TODAY   |  July 05, 2011

Catherine’s style sense and sensibility

From festive fascinators to striking footwear, the “cost conscious” Duchess of Cambridge continues to dazzle during her recent trip to North America. Marie Claire’s Zanna Roberts Rassi breaks down Catherine’s thrifty good looks.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> back now at 8:09. with the world's newest fashion icon leading up to april's royal we'ding a lot of talk was over what kate will wear. two short months later that obsession has only grown during her first ever trip to north america . natalie is here with details. good morning once again.

>> good morning, ann. from her fest i fascinators to her striking food wear the duchess of cambridge is scoring high praise for her impeccable taste. with those dazzling dresses, this princess is making quite a splash. halfway through her first international trip to nrt america on lookers just can't get enough of her designer duds and style sense and sensibility . in glowing purple isa, in a sleeveless crepe by joseph, and she's even stylish in this everyday parka paddling on a wet prince edward island . crowds can't get enough. from the minute the couple landed in canada there was a frenzy to identify kate 's dress.

>> why did you want to be here?

>> because it's so exciting. alove kate middleton because of her fashion statement .

>> reporter: peaceful gesture to her host country the duchess chose not two dresses by canadian designer.

>> we grew up with the monarchy. they still mean a lot to us.

>> she always looks nice.

>> really excited.

>> reporter: princess catherine is scoring big points for being both fashionable and frugal, repeating several outfits so far. like this isa dress she wore on thursday. it's same one she wore the day before her wedding to prince william . on friday, canada day , kate wore this white reese dress with this hat, adding to the canadian patriotism. it's same dress she wore for an engagement photo. and then she wore a gray catherine walker , one of diana's favorite designers, on what could have been diana's 50th birthday. the old young are lining the streets to catch a glimpse of her.

>> these dresses, kate inspires?

>> definitely.

>> would you like to look like her when you're all grown up?

>> reporter: princess in a new role, newly minted in a world of pomp and circumstance , and poised to become an international style sensation. nbc news royal contributor spoke to peter alexander .

>> the monarchy is able to reconnect in canada because of william and kate . there's an interest in this beautiful young girl , almost like the jackie o. of this generation.

>> and of course kate will get to show off more dresses and her impeccable sense of style when she travels to america for the first time on friday. ann, we are counting down the days . and you better believe they're going to be watching her every move.

>> apparently we will. zanna roberts is fashion editor for " marie claire ." good morning. has she made any mistakes?

>> not that we've seen so far. she's made so many different statements but always looked impeccab impeccable.

>> and you say that she's been very smart about the designers she's chosen.

>> absolutely. it's kind of political. she chose to wear a canadian born designer brought up in the uk. the perfect crossover of the two words, if you like. she disembarked the plane wearing this gorgeous dress. she looked stunning. she had this new hairdo. this is the moment of this is the reveal, this is what is to come. maybe it's something to come she's going to start really going for all these more kind of high fashion designers.

>> meantime there's also a designer named gray catherine walker . the dress was gray, but catherine walker was designer. now, why was that an important choice?

>> that was almost a very subtle tribute to princess diana . it was one of princess diane that's favorite designer fps day she wore it would have been princess diana 's 50th birthday. it was a smart, subtle tribute to the late princess diana .

>> who knew. interesting point. natalie just mentioned was this idea that she's repeating some of her dresses. as if this is sort of something that wasn't done before. that's the point is that women in this position would not repeat dresses before?

>> no.

>> that was considered a faux pas before?

>> it was just not done as much. you know, you would repeat an amazing handbag, maybe princess di anna with the same bag but not wearing the same dress twice. for example, she's worn a reese dress, $400, she wore it on canada day with red pumps and then she wore it again, this is the exact dress she wore for her engagement photograph. so she's an everyday girl. she's been very cost conscious. she did with it the dress we just saw. she's -- tries really hard not to be too showy.

>> there also seems to be this kind of michelle obama kind of effect here.

>> absolutely, yeah.

>> whenever michelle -- the first lady steps out, that's what people are talking about, what she's wearing, beyond her policies. but the point is that this is a kind of thing that's happening here.

>> it's what we're known as kaitd effe kate effect, if you like. she can shift merchandise like none other right now. this weekend this weekend completely sold out in hours. you look at the dress she wore for her engagement, gone. the issa dress, the blue one, sold out in minutes. and they also launched thousands of knockoffs. so everybody has a version of this dress.

>> so, what is happening here? i mean, is this sort of -- kind of manipulated by a stylist so that these things can be sold or are what we really seeing a young woman who just simply has wonderful taste making great choices?

>> it's absolutely the latter. she doesn't have a stylist. she is being helped by personal shoppers at a couple of department stores , harvey nichols , hour, for this trip she refused to have a dresser. she said it would be a waste of money and she just brought her hairdresser instead. we can tell. but she had no budget for this trip and she's obviously just done it all herself.

>> maybe that's the real reason why it's such a winner is we're all sort of seeing something that seems authentic.

>> very genuine.

>> meantime, she's going to be heading to the united states . what is your prediction about what we'll see.

>> i'm hoping she's going to be wearing fabulous american designers. maybe because she's in l.a., maybe borne and bred l.a. designers. maybe some fabulous great designers like michael kors . let's hope. exciting.

>> sounds like there's going to be a few dresses sold out when she comes over.

>> absolutely.

>> thank you so much.

>> thank you.

>> and your good perspective on