We’ve all been there, haven’t we? When you find a style of dress/ skirt/ shirt/ shoe which is so super-flattering, easy-to-wear and useful, you end up buying it as many variations as you possibly can. That ideal polo neck knit which you pick up in every neutral hue to get you through winter, or the easiest, breeziest summer dress which you purchase in every pattern under the sun.
It seems that even The Duchess of Cambridge has become partial to this way of shopping, clocking looks which have worked particularly well and finding ways to wear something very similar again without repeating the exact look. Today, she gave a masterclass in the practice of multi-buying, debuting two new dresses with striking similarities to other looks which have gone down particularly well this year.
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This evening, The Duchess attended Place 2 Be’s School Awards ceremony at Mansion House wearing a cocktail dress by British design duo Preen. The full-skirted dress with a distinctive asymetric neckline is the same ‘Finella’ dress which she wore in red for an evening reception during September’s tour of Canada. At the time, the dress was heralded as one of The Duchess’s best looks to date- ticking the respectability and fashion boxes simultaneously. So it’s little wonder she was keen to repeat the look, this time in a sophisticated black colour way which she accessorised with Prada heels, a glimmering bucked belt and a pair of earrings borrowed from The Queen.
Kate’s Preen dress is available at Net-a-Porter
For anyone who is as convinced of the Finellla’s powers as The Duchess, there are still a few available in black in selected sizes at Harvey Nichols, Net-a-Porter and from Preen‘s own onlien store, priced between £995 and £999. Meanwhile, the£1000 red version worn in Canada is also still in stock at Matches. Although this is the only piece by Preen, designed by husband and wife Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi, which The Duchess has worn, it’s obviously fast become a new favourite.
Credit: Yui Mok
Earlier today, The Duchess turned to L.K Bennett, one of the stalwarts of her wardrobe, to attend a children’s tea party at the Natural History Museum to say goodbye to Dippy the Diplodocus as he departs on tour in January. Kate chose to wear another new dress- the ‘Cersei’, a sartorial hint that she’s a Game of Thrones fan perhaps? With its delicate print, nipped-waist and diaphanous cut, the dress echoes L.K Bennett’s ‘Addison’ style which Kate wore to meet Barack and Michelle Obama at Kensington Palace in April. As well as dresses, may of The Duchess’s favourite accessories are sourced from the mid-price British label, including a few varieties of her beloved nude heels and the diminutive clutch bags she often carries with her on engagements.
Credit: Yui Mok
At £375, the dress,which has keyhole detailling around the neckline, is a little more affordable than the Preen design and offers hard-working, desk-to-dinner appeal. The velvet-printed, floral design is still available in some sizes at L.K Bennett, as well as at John Lewis and Brown Thomas. And if you think that Kate’s wardrobe repeat could become a go-to in your own wardrobe, there are plenty of other L.K Bennett options in the same vein to consider; the ‘Ally’ black dress (£350) shows a little more skin around the neckline or if floral aren’t your thing, try the graphic squiggle on the ‘Freya’ (££225). All have the same demure just-below-knee length, just-interesting-enough print and figure-flattering silhouette.
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