Saturday, 1 October 2016

Royal Wardrobe Canada: day seven

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit a hospital in Haida Gwaii on day seven of Royal Visit Canada
(photo Crown in Canada Twitter)

This royal visit to Canada has given us plenty of what we expected from the double appearance (so far) of the famous Maple Leaf brooch to lots of red in homage to the host country's national colour. But it's also given us some surprises and one of those is a general feeling that the Duchess of Cambridge is changing her style tack. Everything's slightly more, well, traditional royal with a Kate stamp on it rather than pure Kate effect with some nods to regal customs. If the visit to Canada in 2011 was her debut as a duchess, then 2016 marks a milestone in Kate's evolution as leading royal lady.

Day seven was a case in point. We're used to seeing Kate do casual on her royal tours but that used to mean an all but guaranteed appearance by the stripey top/ skinny jeans combo or a pastel jumper that could just as easily do for a trip to the King's Road than an engagement on a royal tour. For her visit to Haida Gwaii, Kate started her casual look with on trend smartness before finishing with host pleasing colour choices.

The first outfit of the day combined trousers with jacket and shirt in a shape that was relaxed enough to allow the duchess to row herself to shore (yep, she rowed in designer clothes, why wouldn't you) but smart enough for the more formal events that came afterwards.

Kate chose a single breasted jacket in sage green with wide lapels, fitted sleeves and a solitary brass effect button. And just to show what a well versed royal she is now, it's by a Canadian designer - Smythe Les Vests.

But it was the blouse beneath it that really made this standout. The pretty cream top, from John Lewis, with a very loose interpretation of a pussy bow at the neck, had much more of a royal air about it than the always expected Breton style top.

The material was loose and light, an almost sheer cotton with spot effect pattern on it. Kate went the whole traditional route and tucked it into her skinny jeans. Add in a pair of boots and you've got smart casual that complements your hosts while turning a page in your own style story.

No royal tour would be complete without William and Kate really enjoying the water and after all that rowing, their foray into fishing required a partial outfit change from Kate. The second look of the day involved a bright red jumper which was quickly covered by a very regal waxed jacket. Suddenly, there seemed to be quite a lot of Windsor getting the Kate Effect treatment.

Day seven underlined the growing sense of an added sophistication that has surrounded Kate's wardrobe on this tour. As she heads to half way through her sixth year as a member of the Royal Family, she appears more at ease than ever before with her role. And that's reflected in her image as she shows a new confidence in keeping it chic and modern and very regal all at the same time.

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