9 Style Tips to Steal from Princess Diana

These timeless looks are fit for a princess.

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Two women in little black dresses
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You can’t go wrong with an LBD

Soon after Prince Charles confessed he’d been unfaithful to her in a 1994 interview, Princess Diana attended a Vanity Fair party in an off-the-shoulder little black dress, paired with black tights and a statement necklace. She looked so strikingly sexy that the outfit has gone down in history as her “revenge dress.” Even if you don’t need to get back at anyone, an LBD can give you a boost of confidence at a big event or on date night.

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Woman with choker
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Wear accessories creatively

Who says a necklace has to rest on your collarbone? Diana found unique ways to wear her jewelry. In 1985, she wore an emerald choker of Queen Mary’s around her head as a headband on one occasion and let a pearl necklace fall backward between her shoulders to accentuate a backless dress at another.

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Function can be stylish
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Function can be stylish

Crummy weather shouldn’t keep you from looking your best. In her pre-wedding photos with Prince Charles, Diana wore green Hunter rain boots. The brand has seen a surge in popularity again in recent years, probably because they’re classic, timeless, and durable.

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Shoulder gown
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Show a little shoulder (but just one)

Diana gravitated toward one-shoulder gowns that showed a little skin while staying modest. A bit of asymmetry adds visual interest to otherwise basic dresses.

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Red dress with sleeves
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Don’t be afraid of fads

Princess Diana was the queen of statement sleeves—a popular ’80s trend part of some of her most iconic looks. The gravity-defying poufy sleeves on her wedding dress and the shoulder pads she was drawn to might not be your top picks today, but you can still try experimenting with your own take on today’s fashion fads.

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Embrace femininity
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Embrace femininity

Diana wasn’t afraid to look like a girly girl, fully embracing her “princess” title. “At the beginning, her look was very ‘fairy tale princess.’ There were lots of bows and frills,” Kerry Taylor, whose auction house auctioned ten of Diana’s dresses in 2013, has said. “She was the embodiment of every little girl’s fantasy of what it meant to be a princess.”

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Pair casual with polished
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Pair casual with polished

Diana is known for her fancy dresses and gowns, but she could work a dressed-down look, too. At a Guards Polo Club in 1988, she threw a blazer over a sweatshirt and jeans for an outfit that was casual enough for the sport event, but with her stylish flair. Pair a full skirt with a T-shirt, or slip on sporty sneakers with a dainty dress.

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Go beyond black tights
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Go beyond plain black tights

Black stockings are a classic way to make an outfit more modest, but Diana pulled off unexpected twists on tights. At the 1985 Melbourne Cup, her black tights featured back seams that stretched through bow motif above the ankle, and on another occasion she went monochromatic by wearing blue tights with a blue skirt. Pick out tights with unexpected patterns or colours to add a fun element to a plain dress.

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Bring back old trends
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Bring back old trends

To visit her nation’s troops in 1995, Diana wore a pink skirt suit and pillbox hat à la Jackie O. Dig out a cool piece from another and pair it with more modern touches for a statement that looks retro-chic, not dated.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest

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