The Duchess of Cambridge goes green with party gown for the Royal Variety Performance

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The Duchess of Cambridge on 18 November 2021
The Duchess of Cambridge on 18 November 2021

The best outfit that you could choose to wear this party season? It is the one that’s already in your wardrobe, according to the Duchess of Cambridge.

Kate, along with her husband the Duke of Cambridge, watched the Royal Variety Performance on Thursday evening held at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

The occasion marked her second red carpet appearance since lockdowns were lifted across the UK, and Royal events were back on the agenda. For the first, she attended the No Time To Die film premiere wearing a stand-out gold sequinned gown by one of her favourite British eveningwear designers, Jenny Packham.

On Thursday she turned to Packham again, but this time she didn’t buy a new dress from her most-trusted designer. Marking the start of 2021’s festive party season, she brought an emerald green beaded and sequinned dress out of her existing wardrobe - a gown which she first wore on a royal tour in Pakistan in 2019.

The Duchess of Cambridge on 18 November 2021
The Duchess of Cambridge on 18 November 2021

Back then, the Duchess styled the dress with a coordinating dupatta, made bespoke for her by Packham and nodding to her host nation. Re-working the look on 18 November, though, she wore it simply with a pair of £115 gold fan-shaped earrings by affordable London jewellery brand Missoma — seen here:

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the Royal Variety Performance - Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the Royal Variety Performance - Chris Jackson/Getty Images

This year marks the fourth time that the Duchess has represented the Royal family at the annual Royal Variety show. In previous years she has always debuted a new gown - by Diane Von Furstenberg in 2014, Jenny Packham in 2017, and by another favourite British label, Alexander McQueen, in 2019.

But for 2021 (and fresh out of attending events around the Cop26 summit this month) the Duchess’s decision to re-wear a dress she already owns sent a more meaningful message.

Speakers at the summit had warned of the devastating impact the fashion industry is having on the environment, with party season perhaps being one of the most wasteful times of the year.

The Duchess of Cambridge wearing the same Jenny Packham dress in Pakistan in 2019
The Duchess of Cambridge wearing the same Jenny Packham dress in Pakistan in 2019

The annual message is to ‘go all out’ and to ‘wear something glittery’, yet £2.7 billion is spent annually in the UK on outfits that are worn just once before being thrown out. Impulse buying in the countdown to Christmas is an issue; one in 10 of us will apparently send an outfit to landfill after three photographs have been taken of us wearing it at parties.

In that respect, the Duchess is a trailblazer. As ridiculous as the idea may be to most of us, there are still very few other public figures who re-wear their eveningwear looks after being photographed in them at previous events. In doing so perhaps the Duchess can convince at least a few others to stop binning clothes after just one party.

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