So it’s estimated that Kate’s clothing has cost Prince Charles £35,000 just since the beginning of the year. It is a princely sum.
But Femail has delved more deeply into the Duchess of Cambridge’s wardrobe, and discovered that the ensembles she has worn over the past 12 months come in at just over £105,000.
While Prince Charles will have footed the bill for the outfits Kate wore to official functions, it is unclear who will have covered the cost of the rest, though they will include items she owned before she joined the Royal Family.
Cost: £2,065 I adore this baby pink box-pleat wool dress by London designer Emilia Wickstead. At £1,220, it is expensive, but Kate has worn it at least twice. At the Buckingham Palace garden party, she teamed it with a pastel-pink Jane Corbett hat, £500, nude LK Bennett Sledge courts, £185, and clutch, £160
Cost: £7,178 This grey Katherine Hooker coat, £795, worn over a grey silk floral print dress by Jenny Packham, £6,000, is one of my favourites. However, I¿d have added colour in the clutch and shoes. Kate wore her trusty LK Bennett courts, £185, Hobbs clutch, £99, and Whiteley hat, £99
Cost: £3,335 Kate is stunning when she goes slightly over the top, rather than narrow and severe. This Jenny Packham gown, £2,875, in emerald green was worn to the Olympic concert in February. I find the lace panel at the back deliciously daring, the hair neat and grown up. Her Jimmy Choos are £460
Cost: £3,001 The red-carpet occasion dress is where Kate really comes into her own. I love this lilac belted Alexander McQueen gown, £2,246: the full skirt and pleated bodice are a welcome change from her usual very slim silhouette. She's also wearing silver Jimmy Choo shoes, £460, and silver clutch, £295
But, whatever the answer, it’s still a staggering amount to spend on clothes, jewellery and accessories — especially in a recession, when so many are going without more basic day-to-day requirements.
Yet I maintain that we shouldn’t accuse Kate of unnecessary extravagance. She never accepts discounts or freebies, and nor should she.
This is the practice by which most celebrities and fashion editors manage to look so good: Kate has to remain above such bribery.
Besides, we haven’t asked Charles to sell his Aston Martin; nor should we ask William and Kate to move into a Barratt home so that Kensington Palace can be made into a dorm for the homeless.
Clothes may seem frivolous, but what Kate wears is so much more visible, and vital, than where she lives and what she drives.
She is now — like it or not — an ambassador for Britain. What she wears is not about being attainable on the High Street; it is about being breathtaking. She needs to have the ‘wow’ factor.
So to those members of the PC brigade, who presumably wear sackcloth, eat only gruel and insist Kate should not be spendthrift in a time of need, I say: ‘Poppycock!’
We need our morale raising, and our biggest industry — retail — needs boosting, especially as it is the largest employer of women in this country, and it is women who are being hardest hit by the downturn.
During the Thirties’ Depression, people turned to the cinema and the likes of Carole Lombard, dressed in liquid satin, for escapism — a hit of much-needed glamour.
Today, Kate is that superstar. Not a style-setter, but a nation-saver.
I actually wish Kate would spend more of her father-in-law’s money, and develop an intimate relationship with one or two couturiers, so all her clothes are made-to-measure, not off the peg.
I also wish she would experiment more with colour: too often, she is in dove grey.
She can afford to inject frivolity into her wardrobe, and add zing to her choice of shoes: I beg her to abandon those nude LK Bennett ‘Sledge’ courts at once.
Above all, I’d like Kate to remember she is still a very young woman, with a fabulous figure.
She needs to abandon the Chanelesque wool coats with no shape: I see her as a new Grace Kelly, not following in the footsteps of Carla Bruni, the Queen or even Diana.
She must be her own person: a goddess and, yes, a clothes horse.
There is no better boost for the economy, or our national psyche.
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