Did Kate Middleton Break a Winter Fashion 'Rule' by Wearing Tartan After Christmas?

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Stephanie Petit
·2 min read
Did Kate Middleton Break a Winter Fashion 'Rule' by Wearing Tartan After Christmas?
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Expert on Everything Kate Middleton Has Worn Explains Her 'Classic' Style & How It Evolves

Susan E. Kelley is the founder of WhatKateWore.com, one of the most extensive online fashion archives for everything the Duchess of Cambridge has worn

Kate Middleton is known for her classic style, but did her latest ensemble push fashion guidelines?

Kate and Prince William sent a message to hospital staff at NHS Tayside thanking them for their work and wishing them well on Burns Night, Scotland's celebration of poet Robert Burns. The royal mom appeared in the video message sporting a red tartan dress by Emilia Wickstead — despite the widely accepted practice in the style world to avoid wearing plaid outside the month of December.

"It's an unwritten style rule that red, tartan plaids are reserved for the holiday season. Kate's look feels more 'Christmas card' ready and less 'January Zoom' appropriate," says PEOPLE's Senior Style Editor Brittany Talarico.

Kensington Palace/NHS Tayside Prince William and Kate Middleton

"However, just like white after Labor Day, 'style rules' are made to broken," she adds. "And seeing how cheerful the print looks, Kate's commitment to plaid might just start a fashion revolution. Now, can we talk about her straight, shiny hair?"

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It's likely that Kate opted to wear the dress — which she also sported to the Queen's Buckingham Palace Christmas lunch in 2019 — as the pattern is closely associated with Scotland. In fact, the Duchess of Cambridge often incorporates tartan into her wardrobe when visiting the country. In December, she sported a tartan scarf that hinted that the couple's first stop on their train tour of the U.K. was Edinburgh, Scotland.

Kate, who celebrated her 39th birthday earlier this month, once again rocked her new hair look: instead of her usual bouncy blowout, she sported a sleek, straight style that showed just how long her locks really are.

The royal debuted her straight hair last week during a check in with a group of nurses at the U.K. hospital where the world's first COVID-19 vaccine was delivered to Margaret Keenan in December

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Burns Night is celebrated on January 25, the anniversary of the composer's 1759 birth. A Burns Supper of traditional Scottish dishes such as haggis, neeps and tatties — usually accompanied by plenty of whiskey — is served before Burns' poems and songs are recited. The night ends with guests joining hands and singing "Auld Lang Syne," according to VisitScotland.com.