10 Wardrobe Staples Inspired by Princess Diana to Add to Your Outfit Rotation

From her iconic sheep sweater to her ski suits

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‘Tis the season for binging the final installment of The Crown on Netflix. Sure, the second half of season six is officially out, but your thoughts are still on the part one—and mainly, Princess Diana. Elizabeth Debicki's portrayal is heart wrenching to watch, but it also dredges up so much fashion inspo, which makes sense given the late Princess of Wales was arguably one of the most fashionable figures of the twentieth century. But how can you incorporate her sophisticated style into your everyday wardrobe? Here, ten investment-worthy items that will give you an easy place to start.

6 Modern Style Lessons We Learned from O.G. Fashion Queen Princess Diana

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1. A Statement Sweater

Cue The Crown: This particular look of Diana’s features briefly in season four when Emma Corrin steps into the late Princess of Wales’s shoes. As for the real Diana’s choice to wear the black sheep sweater (first just ahead of her wedding at a polo match in 1981, then again at another polo match in 1983), it was thought to contain a hidden message: Was the single black sheep a statement about her inability to fit in within the confines of the monarchy? It seemed to be. Regardless, much like Diana, the sartorial choice was clever and bold—and a reminder that a statement sweater can be the whole outfit. Find one that speaks to you, then wear it with basics like a pair of slacks and a collared shirt.

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2. A Crisp White Button-Up

Princess Diana made a white button-up and denim her uniform of choice while bringing attention to what many in 1997 dubbed a controversial royal cause: raising awareness on the devastating effects of landmines. Worn tucked in—and paired with a loafer—the wardrobe staple helped show a princess who was ready to quite literally roll up her sleeves and get to work, but also never take too much attention from the cause. As for the button-up? It’s a classic for a reason: You can dress it up or down and it’s also seasonless. A sartorial win-win. (Debicki also mirrored this look in season six.)

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3. A Little Black Dress

Famously dubbed Diana’s “revenge dress,” the Princess of Wales stepped out in this off-the-shoulder and form-fitting little black dress by designer Christina Stambolian on November 20, 1994—the same day that her soon-to-be ex-husband Prince Charles (who is now king) admitted to having an affair on national TV. The style lesson: Every woman should have an LBD that makes them feel like a million bucks in their closet. (Just add jewelry.)

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4. Bike Shorts

Before there was athleisure, there was Princess Diana, who sparked a style uproar with her gym attire—a combination of sweatshirt, socks, sneaks…and bike shorts. Nowadays, we’re all about varieties that come with stretch and in high-tech performance fabrics that help to slim and tuck. They’re also having quite the comeback. (Did you see Taylor Swift’s recent Diana-inspired take on them?)

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5. A Skirt Suit

The Crown’s Debicki emulated this lilac look of Princess Diana’s in season five—but whether it be in purple, pink, houndstooth or plaid, the two-piece skirt suit was an iconic part of Diana’s wardrobe and another style choice that allowed her to demonstrate a princess at work. While the length of the jacket can (and should) vary based on your frame, the key to making this look a perfect fit is to enlist the help of a good tailor to get the proportions exactly right. (We also love the spectator shoe.)

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6. A Polka Dot Dress

Following in Princess Diana’s stylish footsteps, Kate Middleton has one—and so should you. Polka dot prints are trending again, which is the perfect excuse to dip your toe into this once-signature Princess Diana style. A black-and-white pattern is classic for a reason, but that doesn’t mean you can’t wear polka dots in a variety of colors, too. In dress form, it’s an easy one-and-done style that will take you from the office to a night out. (Tights optional.)

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7. An Oversize Blazer

Need something to throw on over the aforementioned button-up? An oversize blazer was a mainstay in Diana’s wardrobe over the years—including on this visit to Sarajevo in 1997—and she paired it with pants, skirts and even threw it on over a dress from time to time. If you’re adding one to your wardrobe, we’d recommend sticking with a neutral color (think black, navy or white) to start. But don’t be afraid to mix in colors, too. (Diana wasn’t—remember Debicki’s take on the electric blue blazer she wore for Prince William’s first day at Eton?)

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8. A Pleated Skirt

Think of it as quiet luxury before there was quiet luxury. A pleated skirt was something that the Princess of Wales regularly mixed into her wardrobe, pairing it with sweaters, sweatshirts, even an oversize blazer (see above). Ideally, you want one that’s midi length. You can go for the monochromatic look—like Diana—or treat it as a neutral while choosing a top that provides a bit more of a pop.

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9. A Coat Dress

When it comes to royal style, this is the ultimate one-and-done piece. Diana—like Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and many other royals—was a huge fan of the coat dress as a stand-alone look. The key to pulling it off is impeccable tailoring. You want the length, shoulders and waist to all adhere perfectly to your frame. In a bright color, you can’t go wrong.

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10. A Ski Suit

Come summer, Diana was a major fan of bold and bright swim attire—this we know. But she applied the same rule to winter dressing. For example, anytime she hit the slopes with Prince Charles, Fergie and her kids. (#TBT to this recent viral clip.) The good news: Full-body ski suits are making a comeback—and you don’t have to have a ski trip planned to wear one. Current styles are chic and modern, but also nod to Diana’s ‘80s and ‘90s attire. Vive le functional fashion.

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Royal family expert, a cappella alum, mom

Rachel Bowie is Senior Director of Special Projects & Royals at PureWow, where she covers parenting, fashion, wellness and money in addition to overseeing initiatives within...