WHAT WILL KATE WEAR?: When the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge hit New York next week, it’s likely that much of the buzz will be around what Kate — who is around five months’ pregnant with the couple’s second child — chooses to wear over the three-day trip. During the visit, Kate’s engagements run from the worthy — a visit to a child development center — to the glam, as in an event celebrating British talent in the creative industries and a dinner for the 600th anniversary of St. Andrews University, the Cambridges’ alma mater, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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But no matter how high-octane the occasion, Kate is unlikely to opt for directional maternity looks, à la Kim Kardashian at the Met Ball. During her last pregnancy, the duchess stuck to a wardrobe of simple, flattering designs — many of which weren’t even maternitywear. They included swingy, A-line coats by Alexander McQueen and Mulberry, an Emilia Wickstead Empire-line dress, Erdem shift dresses and Max Mara wrap dresses. And during the early stages of her second pregnancy, Kate has worn similarly unfussy pieces, such as a Temperley London black cobweb knit dress, which she donned for a London gala, and a black Diane Von Furstenberg gown with lace sleeves, which she wore last month to London’s Royal Variety Performance fund-raiser. Meanwhile, a powder-blue Jenny Packham gown was the choice for an awards ceremony in October.

This story first appeared in the December 5, 2014 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Another factor that’s likely to influence the duchess’ wardrobe? During royal tours, she’s tended to make a diplomatic nod to the host country with some rather literal sartorial choices. On a trip to Canada, she wore a red hat with a maple-leaf motif, while, in Singapore, she wore a Jenny Packham dress embroidered with orchids, the country’s national flower. Also during the Singapore visit, she wore a dress by Prabal Gurung, who was born in the country. So, it’s likely that along with a dash of red, white and blue, some U.S. designers may well feature in Kate’s New York costume changes. Hello, Ralph Lauren?

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