Already Finished The Crown? Here’s How To Get The Diana Look For Yourself

Hint: you need a novelty knit and a prairie collar.

Princess Diana in 1988

by Laura Antonia Jordan |
Updated on

Thank goodness for TV this year. Not just because it’s felt like a sanity saviour at times, but a wardrobe one as well. With red carpets largely rolled up, and streetstyle all but vanishing as fashion weeks migrated online, in 2020 it’s been left to the small screen to give our wardrobes some pep.

Consider the collective meltdown around Connell’s chain and Marianne’s fringe (admittedly, one suspects, for different reasons) or the way that even those of us who should know better might have Googled ‘vintage camera phone case’ after watching Emily in Paris (and if that is you, may we recommend you look at Sylvie’s style instead). Nicole Kidman’s avocado crushed velvet coat inThe Undoing has met delight and derision in equal measure. Still, people are talking about it.

Princess Diana in 1983
Princess Diana in 1983 ©Getty

And now, we have The Crown to tuck into – that is, if you haven’t already finished it. As addictive as we’ve come to expect, it’s also a complete fashion feast, and that’s primarily down to one factor: the Diana effect.


SHOP: Get the Look

Arket shirt1 of 16

Arket, Poplin Striped Shirt, £59

Bottega glasses2 of 16

Bottega Veneta at Matches, Aviator Sunglasses, £250

Ami skirt3 of 16

AMI at Matches, Pleated Check Skirt, £360

Claudie Pierlot bag4 of 16

Claudie Pierlot, Handback, £237

asos earrings5 of 16

Asos, Twisted Earrings, £10

Mango sweater6 of 16

Mango, Baby Doll Neck Sweater, £49.99

Monki cardigan7 of 16

Monki, Cardigan, £30

MSGM matches skirt8 of 16

MSGM at Matches, Polka dot skirt, £360

COS heels9 of 16

COS, Square Toe Pumps, £125

Ghost dress10 of 16

Ghost, Floral Long Sleeve Dress, £169

Cefin Blouse11 of 16

Cefinn, Long Sleeved Blouse, £250

Ring Blazer jumper12 of 16

Rowing Blazer, Sheep Sweater, £250

O Pioneers take top13 of 16

O Pioneers, Tank Top, £230

Zara vest14 of 16

Zara, Argyle Knit Vest, £29.99

& other stories boots15 of 16

& Other Stories, Knee High Western Boots, £225

Zara checked blazer16 of 16

Zara, Double Breasted Oversized Blazer, £49.99

Proving that she’s still the ultimate influencer, searches for Diana-related pieces are on the up since season four – following the royals throughout the 1980s, and played by rising style-icon Emma Corrin – landed on Netflix last weekend. According to eBay, the day the new season dropped there were 126% more searches for ‘tartan jacket’. Searches for ‘ruffled shirt’ rose by 25% compared to the previous month, and ‘sheep jumper’ by 21% - more of that in a moment.

Princess Diana in 1981
Princess Diana in 1981 ©Getty

The Diana workout look from the ’90s has been Insta-catnip for a while, but it’s the early Diana of the current season we want to channel right now. In a moment of fashion kismet, many of the pieces we can imagine Diana wearing are easily available at the moment: pie-crust collars, Liberty-florals, high-waisted denim, dungarees. Those of a less prim persuasion should look to her 1988 appearance at the polo for inspiration: jeans tucked into cowboy boots, a boxy, oversized blazer, British Lung Foundation sweater and a baseball cap. She was also a fan of tinted, sporty shades. And if you really want to go all-in, start perfecting that hairstyle, layer on the kohl and nab yourself a sapphire ring.

Princess Diana in 1988
Princess Diana in 1988 ©Getty

The prairie collar is the easiest way to get the look – and you’ll find them everywhere right now from Ganni to Mango. Ghost’s Alora and Aiyannadresses with their white sailor collars feel particularly young Di (also check out their new collab with M&S). ‘For me Diana embodied glamour and natural elegance whilst still having the ability to have fun with fashion,’ creative director Sameera Azeem explains. ‘I was drawn to Diana and her love of oversized collars, puff sleeves and waisted dresses’. To avoid looking like a 1980s pastiche, she advises you wear your Sloane Ranger wins ‘with a classic piece from your wardrobe to achieve the new updated version of the look’.

Princess Diana in 1980
Princess Diana in 1980 ©Getty

This season has also put Diana’s fondness for sweet novelty knits into the spotlight, from a floral cardigan to that ‘black sheep’ sweater, ingeniously reissued by Rowing Blazers last month. 'Diana was ahead of her time,' says Jack Carlson, Rowing Blazers founder and creative director. ‘She perfected the art of mixing of high and low, and blurred the lines between menswear and womenswear. It seems to me she thought about semiotics as well as the aesthetics. In a weird way, she was doing streetwear before streetwear was a thing — but at the same time she was the archetype of the Sloane Ranger. She was all of these contradictions, and that’s what made her so iconic – and what makes her so relevant to what’s happening in fashion now.’

Lady Diana in 1980
Lady Diana in 1980 ©Getty

Another way to do a Diana is to opt into thesweater vest trend, which shows no sign of slowing down. I’ve got my eye on one fromO Pioneerswhich are hand-knitted by the founders’ – Clara Francis and Tania Hindmarch – mothers. ‘Images of a young Diana are etched into both of our memories as children of the ‘80s,’ says Francis. ‘The influence she had on fashion cannot be underestimated and the iconic outfits she wore and was photographed in have become part of our own fashion DNA as adults. We would both try to recreate Diana ‘looks’ with our limited, suburban budget and choices. I remember asking my mum to knit me a statement jumper just like one I’d seen Diana wear. She knitted half and never bothered to finish it! But it’s all come full circle because both our mums are now employed as home knitters for us, so no slacking for her now!’

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