With leading designers queuing up to dress her, Catherine, Princess of Wales could wear a brand new outfit at every single appearance if she chose.
But Kate has taken a different approach, re-using signature outfits and accessories ever since she first emerged on the public stage.
The key to Kate’s recycling is using a simple change of a hat, hairstyle, or clutch bag to breathe new life into an old piece.
With the help of some clever styling, it can sometimes look like an entirely different outfit.
Working this way helps keep her relatable to the public, also.
Day Birger et Mikkelsen Cream Coat
The stylish cream coat appeared at the wedding of Laura Parker Bowles and Harry Lopes at St Cyriac’s Church, Lacock – near Camilla’s private home – in 2006
It was on view again when Kate and Prince William were guests at the wedding of Oliver Baker and Melissa Nicholson at St Salvator’s Chapel, St Andrews in 2010
When Catherine, then Duchess of Cambridge attended at Olympic reception in 2012, the knee length coat appeared again, this time without a hat
Catherine attending the Secretary of State’s annual Garden party at Hillsborough Castle on June 14, 2016 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. This time a matching rose-design hat is very much in view, as is a shamrock brooch
Kate Middleton’s cream and gold Day Birger et Mikkelsen jacquard coat has been a go-to piece for weddings, often layered over a lace dress from Collette Dinnigan.
First seen at the nuptials of Laura Parker Bowles and Harry Lopes in 2006 she accessorised it with a feather fascinator, next opting for a contrasting black Jane Corbett hat to celebrate Oli Baker and Mel Nicholson in 2010, and for Zara and Mike Tindall’s big day in 2011 a Gina Foster Millinery large hat and LK Bennett shoes and clutch.
Later in 2011 the £395 coat was seen dressed up with a gold Wilbur and Gussie clutch for the London Paralympics opening ceremony, and finally at a garden party in Northern Ireland in 2016 with a Lock & Co hat and LK Bennett shoes and clutch.
Alexander McQueen Skirt and Blouse
Kate visiting Birmingham in 2011 wearing an Alexander McQueen outfit with a nautical feel
She wore the same outfit three years later on a visit to Bletchley Park, where her grandmother had been a codebreaker
The nautical theme seemed appropriate when Kate met yachtsman Ben Ainslie and the 1851 Trust – an educational charity – in Portsmouth, 2016
The first time we saw the £795 Alexander McQueen outfit styled in nautical chic was in 2011 on a visit to Birmingham following riots in the city.
Kate wore the outfit with a navy trimmed blouse and £580 wool crepe skirt for a nostalgic visit to Bletchley Park in 2014, repeating the military style shirt and skirt by Alexander McQueen.
It appeared again in 2016 on a trip to Portsmouth paired with Rupert Sanderson heels and a Jaeger bag. On that occasion she met Olympic sailor Ben Ainslie.
Luisa Spagnoli Red Suit
The striking red Spagnoli suit featured when Prince William and Kate Middleton visited the University of St Andrews, where they met, as part of its 600th anniversary celebrations in 2011
The suit went on tour to New Zealand in 2014. Here, Kate is at Wigram Air Base in Christchurch
The suit once again caught the eye, this time in the winter sunshine at Mitchell Brook Primary School in London, 2017
The Princess of Wales is fond of traditional skirt suits and the buttoned-up silhouette has become something of a signature look.
The Luisa Spagnoli ensemble features a wool jacket with cinched in waist and was first debuted in 2011 with black leather gloves, a roll neck and suede boots during one of her first official outings following the royal couple’s engagement news.
The next time she wore the £335 jacket and £160 skirt was on tour in Australia where her Mulberry Bayswater clutch and Episode pumps complemented the bow detail belt and the hemline appeared to have been lengthened.
Finally, Catherine chose to recycle the sophisticated suit in 2017 when visiting a primary school, this time pairing it with black Gianvito Rossi pumps and the same Mulberry clutch.
Missoni Blue Coat
The Missoni coat first appeared on a visit to Fortnum and Mason in 2012, accompanied by Camilla
She wore it again for the wedding of Lucy Meade and Charlie Budgett at the church of St Mary the Virgin, Marshfield in 2014. Harry was among the guests
The royal stunned in the repeated outfit for the official opening of the new EACH charity shop on March 18, 2016 in Holt
As Duchess of Cambridge, Kate first wore her blue Missoni coat in a boucle-textured fabric for a trip to Fortnum and Mason in 2012, accessorising it with Rupert Sanderson grey suede heels.
Fast forward three months and she paired the item with a Jaeger bag and Jane Taylor hat for a Jubilee outing in Nottingham.
The £670 collarless coat was next worn in 2014 for Lucy Meade and Charlie Budgett’s wedding with a Lock & Co hat and Whistles dress. And again in 2016 for a charity store opening with simple navy accessories.
Stella McCartney Blue Dress
Kate looked radiant in blue Stella McCartney as she attended the ‘Road to 2012: Aiming High’ exhibition at National Portrait Gallery on July 19, 2012
The mother-of-three at Hampden Park to watch the athletics during the 20th Commonwealth Games on July 29, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland
Kate and William arriving with their baby George in Canberra, Australia. Both George and William match the McCartney dress
The Princess of Wales wore the same outfit for The Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in 2016
We first saw Kate wear the Stella McCartney Ridley dress – with a Cartier necklace – for an Olympics-themed exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in 2012.
Stepping off the plane in Canberra during a 2014 tour of Australia, she coordinated the royal blue frock with Prince George and William’s tie.
