Kate Middleton is a veritable fashion savant, effortlessly mixing high and low pieces with aplomb. She makes a pair of Gap pants look princess-worthy, rocks street-vendor jewelry, and manages to inspire even the most modest among us — all while playing cricket in high heels. But during a visit to the Stewards Academy in Essex this week, she quietly took her style to the next level, stepping out in a bright-blue shirtdress from American designer Joseph Altuzarra. The Duchess of Cambridge, who is known for re-wearing her favorite pieces, often sports elegant wrap dresses or sophisticated suits from some of her favorite British designers, like Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen and Jenny Packham. But in what some are calling a nod to New York Fashion Week, Middleton rocked American label Altuzarra for the first time yesterday.
Middleton donned the cheery Aimee Polka Dot Dress, which, at a retail price of $2,150, certainly falls on the higher end of her fashion spectrum. (She is a princess, after all.) But while the sweet cerulean and classic polka-dot pattern aren't a surprising choice, the discreet side slit proves it that this pick is no ordinary number for the duchess, who Vogue describes as "quietly redefining the 'Sloane Ranger' style for the modern, millennial set." No pressure. Subtly tufted shoulders soften the sweet-but-sexy shirtdress, while nude pumps and minimal accessories complete the look without competing with it. All of this just goes to show: If you want to update an oft-overlooked wardrobe staple like the shirtdress, keep it simple. And maybe ask yourself: What would Kate Middleton do?