IT’S been 19 years since fresh-faced student Kate Middleton met Prince William at university and her style has evolved dramatically in her path to becoming the future Queen.
The Duchess of Cambridge, 39, has made some subtle tweaks to her wardrobe since being thrust to fame as Prince William’s girlfriend.
Nowadays, Kate would never be caught popping to the shops in lowrise denim jeans and a strap top, and there is rarely a moment that she doesn’t look picture-perfect.
For engagements, the duchess has developed her own polished style, with tailored, modest dresses and high-quality pieces.
Celebrity stylist Lucas Armitage told Fabulous that Kate’s wardrobe update over the years is “arguably it’s the greatest style upgrade of our times.”
Here are the subtle tweaks Kate has made to her wardrobe in preparation to become a Queen…
Ditching lowrise denim
Back before she had married into the royal family the use of denim was a staple in Kate’s wardrobe.
In 2005, we saw her pairing low rise jeans with a boho feeling leather belt and cowboy boots.
Lucas told Fabulous: “Whilst her love for denim has stayed over the years her denim days are now few and far between, of course her 2020 denim sits much higher and is a more chic straight slim leg style.”
Hiding bra straps
Kate always looks polished when out in public, and her underwear is never visible during events.
Back in 2007, we saw Kate in Lipsy dress, and Lucas said: “Here we see a much more jovial relaxed Kate, bra strap on show out on the town.
“Whilst we probably won’t be seeing any bra straps today, the print of this dress still carries through to pieces she enjoys wearing now.”
According to royal etiquette expert Myka Meier, the Duchess of Cambridge, relies on strapless and seamless underwear to give a polished look.
Speaking to Fabulous, Myka said: “Underwear and bras are also considered private intimate wear, and for royals to put intimate apparel on display would simply not be done.
“There are a few options to hide bra straps, with one option being a bra that is actually sewn into the piece.
“A second option is strapless shapewear, which is a one piece that either snaps at the bottom or has legs attached.”
Using a midi ‘template’ for all seasons
Lucas said that Kate is a fan of using a style template of the midi dress and updating it season on season.
He said we often see Kate in a similar shape of dress again, and added: “It’s tie detail on the waist and finishing below the knee.
“She always draws attention to her waist; whether it be a wrap or a tie.
“The length finishing just below the knee gives this look a lady-like feel which may have felt a bit stuffy for a girl in her 20s.
“It really does go to show when you find a style that works for you you can keep it as your template and update with fresh prints and details.”
Making tights and court shoes the norm
Lucas said that we have seen Kate adopt a tights and court shoe combination and it has become a staple for her.
It was revealed by royal insider Victoria Arbiter that it is required of the women in the royal family to wear tights during public occasions.
The duchess has previously been pictured with sticky pads inside her shoes, which help to secure the tights inside her heels – genius!
And the best part is that the product won’t break the bank.
You can buy the must-have, non-slip tights from John Lewis for just £5, and they come in nude, black or tan shades.
Making the coat the focus of the outfit
Another staple of Kate’s is using a coat or piece of outerwear and “wearing it more like a dress”, says Lucas.
He explained: “She often takes a statement coat and lets that be the cherry on top of the fashion cake.
“A coat with a nipped in waist and flared mid-length are ‘classic Kate’.”
The stylist added that we often see Kate now matching her coat hemlines perfectly to her dresses.
Lucas added: “This is an easy loom to achieve yourself if you’re handy with a needle and thread and gives a very chic and well put together vibe.”
Knowing the power of a wow dress
While Kate typically toes the line when it comes to sticking to royal etiquette in her day-to-day wardrobe, Lucas said she knows how to dazzle when the occasion calls for it.
The stylist said one of the first times the duchess caused jaws to drop in a show-stopping gown was in 2011 at a gala dinner in a Jenny Packham dress.
He said: “It was one of the first times we saw her throw away her own fashion rule book and just simply dazzle in a show stopping gown.
“This is one of the first fashion moments where she really looks like she could take the crown and become the future Queen.”
Adds more high-street pieces
She may be royalty, but we have seen Kate mix up her wardrobe in recent years with high-street pieces and she also likes to recycle her favourite items.
Lucas said: “It’s also important to note that Kate uses brands that have a modest price tag and she gives the impression she has a modest approach to fashion when it comes to budget.
“She has also reworn many items in her wardrobe too which is a modern and refreshing take on royal dressing.”
In October last year, the Duchess of Cambridge wore a high-neck maroon knit from Warehouse.
The Duchess of Cambridge works hard to avoid any wardrobe malfunctions, and one secret to making sure her skirts and dresses hang straight is by adding some weights to them.
The weights are added into the hems of their outfits to ensure they hang perfectly – and to try and stop them blowing up in the wind.
The Queen is said to have circular lead curtain weights sewn into all her hand-made outfits, which measure an inch across and weigh less than an ounce.
The 94-year-old is believed to have passed this invaluable tip on to Kate, with Royal couturier Stewart Parvin telling MailOnline: “I just pop a couple of weights into the hemline of her dresses and coats and it makes them hang beautifully.”
We shared how Kate Middleton showed off her baking skills with Prince William as they visit bagel shop to support Brits hit by pandemic.
This week, the royal family shared birthday messages to Prince Harry to mark the duke’s 36th birthday.