There will never be another royal like the late Princess Diana. Even by today’s royal standards. Princess Diana left a legacy beyond her fashion sense and individual style. She was unique in more ways than one. Her keen sense of fashion and attention to detail epitomized the 1980s aesthetic. The wonderful princess’s stylish moments didn’t begin when she joined the royal family. She was stylish much before that. Many people noticed it, but because she wasn’t all that famous, didn’t capitalize on it.
Princess Diana’s best looks were trendsetting style statements. She was as colorful in life as she was in fashion. The princess was also open to experimenting with different styles, and she was daring enough to go out in clothes that people saw for the very first time. Diana, the Princess of Wales was known and still is known, for her beautiful gowns. This includes her wedding gown with a 25-foot long train. The late royal was a philanthropist, kind, a loving mother, and a style icon in the true sense.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Princess Diana’s best looks consisted of elegant, bright and daring styles that are the rage to this day. Besides her dress sense, her hairdos throughout the decades were copied to the last lock. Her hats always matched her dresses, but complimented them creatively. Her casual, easy style was always evident, even in the most glamorous styles. If you want to make a Princess Diana style statement, you only have to read on to relive some of her finest fashion moments. She had many because she was always so well turned out through the years.
A young Diana
In 1969, Lady Diana Spencer was caught on camera as a little girl in a red dress. Even at that tender age, the dress was matched with a red headband. A few years later, she was photographed in a black wide-brim hat on a family vacation to Sussex.
Lady Diana had gutsy class even before her royal days. In 1980, she posed in a see-through sheer skirt with two children at a nursery. She worked as a teacher’s assistant. She teamed the skirt with a purple vested sweater. In the same year, Lady Diana’s style became more definitive, as she was photographed outside her flat in London. She wore a collared shirt in blue under a white sweater with black trousers. Her accessory was a matching chequered tote. Sometimes in the camera’s lens, especially after the announcement of her marriage to Prince Charles, she was seen wearing chic blazers while shopping.
Who can forget the picture of Charles and Di on the day of their engagement announcement at Buckingham Palace? We can’t forget the sapphire ring either. In this memorable picture, Lady Di’s fashion sense seemed to be evolving in the best way. She wore a blue skirt with an identically colored blue jacket. Underneath was a white blouse with a neck sash bow tie. She held a black clutch.
Before the royal wedding
At a number of events, while Prince Charles and the soon-to-be princess were engaged, Lady Diana appeared to be coming into her own with her choice of day dresses and gowns. In 1981, she stunned everyone in a taffeta gown of black, designed by the Emanuel duo. Her accessories were simple diamonds, including a diamond tennis bracelet. She was attending the first of many fund-raising events. In the same year, on a walk about at Broadlands, she looked the perfect princess in an emerald green outfit with a white ruffled neck front. In July, 1981, Diana’s style went casual at a polo match. She sported light yellow overalls with orange espadrilles.
The wedding gown
One of Princess Diana’s best looks was exposed to the world on the day she married the Prince of Wales. On 29 July 1981, she was breathtaking in a magnificent gown designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel. The gown’s outstanding feature was its 35-foot-long train, the longest in royal wedding history.
After the wedding
In August 1981, Princess Di’s fashion flair was at one of its best moment moments, when she left for her honeymoon. She wore a wrap dress in a floral print by the designer Donald Campbell. A white long coat was draped elegantly around her shoulders. She accessorized this with one of her signature pearl chokers. In the same month, Diana’s style was on show once more. This time, she was in a classic tweed suit, designed by Bill Pashly. Her cream colored flats were made by a cobbler from Chelsea.
The beautiful gowns
At the end of 1981, Princess Diana stepped out in regal panache with her much-talked-about evening gowns. She wore a purple sheer gown at the Victoria and Albert Museum event. Then, within a month of that, she came out in a deep velvet blue number, the picture of grace. In March 1982, while pregnant with Prince William, she wore a red satin gown with bell sleeves. Considering her pregnancy, she matched the gown with silver ballet flats, showing her thoughtfulness. The dress was by David Sassoon.
