Two days ago, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, attended the premiere of Paddington 2 wearing a blush pink Orla Kiely dress. The dress sold out within hours - such is the power of the princess's sartorial seal of approval! The floral embroidered knee-length dress is not the first Orla Kiely piece chosen by the duchess for an official engagement. In fact, she has provided the London-based Irish designer with huge endorsements during her time as a member of the royal family, wearing a Kiely brown print dress coat in 2012 and a grey pleated dress in 2015.
Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, wearing Orla Kiely
Perhaps it's not surprising that the Kiely pieces sell out almost instantly after being spotted on the duchess given that Middleton's other favourite labels, Erdem and Jenny Packham, cost about three times as much. But for those of you bemoaning the speed at which this pretty pink piece has disappeared off the shelves, here are five fabulous alternatives to buy instead.
With its blush hue, this dress from Zara is a timeless piece at a terrific price. It doesn't have the structure of the Orla Kiely dress, but if you're not pregnant like Middleton, you probably don't need it. I think this draped style can be worn one size up if you're worried about any uncomfortable clinging. Worn with scraped back hair and fabulous drop earrings, it will work beautifully for cocktail wear.
Blush pink dress, €29.95 at Zara
This Maje dress is not what it seems at first glance. The denim fabric and boyish pockets give it a much more cool and laidback vibe than you would have expected from a short pink cut-out dress. Pair it with a polo neck, tights and chunky boots for winter.
Sleeveless denim dress, €115 (reduced from €165) at Maje
This is quite a Kate Middleton-style dress, with its round neckline, longer sleeve length and pretty lace finish. I'd lose the flat shoes and style it with heels. I think it needs them. This piece is an unapologetically pretty and tidy little dress, so don't try to toughen it up or style it down. Pair it with heels and feel fabulously feminine.
Lace peplum dress, €20 (reduced from €70) at Warehouse
More along the lines of Middleton's Erdem dress choices, this cute floral item from Topshop is very much in the signature style of the Duchess of Cambridge. If you want to make it a little less pretty and more fashion forward, wear it over a polo neck and with this season's sock boot.
Embroidered mini dress, €34 (reduced from €76) at Topshop
This velvet wrap-style dress is a very chic option for day or evening. I love the mix of textures - velvet and lace bounce off each other beautifully. This is another wardrobe classic.
Crossover velvet dress, €39.95 at Zara