ROYAL WEDDING GLAMOUR: ON A MODEST BUDGET

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Q. I'm getting married in September. I absolutely love what Kate Middleton wore but I don't have a royal budget! What should I go for?

A. CREATING the perfect wedding dress is all about the fabric – you want to look elegant and slightly regal but remain natural and comfortable so a fluid material with an element of structure should be your starting point to getting the look affordably. A slightly boned bodice with a stretchy fabric will give you Kate's tiny waist but you'll still be able to breathe (and perhaps eat a slice of wedding cake!).

Getting the proportions right to make the most of your figure is critical. Kate's narrow middle was accentuated by the fitted bodice. The skirt had some body but kicked out from below her natural waist, almost on her hips so there was no bulk at her smallest point. If you are evenly proportioned a more fitted style with a fishtail kick is also sexy but stylish.

Lace worked beautifully on Kate’s shoulders but can be dangerously expensive to emulate as unless you have the most exquisitely ornate handmade version it can go horribly doily-esque. A great cover-up like the bolero style jacket Kate had for her reception could be an alternative. (Under no circumstances should you attempt to use a pashmina or wrap – it will only look messy and detract from the dress.)

The smartest thing Kate did was to remain true to her personal style and play on her best features – she emphasized her neat waist and kept her hair close to the way she feels best with, rather than overstylised. Follow her lead and make the most of your own. Find the right style without spending the earth by having it made by your local tailor based on images and fit directly to your body.