Thursday 18 December 2014

Caitlin McBride: We get it Kate, you're thrifty - but it's time to try something new

Published 29/07/2014 | 12:07

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge leaves the SECC Hydro after watching the Gymnastics as she attends Commonwealth games
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrives at the SECC Hydro for the Gymnastics during the 20th Commonwealth Games
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrives to board a plane of the Royal Canadian Air Force at London's Heathrow Airport on June 30, 2011
Kate Middleton with her son Prince George yesterday.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrives at the SECC Hydro for the Gymnastics during the 20th Commonwealth Games

Kate Middleton's wardrobe might be the only retort against the old 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' adage.

Her style is anything but broken, but it's time for a change.

During an Olympics event last year
During an Olympics event last year

Everyone's favourite style icon (mine included) has left me feeling more than a little underwhelmed of late.

I understand that she's in the awkward position of coming under public wrath for spending too much on clothing or suffer at the hands of fashion's elite for spending too little.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrives at the SECC Hydro for the Gymnastics during the 20th Commonwealth Games
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrives at the SECC Hydro for the Gymnastics during the 20th Commonwealth Games

But when you're the most photographed woman in the world, with the luxury of means and access at your disposal, surely you needn't recycle an ensemble so often that style-watchers have lost count.

At first, I loved Kate's insistence on recycling her clothing - it's reflective of her 'woman of the people' image, a down-to-earth fashionista who knows a look she loves.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrives to board a plane of the Royal Canadian Air Force at London's Heathrow Airport on June 30, 2011
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrives to board a plane of the Royal Canadian Air Force at London's Heathrow Airport on June 30, 2011

And, at times, you'd be forgiven for forgetting that in the mainstream, she's the most influential royal in the world, married to the future King of England and mother to the heir to the throne who resides at Kensington Palace.

I'm also guilty of Kate's fashion 'faux pas' (a term I'm using loosely) - I've been known to buy several versions of the same t-shirt, different variations for the same heels and I've been using the same makeup for years.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrives at the SECC Hydro for the Gymnastics during the 20th Commonwealth Games
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrives at the SECC Hydro for the Gymnastics during the 20th Commonwealth Games

But I'm not the future Queen of England and my hair isn't nearly as bouncy...no matter how hard I try.

While attending the Commonwealth Games yesterday, she wore her favourite navy Zara blazer, J Brand jeans and Stuart Weitzman wedges.

Kate Middleton with her son Prince George yesterday.

It was the perfect outfit for such an occasion, the ideal balance of casual style oozing with class.

Except we've seen it before - several times. In fact, it seems like the umpteenth time, we've seen her in this look.

Kate Middleton and Prince George last month at the polo
Kate Middleton and Prince George last month at the polo

And while I can imagine Amancio Ortega Gaon of Zara counting the dollar signs in his head as he imagines the aftermath of the Kate effect on sales, it was the perfect opportunity for her to try something different.

Now I'm not not suggesting she embraces an ostentatious and quite frankly, obnoxious, spending style a la Kim Kardashian's €125k one-week wardrobe in the run up to her wedding - but, baby steps into a fresher style would be welcome for her fans. Of which there are many and I certainly am one.

Even a red blazer and white skinny jeans would have injected some personality and variance into her look.

To me, it 's indicative of a personality that is more type-A than previously thought - a woman so obsessed with her public image, she refuses to change in the slightest for fear of criticism. She even insisted on doing her own makeup on wedding day.

I imagine the PR motive is to portray her as a new mother who has no time to worry about her clothing choices. But I can't imagine many of us are under the illusion Kate is a 'normal mother'.

While I would imagine she's as loving, patient and present as any non-famous mother in the world would be, she doesn't have to worry about paying the bills, keeping a roof over her son's head or tightening the purse strings to ensure he has everything in September when it's back to school time.

Kate has the luxury of a hefty bank balance, designers clamouring to dress her and already impeccable style. It just needs an upgrade.

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