How Princess Diana Influenced Fashion and Used Her Personal Style to Get What She Wanted

It’s hard to think of Princess Diana without thinking of her iconic style. Throughout her lifetime — and even now — Diana set the bar for personal style and wasn’t afraid to break the royal family’s style rules. As a result, she became one of the most influential fashion icons the world has ever seen. Discover how Princess Diana influenced fashion then and now, ahead.

How Princess Diana influenced fashion

Princess Diana was more than just a lover of fashion. She used her style to send a message, break the barrier, and ultimately carve out a path for herself that was unlike any other royal family member. From her sexy silhouettes to her eye for trends, Diana’s fashion was a product of her fun, youthful personality.

Although access to her clothing was not nearly as accessible as it is now (thank you, internet!), her style had a cult following — and still does. Even Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle incorporate their late mother-in-law’s sense of style into their own fashion choices. Here’s how Princess Diana influenced fashion and became a style icon of the century.

Princess Diana and Prince Charles

Princess Diana turned the queen’s necklace into a headband. | Mega News via YouTube

She was unconventional

One of the most memorable style things Princess Diana ever did was wear one of the queen’s necklaces as a headpiece. Princess Diana’s necklace headband was an emerald and diamond choker that she borrowed from the queen and wore to a formal event while visiting Australia with Prince Charles in 1985.

That wasn’t the only time the late princess turned a crown jewel into an unconventional accessory. She wore a velvet, diamond, and sapphire choker as a headband one year later in Tokyo.

Her fashion was ‘un-royal’

In many ways, Diana’s fashion choices were “un-royal.” She wore short skirts (by royal family standards), sleeveless dresses, bold prints, and wasn’t afraid to bare her cleavage and body in figure-flattering ensembles. The fashion world connected with her rebellious style choices, which inspired many designers and fashion-lovers alike.

She dressed with purpose

One of the most notable things about Princess Diana’s style was why she wore what she wore. While she did love trends, she didn’t see a purpose in wearing something that didn’t send a message — especially when it came to her charitable ventures. Diana was a humanitarian and used her fashion choices as a way to draw attention from the press. The more attention there was on Diana (and her style), the more attention there was on what she was doing.

She used fashion to empower

Diana didn’t just use her style to empower her charitable causes; she used it to empower herself, too. A great example of this is her “revenge dress.” On the day Prince Charles admitted to having an affair with Camilla Parker Bowles, Princess Diana wore an incredibly revealing (for a princess) and sexy black dress. Despite the news, Diana chose to rise above and wear an unforgettable number. While she might not have felt it on the inside, her confidence shined through that infamous black dress.

It was her ultimate tool

In a lot of ways, Diana gave fashion a whole new meaning for women. Not only did they draw inspiration from her boldness, they saw how she used it as a tool. From drawing attention to certain causes to breaking the rules, Diana let her fashion speak for herself.

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