February 18, 2012

Kate Middleton’s Mystery Dress Revealed and Unavailable (3 PICS)

Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, wore a stunning gray coat dress for her solo appearance at the National Portrait Gallery last week, but none of the fashion experts could immediately place it, reports Daily Mail. Not a Reiss. Not a Jenny Packham. Certainly not an Alexander McQueen.

Some fashionista with a long memory quickly identified Kate Middleton's dress as a Jesire, but the Hong Kong-based High Street line had gone out of business, more than a year ago. No one could figure out where the duchess got the mystery dress. For most people, of course, it wouldn't matter. A flattering dress is a flattering dress. Imagine how awful it would be, to have world fashion experts scrutinizing your every wardrobe choice!

But a British image consultant solved a part of the mystery. "I saw Kate's dress," Ann Skidmore says, "and couldn't believe it was my dress." But it was! The gray coatdress she saw Kate Middleton wearing in a newspaper photograph was exactly like one she has hanging in her closet—one she wears often because it flatters her figure. Ann bought her dress two years ago, from a Jesire boutique that was closing its doors, and she got it on clearance for half price—about $90. She considered the dress quite a find and a fabulous bargain.

But now, it's even more. "I had what my daughters called an OMG moment. Nothing I've ever owned has been worn by a Royal before." And the dress is versatile enough that each woman has her own look. Kate wore a black belt with metallic trim, a black clutch and black platform pumps with nude hose. Ann prefers to add a red shell, red bracelet, chunky necklace and belt, and red tights and heels. But now, perhaps she will try it Kate's way. Or not. To each her own.

This is an interesting tale, in no way embarrassing to Kate Middleton. Odds are she found the dress in her own closet and thought it was worth wearing again. At least, this time, women all around the world will not be able to rush out and copy her latest choice. Not unless they had the foresight to snap up the dress on clearance, two years ago.

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