Re-Wearing Formal Attire and Its Gendered Double Standards

Every once in a while, something especially egregious catches my eye with regards to clothing and fashion. This is one such case.

Today, an article was published roundly criticizing what Duchess Catherine "Kate" Middleton wore to the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The author contradicts herself by claiming that she supports the "sustainability vibe" of re-wearing a dress, but then goes back on it to claim that by doing so, the Duchess was taking attention away from Meghan. She also cites that this very fact made headlines as her proof, as if she isn't part of the problem here.
Instead, Kate made the poorest choice available to her, inviting more headlines than her outfit was worth. People watching television even thought the pale yellow looked cream, another major faux pas for anyone attending a wedding.
This is utter nonsense, not to mention a form of internalized sexism.

Unless she plans on haranging Prince Charles for wearing his grey morning suit again, which he has clearly worn to many other events, I think her commentary is unnecessary... to say the least. I may know less about royal weddings than some, but she speaks of something she knows little of. These events are meticulously planned, down to the guests getting advance approval for their attire. After all, this is a royal wedding and not some informal affair in the author's country of Australia. If Duchess Catherine's pale lemon dress was good enough for Prince Harry and now-Duchess Meghan, it should be good enough for anyone.

Onto the second point, the colour. Okay, it looked cream on television. Close to white. But in other pictures it is clearly yellow. Not to mention, the bridesmaids also wore white in addition to Duchess Meghan, so clearly our North American and Australian ideas of wedding standards don't necessarily apply here.

The controversial dress. (PA)

Like Prince Charles' morning suit, her dress was made for her, fits well, and will stand the test of time. Let's also consider that the Duchess just gave birth last month. Is she really expected to get a brand new dress as she was recovering from this? Men are permitted to wear the same suits, dinner jacket, or morning coat to many events over their lifetime with no pushback. Why should it be different with women? Why are we so adamant that a new dress must be purchased for every event? It once again pushes the idea that women must always please others before themselves, simply because that outfit has been seen before. That idea is complete crap and reinforces conspicuous consumption. Shame on the author for putting down other women. I admire the Duchess' thriftiness and think it's something more people should take after.

Copyright Disclaimer: All photographs are used in this post under fair use for the purposes of education, comment and critique, consistent with 17 USC §107.


  1. Always thought it was weird idea that women wear a wedding dress once and then store it and never wear it again when men can use the same tux for other things. I know whites traditional and all but why not get something that can be worn to other functions. I also don't really get all these people claiming Kate was trying to upstage Meghan. She wasn't. So dumb.

    1. I agree. Actually, my fiancée will not be wearing white or a traditional gown at our wedding, so both of our attire will be reusable! It's going to be a pretty small one anyway, close friends and family only.

  2. Saw a shot of the couple at the altar, and the Duchess was seen in the background: definite contrast in shade, as well as the color difference. You get the idea of women's fashion "mindset" when you realize that last year's "exquisite" is this year's "hideous" hanging in the same place in the same woman's same closet.


    1. I can't wrap my head around that mindset. The Duchess looks great, even if she's had that same dress for years. The suit I'm wearing right now, a trim fitting three-roll-two navy worsted, will look good for years to come. While I get things with the current times in mind, I try not to go too far.


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