This article about Princess Diana’s casual style and how it’s making her an icon beyond the evening gowns and tiaras that usually come to mind at the mention of her name is fascinating for anyone who enjoys fashion and royal information. I’ve been a steadfast admirer of Diana, Princess of Wales from the moment I saw the first photograph of her in People magazine. Through all the outward appearances of her Fairytale life, the heartbreaking revelations of her reality, the tragedy of her death, and her enduring emergence as an icon, I’ve been impressed beyond belief that one fragile, yet incredibly strong human being could put on such a face of beauty and almost always grace.

I tried my best to emulate her style. The thing is that she had a classic beauty and inborn elegance that lent itself to looking amazing in just about any outfit she presented in private and public. Such a personal style can be studied, adopted, and adapted by almost anyone, who will emerge from their closet looking better than they ever did before she entered the public sphere.  

Because of Princess Diana, my Anglophile heart learned a lot more about fashion than I ever expected to know. I know who John Boyd, Catherine Walker, and the Emmanuels are. There was a time when I was an American Sloan Ranger wannabee, which left me with a craving for Laura Ashley anything, an admiration for Liberty Prints, and a serious Benneton addiction. I even learned her ballerina stance, which really does help when standing for any length of time.

Though I ditched the polka dot socks, piecrust and ruffles (for now, at least), and the urge to wear stadium pumps I don’t even like, some remaining  staples of my wardrobe include a white wing collar shirt for layering, ballerina flats, and classic leather clutches that defy generations, decades, and veritable pursestrings under the right sale circumstances. I swear, I would wear the little black satin hat that boasts matching black netting trim and looks a bit like a Victorian riding hat that I managed to find for my collection, if only hats were in style here across the pond. Alas, I don’t want to be accused of Trick-or-Treating out of season, so that bit of Princess Diana inspired finery must languish in its stored away glory

My unexpected style awareness and the pleasure it gives me is completely owing to the princess who ruled the world in so many ways that are more about individuality, compassion, and strength than crowns and curtseys. She made the world a different place by being in it. If only she could have lingered longer.