Bairbre Power: So how correct is it to dress your siblings, or relatives, for a family event?
An homage to ecru and all things Kate Middleton
So how correct is it to dress like your siblings, or relatives, for a family event? This is not so much an etiquette conundrum, more of a reflection of what happens if you get upstaged by your little sis!
Last weekend's double-up by Kate and Pippa Middleton in equally gorgeous cream outfits at Princess Charlotte's christening shocked many, but I don't believe for a minute that the two sisters didn't discuss what they intended wearing - though Kate, as the mum, not to forget future queen, would naturally have first dibs.
I suspect that with one married, one to go, the Middleton girls have some private style agreement between them and they don't fight about colour and classic silhouettes.
If a look works for you, use it again, which is exactly what Kate and Pippa did. Both reprised the cream coat and hat combo, which worked so well for them at Prince George's christening two years previous.
The jury's out on who won the style stakes. I totally adored the inverted neckline and exaggerated lapels on Kate's McQueen dress, and she wore her Jane Taylor domed beret hat so effortlessly as she pushed her princess in that divine 1950s pram.
The fact that Pippa also commissioned a Jane Taylor teardrop button with buntal twists pushes the Fulham designer to top of the millinery tree - and I'm sure double orders come with a discount. After discovering the exquisite lines, and finish, of Emilia Wickstead's clothes at Havana in Donnybrook, Dublin, I'm totally smitten by this English designer. If only I could afford her…
I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that cream will be the colour du jour for Ladies' Day at the Galway races. Who can forget Ann Marie O'Leary from Kerry winning at Ballybrit in 2010 in an ivory fitted dress by Karen Moriarty and Carol Kennelly hat.
Just in time for race season, Irish milliner Caithriona King has launched the new 'Inspired By Kate Middleton' hat collection. The shapes are very classic, very Kate, with a variety of pillbox styles to suit face shapes, personalities, outfits and occasions.
"Kate Middleton's style is very classy and she really makes wearing a headpiece look effortless, inspiring a lot of ladies to don a hat," says the Galway milliner.
If you are going to emulate someone's good taste in hats for a special occasion, Kate is a good place to start.
I'm a total sucker for a well-groomed outfit, especially gloves. I couldn't resist these peach beauties from Paula Rowan when I was accessorising my Nessa Cronin hat for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby. Paula's prices start at €95 at her Westbury Mall store, paularowan.com while Nessa's hats are available from Mad Hatter, Lower Stephen Street, Dublin and Vanity Fair, Main Street, Newbridge.