Meghan Markle may have just knocked it out of the fashion park with three spectacular looks on her “farewell tour”, but it’s her sister-in-law Kate Middleton who is doing her part for sustainable fashion. Despite any queenly connotations of sartorial snootiness when it comes re-wearing clothes (eek!), the Duchess of Cambridge has been an avid advocate of recycled fashion, re-wearing many of her looks in recent years.
Of course, arguably her favourite designer (and the designer of her wedding dress) Alexander McQueen, has seen many revisits. There was the coat dress she wore to Princess Charlotte’s christening in 2015, then to the Trooping of the Colour in 2016, and then again to an event in Belgium. There was a nautical knitted dress which made its debut in Canada in 2011 then Wimbledon in 2012, a tartan coat in 2012 that resurfaced for Christmas 2013, the duck egg blue coat dress at two Easter services, and the dusty pink top and fluted skirt she wore in both 2014 and 2016. And of course that iconic belted blue coat which was worn twice in 2014, then reprised in 2016 and most recently in 2019.
The bright red belted L.K. Bennett coat has had quite the royal run, tallying up a total of four wears by the Duchess including an event with the Danish royals, while a little blue dress by the British brand saw two wears in 2014, and an olive green mini suit see the light in both 2012 and 2015.
She has continued to re-wear the designs of another of her favourite designers, Roksanda Ilincic. First donning a draped dusty lilac frock in 2012, then repeating the outfit some four years later in 2016. While she wore Roksanda’s sunny, spliced frock both in New Zealand in 2014 and then at Wimbledon in 2016.
Plus Emilia Wickstead, who has seen her custom lemon collared dress out and about twice, a pale pink pleated dress twice in two weeks back in 2012 (of which she also has in a striking cobalt blue – and has also worn twice), an emerald green fluted coat she wore for St. Patrick’s Day in 2012 and 2013, and a lilac long-sleeved with kick-hem in 2017 and 2018.
She’s even recycled headpieces (a sovereign staple), breathing new life into the floral creamy yellow Philip Treacy headpiece she wore to the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in 2018, by giving it a new spin a year later by pairing it with a polished, low side bun.
And in the last 24 hours, more recycled fashion in the form a bright blue Jenny Packham gown and rich red Catherine Walker double-breasted coat. The former, a striking cobalt gown with intricate beaded bodice and chiffon A-line skirt, was first worn during her and Prince William’s visit to Mumbai in 2016 with a lacy shawl, while yesterday’s reprise at Buckingham Palace was sans shawl.
While the latter, a lofty double-breasted coat with plush velvet trim, was first donned by the Duchess of Cambridge on Christmas Day in 2018. This time she paired the lush coat with a red, rose-adorned felt hat by Sally Ann Provan and a pair of tonal suede Gianvito Rossi pumps.
Another day, another piece – or rather pieces – of recycled fashion for Kate Middleton.