Princess Diana fashion: The top 20 style moments of the People’s Princess

princess diana and prince charles wedding

Princess Diana in her fairytale wedding in 1981
1) The Wedding

It may have been of its time, but Lady Diana Spencer’s fairytale wedding dress in 1981 delighted royal fans.

The full silk taffeta gown with 25ft train by David and Elizabeth Emanuel had romantic billowing sleeves and was trimmed with bows and lace flounces, and the bride’s ivory silk tulle featured 10,000 mother-of-pearl sequins.

2) The Honeymoon Tweed Suit

For a honeymoon picture on the Balmoral estate in Scotland in August 1981, Charles wore his kilt and Diana – looking like a newlywed in love – rocked a casual, brown tweed wool day suit by Bill Pashley.

3) Polka-dots

On a tour of Canada in 1983, Diana matched the colours of the Canadian flag in a white dress with red polka-dots, a red jacket with large curved collar and white hat edged in red.

Spots were a go-to choice for the Princess, including the green and white polka-dot dress she wore on the steps on the Lindo wing after the birth of Prince William. The Duchess of Cambridge echoed the look in a blue spotty shift dress after the birth of Prince George.

4) Bow Tie Di

Imagine the Queen in a tuxedo? Diana turned the tables on royal wear when, on occasion, she ditched princess dresses for a sharp tuxedo.

In 1985, she surprised her fashion fans when she stepped out in a white dinner jacket, black trousers and silk, black bow tie to see the band Genesis perform a charity gig in Birmingham.

5) Dynasty Diana

Diana was dubbed Dynasty Di – after the 1980s’ glitzy American soap opera – for her love of over-sized shoulder pads and glamorous gowns.

In 1985 at a charity fashion show, she wore a shimmering silver pleated floor-length, wide-shouldered Bruce Oldfield gown with a daring cut-away back – and perfected the look with big blow dried hair – to meet Dynasty star Joan Collins.

6) Eighties’ style.

It was the mid 1980s and Diana made the most of the decade’s penchant for bows and flounces. On a tour of Italy in 1985, she wore a Jacques Azagury dress featuring an over-sized black velvet top half decorated with blue stars and royal blue layered organza skirt tied with a low bow.

Princess Diana on tour of Canada in 1983

Princess Diana on tour of Canada in 1983
7) The Travolta Dress

When Diana took to the dance floor with actor John Travolta during a state banquet given by President Ronald Reagan in 1985, it was in a midnight-blue off the shoulder, velvet gown by Victor Edelstein.

One of the Princess’s most famous dresses, it was the star attraction when Diana auctioned off scores of her outfits for charity in 1997, and went for the highest price of £120,301. It was sold again at auction four years ago for £240,000.

8) The Elvis Dress

Catherine Walker’s long, white silk strapless dress encrusted with pearls and sequins, with a matching bolero jacket was worn by the Princess in 1989 to the British Fashion Awards in London and on an official visit to Hong Kong.

Diana called it her Elvis dress and the high upturned collar accentuated her height.

Princess Diana visits India in 1992

9) Asymmetric

Diana favoured the asymmetric look – in particular a floor-length Catherine Walker pink sequinned ivory crepe gown with one covered shoulder and one long sleeve which was worn at a state banquet in Brazil and the Stepping Out movie premiere in 1991.

10) Clashing Colours at the Taj Mahal

It was 1992 and the Princess – her troubled marriage in tatters – posed alone outside the monument to love, the Taj Mahal in India.

Contrasting against the ivory white marble mausoleum, Diana stood out in a vibrant orange collarless jacket and clashing purple tulip skirt.

11) Halter neck

Diana looked confident in a yellow and blue silk halterneck by Catherine Walker in 1992.

Princess Diana dancing with John Travolta in 1985GETTY

Princess Diana dancing with John Travolta in 1985

12) The Revenge Dress

It was 1994 and the night Charles, in a television interview, admitted he was unfaithful to Diana with Camilla Parker Bowles.

The same evening, Diana appeared at the Serpentine Gallery in what was dubbed her revenge dress – a figure-hugging, low cut, off-the-shoulder little black dress, paired with a choker and pearl earrings.

Greek fashion designer Christina Stambolian revealed the Princess initially thought it was “too daring” and only opted for it at the last minute.

13) Diana at Wimbledon

Diana looked chic in a simple, red, sleeveless shift dress with multiple pockets at the men’s singles final at Wimbledon in 1994.

14) Gelled back hair

Diana’s brand new, modern, slicked back hair was showcased when she addressed members of the Council of Fashion Designers of America in New York in 1995.

It was seen as demonstrating her new found independence.

Princess Diana at the Albert Hall in 1997, just two months before she diedGETTY

Princess Diana at the Albert Hall in 1997, just two months before she died

15) Jackie O

Diana channeled Jackie Kennedy Onassis’s style for an appearance marking the 50th anniversary of VE Day in 1995, when she appeared in a pale blue pillbox hat and matching suit.

16) Versace

A striking sleek purple floor length Versace gown and Jimmy Choo shoes were Diana’s choice of outfit for a fundraising gala dinner in 1996. She counted Versace as a friend and often wore his gowns.

17) Casual Diana

In the last year of her life, Diana launched her anti-landmine drive. For her trips to Angola and Bosnia, she dressed down in khaki or black capri trousers and simple open necked white or pastel shirts with rolled up sleeves – and showed she wanted the focus on her work, rather than her fashion.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana on board a Royal flight to Australia

18) Mario Testino shoot

A Vanity Fair photo shoot in 1997 with celebrity photographer Mario Testino reinvented the Princess style-wise and redefined her life post-divorce.

She looked relaxed, happy and carefree, dressed in a variety of glamorous gowns – including a Catherine Walker black halter neck trimmed on the neckline and straps with black bugle beads, which she also wore previously in 1994.

19) The Princess in Pakistan

She stepped out in a series of delicate traditional shalwar kameez on a solo visit to Pakistan, causing fashion experts to predict a rise in their popularity in high street stores. At the time, Diana was dating heart surgeon Hasnat Khan – whose family lived in Lahore.

20) Cool confidence

Diana exuded confidence in the months before her death. Her outfits were sleek and sophisticated, lower cut and often shorter and more daring.

In June 1997 – just two months before she died and on one of her last public engagements – the Princess visited the Albert Hall to watch Swan Lake, dressed in a short, powder blue fitted dress by French designer Jacques Azagury.