At this point in my life, when I pick out stuff for my mom for her birthday or Christmas, I just pick out the jewelry, perfume and clothing I like, and if she doesn’t like it, I’ll take it. But she almost always likes it. So I understand how a mother and daughter can have similar taste in clothing, jewelry, etc. That’s why I understand why Carole Middleton and the Duchess of Cambridge have a similar style vibe. What bugs me is that it often appears as if Kate is wearing her mother’s clothes, and nowadays, it looks like Carole is steadily borrowing sh-t from Kate’s closet and jewelry box. Kate has so many style problems, but one of her biggest style flaws is how dated she is, and that’s fundamentally because Carole has imprinted her love of 1980s style on Kate. Carole is still stuck in a time when Princess Diana’s ‘80s style was the height of fashion. That’s why mother-and-daughter both copykeen Diana and then they copykeen each other. Now Jennie Bond at the Daily Mail claims that Carole has given herself a “Kate-over” – as in, a Kate makeover. Carole is actively trying to style herself like her daughter? Which came first though? It’s like a creepy style ouroboros.
When the Duchess of Cambridge turned to blow a kiss to her mother, Carole Middleton, at Wimbledon last week, it encapsulated how delightfully affectionate their relationship is. Seeing their matching smiles light up across the Royal Box also underlined how strikingly similar they are both in style and appearance. With their long chestnut hair worn glossy, straight and tucked behind the ears, with drop earrings peeking out below, the pair were clearly channelling the same look.
But where once it might have been Kate copying her mother’s impeccable style, it seems that at the age of 67, Carole is taking a leaf out of her eldest child’s fashion book. From her newly straightened hair — clearly impressed by the treatment Kate had for her Caribbean tour — to the matching jewellery and dresses, Carole’s had not so much a make-over as a ‘Kate-over’.
And why not? After all the tips about make-up and fashion Kate has picked up from her mum over the years, it’s only fair that Carole should reap the rewards of her daughter’s sophistication. They both call upon the service of Richard Ward’s hair salon, so why not share a wardrobe — especially when it’s as full as Kate’s?
Take Royal Ascot a few weeks ago, when, wearing a breezy hot pink pleated shirtdress from British label Me+Em, Carole looked fabulous. The dress was strikingly familiar — it was identical to one worn by her daughter in May last year on a visit to Edinburgh. Did Carole borrow it from Kate’s expansive wardrobe? Maybe. Although Carole is not as tall as the duchess, she certainly has the slender figure to carry off her daughter’s clothes. Not only that, but she put her own spin on the look with a black fascinator and matching clutch.
There was yet more daughter-mother style inspiration at Wimbledon, when Carole arrived on the third day of the tournament showcasing a stunning blue topaz necklace by one of Kate’s favourite gem designers, Kiki McDonough. It may even have been borrowed from Kate’s jewellery box, since Kate has worn the same piece on several occasions herself.
Just going from memory, Carole’s hair hasn’t really changed that much? She’s always straightened it and worn it in a similar way. Kate, Carole and Pippa seem to have similar hair, so it’s remarkable how Kate’s “hair” grows fuller by the day. Almost like she’s wearing wiglets full of secrets. Does this mean that Carole will begin wearing puffy wiglets too? Perhaps! Anyway, as I said, I think this is less about Carole going out of her way to dress like Kate. I think Carole and Kate have always dressed alike because Kate’s copykeening default is her mother, and Carole’s default is trying to mimic Diana. Honestly, I would appreciate a certified psychologist to do a deeper dive on this mother-and-daughter style dynamic and what it says about both of them.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Getty, Backgrid.