When the Duchess of Cambridge wears an outfit, it sells out everywhere – sometimes within minutes – and “The Kate Effect” has certainly had a big impact on one American fan.
Danielle Magness, a 39-year-old psychiatrist from Minnesota, shares her recreations of some of Kate’s favourite looks on Instagram. To date, she has copied more than 150 of the duchess’s outfits, which she documents to her 1,500-plus followers on the account @katesreplikates.
Magness said she started following Kate’s fashion after the engagement announcement in 2010. When she saw Kate Middleton wearing the iconic blue Issa wrap dress, “I fell in love with her style,” she said. “The Kate Effect started and I guess I was taken over by it.”
Although she doesn’t consider herself a longtime royal fan (“I did watch Diana’s funeral and became tearful,” she noted) Magness said her grandmother was a big fan of the Royal Family as their ancestry can be traced back to England.
Magness has tracked down many of Kate’s well-known clothing, shoes, and accessories over the years, from the affordable pink Topshop dress she wore to India to some higher-end pieces like the Aspinal of London Midi Mayfair handbag the Duchess carries and the aforementioned Issa wrap dress.
Some of the items she owns are recreations or “repliKates” versus the real deal, and there is a whole community of women online who seek out similar looks to the duchess without the designer price tag. Sources such as eBay, Poshmark, Amazon, and Aliexpress carry copies of many of Kate’s outfits, and Magness said she has found seamstresses and jewellers on Etsy who make repliKate items of clothing or jewellery.
“When I decide to invest in a real-Kate piece I take into consideration the cost per wear and whether it is worth the investment,” she said. “Most of the dresses and blazers I can wear to work.”
Although she has spent thousands on her royally-inspired wardrobe, Magness said this has been spread out over the course of eight years. “My husband just sees it as me buying clothes for work,” she said.
Although dressing in royal fashions is a passion of Magness’s, she stressed that she doesn’t wear Kate-inspired clothing all or even most of the time (“probably about 10-15% of my wardrobe is real-Kate or repliKates”) and that she typically wears her royal outfits “a few times a month so I can still keep my own style.”
When asked about what she wishes Kate would change up about her style, Magness said she’d love to see the Duchess add more bootcut jeans to her wardrobe. “She looks great in skinny jeans but it can be very difficult for others … just about everyone can wear bootcut jeans and look good.”
Her favourite of the “real-Kate” pieces she owns is a navy blazer by Smythe “since it can be worn at work but dressed down with a pair of jeans and still looks great” but if she could obtain any item the duchess has worn, it would be the Chanel cotton tweed coat Kate wore during her Paris tour in 2017.
In addition to recreating Kate’s outfits, Magness has started to post photos of pieces worn by the Duchess of Sussex and Pippa Middleton. “Meghan’s style seems to be more modern and expensive,” Magness said. “What is nice about Kate’s pieces is that the real-Kate pieces can sometimes be purchased at reasonable prices at stores such as L.K. Bennett, Kate Spade, Zara, J. Crew, Hobbs, Issa, and Jaeger.”
She added that “Pippa’s style seems to be more relaxed but this might also be because she just had a child. She wears pieces that can also be affordable such as Kate Spade or Anthropologie. Most of the time these pieces can be found on eBay or Poshmark if they have sold out and for less then the original price.”
Like Pippa and Kate, Magness is a mum, but that doesn’t mean she dresses her three-year-old in outfits inspired by Prince George or Louis. “He spends most of the time on the farm in dirt with his grandpa and daddy so he always needs to be in jeans and boots,” she said.
When asked about how other women can get the same look as the Duchess of Cambridge, Magness suggests become active on Instagram and also check blogs like What Kate Wore and Katescloset.com.au. “These blogs also have Facebook accounts which are helpful because posts are made as soon as Kate shows up for an event.”
Magness doesn’t just admire the Duchess’s fashion; she is keenly interested in her charity work and as a psychiatrist, points out Heads Together as a particular inspiration.
“Heads Together is a great initiative to change the stigma related to mental health,” she said. “As the stigma regarding mental illness is tackled, a person who is suffering from mental illness will feel more comfortable seeking treatment when it should be started rather than suffering from years without treatment.”
Whilst Magness has received some negative comments on social media, she said she tries to put her blinders on and ignore the haters. At the end of the day, she said repliKating is a fun pastime that helps her feel confident and professional in her daily life.
“Fashion has become my hobby since I don’t have much time for anything else right now with my schedule,” she said and compared repliKating to following a specific sports team or player and collecting their memorabilia.
“I can also integrate this hobby into my job which not many can say about their hobby. In real life, I’ve noticed that my patients provide me with more compliments when I wear a real-Kate or repliKate outfit. The more professional I look, the more respect I receive.”