Women Suddenly, Predictably Obsessed With Kate MiddletonS

Funny, when she was just Prince William's girlfriend, no one wanted to look like Kate Middleton. But now that she's going to be a princess, everything's different.

We've all heard about the selling-out of the Issa London dress Kate Middleton wore for the couple's on-camera announcement ("Never before have a few yards of jersey fabric proved so popular," says the New York Post), and the run on knockoffs of Princess Di's sapphire ring. Fair enough: that dress was flatteringly demure and hell, the ring's gorgeous.

But that was just the start. Kate may single-handedly (headedly?) pull a reverse JFK and bring back the hat.

"We're very excited about the announcement because we imagine it will introduce a new generation of women to wearing feathers, fascinators and hats," says Linda Pagan, spokesperson for New York-based Milliners Guild. "As we get closer to the wedding, we'll see people get into the mood. We are definitely expecting a bump. April is already our biggest month, but we're already looking forward to an even busier April," says Pagan, who also owns The Hat Shop in SoHo.

And, um, brown hair with bangs. "Since the news [of the royal engagement] dropped, we've had a lot of women coming in and asking for either her cut or rich color,"says one stylist. And that new vogue for tweed coats (which we could have sworn predated the engagement, but whatever)? Says the Post, "Kate's tweedy English country style has sparked a topcoat craze in the States." More verifiable, her favored coat designer Katherine Hooker has seen a major upswing in business.

One can only imagine the influence her wedding apparel will wield, although the phenomenon remains somewhat mysterious: Middleton dresses exactly the same way three weeks ago, and Hooker's sales were normal. Is it just increased visibility? These are all nice, basic, wearable styles. Or is it the sense, maybe even subconscious, that somehow, by wearing these same things, an aura of glamor can surround us too? Can a run on prince-attracting see-through runway frocks be far behind?

The Copy Kates [NY Post]