Kate Middleton had a record-setting year in terms of shopping. The Daily Mail has sifted through her wardrobe to determine how much the duchess spent on clothes in 2017, and the final figure is $160,000 — and those are only the new outfits we’ve seen. According to the Daily Mail, 2017 has been her most expensive fashion year yet, and there’s still one week left.
The newspaper reasons that this is because she swapped retailers like Zara for the high-end styles of Dolce and Gabbana.
There were some major events that tipped the scale in 2017, including her sister Pippa’s wedding. For that she wore a pale pink ensemble that cost $15,400, thanks to Kiki McDonough earrings that alone go for $10,000.
And even the less important events — like playing rugby in Paris — call for costly apparel. That March day she wore a mostly Chanel outfit valued at $17,400, according to the Daily Mail.
Don’t worry, according to Daily Mail, those were the most shocking outfits of the year, costwise, at least.
But fashion wasn’t always such a major expense for the duchess. In 2012, her first full year as royalty, she spent $55K on boosting her civilian wardrobe à la Mia Thermopolis.
So was it worth it? It depends on how you look at it.
This year, Middleton spent 10 times what the average American spends on clothing per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2013. During a 2017 labor conference, according to Sky News, Emma Dent Coad, a member of Parliament for Kensington, said that Middleton’s reported purchase of $200 dresses was “disgusting,” noting, “That’s a food bill for a family of four,” and “That’s absolutely outrageous.” When considering those points, we can see why some would judge Middleton’s spending.
Yet, it’s a fraction of what Kim Kardashian spends on clothes per year. It was once reported that she goes through $120,000 a month on her wardrobe. And while that could just be gossip, she and other celebrities definitely spend more than Middleton.
Plus, Middleton’s shopping contributes over £1 billion ($1.3 billion) to the economy.
Lastly, while we’d still love her if she spent less, we like seeing this style evolution. This year was especially exciting as she took many more risks, showing off more of her own personal style in the process.
This was the year she got more comfortable showing skin. At the BAFTAs she donned a black patterned off-the-shoulder $8,370 gown by Alexander McQueen.
She did it again for the queen’s birthday, wearing another Alexander McQueen off-the-shoulder dress, a chiffon red number valued at $2,777. At this summer’s State Banquet at Buckingham Palace, she wore a pale pink Marchesa lace dress with a plunging (for her) neckline and a tiara atop her head.
Then there was the black textured, mermaid-cut gown she wore to a gala in Paris, designed by, you guessed it, Alexander McQueen. Could she have taken those risks for less? Sure. But, the risks were worth it.
The year also consisted of some of Middleton’s best outfits to date, like the $5,570 heavily embroidered silver gown by Jenny Packham she wore to dinner at the British Embassy in Paris.
Another favorite from this year featured a slew of more affordable items. During her London Marathon training jaunt she wore a red puffy $375 jacket, $42 Zara jeggings, $120 New Balance sneakers, and a $215 Iris & Ink turtleneck. Not capable of going so casual, she threw on a pair of $5,170 Asprey earrings.
As always, she made her favorite less expensive brands look couture throughout the year. She wore multiple J. Crew items, including a $198 top and a pair of $137 cropped trousers. For Wimbledon, she offset a $1,557 Dolce & Gabbana dress with $82 Office heels.
If making a subtle splash was her resolution for 2017, Middleton succeeded. If spending less on clothes was, well … there’s always 2018.
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