Since then, she wore the £685 dress with a Smythe blazer and Russell and Bromley wedges at the Commonwealth Games in 2014, and in 2016 with nude LK Bennett pumps to the Royal International Air Tattoo.
Alexander McQueen Tartan Coat
Catherine wore the tartan coat for a day of activities St Andrew’s School in Pangbourne, Berkshire, 2012
The following year, Kate word the coat for the Christmas Day service at Sandringham on December 25,
She was still wearing the coat in 2019 when, with William, she opened the V&A Dundee
As a nod to Scotland, Kate first wore an Alexander McQueen tartan coat during a visit to St Andrew’s school in 2012. Next it was seen on Christmas Day in 2013 with the same Russell and Bromley boots together with a Gina Foster hat.
The Black Watch tartan is a navy and green pattern that belongs to Scotland’s 3rd Battalion Regiment, making it the perfect choice to wear again for a trip to Dundee in 2019, accessorising it with a Manu Atelier bag.
Paule Ka Red Suit
Kate looked elegant in Paule Ka while visiting Middle Temple, the famous of Inn of Court, in 2012
The royal looked radiant in red as she visited the Caerphilly Family Intervention Team (FIT) to learn about working with children with emotional and behavioural difficulties in 2017
The Duchess of Cambridge wore the suit in 2018 for a visit to University College, London
Kate first wore the double-breasted jacket and short flared skirt by Paule Ka for an engagement in 2012 in London. Several years later she reached for it again in 2017, this time layering a roll neck underneath and pairing it with Russell and Bromley suede boots.
A year later she wore it again with the same sweater at UCL, but instead wore some Tod’s heeled pumps and a Mulberry clutch.
Alexander McQueen Blue Coat
Kate wore the McQueen outfit in Blenheim, New Zealand, in April 2014
And again in June the same year. She looked poise next to Prince William for the commemoration of the Normandy Landings at Gold Beach in Arromanches, France
Catherine looking bright in blue for the RAF Air Cadets 75th Anniversary at St Clement Danes in 2016
Kate wore the blue coat with Emmy navy block heels and an Asprey clutch for the naming ceremony of the RRS Sir David Attenborough in September 2019
Kate first wore her sharply tailored Alexander McQueen coat, which originally retailed for £2345, during a tour of New Zealand in 2014.
Keeping the look simple and sleek she wore her hair pulled back, a Stuart Weitzman clutch and Alexander McQueen heels. Recycling the look later in the year when in France for the D-Day service, the bespoke coat was paired with a Lock & Co fascinator and black accessories for the sombre occasion.
A couple of years later the coat was repeated for the RAF Air Cadets 75th anniversary in 2016, this time with the addition on an embroidered badge, another Lock & Co hat and Stuart Weitzman heels.
Most recently, in 2019 she wore the cornflower blue coat with Emmy navy block heels and an Asprey clutch for the naming ceremony of the RRS Sir David Attenborough.
Emilia Wickstead Teal Dress
Emilia Wickstead is one of Kate’s favourite designers. She wore this teal dress at Dunedin in 2014
It reappeared for a visit to Action on Addiction in Wiltshire, 2015
The same dress reappeared for a visit to Broadcasting House in 2018
This pleated wool Emilia Wickstead crepe dress was first seen in New Zealand in 2014 topped with a Jane Taylor hat as the princess touched down in Dunedin.
The £1200 teal dress was spotted again in 2015 during a visit to Action on Addiction, this time with a black Mulberry clutch and heels.
Most recently it was chosen for a surprise appearance at the BBC in 2018 with black Gianvito Rossi pumps and her signature wavy locks. It is clearly a favourite silhouette for Catherine as she also owns the pink version which has been worn on numerous occasions.
Alexander McQueen Cream Coat
The coat was part of a white ensemble for the Christening of Princess Charlotte at Sandringham in 2015
Catherine and Princess Charlotte leave St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, after the wedding of Harry and Meghan in 2018
The Duchess of Cambridge arrives at the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium to attend a ceremony marking the 100th Anniversary of Passchendaele – Third Battle of Ypres – in 2017
The McQueen coat was chosen for the 2018 Trooping The Colour
The princess of sustainability wore a cream Alexander McQueen coatdress when attending a service to mark Anzac Day in 2022 with a Jane Taylor halo headpiece and Gianvito Rossi pumps, the same piece she first wore for Princess Charlotte’s christening back in 2015, although on that occasion she paired it with a Jane Taylor hat.
In between we saw her wear the open collar £2400 coatdress for Trooping the Colour in 2016 with a pink floral Philip Treacy hat, and the following year in Belgium with a Lock & Co hat and the same Balenciaga pearl earrings.
In 2018 she chose the flared skirt coat for Harry and Meghan’s wedding, this time with a cream Philip Treacy hat and Jimmy Choo heels.
Catherine Walker Grey Dress
The belted dress was first seen during a visit to the Foundling Museum in 2019
It made a second appearance during a visit to the Holocaust Memorial Day Commemorative Ceremony at Central Hall Westminster in January 2020
Kate dressed in the grey Catherine Walker for her visit to the Prince’s Foundation in 2022
The belted dress was first seen during a visit to the Foundling Museum in 2019.
Athough the accessories were the same, her side parted hair gave the dress a different look.
Most recently, she wore the dress when visiting the Prince’s Foundation in 2022.
Wearing the recycled favourite with black collar and flared skirt, she paired it with a Mulberry Amberley bag and Gianvito Rossi heels.