Here's Why Princess Charlotte Always Wears Dresses

Princess Charlotte always wears dresses. Here's why the young princess is never photographed in pants.

Child, Clothing, Toddler, Dress, Footwear, Design, Pattern, Pattern, Child model, Shoe,
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Members of the royal family live by a lot of rules and not-technically-rules that stem from centuries of tradition. These rules and traditions dictate what they can eat (opens in new tab)what games they can play (opens in new tab), and sometimes what they can wear in public.

Prince George is famously only allowed to wear shorts (opens in new tab) in public and Meghan Markle was reportedly banned from wearing a tuxedo (opens in new tab) during her upcoming trip to Australia. As anyone who follows the royal family's fashion sense even a little knows, Princess Charlotte also has a very distinct style.

That style, in case you somehow haven't noticed, is a knee-length baby doll dress, usually in shades of pink and light blue and often with an adorable floral pattern.

Exhibit A:

The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Visit Germany - Day 1

(Image credit: Karwai Tang)

Exhibit B:

BRITAIN-ROYALS

(Image credit: DOMINIC LIPINSKI)

Exhibit C:

Maserati Royal Charity Polo Trophy

(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo)

Sometimes, weather-permitting, Charlotte will accessorize with a matching cardigan.

2016 Royal Tour To Canada Of The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge - Victoria

(Image credit: Chris Jackson)

The Duke & Duchess Of Cambridge Depart The Lindo Wing With Their New Baby Boy - April 23, 2018

(Image credit: Neil Mockford)

2016 Royal Tour To Canada Of The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge - Victoria, British Columbia

(Image credit: Samir Hussein)

So what's behind Charlotte's signature style? A strict royal mandate? Kate Middleton's personal preference? Tradition, most likely.

"If you look at photos of young royal girls – from Princess Anne to Charlotte, you will notice that they tend to wear smocked dresses as little girls when they are in public with their parents," royal expert and Royal Musings (opens in new tab) blog founder Marlene Koenig told Harper's Bazaar (opens in new tab) of Charlotte's look.

It's important to note, however, that there is no hard and fast rule that says Charotte can't wear pants in public.

"There are no rules about no pants," Koenig said. "If the Duchess is in a dress in public and Charlotte is with her, most likely Charlotte, at this age, will be in a dress – also in formal portraits, or on the balcony for the Trooping of the Colour (opens in new tab)."

In fact, Charlotte was once photographed wearing shorts (opens in new tab) while playing with her big brother, George. Because the photos weren't taken during an official public appearance, tradition presumably didn't take precedence. Koenig suspects this is pretty typical for private playtime for Charlotte.

"I expect that when the kids are at home, playing in the nursery or in the backyard, they are wearing more casual clothes," Koenig explained.

Since Charlotte already has an established history of wearing George's hand-me-downs (opens in new tab), maybe we'll see her in some his adorable shorts someday. Fingers crossed.

Kayleigh Roberts
Weekend Editor

Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.