‘Poster girl’ Kate playing it safe is ‘exactly what a family in flux needs right now’

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For her visit to Burnley for charity Church on the Street on Wednesday last week, the Duchess of Cambridge’s outfit was a monochrome affair. As someone who unapologetically opts for every tone of neutral 97 percent of the time, I can fully appreciate Kate’s head-to-toe camel look.

Effortlessly chic and undeniably elegant, it’s exactly what I’d expect from the Duchess. Which may or may not be a good thing. Predictable? Yes, but beautiful nonetheless.

Although I’d love to see the Duchess take a few more sartorial risks as she embraces the path to royal seniority, perhaps playing it safe is exactly what a family in flux needs right now.

Cosy, practical and decidedly un-showy, it’s undeniably the uniform of a Sloane Ranger mummy (a term coined in 1975 to describe a type of boarding-school-educated individual from the upper class or the upper middle-class).

Focusing more on quality fabrics, form-fitting silhouettes and understated accessories, the thoughtful details of Kate’s style is what makes her a poster girl for timeless style.

Not one to wear something once and let it gather dust, her penchant for re-wearing is one of the (many) reasons why she’s earned her place as a style icon.

So, it’s no surprise to see her wearing her favourite wool and cashmere camel coat from Massimo Dutti.

The double-breasted fastenings, boxy shoulders and peak lapels are a subtle nod to the Royal Family’s military heritage while the fit and flare silhouette has been tried and tested by royals many times over.

Shunning the oversized trend in favour of more traditional shapes, I’d love to see Kate in something a little less structured and more modern like Sundarbay or Isabel Marant.

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But, she has thrown in a fashion curveball by wearing a knitted set from discount site The Outnet’s in-house brand Iris and Ink.

Focusing on grown-up, well-made classics, the Éloise turtleneck and Ernestine skirt are clearly a firm favourite of the Duchess, as she wore the same set in green in November.

However, separating the roll neck and teaming it with a pair of cigarette trousers and sky-high stiletto heels would give the set a more contemporary feel without compromising on the formalities.

Instead, we see Kate’s trusty brown suede knee-high boots. I’m desperately hoping these are the Saint Laurent’s Jane logo boots to reassure me that our future Queen still has her finger on the fashion pulse.

Just the day before in another fashionable appearance, this time to The Foundling Museum in London, Kate wore an inky blue look. The silhouette feels fresh, modern.

I’m a big fan of a wide leg trouser with a more form-fitting top a la Kate, to balance out the volume of the bottom half.

The high-waisted style of her Sport Luxe Jersey Wide Trousers by Jigsaw (unsurprisingly sold out) elongate her legs perfectly and give the illusion of height.

Although, this would have had more impact if she’d chosen a slimmer heel underneath instead of these chunky pumps from Emmy London, which are a style I’d have expected to see on the Queen.

I’d liked to have seen her cinch in the waist with perhaps a Bottega Veneta or Celine belt to give her outfit a subtle, luxury edge instead of this belt that looks as if it was borrowed from William’s wardrobe.

Although the Duchess went for another fitted coat, this teal style feels a lot more contemporary with its razor-sharp lapels, structured shoulders and clean lines.

It adds a splash of colour to her otherwise navy look and works beautifully with her hair and complexion.

Her Accessorize earrings, just £2.10, go very well with the rest of the outfit and are a slightly bigger and bolder style to what we’re used to seeing Kate wear.

It’s a shame we didn’t see a bag to finish off the look – a cream Savette tote or Valextra Iside Shoulder Bag would have pulled the outfit together and added a little contrast to the blue.

Follow Jessica Harris at @jessicasharris_

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