Wednesday, April 16, 2014

In the Market Report: Kate Middleton


"We’ll Have What She’s Having"

Kate Middleton wearing her Zara blazer, navy jeans
 and wedges with Prince William in New Zealand

Whatever you may personally think of Kate Middleton’s sense of style, and even if you disagree with those who refer to the Duchess of Cambridge as a "Fashion Icon", the one thing that cannot be denied is that many women would not only like to BE her (or enjoy the same life of privilege), OR at the very least, they would like to look like her (she is enviably model tall, gorgeous, and always radiant). There is no question that whatever she wears in public, it will guarantee to start a fashion feeding frenzy.

But she is not only highly influential, but pragmatic, if not frugal.  She not only repeats and recycles her wardrobe, but rather than opting for expensive designer, haute couture, or custom made pieces (which she can easily afford LOL), more often than not, especially when it comes to her more informal duties, her choices are culled from moderate priced emporiums. But while this makes them affordable to many women (who do not, like her, enjoy special stature as a royal), they are not always accessible. Because within minutes of images reaching the Internet, whatever it is she is wearing, will undoubtedly be sold out.

Kate Middleton Smythe navy blazer

Kate is a classic and simple dresser as befitting her position, and for her casual outings, has a predilection for Breton striped tops, dark wash skinny jeans, wedge espadrilles, and impeccably tailored navy blazers with gold buttons (the same highly distinctive basics that form the basis for many women’s wardrobes). Last year she was photographed at many events (including Wimbledon) wearing a gold buttoned, fitted Smythe navy blazer (it retailed for about $800). It was in fact sold out in most stores, and was impossible to find anywhere except for EBay, where many savvy and creative international sellers capitalized on the fact,  advertising that the jacket was the one worn by the Duchess of Cambridge (their auctions of course, included pictures of her wearing it), and hiked up the prices.

She and Prince William are now on a tour of  New Zealand and earlier yesterday, the ‘Big News’ online was that she was wearing the same outfit three days in a row (quelle horror!)  And what’s wrong with that? There’s a lot to be said about streamlining and affecting a uniform.  If something is flattering, appropriate, and cannot be improved upon, why try? This is something many women should pay heed to. It’s fun to experiment and have fun with fashion, but there are certain things that stand the test of time. And in the end, who does not want to look tall, skinny, and rich?

Kate Middleton Zara blazer closeup

Once again, her look consisted of a classic fitted double breasted gold buttoned navy blazer, a striped Breton top, and dark wash skinny jeans (J.Brand), accessorized with her signature navy wedge espadrilles. This time, the jacket, in question was from the popular worldwide brand, Zara, (www.zara.com). Out of curiosity, I called a few stores in New York and was told by the managers that it was from their new spring 2014 collection, retails at $139, and had sold out almost immediately by midday. So, if you are interested , your best bet is EBay, where many international sellers are hawking it, once again advertising it as the same one worn by the Duchess of Cambridge -- but often doubling the price.

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- Marilyn Kirschner 

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