Why Navy Is The New Black For Kate Middleton

For the new Duchess of Cambridge, it's navy blue all the way.

By , Columnist

In the first few days of their Canadian tour, the Duchess of Cambridge has worn no fewer than five different navy or deep blue outfits.

She set off from London in a navy blue Roland Mouret dress and matching blazer by Smythe. When she arrived in Canada she had changed into a navy lace Cecile dress by Canadian designer Erdem. For her third outfit change on day one, the Duchess donned a navy bird print dress from one of her favourite designers, Issa. In Quebec, Kate wore a deep blue Jacquenta dress by Erdem. To watch William flying a helicopter in Dalvay, Kate donned an old navy trench coat.

spotted-kate-middleton-carrying-mulberry-bag_b.jpgPrior to the tour, an official photo of the newlyweds was released with both William and Kate in navy suits. Kate wore the same Amanda Wakeley outfit previously seen on a visit to Lancashire days before their wedding. Kate also wore a deep blue Issa wrapover dress the day her engagement to William was announced in November. Then she wore a midnight silk velvet coat when she attended Harry Aubrey- Fletcher’s wedding with William in January. For Armed Forces Day and for presenting medals to the Irish Guards in June, Kate wore a navy McQueen coat that looked smart and respectful.

Kate-Middleton-Erdem.jpgNavy is an unusual choice of colour for ladies of the Royal Family who prefer to wear bright colours to be seen easily in a crowd. The Queen will wear any colour except magenta. The late Princess Diana rarely wore navy, with the main exception of the sumptuous velvet Edelstein evening gown she wore to the White House, the night she danced with John Travolta in 1985. It was recently sold for £510,000 at auction in Toronto.

However, navy and other deep hue blues clearly have their attractions for Kate. First, they go so well with that wonderful sapphire and diamond engagement ring which once belonged to Diana. Then navy suits Kate's slimline figure: she can show off her trim waistline with a solid block of dark colour. And a navy dress can slip easily from day to evening use, except for the most formal occasions.

070111_kate-middleton_dress110701084934.jpgKate is not fond of the LBD (little black dress) that dominates so many women's wardrobes: it can drain colour from the face and look too sombre, even funereal.

Kate was spotted shortly before her wedding, wearing a short Issa dress in solid black: it was one of the few times when her otherwise sure sense of style was criticised. The outfit made her look gaunt and a little dull, so maybe Kate decided to stick to navy which looks much better on her.

All royal ladies keep a black outfit to wear in case of the sudden death of a member of the Royal Family. They tend not to wear black dresses, coats or jackets for normal use.

When Kate and William stepped out of Buckingham Palace the day after their wedding, she was wearing a black open jacket over a medium blue dress, Teamed with black wedge shoes and a black belt, the jacket looked more like a fashion accessory. She has also worn a black blazer ovarticle-2010812-0CDA167A00000578-479_306x423.jpger an electric blue dress to the wedding of close friend Harry Meade and she has worn a black and white silk dress to the wedding of jockey pal Sam Waley-Cohen.

The fact the William also loves wearing navy blue suits means that Kate can look colour coordinated with her husband. It also means that although media attention is focused on her, she can avoid stealing the limelight deliberately, as Diana used to do with her fashion statement clothes - much to Charles's annoyance.

With her fabulous, tumbling dark hair, Kate can wear just about anything and still look great, but navy to medium blues give her a streamlined elegance that accentuates her figure and allows her to avoid the drabness of unrelieved black.

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Margaret Holder has been writing about the Royal Family in newspapers and magazines for thirty years. She also broadcasts frequently on the BBC, both radio and television. She reckons she has now written more royal documentaries than anyone else in the world. Some are still being shown on channels in…

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