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Styling Tips 

Remembering Princess Diana's Fashion Legacy

Queen of '80s style.

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Thanks to the Michelle Obamas of the world, we’re all familiar with the language of power-dressing and the way this fashion lexicon is interpreted differently from woman to woman: whether we're talking Duchess Kate Middleton’s modern-princess A-line dresses or First Lady Brigitte Macron’s elegant and eye-catching French-girl staples. But before the reign of 21st Century, social-media-savvy royalty and politicians, we were already enamored by one of their iconic predecessors: a princess as beloved for her exceptional style as for her warmth, free-spiritedness and care for those in need.
 
Twenty years may have elapsed since Princess Diana’s passing, but the legacy the “Queen of Hearts” left behind – inseparable from her stunning sartorial moves – remain with us to this very day. Although she began her reign as a shy 20-year-old newly-wed with a penchant for romantic ruffles and preppy Sloane Ranger ensembles, she quickly came into her own. Throughout her 16 years in public life, she fashioned her role as “the people’s princess,” as well as an iconic personal style that managed to toe the line of royal respectability while breaking down archaic boundaries – for example, she abandoned the classic white glove, preferring instead to have direct physical contact with the people she met – a practice that shocked the public when she shook hands with patients suffering from AIDS or leprosy. She combined her daring aesthetic sensibility and fierce individualism to create her own iconic look, the kind of princess who would show up to a movie premiere in a sequined showstopper one night, and rock trousers to a formal soirée the next.
 
Other royals may have ascended to the throne, but no one can fill the shoes (or more precisely, the pumps) of Lady Di. To celebrate her memory, we’re taking a look back at the most photographed women of the 20th Century to see if we can’t pick up a few of her styling tips for today:

On-duty


The pressures of representing the British monarchy must not have been easy to bear, but Diana mastered the game by using her fashion choices to communicate whatever message she wanted to send. She knew when to keep it traditional in a two-piece suit (while elevating the outfit with carefully-chosen details) and when to go full-on glamour in a sexy, shoulder-bearing ensemble. And in a practice now considered standard for political figures, she made the effort to incorporate a country’s national colors or emblems into her outfits when invited for diplomatic visits. If you have a formal event coming up, a daring twist on the LBD or a fiery but elegant red-on-red ensemble will be sure to make a statement worthy of the princess. But if it’s the formality of an office dress code that you have to endure, take a leaf from Diana’s book and rock a pussybow blouse à la Gucci or a colorful pantsuit – who says that covered-up has to mean boring?

Image: Topshop.com

Image: Smoda.elpais.com

Image: Telegraph.co.uk
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Eloquii Tie Neck Peplum Blazer - $130
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Eloquii Pleat Detail Bow Blouse - $65
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Eloquii Belt Front Blazer - $120
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Dolce & Gabbana Planetarium Rose-print silk-chiffon blouse - $935
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John Zack Petite Off Shoulder Ruffle Midi Dress - $60
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Eloquii Cold Shoulder Scoop Back Dress - $111
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Bardot Bella Velvet Off the Shoulder Dress - $119
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Carolina Herrera Plaid Peplum Blazer - $2,825
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Reformation Moxie Dress - $218
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Modcloth So Sixties A-Line Dress in Scarlet - $80
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Off-duty


Diana was never completely out of the public eye, but the outfits she wore when she wasn’t attending a James Bond premiere or waltzing with John Travolta at a White House gala reflects the kind of relaxed, modern elegance that one would expect from a princess with her personality. From the stunning white dress she wore to a concert in Italy (that would give Kate Moss’ slip dresses a run for their money) to her chic mom-jeans-and-loafers combo, her off-duty looks exemplify that simple and streamlined nonchalance that predates our favorite Instagram It-girls. For a timeless look that feels both fashion-forward and casual-girl-next-door, try pairing a minimalist shift or slip dress with a low heel, such as a pair of mules or velvet slides. If you want the perfect Oxford-here-I-come look, you can’t go wrong with a slightly oversized blazer with a comfy sweater and jeans, just make sure to clinch your waist with a belt to give your figure definition. And the perfect weekend top? A striped silk blouse. We're the first to admit that we didn't realize how chic a bold pattern could be until Lady Di showed us the way. 

Image: Dianaspot.tumblr.com

Image: Vogue.com

Image: Patrasevents.gr
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Reformation Tortoise Dress - $218
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Eloquii 3D Lace Fit and Flare Dress - $140
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Urban Outfitters Ghospell Alchemy Double-Breasted Blazer - $119
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Selected Foxy Lux Pinstripe Wool Blend Long Blazer - $95
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Urban Outfitters Cooperative Sofia Tulip-Sleeve Sweater - $59
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ASOS Curve High Waist Slim Mom Jeans in Cynthia London Blue - $56
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H&M Vintage High Cropped Jeans - $40
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Topshop Liberty Pinstud Loafers - $48
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Eloquii One Shoulder Tie Waist Dress - $120
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Gerard Darel Casey Striped Shirt - $118
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Cover image: Smoda.elpais.com
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