The One Fashion Trend Princess Diana Hated That Kate Middleton Has Made Stylish Again

The Duchess has resurrected this accessory and made it high fashion.

Kate Middleton became an instant a style icon the minute she stepped in front of the cameras for her engagement photo call with Prince William in that gorgeous blue Issa dress in 2010. Like her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana, the Duchess of Cambridge loves impeccably tailored coats and dresses from British designers like Catherine Walker (Diana's go-to designer), Emilia Wickstead, and Erdem.

While royal watchers often note how Kate seems to emulate Diana in a lot of the clothes she wears, there is one trend Kate has embraced that Diana positively hated.

The Duchess has increasingly traded in her traditional pillbox hats and fancy fascinators for what is turning out to be something of a signature for her—a headband. Back in the day, Diana dissed the accessory as dated and "mumsy," going so far as to call the women who criticized her "the velvet headbands."

But Kate has embraced the fashion staple of the '90s and made it chic again. She wore a bespoke white headband embellished with flower appliques by Jane Taylor for Prince Louis' christening in 2018, chose a burgundy velvet "halo band" by the same designer to match the custom Catherine Walker coat she wore to church in Christmas 2018, and most recently, she stunned in a pink Stella McCartney dress worn with fuchsia heels and a matching bespoke Juliette Botterill headband in the official family photograph taken at the christening of Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.

"Catherine is the epitome of elegance," said one royal insider. "She always chooses styles that are tasteful and completely appropriate. There's no doubt she will have touched off a trend with the stunning headbands she been wearing."

Kate has reportedly upped her fashion game by enlisting the aid of fashion consultant Virginia Chadwyck-Healey, a former Vogue editor, who has encouraged the Duchess to make more fashion-forward choices.

With the Duchess embracing the headband look, British milliners would be well advised to stock up on the style. According to Brand Finance's British Luxury 2018 survey, Kate is the most powerful influencer in Britain. (Meghan Markle came in fourth behind Prince Harry in second and Adele in third.) The poll also noted that when the Duchess wears an item of clothing or an accessory, its desirability increases by 38 percent among stateside shoppers. And for more fun facts about Middleton, here are 17 Ways Kate Has Changed Since Marrying Prince William.

Diane Clehane is a New York-based journalist and author of Imagining Diana and Diana: The Secrets of Her Style.

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