Catherine by colour
Thursday, 26 April 2012

Catherine by colour

How the Duchess of Cambridge showed us blue is best when it comes to bagging Mr Right

Written by Katy Pearson

One year on from the wedding of the 21st century, style psychologist Kate Nightingale takes a look back at Catherine Middleton’s wardrobe - and how it helped her catch the eye of her prince.

Since stepping out in that blue dress to announce her engagement in 2010, the Duchess of Cambridge has been the style inspiration (and envy) of women across the globe.

Kate Nightingale says colour is a key component in attracting the opposite sex: 'As soon as you meet someone new, you associate the colours they’re wearing with certain personality characteristics. And while you may not think men will even notice what colour you’re wearing, subconsciously they’ll be making their own assumptions!'

Kate on Catherine's most iconic outfits during her courtship with Prince William

2002 Catherine first hit the headlines after taking to the catwalk for a charity fashion show at St Andrews University. Prince William was rumoured to have paid top dollar for a seat in the audience, and Catherine's infamous sheer black dress with electric blue trims- designed by fellow student Charlotte Todd - is now said to be worth £100k.

Kate says: 'You may be surprised to hear this but men are most attracted to a woman when she shows no more than 40 per cent of her body, the rest should be hidden under clothes. This dress certainly showed off too much; but I think we can excuse the fashion faux-pas as it was for charity after all!'

2006 Catherine wore a bright red coat with black hat for her boyfriend’s graduation from Sandhurst.

Kate says: 'Red is the colour of attraction, passion and love. Wear it at the beginning of the relationship to set the sparks flying and once you’ve been together a while to keep the passion alive!'

2007 Catherine looked sombre in black – in the brief period she and William separated.

Kate says: 'What you’re wearing can affect how you feel. So whenever you’re feeling down, don’t slip into black clothes but go for green or yellow which are happy colours.'

2008 Catherine wore a dress to The Boodles Boxing Ball very similar to the one she would later wear to announce her engagement to Prince William. The coral floor length dress marked the start of her devotion to designer Issa.

Kate says: 'Coral means flexibility and desire so it’s a perfect colour to wear for a formal occasion and when accompanying your Prince Charming. It is also sure to keep your man on his toes...'

2008 Making a break from the classic princess-in-waiting style, Catherine donned bright socks, sequined turquoise halter-neck top, yellow shorts and neon wrist bands for a charity Day-Glo Midnight Roller Disco which she co-organised. Perhaps not one of Catherine’s most classic of looks – but still a notable addition to her colour style evolution, says Kate.

Kate adds: 'It was certainly a fun outfit and perfect for the occasion – it’s a good job it was fancy dress though as bright yellow and pink don’t do much for her royal image!”

2009 For the wedding of friends Nicholas van Cutsem and Alice Hadden-Paton, Catherine looked lovely in a blue brocade coat and off-white dress which she teamed with navy heels.

Kate says: 'This was a perfect combination of softness and sophistication which clearly shows Catherine emerging as a future princess.'

2010 Catherine was pictured in another striking yet regal Issa dress while attending another wedding – this time of Harry Meade and Rosemarie Bradford at the end of 2010. Little did William know Catherine would be wearing a similarly coloured dress in a months time at their engagement announcement

Kate says: 'As Catherine’s confidence rises, she embraces her role as a future royal with more assurance by sticking to the royal colour: blue, soon to be her colour of comfort.'

2010 Catherine turned again to her much-loved luxury designer, Issa, for the now infamous blue dress (pictured) she wore to announce the royal engagement - which would go on to sell out within hours of the photocall 

Kate says: 'Here Catherine opts for a truly royal shade of blue as she is officially invited into the Royal Family.'

2010 In the official photo released to announce their engagement, Catherine wore a beautiful white Reiss dress – which then went on to sell out immediately. Due to popular demand Reiss re-launched the dress as part of their 2011 spring/summer collection

Kate says: 'White is a sign of purity, which makes it a great choice for Catherine on the brink of her wedding to her royal prince.'

2011 By the time Catherine and Prince William returned to the place where they first met - St Andrews University - there wasn't a see-through dress in sight for the future princess! Instead, Catherine opted for a smart red skirt suit with black accessories and her signature black boots

Kate says: 'Red is the colour of strength and confidence as well as love and attraction. We tend to wear red when we are feeling self-assured. Engaged, Kate certainly looked more comfortable in her role as a future princess.'

2011 Catherine Middleton's exquisite wedding dress was designed by Alexander McQueen's Sarah Burton, who managed to keep her very special commission top secret until the moment Catherine emerged from the hotel. Three billion people worldwide tuned in to the wedding of the century.

Kate says: 'The most important day of her life, and she nailed it. It was pure perfection. The dress truly defined her as a princess as well as capturing Catherine’s personality: elegant and sophisticated but also warm and kind.'

2011-2012 Since they have been married, Catherine and Prince William have embarked on several official trips abroad to the USA and Canada to name but a few. On these royal excursions Catherine’s wardrobe has seen many a blue outfit, including two Erdem dresses.

Kate says: 'Catherine's love affair with blue continues and is the perfect choice for our new princess. It suits Catherine’s natural colouring but it also conveys all the right messages. It reads like a recipe for a young princess: energetic, vibrant, impressive, authoritative, conservative, classic, reliable, traditional, loyal and confident.”

Colour choices and you

Research by Comfort Brights – the only fabric conditioner specifically created to help keep clothes brighter and vibrant for longer – reveals that the colours most women would choose to wear on a romantic occasion are red, black and purple (31%, 32% and 19% respectively). When it comes to attracting admiring glances at a special occasion, bright colours come into their own, with red (30%), followed by purple (21%) and blue (20%) appearing most often in women’s top three.

But what are the best colours to wear when trying to attract the opposite sex?

Kate Nightingale reveals her top tips for using colour to your advantage

Know what colours suit you and your personality – choose colours that work well with your skin tone and hair colour but also express your personality. Red is passionate and strong. Blue is authoritative and dependable. Green is natural and trustworthy. And yellow is joyful and friendly

Be bold – make a statement. You need to get yourself noticed. Men are not very good observers and they rarely notice something special even if it’s right in front of them unless it is well packaged. Men are not wired to notice nice, they are wired to notice extraordinary

Dress to impress – this will not only help you attract your Prince’s attention but once he’s yours, he’ll be proud to have you on his arm as being with an attractive woman will also positively affect how others view him

Different colours for different occasions – Just as the Duchess of Cambridge has done, think carefully about the colours you choose according to the occasion and don’t underestimate the message your choice of colour conveys

For more information on Comfort Brights visit


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