It’s currently Women’s History Month and we’ve just celebrated International Women’s Day 2018. In honor of these two important events, we’re exploring one of the most iconic women of all time, Princess Diana. The British royal family member was famous for how she used her wardrobe as a way to empower and express herself.
Despite making many bold fashion choices, her sense of style never overpowered her amazing character, which always took center stage. The epitome of grace, she always came across as the most down-to-earth member of royalty. She changed the impression that royals were aloof and snooty. She redefined how people saw ‘classy’ by coupling it with genuine care for people from all walks of life.
Diana: A Style Icon
Diana is an icon for many reasons, and women all over the world look up to her. No matter what she faced, she instinctively knew how to put her best foot forward. Be that it the face of scandal, while crowded by ruthless paparazzi, or behind closed doors.
Diana often used her style to denote her emotion, mood and taste. While meeting with sick children or strolling through fields of potential landmines, she dressed down. She dressed humbly, but still ever so-chic. She never desired to flaunt her wealth, particularly when it would be in bad taste.
The Princess of Wales had a flare for adventure when approaching evening wear. As she often had to attend dressy black tie events, she took the opportunity to truly shine. She chose unconventional evening dresses that were on the cusp of fashion. Her dress selections were often thought of as very daring. They were unusually fashion-forward for a member of the royal family. Queens and princesses were previously known for wearing a very particular style that often didn’t follow trends or acknowledge the fashion world.
Following her fashion evolution from the time she became a member of the royal family, you can see her style completely change. This reflected a change within herself. As she grew more confident, she declined to follow the status quo. This is particularly evident following her split from Prince Charles. As the end of her marriage became public news, she put on an incredibly brave face.
Her bravery was echoed in her fashion choices. As she stepped out as a single woman, she showed her renewed confidence in herself. This was particularly on display right after her marriage fell apart. She attended the Serpentine Gallery’s summer party in 1994, clad in an off-the-shoulder black dress. This featured a sweetheart neckline and short length. This design was racy and daring. Her confidence shone through.
It was a huge power move by Diana. She showed that she wasn’t afraid of the news surrounding her marriage. She looked absolutely radiant and empowered, finally finding herself as she became free from a relationship that she clearly found difficult. With her feathered short hair and wearing a pearl choker necklace, she reaffirmed that she was proud, beautiful and unafraid of the future.
Diana’s Evening Dress Style
Even during her marriage to Charles, Diana’s fashion sense always made headlines. She often chose shorter dresses due to her height. This were often regarded as big fashion risks, but she always appeared graceful and elegant.
This included many beautiful one-shoulder gowns that were fitted and bright. She often selected striking color choices such as blue, red and green. She teamed these with midi heels, some over-sized jewels and often experimental makeup. She was famous for wearing a daring smoky eye, often composed with blue eye-shadow.
For formal occasions, she would also often choose very floaty gowns. This transitioned over the years to become a more fitted look that showed off her figure. From frills to polka dots, Diana made every look her own, complete with her signature haircut.
Diana’s Party Dress Style
When attending less formal events, Diana’s party style was just as effortless and unique. She changed her look frequently, experimenting with minimal block colors and clashing prints. She often wore tailored suit looks for casual events. These were also a part of her off-duty style. She could regularly be seen out shopping in one of these tailored looks. These comprised of belted suit jackets and matching pencil skirts. This created a strong tailored look that was unapologetic in its masculine style. However, they were balanced by opting for soft, girly pastel tones such as baby blue or lilac.
As the years went by, Diana’s dresses became shorter and more fashion-forward. She regularly wore party designs with off-the-shoulder or sweetheart shaped necklines, adding a romantic feel to her outfit. Her jewels were another important part of her look. She loved to make a big statement by adding amazing necklaces or earrings to a very simple, streamline dress or gown.
If she was wearing a simple LBD cocktail dress, she would give it a personalized twist by adding dramatic chandelier earrings and a unique clutch bag. She always wore a small heel but often opted for pointed patent heels.
During her life, many women idolized the princess, not just for her style, but her courage, compassion and pride. When she tragically died, the shock and sadness was felt worldwide. Her iconic status will never fade, and her style remains forever a part of history. Her story and her style gave us all something we could aspire to be.