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The Duchess of Cambridge delivers a masterclass in taking summer style into September 

Duchess of Cambridge
The Duchess of Cambridge wore a floral shirt-dress by Emilia Wickstead for the opening of an RHS garden in Wisley, Surrey Credit: Chris Jackson Collection

Florals are not just for spring. That was the message from the Duchess of Cambridge on Tuesday when she made an appearance in Wisley, Surrey, for the opening of the Royal Horticultural Society's Back to Nature garden.

The 37-year-old mother-of-three, who also worked with the RHS on a children's garden for the Chelsea Flower Show, almost has a fashion formula for this kind of occasion now: printed midi dress, check. Espadrille wedges, check. Delicate earrings, check. 

Kate has a fashion formula for kid-friendly outdoor engagements now Credit: PA

The dress in question was a new acquisition from one of her favourite designers, Emilia Wickstead. The £1,635 Aurora design has already almost sold out at Net-a-Porter, proving that the 'Kate effect' is still very much a thing.

The dress is distinctly summery in style - with its floral print and pale Swiss-dot cotton-blend seersucker fabric - but with long sleeves - necessary given that temperatures have dropped in recent weeks. 

Kate seemed determined to stick to a summer aesthetic though, choosing not to wear a jacket and teaming the dress with rope-soled shoes. Of course, we know she loves an espadrille - but while she's been wearing a Castaner pair for much of the summer, she teamed Tuesday's dress with a different pump-style wedge in understated taupe. 

The light summer tan and freshly highlighted hair she debuted when dropping Prince George and Princess Charlotte for their first day of school at Thomas's Battersea on Thursday, were still very much in evidence as she was given a tour of the garden. She could also be seen talking to children as they played in a sandpit, had their faces painted and piled into a large basket-style swing.

Kate has long been a fan of Emilia Wickstead's designs Credit:  Chris Jackson Collection

The Duchess is known to be fan of Emilia Wickstead's designs. She wore a pale blue dress by the New Zealand-born, London-based designer for the Wimbledon men's finals in July and a forest green shift for a visit to the Anna Freud National Centre for Families and Children back in May. 

But her relationship with the designer goes back far longer. Kate wore custom pieces by Wickstead for formal engagements while pregnant with Prince George. It's one of the few labels that she's continued to wear since working with style consultant and Daily Telegraph columnist Virginia Chadwyck-Healey, the woman behind the Duchess's more fashion-forward aesthetic over the past year.

But while the rest of us are trading sandals for boots and floral frocks for more autumnal prints and hues, Kate seems to have her heart set on staying in summer. 

And why shouldn't she? After all, the outlook (at least in terms of fashion) seems rosy.