Dressing to shock
Princess Diana’s best looks were planned to shock at times. She was brave when it came to fashion, defying standards. She didn’t imitate, others imitated her, and without much success. In 1983, she wore a sheer skirt by Jasper Conran on an official trip to Canada. You could see the silhouette of her legs through the material. This was much talked about then, but also admired. In 1983, she wore a turquoise blue ruffled sleeve evening dress to a dinner in New Brunswick. People were in awe of her fashion looks being so dynamic. She loved to wear full skirts or slim skirts with cinched waist belts. This showed off her enviable figure flatteringly.
Whenever the royal couple were on tour, the local people craved to see what Princess Diana’s best looks would be like. On a tour to Australia, she wore a yellow summer dress with flat white pumps. She loved sailor collars and wore those on a number of trips abroad and while in England. She has worn sailor collars in Canada and Australia.
The rest of the 80s, saw the evolution of the fashionista in Princess Diana. In 1984 and in 1985, the Princess favored a lot of metallic colored evening gowns in rich satin and silks. Bruce Oldfield always remained her favorite till the very end. Belleville Sassoon and the slim lines of Catherine Walker defined her daywear. Princess Di’s style was never predictable. After wearing a row of figure-hugging outfits, she would wear a flouncy dress.
In 1985, on a trip to Italy, she wore a blue and black evening dress by Jacques Azagury. The combination of colors was unique, but the Princess looked fabulous. The next day in Florence, she wore a long-skirted slim white suit with a single contrasting black bow tie. She has worn blends of purple and pink, going for bold statements.
The trip to America
In 1985, the Princess of Wales wore a navy blue evening gown as she posed for a state dinner picture with then First Lady Nancy Reagan. The gown was an off-the-shoulder dress. She made headlines as she danced in it with John Travolta. The dress was an instant hit overnight.
The People’s Princess
Why people loved Princess Diana was because she was a person with genuine empathy. For instance, on state visits abroad, she would dress in local national garments. In 1986, she wore a kimono in Japan. She touched people all over the world that way, with her inimitable attitude and “Princess Diana style”. In 1989, she wore a long Arabic robe on a trip to Kuwait.
She created her own rules in fashion. This spoke a lot about her as a person too. She adored her children. In 1987, she wore a pale blue coat and Prince William wore a matching one, to an Easter church service.
The late 80s and early 90s
At this period, the Princess wore a great amount of off-shoulder and strapless evening wear. On a trip to Thailand in 1988, she wore a one-shoulder red and purple gown and carried it off with pizzazz. She also wore a lot of white gowns, but offset them with splashes of color regularly. She experimented with all kinds of material from velvet to silk to linen. She loved sequins and laces and all kinds of tiaras and headbands for nights out. Her white beaded gown that she wore on a trip to Hong Kong is legendary. She had fun with her clothes.
In the 90s, she chose a more sophisticated style. This became the typical emblem of Princess Diana’s best looks. For day wear, skirts were not so long and flouncy, but more fitted and sleek. There was the odd burst of a long skirt when the fancy took her. Skirt lengths also became a wee bit shorter, and that indicated courage for a royal.
She still adored Bruce Oldfield and Catherine Walker as designers, but started to wear clothes by Victor Edelstein too. Towards the late 90s, Diana’s style reached new heights of boldness.
The “Revenge Dress”
The off-shoulder black dress was a “little black dress” that Princess Diana wore in 1994. When people saw her in it, their jaws dropped. She still was radiance and glamour personified, but by royal conservative standards, this was not a suitable dress. After she and Prince Charles had separated in 1991, she herself was about to reveal certain secrets about her personal life.
Nonetheless, the dress was called the “revenge dress” as it was worn the same night that Prince Charles was going to reveal his relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles. In a run-up to wearing this dress, Princess Diana had already worn some pretty provocative dresses, one with halter necks and very short hemlines. Whatever she wore, at whatever time in her life, she will remain an icon, not only because of her fashion sense. She was the embodiment of every woman’s ideal.