9 Style Rules Kate Middleton Has Broken
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Royal Success1 of 10
By Tiffany Tse
What might be normal for ordinary people—recycling old clothes, shopping at Zara and showing a little skin—seems scandalous for someone like Kate Middleton, who's been under intense sartorial scrutiny since she started dating Prince William back in 2002. But the Duchess of Cambridge, who turns 32 on Jan. 9, has proved you can flout tradition—even during your pregnancy—and still become a style icon. Check out the nine fashion rules for royals Kate's broken over the years.
Repeat Offender2 of 10
Rather than splurge on new clothes every season, Kate often recycles her favorites over and over again. Case in point? While out at a London nightclub in 2007, Kate wore a patterned silk dress paired with a cardigan and belt. Four years later, she rocked the same dress for a friend's wedding, this time styling it with a fascinator hat and sleek clutch.
Wild Thing3 of 10
Most pregnant women, royal or not, would distract from their belly with shapeless maternity wear and solid-colored clothes. But last summer, a then-pregnant Kate stepped out in a bold animal-print coat—and high-heeled pumps.
A Leg Up4 of 10
Think velvet leggings are a fashion faux pas? Not on the duchess, who styled them last December with a flared blazer from Reiss and ankle boots.
Yes to the Dress5 of 10
Kate's long-sleeve wedding dress seemed appropriately prim, but a snug lacy bodice made it slightly risqué compared to dresses from past royal weddings—both Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Diana wore voluminous gowns. Also, the duchess's choice of designer, Sarah Burton, is from the famously avant-garde label Alexander McQueen. The decision made Kate a bonafide trendsetter: Her gorgeous gown has since spawned millions of knock-offs.
Hue Knew?6 of 10
Back in 2012, Kate's sleek, polished look convinced everyone to toss out this outdated sartorial rule: "Never wear black and brown together."
All That Glitters7 of 10
Who said you can only wear one major piece of jewelry at a time? We spotted the duchess piling on the baubles: a diamond cross necklace, sapphire earrings, her sapphire engagement ring and a beaded bracelet for charity.
Think Pink8 of 10
She may be married to a prince, but Kate doesn't always stick to a conservative look. She often embraces figure-hugging silhouettes, like this slinky gown by Issa she wore to a charity ball in 2008.
Short Story9 of 10
A sequined halter top and yellow hot pants could be a recipe for disaster. But back in 2008, Kate showed it's fine to take fashion less seriously—especially when you're at a roller disco charity event.
Fast Fashion10 of 10
Proof that you don't need to spend a lot to look elegant: Kate regularly wears clothes from stores like Topshop, Zara and Whistles (a U.K. equivalent of Zara), including this Topshop polka-dot dress she was seen in last April.
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