When your every sartorial move is obsessed over—as it is for the Duchess of Cambridge—you tend to put a fair degree of planning into your outfits. In fact, Kate Middleton is well-known for the meticulous level of detail she applies to every public outfit. Exhibit A: The silk mauve Gucci pussybow blouse she wore to make a public address on Instagram over the weekend.
The Duchess took to social media to field questions about her Early Years initiative, which sees Middleton partner with various youth-focused charities in the UK to help improve life for children up to age five. “I think people assume that because I am a parent, that’s why I’ve taken an interest in the Early Years,” she told the 12 million followers of her and Prince William’s Instagram account, @KensingtonRoyal. “I think this really is bigger than that. This isn’t just about happy, healthy children. This is about the society I hope we could and can become.”
Some may recognise Kate’s choice of attire from mid-2019, when she wore the same blouse to attend an event at the Henry Fawcett Children’s Centre. The blouse raised eyebrows at the time as Kate chose to wear the design back-to-front, heroing the shirt’s button-down detail. This discrete styling tactic is quintessentially Kate. The Duchess quietly promotes sustainable shopping practices by regularly re-wearing pieces from her existing wardrobe, often pieces on repeat for many years (royals, they’re just like us!). And while the timing is certainly a coincidence, it’s interesting that the Duchess made a point of ‘outfit recycling’ on Black Friday—the frenzy-inducing online shopping weekend that has been criticised by environmentalists and sustainability advocates for encouraging mindless consumption.
It’s hard not to talk about pussbow blouses without being reminded of the infamous magenta number Melania Trump wore back in 2016. That design was remarkably similar to the Duchess’, and was also by Gucci. At the time, many speculated that Melania was trolling her husband, the then-presidential candidate Donald Trump, by wearing the blouse mere days after his infamous Access Hollywood tapes were released. Later incidents—like the famous Zara jacket-gate—showed that Melania was more supportive of her husband than internet pundits would have preferred, and it seems more likely that the blouse was a simple fashion statement, rather than a thinly-veiled criticism of Donald.
Regardless, we’re particularly inspired by Kate’s preppy take on the ’70s staple. Paired with slim-leg trousers, Princess style, or vintage Levis 501s—silk pussybow blouses are a perennial classic. Shop our edit of the best on the market below.