The Duchess of Cambridge is royally frugal when it comes to fashion

Can you beat Kate’s cost-per-year? The Duchess of Cambridge is royally frugal when it comes to fashion… with outfits starting at just £7.77

When the Duchess of Cambridge stepped out last week in a pair of riding boots she was first seen wearing almost two decades ago, the nation breathed a collective sigh of relief.

Not for her a panic buy of the latest style — old faithfuls were the order of the day for Kate, who has, as ever, captured the public mood: this time by rummaging at the back of her wardrobe for a rewear.

As we emerge from months indoors, investing in fashion still feels risky. Question marks hang over summer weddings, and splashing out on a new outfit when we don’t even know we might wear it just feels wrong.

During ten years as a royal and two decades in the public eye, Kate has often worn clothes as old or older than her marriage.

Here, LIBBY GALVIN works out the cost-per-year of Kate’s favourite clothes, calculated from date of purchase to today. 


The duchess has long been a fan of Zara, and this red blazer (£69.99) is a favourite. It was first seen at the 2012 Olympics and again in November 2020 for an Instagram video. (£7.77 per year)


Shortly before they married, Kate and fiancé William visited their alma mater, St Andrews, to celebrate its 600th anniversary. She wore a striking Luisa Spagnoli skirt suit (£495), and has worn it many times since — including to visit a North London school in 2017. (£49.50 per year)


Clearly a favourite, this blue £635 Stella McCartney dress was worn by Kate three times in 2012 alone. Since then, it has appeared at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 and at an air show in 2016. Kate wore it again last summer, to make a video calling for entries to her photography project, Hold Still. (£70.55 per year) 


First worn on a 2012 visit to Middle Temple (where Prince William is an honorary barrister), this burgundy Paule Ka skirt suit is believed to have cost around £975. Kate revived the wintery combo for a visit to UCL in London in late 2018. (£97.50 per year)


First worn in 2006 for William’s passing out parade at Sandhurst and dusted off seven years later for an engagement during Kate’s pregnancy with George, it’s surely only a matter of time before this bright Armani coat (£1,000) is given another outing. (£66.66 per year) 


Kate has showcased this £495 Really Wild Clothing leather waitscoat at least three times since its first outing in 2012, everywhere from the Kent woods to the Himalayas. Lately, she’s worn it round the campfire with a London scout group last autumn. (£55 per year)


With a shimmering thread running through the tweed, this Chanel-esque Rebecca Taylor suit (£627) was first sported by Kate in April 2012 at a London reception (left). She brought it out again to visit survivors of the London Bridge terror attack. 


Kate first wore this tartan Alexander McQueen dress coat (£5,700) in 2012 to visit her old prep school, St Andrew’s in Berkshire, on the saint’s day — and even played hockey in it. She brought it out again in 2019, to open the V&A Dundee. (£633 per year) 


Kate had this teal Jenny Packham gown (£2,875) made for a gala dinner before the London Olympics, and donned it again in 2018 to an event for wildlife charity Tusk. (£313 per year) 


Ever understated, Kate made sure not to steal the show at Harry and Meghan’s 2018 Windsor wedding (left) by wearing an outfit — a £10,000 cream Alexander McQueen coat and dress — she had debuted at daughter Princess Charlotte’s christening in 2015 (right). 


THE future duchess was first pictured in her Penelope Chilvers classic riding boots (£475) at the Game Fair at Blenheim Palace in 2004 (left). In the 17 years since, those boots have carried her around the world on royal tours, and back to Manor Farm in Darlington, where she wore them last week (right). 


First worn in 2013 to visit a children’s hospice (above), Catherine opted for this chic grey Reiss coat (£275) again in Aberdeen in February 2020 to launch her early years survey. (£34.38 per year)

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