When it comes to wardrobe heroes, it’s easy to see what Kate Middleton relies on: perfectly tailored, utterly sophisticated outerwear. The Duchess wears hers as others do sleek dresses, leaving them snugly fastened so they are the look. And because she’s an ace re-wearer, she’s found the world’s easiest styling hack for making them appear new. It’s a trick she’s pulled out before, and she just gave us another example with today’s outfit, picking the same green Sportmax coat she wore on Christmas Day for a quick trip to Scotland
Pretty, right? She finished it off with a skinny belt this go-around that wasn’t needed to keep the coat closed or in place, but instead helped it feel more dress-like than, well, a coat (important if, like Kate, you’re planning on keeping the piece on through an entire event). When the topper came out to play for Christmas it was finished with a totally different belt: a thick, croc-like style that matched the coat’s forest green hue. The thin belt we saw today looks like the one that came with the coat, which means it was the December look that really had Kate thinking outside of the box.
Kate pulled the same trick with this L.K. Bennett coat (don’t let the different lighting fool you). When she wore it earlier this month it was with the original belt that came with it, but for a 2011 trip to Denmark it was paired with a statement belt, creating a chic, bespoke feel.
To try the trick IRL, work with what you’ve got: Pull out any lightweight, nonbulky coats and whatever classic belts you’ve got stashed in the closet. Try likes with likes, buckling your more casual belts on with weekend-ready coats (like a leather number with your favorite parka); cinch ladylike jackets with prim styles. The accessory’s magic powers work for warmer weather too when you can switch up the feel of any of your dresses by finishing with a different belt.
Psst—want a sneak-peek at the outfit Kate picked for under her coat today? While it’s true that the Duchess typically leaves her outerwear done up, never revealing a look at her actual outfit, we got a little glimpse when she exited her car. It seems like her black turtleneck sweater was tucked into a black and white knee-length houndstooth skirt. Preppy princess!