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Best coat dresses inspired by Princess Kate: From M&S to Hobbs

Kate is a big fan of the coat dress, and now you will be too with these high street versions

Best coat dresses

If there’s one type of clothing in Princess Kate’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.

kate coat dress
Kate's Alexander McQueen coat dress made for a dreamy outfit in 2021

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 tuxedo dress
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.

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.

Shop the best coat dresses we love

  • Coast coat dress

    Coast Coat Dress

    An ultra-elegant and ultra-fitted dress from Coast, this piece wraps around the figure with a classic tux design.

    A great alternative to a wedding dress too. 

  • M&S Coat Dress

    Marks & Spencer Coat Dress

    Part coat dress, part wrap dress, M&S' midi is made from jersey fabric for perhaps the most comfortable fit out there.

    At £35, it's an affordable LBD to keep in your wardrobe for those little black dress moments.

  • Wallis Coat Dress

    Wallis Coat Dress

    Created from scuba material, Wallis' coat dress comes in sky blue, a failsafe shade whatever the occasion.

  • Etsy Coat Dress

    Etsy Coat Dress

    This Etsy dress is so like Princess Kate's, we did a double take.

    Boasting a belted waist and peplum detail, if you love Kate's style, this is the one for you.

  • Helen McAlinden coat dress

    Helen McAlinden Coat Dress

    Helen McAlidne's coat dress is a great mother of the bride outfit; the dove grey shade will flatter warmer skin tones while the A-line fit is great for accentuating a small waist.

  • Karen Millen Coat Dress

    Karen Millen Coat Dress

    Princess Kate has Karen Millen's coat dress in burgundy, and the dark green shade is just as wearable.

    Available in sizes 6-16, it's currently on sale so grab it while you can.

  • River Island Coat Dress

    River Island Coat Dress

    For something a little different, try River Island's boucle coat dress.

    Made from tweed-like fabric, we love the addition of pearl buttons for a royally cool look.

  • Ralph Lauren Coat Dress

    Ralph Lauren Coat Dress

    With a faux-wrap bodice, belted waist and pockets, Ralph Lauren's coat dress is a casual take on the trend.

    We love the pointed collar and barrel cuffs too.  

  • Phase Eight Coat Dress

    Phase Eight Coat Dress

    Phase Eight's coat dress is spot on for a wedding; the traditional fabric covered buttons are an elegant detail, while the classic V-neck and cropped sleeves are flattering whatever your figure.



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