Kate Middleton Recycles Hat for Coronation: Fascinated by Her Fascinator

photo by: Getty ImagesIf it ain't broke, why fix it? Although Kate Middleton is an international fashion icon, she's also charmingly down-to-earth when it comes to re-wearing her favorite clothes and accessories. On Tuesday, she gathered with members of the royal family to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's coronation, and she wore the same fanciful hat she donned almost exactly a year ago for the Diamond Jubilee. Of course its normal for us regular folks to shop our own closets, but Middleton is one of the few celebrities to make a habit of recycling her wardrobe for public events.

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Designed by British milliner Jane Taylor, the Duchess of Cambridge's champagne-colored beaded topper featured a petite tulle veil, organza discs resembling orchid petals, and smoked-quartz details. It retails for $1200. She carried a pale gray Alexander McQueen clutch that was missing it's rhinestone-skull clasp; perhaps the bauble was deemed too edgy for a future queen. Apparently still comfortable in heels despite being about 34 weeks into her pregnancy, she also wore her favorite nude patent-leather platform pumps by LK Bennett.

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While Middleton's dress for the coronation featured a high princess waist over a full, knee-length skirt, the color and details echoed last year's pale blush lace sheath. Throughout her third trimester, she has favored princess-waistlines and baby doll silhouettes that are superflattering to her changing shape. According to celebrity stylist Nikki Pennie, who has worked with Middleton, the duchess often buys her own clothes and is her own stylist. Like Michelle Obama, she's happy to wear beloved pieces again and again. "What's different about Kate is that she really changes things up with accessories," Pennie told Yahoo! Shine in a recent interview.

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If Middleton wears an item of clothing or an accessory that is readily at available for retail, it often sells out immediately, a phenomenon dubbed the Kate Middleton Effect. Nevertheless, her choice to recycles her clothing also sends a strong message that women don't need to constantly refresh their wardrobes with new items in order to be stylish.

Middleton is fortunate that the options for pregnant fashion lovers have improved since her late mother-in-law Princess Diana was expecting during the 1980s. Although she was always stylish and made an effort to look chic in the media's glare, the princess was relegated to the slightly dowdy mumu-like smocks and heavy A-line wool swing coats that were popular at the time. Her evening options were more opulent and she attended galas and official events wearing lavish traditional gowns and looking every inch a royal. Like Middleton, Princess Diana knew the world was watching her growing bump with fascination. In a 1995 interview with the BBC's Martin Bashir, she said, "I felt the whole country was in labor with me."

Middleton has remained true to her smart signature style during her pregnancy. Although some fashionistas, including the British designer Vivienne Westwood, have criticized her look,the duchess has a classic elegance that recalls Jacqueline Onassis. And, like the former first lady, she also trumpets her home country's fashion industry.

On June 13, the Duchess will officially begin her maternity leave after she christens a 3600-passenger Royal Princess cruise ship in Southampton, England, by smashing a bottle of champagne across it's bow. Somehow we doubt she'll schlump through her month or so break before baby in Prince William's baggy T-shirts and sweatpants.

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