If there's one thing the Duchess of Cambridge wears more frequently than a classic, flowy frock, it's a refined coat dress. It's an efficient fashion staple that perfectly fuses together elements of the essential outerwear piece (read: warmth) with the elegance of a dress, so it's easy to see why she turns to it time and time again. But, if you needed any more convincing that this double-duty piece should, in fact, be a part of your winter lineup, allow Kate Middleton's gray coat to convince you.
On Nov. 28, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge set out for a busy day of public engagements, first stopping by Leicester City in the United Kingdom. There, the couple paid their respects to those who died in a tragic helicopter accident on Oct. 27. For the occasion, Prince William wore a navy-blue suit, a set he's known to frequent during his official outings. Similarly, Middleton opted for a closet staple that has quickly become a signature part of her style: a coat dress, which, unsurprisingly, hails from Catherine Walker.
Middleton's coat dress features large button detailing, a peter pan collar with black trim, and a pleated, flare skirt — it's perfectly classic yet elegant at the same time. To combat the dropping temperatures, the Duchess turned to simple black tights for added warmth, and accessorized her refined and practical look with her favorite black suede pumps by Tods.
Middleton finished off the sophisticated ensemble with pearl stud earrings, a silver watch, and a black, vintage-inspired, croc-effect bag from Aspinal of London. She wore her hair pulled back, adding in a simple velvet ribbon to spice up her look.
It should come as no surprise that the Nov. 28 sighting wasn't the first time the Duchess has donned the gray Catherine Walker coat dress. The elegant piece actually made its debut back in Aug. 2018, while the family was vacationing in Scotland. That time, Middleton accessorized the staple with a black fascinator and pearl drop earrings that were borrowed from the Queen.
It's difficult to muster up the energy to get dressed in the wintertime, especially when you'd rather stay in your warm bed than face the cold. But as Middleton's latest look proves, sometimes all it takes to piece together a winning, cold-weather look is one staple: a coat that can just as easily be worn as as a dress.
As the Duchess proves so well, coat dresses are warm, sleek, and so easy to wear. Simply add in a few accessories (whether it's a belt, textured tights, or statement jewels) to take the outerwear essential to new heights. Ahead, shop The Zoe Report's roundup of trend-forward gray coats that double as the perfect winter dress.