Kate Middleton Dress Déjà Vu: Her Orla Kiely Frock Is Back

Kate Middleton wore the same outfit this week (right) and in 2012 (left). Photos: Getty Images.Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, may have stepped out of the public eye a bit since the birth of son Prince George in July, but when she does resurface, the world remains fascinated with her ... and her attire. The style icon is known for her extreme brand loyalty (Middleton's faves include British labels like Alexander McQueen, Jenny Packham, Reiss, Issa, and L.K. Bennett) and for frequently shopping her closet. Sure, many women rewear their favorite pieces, but not many women who are members of a royal family and have access to the greatest designers in the world. It's refreshing to see the Duchess reach for the same simple frock again and again, but it's downright surprising when she also pairs it with a few of the same go-to accessories.

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On Tuesday, Middleton attended an event in London for Only Connect, a crime prevention charity, and opted for the identical head-to-toe look she wore back in February 2012 when she visited Rose Hill Primary School and Oxford Spires Academy, in support of the art education charity The Art Room. The dress, boots, and clutch were the exact same items she donned last year, and she even wore brown opaque tights on both occasions. Her brown printed Orla Kiely Birdie coat dress, part of the designer's 2012 collection was originally priced $485 but happened to be on sale for $242 by the time the Duchess first wore it publicly, and subsequently sold out in minutes. The memorable jacquard print is accentuated with a self-belt, button-front placket, side pockets, and Peter-Pan collar. (Those seeking a similar style may like the Orla Kiely Posie Print Collar Dress for $518.) After Middleton first paired the frock with her beloved brown $475 Aquatalia ankle boots, the brand renamed the shoe the "Royal," and after updating the style with an ankle embellishment, now calls it the "Royalty." (The originals are still available in the U.K. on the Russell & Bromley website.) The Duchess also toted along her favorite $467 Emmy suede clutch, completing the outfit repeat.

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Is styling the same pieces in the same exact way boring? Perhaps, but it's also quite practical. Middleton knows what flatters her figure, and on an early, blustery autumn morning why not reach for an ensemble guaranteed to look great?

One person happy to see the Duchess's do-overs is Orla Kiely. The Duchess also wore a steel gray dress from the designer's fall 2011 collection to the Dulwich Picture Gallery in March 2012. At the time, Keily told Grazia, "When Kate wears one of your designs you get a boost. The phone was ringing off the hook - email went, and one of my team counted over 800 Google alerts in that time! The only thing was, it was the end of the season so we didn't have so many of the dresses in stock. But it's a nice thing to happen."

And the Duchess isn't the designer's only royal-related fan. Carole Middleton, Kate's mother, wore a blue printed Dancing Girls tea dress by the London-based Irish designer for her visit to St. Mary's Hospital in London to meet her new grandson for the first time back in July. "It was out of the blue we didn't know!" Kiely told InStyle of Carole's dress at the time. "It's all quite nice, and now we're crossing the generations. I think is a lovely thing to be ageless." The print-happy designer created a line of tech accessories for Target earlier this year, and a line of bedding for Bed, Bath & Beyond in 2012.

We have no doubt we'll be seeing Middleton's Orla Kiely dress again some day. If it ain't broke...

Related links:
Kate Middleton Recycles Outfit for Royal Birthday
Orla Kiely Talks Dressing Kate Middleton's Mom and Her New Target Team-Up
Middleton-Loved Designer Orla Kiely's Bedding Collection