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Princess Kate’s 10 best styling hacks of all time

In light of Kate's 42nd birthday, we celebrate her fashion-forward dress code: from upcycling outfits to monochromatic dressing

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 25: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the Anzac Day Service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey on April 25, 2022 in London, England. Anzac Day is the national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand marking the anniversary of the Anzac (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) landings at Gallipoli in 1916 during the First World War. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Natalie Salmon
Fashion Digital Editor
Updated: January 8, 2024
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The Princess of Wales is renowned for her impeccable sense of style and ability to exude effortless elegance and sophistication. 

Over the years, she has become a fashion icon, inspiring us all with her wardrobe choices. Her sense of style is revered for its classic elegance, impeccable tailoring, and ability to effortlessly combine high-end designer pieces with affordable fashion. Over the years, the mother of three has showcased a range of styling hacks that have solidified her status as one of the best dressed future monarchs in the world.

Here are some of Princess Kate’s best fashion hacks that have contributed to her timeless and polished look:

Coat Dress Perfection

Princess Kate wearing a coat dress in 2022© Max Mumby/Indigo
Princess Kate wearing a perfectly tailored burgundy coat dress in 2022

It's arguable whether any royal has mastered wearing the coat dress like the Princess of Wales. The dress style can sometimes look shapeless, but Kate's commitment to fashion-forward attire is proven through the way she carries hers. Often designed by royal go-to brand Catherine Walker, Kate's coat dresses always possess the same cut: perfectly tailored at the waist, cinching her midriff and fluting out slightly at the skirt: giving a fit and flare silhouette that is as modest as it is modern.

Wearing all White

Catherine, Princess of Wales attends The "Together At Christmas" Carol Service at Westminster Abbey in all white look© Getty
Princess Kate at the Together at Christmas concert 2023

Pulling off an all-white look isn't always easy, but Kate makes it look a breeze. We know that wearing one colour is one of her signature styling hacks, but wearing all white is a rarity. Her foolproof outfit formula of fitted high-waisted trousers with a crew-neck jumper and a longline wool coat over the top is a timeless, ultra-chic way to style an ethereal, snow-clad outfit.

Belt Moments

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 25: Catherine, Princess of Wales visits the Foundling Museum on May 25, 2023 in London, England. The Princess of Wales is carrying out engagements in London to highlight the effects of nurturing relationships in early childhood. (Pho© Jeff Spicer
Princess Kate wore a Camilla Elphick pearl belt to compliment her pink suit

Kate rarely wears an outfit that isn't cinched at the waist, and she often enhances this silhouette simply by adding a belt. The Princess has proven that a belt in a colour that compliments the outfit is perfect for not only creating a flattering shape but also adding interest to an outfit without appearing too overpowering.

Monochrome Magic

Prince Louis stole the show in his cobalt blue shorts© Getty
Kate during the 2023 Easter Service

Kate has mastered the art of monochromatic dressing.  The princess is skilled at creating outfits using different shades of the same colour. She skillfully puts together outfits using various shades of the same hue. This technique creates a sense of visual harmony and also elongates her figure, resulting in a streamlined and elegant appearance.

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RELATED: Audrey Hepburn and Princess Diana's most iconic dresses are up for auction

Occasion Appropriate

william kate in front of eiffel tower© Pool/Samir Hussein
Kate donned a Chanel ensemble for her trip to Paris

When in Paris, Kate wears Chanel. In Texas, a cowboy hat. In Ireland, she’ll wear green. Sailing, she wears Breton stripes. Kate’s style resonates with many due to her ability to dress appropriately for various events. The future queen has mastered dressing appropriately for different occasions, whether it's a formal event, a casual outing, or a sports engagement. She demonstrates that understanding the context is key to nailing the right outfit. 

Sentimental Jewellery

Princess Kate at Ascot 2022
These diamond and pearl earrings belonged to Princess Diana

Kate elegantly embraces her role as a royal by adorning herself with sentimental heirloom jewellery. These cherished pieces which she has inherited from the Queen’s personal collection as well as that of her late mother in law, Princess Diana, not only radiate regality, but also weave a rich tapestry of tradition and family history, creating a sartorial connection between the past and the present.

High-Low Pairing

princess kate cream tweed blazer jacket by zara© WPA Pool
Princess Kate's sold-out blazer by Zara has proven to be one of her favourites for more casual royal engagements

One of Kate's signature styling hacks is mixing high-end designer pieces with affordable fashion. She seamlessly blends luxury items with high-street finds, showing that you don't need a king-sized wallet to look stylish. Kate's ability to seamlessly blend luxury pieces with mid-range and affordable fashion brands is one of her go-to styling tricks. It also means she appeals to a broader audience and sets a relatable example for fashion enthusiasts, while championing British high-street brands.

MORE: Princess Kate uses this cool retro styling trick for her 2023 Wimbledon outfit

RELATED: Princess Kate altered her Elie Saab gown to make it royal wedding appropriate, and you probably didn’t notice

Upcycling Outfits

The Princess of Wales is a fan of polkadots
The Princess of Wales has reworn her Alessandra Rich polkadot dress on various occasions

In a world where celebrities are often scrutinised for outfit repeats, Kate’s penchant for recycling outfits has proved refreshing and influential. The royal isn't afraid to re-wear outfits on multiple occasions. This not only promotes a circular wardrobe but also demonstrates that a well-chosen outfit can remain stylish and fresh with different accessories and tweaks. She confidently re-wears ensembles on multiple occasions, changing hemlines and often re-tailoring dresses to give them a new lease of life. For instance her dress was customised for the nuptials of Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II of Jordan and Rajwa Al Saif to make it more appropriate for the conservative dress code. Proper fit is crucial to Kate's style. Her clothes are tailored to perfection, ensuring they accentuate her figure without being too tight or too loose.

Reimagining the Classics

Kate Middleton walking with a woman© VICTORIA JONES
Kate often wears classic silhouettes in a modern way

Kate often opts for classic silhouettes that stand the test of time and has a knack for giving them a modern twist. A-line dresses, tailored coats, and pencil skirts are all staples in her wardrobe. These shapes flatter her figure and maintain a sense of refinement, and she adds her unique touch through colour choices, accessory pairings, and subtle details. This approach keeps her look sophisticated while ensuring her outfits remain relevant and fresh.

Strategic Accessorising

Princess Kate wearing a red top and skirt and carrying the DeMellier Nano Montreal bag © Neil Mockford
Princess Kate has the DeMellier Nano Montreal bag in two colours

The 41-year-old understands the transformative power of accessories. Whether it's a chic clutch or a stylish hat, her choice of accessories adds a touch of glamour to her outfits. These accents elevate her look and demonstrate her attention to detail. 

Princess Kate’s styling hacks transcend fashion; they reflect her confidence, and ability to pay homage and respect to various occasions and cultures through her attire. Her choices continue to inspire fashion fans around the world, offering us all valuable lessons in timeless elegance.

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