Kate shows off new royal style in Down Under tour

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 24, 2014 at 7:36 am •  Published: April 24, 2014
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LONDON (AP) — Kate's dilemma: What to pack for a two-week trip, when your itinerary includes everything from state receptions and church services to toddler playdates and cricket games?

For the Duchess of Cambridge, who's rounding up her trip to Australia and New Zealand with husband Prince William and 8-month-old son George, there were additional sartorial challenges: Do royals take off their shoes at the beach? And what's the most ladylike way to climb into a fighter jet while in a pencil dress and high heels?

Here are the most talked-about fashion moments from Kate's Down Under tour.

ALL GROWN UP

Over the past two weeks, Kate, 32, delighted fashionistas with a non-stop parade of stately suit dresses by top designers mixed with her favorite style staples: Blazers, wedges, simple court shoes and demure day frocks.

Hems have crept below the knee, dresses are less figure-hugging, and sleeves also covered more of her arms.

It's a wardrobe that's markedly more "grown up" and more regal than before, royal watchers say. There's also much more color — bold, traffic-stopping hues — a choice that reflects her growing confidence, both as the face of a new generation of the British monarchy and as a style icon for women all over the world.

Among the hits: A minimalist dove-grey coat with structured shoulders by Alexander McQueen, worn with a matching hat to attend an Easter Sunday service.

"Kate's Australian wardrobe choices has refined her take on regal chic, upping the polish and bringing a more ladylike and expensive sheen to her look," said Katherine Ormerod, fashion editor at Grazia magazine.

CHIC BANANA

Kate mixed things up, with block color outfits in bright shades straight from the crayon box: Canary yellow, vibrant green, sky blue, bright red. The standout look from the tour had to be the pencil dress in fluorescent yellow by Roksanda Ilincic.

William wasn't sure he liked it: Kate told reporters he remarked that it made her "look like a banana." But fashion editors were thrilled by the choice.

"It's a color favored by the queen, and designed to allow her to stand out in a crowd," said Avril Mair of Harper's Bazaar. "I liked her Emilia Wickstead aquamarine dress for the same reason. She carries off color brilliantly and I'd like to see her wear more of it."

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