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Why is everyone talking about Liz Truss’s red dress?

Karen Millen Dress
The Princess of Wales, prime minister Liz Truss and reality TV star Georgia "Toff" Toffolo were all spotted wearing the same style dress this week. (Getty Images)

During a visit to the maternity unit at the Royal Surrey County Hospital on 5 October, Kate, Princess of Wales stepped out in a mustard ochre yellow midi dress, with a belted waist and pleated skirt detailing, from high-street brand Karen Millen. She accessorised with black court shoes, a black suede clutch and gold earrings, accompanied by her usual perfectly blow-dried curls.

Named the Structured Crepe Forever Pleat Belted Midi Dress, it's currently available to buy online for £175.20, having been reduced from £219. While The Kate Effect means it's flying off hangers, there is still some stock left in white, bluebell, black, blue and blush.

However, it's not just the Princess of Wales who is a fan, newly appointed prime minister Liz Truss was also seen wearing a similar style dress in a rust brown at the Conservative Party Conference 2022 in Birmingham on the same day as Kate.

But what makes this dress so great - and what's the swirling controversy about? Allow us to explain...

The Princess of Wales and Liz Truss dress explained in 9 points...

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Shop Kate's dress

On 5 October, Kate donned the ochre yellow Karen Millen dress to visit the maternity unit at the Royal Surrey County Hospital in her first solo royal engagement since the Queen's death. She spoke to staff and patients about how the hospital provides support to pregnant women and new mothers.

(Getty)
(Getty Images)

Later that same day, prime minister Liz Truss walked on stage to the tune of Moving On Up by M People at the Conservative Party Conference 2022 in Birmingham, wearing a similar style in a rust brown shade.

(Getty)
(Getty Images)

Made in Chelsea star Georgia "Toff" Toffolo was then photographed at the Conservative Party Conference with former prime minister Boris Johnson's father, Stanley Johnson, wearing a similar style, in white with a heart belt.

Toffolo then shared a video of her in the dress on Twitter on 6 October, claiming to have worn it during filming for an upcoming project on Monday 4 October. She also referenced a conspiracy sparked by screenwriter Russell T Davies, who pointed out the similarity between Truss's dress and one worn by a fascist prime minister character in his 2019 dystopian drama, Years and Years.

Karen Millen
(Karen Millen)

Despite Kate's dress in ochre yellow since selling out, Karen Millen still has the dress in stock in some sizes in white, bluebell, black, blue and blush. Reduced from £219 to £175.20, the Structured Crepe Forever Pleat Belted Midi Dress is smart, stylish and perfect for work.

Karen Millen
(Karen Millen)

Karen Millen also offers a similar dress with a shorter hemline, in a form-fitting design with no pleating but a built-in belt. It's on offer too, reduced from £225 to £180 and is still available in sizes six to 16 across red, black, pink and rust brown.

Karen Millen
(Karen Millen)

Kate's dress has proven to be a popular style for Karen Millen, who also sells a Long Sleeve Pleated Figure Form Crepe Mini Dress, reduced from £135 to £108. It has the same pleated skirt and belted waist, with added long sleeves and a rounded neckline. This would also be suitable for the office and in winter we'd pair it with tights and boots.

ASOS DESIGN dobby twist front pleated midi dress in yellow
(Asos)

If you are as obsessed with the yellow shade of Kate's dress as we are, ASOS has embraced the summery hue with its ASOS DESIGN dobby twist front pleated midi dress in yellow, for £52. It has a deep v-neckline, long sleeves and a pleated A-line skirt.

Coast
(Coast)

Keeping with the colourful tailored theme of Kate's dress is this style from Coast. Its Tuxedo Wrap Front Full Skirt Midi Dress is on offer too, discounted from £199 to £159.20. The wrap front mimics a blazer and the midi length means it's still an easy-to-throw-on piece for the office. While size 14 is currently sold out, it's available in sizes eight to 18.