Every time Britain’s Princess Charlotte steps out in public, the 3-year-old stirs up a fashion frenzy around the world. In what has been dubbed the Charlotte effect, her clothes and shoes sell out in mere hours, as royal fans seek to emulate her look. Indeed, the young princess’s influence is projected to stimulate the British economy to the tune of $5 billion over her lifetime.
So it’s no surprise that classic dresses are trending in a big way in the children’s wear market. Charlotte is always seen wearing dresses — often smocked floral-print designs in short, baby doll silhouettes — during appearances with her famous family. According to industry experts, there is a very particular reason behind her love of frocks.
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British designer Rachel Riley, a favorite of the Windsor children, told The Telegraph that it’s all about creating a timeless fashion moment. “[Charlotte’s parents, Prince William and Kate Middleton,] have chosen a very traditional look and are a traditional family,” Riley explained.
“If they wear very simple things, it’s about the child, and it’s timeless in that you can’t really date a specific photo or put them in something that seems out of date. I think they are going for clothing that is classic and timeless, rather than clothes that draw attention to them.”
A look back through history shows that other young royal girls, among them Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice, wore similar smocked dresses. While there is no official royal dress code that prohibits Charlotte from wearing pants, dresses are simply the preferred clothing considering her age and royal status.
Behind palace doors, however, Charlotte likely wears pants for her private home life. When paparazzi cameras surreptitiously captured her playing in a London park in 2016, she was clad in a pair of red shorts — because even princesses should be able to let loose once in a while.
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