While Kate Middleton’s royal wardrobe is known for its bright and colourful pieces, there is one monochrome style that the Duchess returns to time after time – houndstooth.
The mother-of-three, 38, has stepped out in a number of check print outfits this year, most recently donning a smart £89 houndstooth dress from Zara yesterday during a royal visit to Bradford.
She has shown how the style can work in a casual jacket and trouser combination – at an outing in November for Shout – as well as in more formal settings, such as when she visited the V&A Museum to open its new Photography Centre in 2018.
Speaking to FEMAIL, stylist Susie Hasler, who runs Styled by Susie, revealed the print was not only ‘timeless’ and ‘conservative’ for Kate, but also an ‘edgy’ choice for the royal.
Kate Middleton, 38, pictured meeting boxer Amir Khan, opted for an £89 trendy check midi dress from Zara during a visit to Bradford yesterday
Kate has been seen in a selection of different check dresses and jackets in a variety of styles over the years.
The choice to wear the bold print by the usually demure duchess could also be seen as a nod to Princess Diana.
The late royal wore a red and white houndstooth jacket by Moschino with a black and white houndstooth skirt on several occasions.
Susie revealed the print is often seen as a means of ‘power dressing’ in an edgy way, explaining: ‘Houndstooth has always been a symbol of wealth, since the 1930s when the Prince of Wales favoured this print in his every day wear.
The Duchess of Cambridge has been seen wearing the houndstooth pattern over the years, often adding new monochrome pieces to her wardrobe (pictured in London in September 2015)
The royal – who is known for her love of bright colours – has been snapped wearing the monochrome pattern on a number of occasions such as this one, at the V&A Museum in London in June 2017
‘It is also a nod to the bold colour clash of houndstooth that Princess Diana wore in the 90s.’
She went on: ‘Houndstooth has become more fashionable over the years, featured by Alexander McQueen and Moschino in the 2000s.’
Susie explained that while Kate often chooses a modest look, the print allows her to add a little bit of spice to her outfits.
‘Catherine always favours a more conservative look and houndstooth ticks all the boxes for formal wear, with a bit of an edge,’ she said.
Proving the print was not just for day events, the royal opted for a fit and flare gown from Erdem in October 2018
The choice of pattern could be seen as a nod to Princess Diana, who stepped out in this clashing houndstooth ensemble on several occasions
‘Heritage print is going to be huge this SS20, as the tailoring trend continues. Heritage print has a masculine edge to it, and is a great way of power dressing in a subtle way.’
Susie said the Duchess deftly adds the style to her royal wardrobe by keeping the fit and style of her garments feminine.
‘It’s great to see a change from florals and something a little edgier on the duchess,’ she added.
‘She keeps the look feminine and fitted at all times, with waist definition and killer heels.
As well as wearing the business-like print in stylish dresses, the Duchess has also donned blazers in the pattern (pictured during a visit to Shout’s Crisis Volunteer celebration event in November 2019)
‘I would love to see the Duchess rock a trouser suit next, but that might be a step too far with power dressing!’
In September 2015, the Duchess wore a £1,000 houndstooth shirt dress from Ralph Lauren as she made her way to a children’s mental health centre in London.
And in June 2017, she adopted a similar style with a Gucci gown for the opening of a V&A exhibition.
Meanwhile in October 2018, Kate donned a check mid-calf fit-and-flare frock from British label Erdem’s SS18 collection during a visit to the Victoria & Albert museum.
Today’s ensemble combined two of the Duchesses’ favourite styles, the houndstooth print and the pussybow blouse neckline
The dress boasted a bateau neckline – a style favoured by Kate’s sister-in-law the Duchess of Sussex – frayed sleeves and featured a purple Prince of Wales check pattern.
And in November last year, the Duchess donned a smart checked blazer costing £620 from favourite label Smythe.
The blazer, which was also in a Prince of Wales check – named after the title held by her father-in-law – was also worn by the Duchess on an outing in October 2018.
Today’s ensemble, which was from high street brand Zara, was the first of Kate’s houndstooth outfits to in cooperate another of her favourite trends – the pussybow neckline.