The Modest Monarch: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge

Okay, normally I am not a celebrity stalker. Frankly, I think they are just like everyone else and should be left alone. However, I am completely and totally obsessed with the new Duchess of Cambridge’s style. Not only because it is classic and elegant, but because it is MODEST. Not just modest as in covered up but modest in price as well. Let me explain.

Last week E! made a big deal about the fact that not only did the Duchess recycle a coat, she also recycled a dress. Shocking! It amazes me that anyone thinks twice about this. We all have clothes we like. We like how they fit, feel, and look on us. Raise your hand if you recycle outfits (I’ll give you a hint, we all do it!) I found it refreshing. Yes, the dress is designer. Its also fantastic so why wouldn’t she wear it more than once? Same goes for the coat. The only new thing in her outfit for Zara Phillip’s wedding was the hat. Granted it was an expensive hat, but it’s one we will probably see again. Plus she doesn’t seem to be allergic to off-the-rack clothing. I’m pretty sure she’s gone out in stuff from Banana Republic, Zara (which is really cute but very reasonable) and clothes that won’t cost you your first born child. It’s important to note that both she and her sister Pippa seem to not care where the clothes come from, so long as they are cute, but invest in nice designer bags and shoes, which is a smarter investment than a $200 shirt.

The other thing I love is the modesty. She looks fantastic but she can move without fear of, as my father always said, “giving someone the chance to autograph her underwear”. And her clothes don’t show too much of the girls. And that makes her prettier than some of these trashy hollywood starlets who think the less skin you show, the sexier. Maybe its because I’m a woman, but I just think they look cheap. You wear a $50 dress from Khols that fits right and looks good and doesn’t show too much skin, you can look more expensive and well-dressed than someone in a $400 designer dress that leaves too little to the imagination. I truly hope the drop in hemlines and the more modest style of the spring and fall will carry over into next year. I hope with the influence of the Duchess, we may see a return of modesty.

I want this not only because I think that will make women everywhere look better, but also because I am tired of seeing spare-tires and muffin tops hanging over too-tight jeans, thongs and butts hanging out of shorts and skirts, and dresses that really are entirely too short to be a dress. Enough is enough, people. Really.

One more thing to discuss, in terms of looking fantastic on a modest budget, but investing in quality. It’s called “Clinton Math”. I named it this because it comes from Clinton Kelly and the TLC show What Not To Wear. It is a really great tool to help make decisions when shopping and identifying what is a good investment and what isn’t. Here’s how it works:

Look at the price of your item.
Example: LOFT sweater, $50

Ask yourself: how many times will I wear this sweater?
Example: At least 3 times a month from Sept-April, a total of 21 times

Now, divide the price of the item by the number of times per wear.
Example: 50/21=$2.38 a wear.

But because it is a wardrobe basic, we also have to think about how many years you will use it. For this I’ll estimate at least 2.
So the math becomes 50/42 = $1.19 a wear. That’s not terrible, especially for something that is work appropriate.

You have to decide for yourself what you want to spend for each type of clothing. $2 a wear for a wardrobe staple may not be a bad investment, but $2 a wear for pajamas…that may be a bit much.

So just remember divide the price by the number of times you think you will wear an item and that will really start to make you think about the cost of clothes.

au revoir


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