reference). Due to their tailored nature, a structured bag or clutch is your best accessory.
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The best coat dresses we love
Wool Blend Drape Coat Dress, £125, Karen Millen
Occasion Coat Dress, £249/$500, Hobbs
Helen McAlinden Coat Midi Dress, £400, John Lewis
Vintage inspired Coat Dress, £126.40, Etsy
Midi Trench Dress, £135/$232, Karen Millen
Belted Coat Dress, £235/$425, Phase Eight
Cream Blazer Dress, £37, River Island
Coast Tuxedo Dress, £131, Debenhams
Crepe Frock Coat Dress, £299/$540, LK Bennett
Tux Belted Coat Dress, £153/$262, Karen Millen via Klarna
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Lapel collar coat dress, £7.49/$15, Shein
Military Tuxedo Blazer Dress, £119/$204, Karen Millen
Teri Jon by Rickie Freeman Coat Dress, £506.64/$600, Saks
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