Kate Middleton's Best-Selling Looks: 5 Dresses That Swiftly Flew Off the Racks

A rundown of the style icon's top outfits that sparked a shopping frenzy among keen trend watchers

By Alexis L. Loinaz May 30, 2013 9:00 PMTags
Kate Middleton, Catherine, Duchess of CambridgeDavid Crump, Leon Neal, Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Who needs a splashy billboard when Kate Middleton can be a walking ad campaign for you label—gratis?!

The Duchess of Cambridge has proven herself to not only be a much-admired style icon but an unwitting brand pitchwoman as well: Oftentimes, frocks worn by Prince William's wife have sold out in the blink of an eye.

In fact, it's enough to make a clothing brand rustle up some truly royal profits!

Here are five outfits that Kate rocked before they promptly flew off the racks.

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

1. Royal-Blue Wrap Dress by Issa: It's fitting that Kate chose this royal-blue stunner to mark her entrée into blue-blooded royalty. Deceptively simple in its silhouette but undeniably sophisticated in its draping, the often-admired, much-copied frock—which deftly matched Kate's eye-popping engagement ring, which had belonged to Princess Diana—quickly sold out. In fact, the dress (which was later reproduced in maternity sizes) was so popular, rumors began to fly that the London-based brand almost went bankrupt due to overwhelming demand for it—speculation that was eventually debunked by the company's execs.

REUTERS/Toby Melville

2. Camel Shola Bandage Dress by Reiss: The Duchess of Cambridge couldn't have chosen a more high-profile fete to unveil this sleek number: at her and William's official meeting with Barack and Michelle Obama. The event marked the royals' first public appearance since their 10-day Seychelles honeymoon, and Kate was more than ready to take the spotlight in the chic, understated dress, which retailed for $340 and featured capped sleeves and layers of fabric cut on the bias. (She paired it with simple black pumps.) The outfit proved to be such a hit, online buyers crashed Reiss' website not once but twice in the hopes of nabbing their own little piece of Kate Middleton glam.


3. Polka-Dot Topshop Dress With Ralph Lauren Jacket: Kate Middleton hit the spot with this look—literally. The style icon got playful when, during a tour of the Warner Bros. studios in Leavesden, England, she stepped out in this flowy polka-dot ensemble, which she balanced with a structured and figure-flattering jacket. The $76 dress was an interesting choice for Kate: Although she was six months pregnant at the time, the frock itself wasn't actually maternity wear. Within hours, it promptly sold out in stores and online, but this wasn't the last we'd see of it: Indulging her penchant for flouting the snobby wear-once trend, Kate recycled the dress for a friend's wedding in England.

Samir Hussein/WireImage

4. Max Mara Wrap Dress: Kate clearly loves wrap dresses, and this frock was no exception, belying the duchess' predilection for simple silhouettes, sleek craftsmanship and comfortable fit. The royal wore the gray patterned dress during her second public appearance since announcing her pregnancy, when she visited the Hope House Action on Addiction in London to meet with women in recovery. The jersey V-neck number, which went on sale for $195, was snapped up within hours.

WPA - David Crump/Getty Images

5. Scarlet Pleated Dress by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen: Talk about red-hot! Kate wowed attendees at Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee celebration when she breezed by in this sharp outfit by Burton, who also designed her now-iconic wedding dress. The duchess topped the look with a perfectly placed red fascinator, opting for nude pumps that let the dress take center stage.