By Rebecca Drew
THIS MUM didn’t want to look ‘STRESSED’ leaving the hospital after giving birth to twins so she took inspiration from Kate Middleton’s post-baby wardrobe and insists that you don’t need a high budget to dress like a Duchess.
When executive assistant manager, Ann-Kathrin Reichel (31) from Cloppenburg, Germany, was pregnant and gave birth to her twins in July last year, she wanted to look beautiful when she left the hospital and didn’t want to look like a stressed mum.
Ann-Kathrin had always admired the Duchess of Cambridge’s sense of style and remembered how well-dressed she was when she exited the Lindo Wing following the birth of her three children. She bought her first ‘repli-Kate’ dress of the yellow floral Jenny Packham number worn by the royal mum in May 2015 after Princess Charlotte was born.
Since then, Ann-Kathrin has made following the Duchess of Cambridge’s fashion choices her hobby and she has even started keeping track of the outfits Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, steps out in too.
In the past year, Ann-Kathrin, who is moving to Dublin, Ireland, later this month has replicated 60 royal outfits, which she spends between £20 to £90 on each, picking up the items from Zara, H&M and second-hand shops.
Incredible pictures show Ann-Kathrin in her own version of Meghan Markle’s Wimbledon 2018 look and her recognisable casual outfits, the white dress worn by Kate to the tennis championship this year and in the L.K. Bennett poppy print dress worn to Keech Hospice in 2016.
Ann-Kathrin sees Kate and Meghan as strong role models for the future generation, and she hopes to show that anyone can dress like a duchess on any budget.
“I started ‘repli-Kates’ after the birth of my twins, and I thought it would be nice to share some outfits with other people on Instagram, especially these, who have the same hobby. It is always nice to exchange with others, and to see their ‘repli-Kates’,” said Ann-Kathrin.
“When I gave birth to my twins last year, I wanted to look nice, when leaving the hospital. I didn’t want to look like a stressed mum. So, I bought my first ‘repli-Kate’ dress, because we all know, how well-dressed Kate was after giving birth to her children. And since then, it became a kind of a hobby.
“I’ve talked to a lot of people who didn’t like the way she appeared after giving birth. They said it was ‘unrealistic’ and ‘not true’. Of course, every mother knows how emotional and painful a birth can be. But as a new mother I wanted to feel good and pretty.
“I thought her appearance was great, for me it was a big inspiration. Kate gave me a lot of courage as a new mother that I could look nice again and be well dressed.
“I love her self-confidence. It is very important for a great look. I’m also a big fan of her recycled outfits. I love when she wears a dress a second or a third time. That shows she wears her clothes consciously.”
Ann-Kathrin shares her fashion finds on Instagram under the handle, @dupli_kate_, she went into detail about how she goes about copying both Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle’s style.
“Meghan often wears basics, that’s very easy to copy, because I own a lot of basic items,” she said.
“When I see an outfit, that I want to copy, I look at some fashion blogs, most of them find the outfits very quickly. Or I find clothes that look very similar to the original. It usually takes me a few days.
“Of course, there are still some outfits that I couldn’t copy yet, because I couldn’t find any matching clothes.
“Kate often wears clothes from Zara, that’s easy. Actually, most of the items I have are from second-hand shops, and I often find a matching garment at H&M. Rarely I order at online shops.
“Because I find a lot in second-hand shops, it is not too expensive. I would say, on average I spend around 25 to 100 euro per outfit.
“I love how they interact with people, I’m impressed by their social engagement. Kate and Meghan have shown me that strong women can create and achieve great things.
“I admire both of them for their calm, serene way of dealing with different kinds of people. For a young woman it is important to have strong role models.
“Fashion is important to feel good about yourself. You don’t need a high budget to dress like a duchess.”
For more information see www.instagram.com/dupli_kate_