Kate Middleton's biggest style lessons

09/gen/2017 03.57.39 davisyellow Contatta l'autore

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As The Duchess of Cambridge prepares to celebrate her 35th birthday, we look back at the 35 style lessons which she's mastered- some of them universally useful...

1. You need to know when to let something go (no matter how much you've loved it )

A few years ago, the Duchess was often spotted in her beloved Aquaitalia ankle and knee boots but after being well-loved they soon began to look a little tired and scuffed. Sensibly, they've been done away with in favour of shinier styles.

2. Beware of flying hemlines...

Putting small tailors' weights in the hems of one's skirts is a fashion trick that the Queen has been practicing for years. But it was a lesson that the Duchess almost learned the hard way, when her flyaway chiffon dress by Jenny Packham almost blew up in front of photographers on a windy Calgary airfield in July 2011.

3. Like something that isn't quite you? Tweak it

When Kate embarked on the royal tour of India last April, she wanted to honour Indian designers and traditional dress codes, whilst staying true to her own sense of style. She and her stylist Natasha Archer adapted a catwalk look from Lakme Fashion Week by Anita Dongre, turning the stole and full-length tunic into a midi dress with a belt. "It looks easy, breezy and so contemporary," Dongre told us at the time.

4. A little 'glow' will do wonders for your whole look

The Duchess's complexion has become subtly more polished and 'glowing' over the past few years. Kate's radiant skin could be down to the Biotulin Supreme Gel that she recommended to Michelle Obama, which is dubbed as 'Botox in a bottle' while it has been long-rumoured that her favourite facialist is Deborah Mitchell who is known to for tricks which make skin look younger and smoother. How does this impact her style? Well it means that every time she steps out, she looks that little bit more sleek and pulled-together, no matter what she's wearing.

5. Online shopping is a Godsend

The Duchess has cottoned onto the joys of clicking from one's sofa- or, more likely, getting Archer to do so on her behalf. She recently wore a jumper by Iris and Ink, the in-house label by The Outnet but it's thought that many of her new pieces are also the result of online hauls.

6. ...But nothing beats a browse in the shops from time to time too

Until a few years ago, the quintessential Kate picture involved her on a King's Road jaunt, often with Carole or Pippa, perusing the wares in the Whistles, Zara and Peter Jones. With two toddlers and an ever more demanding public role, there's less time for that sort of thing now, but we do know that she popped into Fenwick to buy the red version of her favourite Preen dress.

7. You can never have too many coats

Scour through the Duchess's every look and one thing becomes increasingly clear; she is not one to subscribe to the school of thought that one needs only six coats. In bleak British winters, statement toppers are what makes an outfit, be it a bold fuschia Mulberry, a neat baby blue McQueen, a boucle tweed by Erdem or a trench style by Hobbs, the list could go on and on and on.

8. Share stuff with your sister, mum and Grandmother-in-law

It might be a niche example of the common practice of sharing your relatives' stuff, but Kate made headlines earlier this year when she wore a set of pearl earrings owned by The Queen to view Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring during a visit to The Hague. She often borrows pieces from Her Majesty's collection but more relatable for the rest of us is the fact that Kate is known to swap clothes with her mum and sister; the Duchess wore a £139 Reiss dress which Carole had worn two years earlier in 2012 while some Kate-watchers are speculating that the scarf Pippa wore to church on Christmas morning was first seen on her big sister in 2006.

9. If you love it, buy two

While we'd never be ones to discourage experimentation, there's something very grown-up about knowing what suits you and sticking to it. Kate portrayed excellence in this category when she picked up the black version of the red Preen dress she wore in Canada earlier this year. Earlier the same day, she had shown that her penchant for L.K Bennett's sophisticated day dresses is a considered motive, wearing a similar style to one she first wore to greet the Obamas earlier this year.

10. Sometimes a girl and her skinny jeans just cannot be parted

Fashion moved on from skinny-jean mania long ago (it's all about flared cut-offs or rigid vintage cuts now) but Kate has shown herself to be a steadfast fan of her skintight J.Brand and Zara favourites. Although the shoot she did for Vogue's centenary issue did coax her into dungarees, Kate is still favouring skinnies off-duty and for more informal engagements.

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