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Pippa Middleton and that dress: Proper and provocative

Pippa Middleton at the royal wedding It's the kind of dress a groom and Grandma both could love. Pippa Middleton, subject of a special on TLC tonight, was thrust into the international style spotlight with an ivory, cowl-necked creation that skated along her curves at sister Kate's April wedding to Prince William. And, as reported with much hoopla, that dress is now going to be available to the masses.

Sister Kate looked lovely in satin and lace and a 1936 Cartier tiara, but she was arguably upstaged by the woman toting her train and wearing the deceptively simple dress created by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. Kate's dress also carried the Burton stamp.

Mass-market retailer Debenhams plans to sell copies of Pippa's maid-of-honor gown -- as a wedding dress -- for the equivalent of about $280 starting later this year.

But what is it about this dress that makes people want a carbon copy? Like the Middleton sisters, its allure may be rooted in its deceptive modesty. Both sisters manage to seem accessible and down to earth without losing their sex appeal.

Pippa, or Philippa Charlotte, is, at 27, one year younger than her sister. She works as a party organizer and started the online magazine the Party Times.

It might be daunting to wear nude hose and spark a buying spree, but Pippa Middleton seems to be warming up to the focus on her sartorial habits. On both sides of the pond, fans are wondering what Pippa will wear next.

For those who are fascinated by the duchess' little sister, TLC is airing an in-depth special, "Crazy for Pippa," at 9 p.m. Tuesday. 

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-- Amy Hubbard

Photo: Pippa Middleton, at the recent royal wedding, wearing the cowl-necked dress that is inspiring knock-offs. Credit: Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

 
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