Royal fashion may be best associated with ball gowns, bright suiting, and sparkling tiaras. But more recently, many of Princess Diana’s looks have re-entered the public’s focus, garnering her the rightful title of a style icon and sending many to peruse through her fashion archive. Her style — a cross between polished and playful — reflects many currently trending items, making her aesthetic an ideal one to pull inspiration from this season. Now is the perfect time to study the summer 2021 trends inspired by Princess Diana’s outfits. Plus, with how vintage-inspired fashion has continued to dominate the trend cycle, many of Diana’s looks from the ‘80s and ‘90s are ripe for recreating.
Whether vacationing in the Caribbean or attending the Varsity Polo Match at Windsor, Princess Diana favored colorful and comfortable ensembles that feel refreshingly modern. Take, for example, her neon orange bikini, which aligns superbly with the ongoing swimwear look of vibrant and optimistic colors. And in addition to her ability to cherry-pick cool staples, her effortless styling combinations make each must-try style feel attainable, royal title or not. Case in point: her penchant for biker short outfits remains a mainstay in the current athleisure style discourse, leading many to cite her as one of the leading influencers behind the sporty, “I just got out of a spin class” look. Scroll ahead to browse 10 summer 2021 trends done the Princess Diana way.
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Breezy White Dresses
Billowy dresses — ideally in a cool, white shade to help repel the sun’s intense rays — make for a foolproof summer outfit. Andrea Iyamah’s unique maxi gown features a high neckline similar to Diana’s dress, and its open side panels allow for breezy ventilation.
A dress with a halter neckline was one of Princess Diana’s most worn styles, and the behind-the-neck design will dominate this season. Ralph Lauren’s linen midi-length frock is a worthwhile staple to introduce to your sundress rotation.
Summer 2021 is set to be the season of maximalist prints through boldly patterned trousers and shorts — just as Diana has worn. Fashion girl cult-favorite Lisa Says Gah offers an eclectic red and pink bandana trouser that channels a similar spirit to the princess’ gingham pair.
Bike shorts are a versatile staple for summer athleisure looks, and Princess Diana's casual combination above is a great place to start with the trend. EleVen by Venus Williams offers a similar sherbet-inspired option with an affordable price tag, which makes recreating the look for yourself all the easier.
Printed Shoulder Bag
Princess Diana originally popularized the French heritage brand, Souleiado, through this bold quilted shoulder bag. Boasting a nearly identical Provençal-inspired print, Souleiado’s 2021 version of the purse shares its same playful language.
Swimwear in joyful prints and eccentric colorways are back in style this beach season. But the abstract and painterly aesthetic you see on Diana above has been refashioned into a more clean look, which you’ll find presented in perfectly Dos Swim’s multicolored two-piece.
Oversized Surf Tee
There's no cooler beach day combination than oversized sunglasses and a tee to match. Diana's tropical graphic top is an easy swim coverup look to recreate.
While vacating on the Caribbean Island of Nevis in 1993, Diana wore a bright bikini in an eye-catching orange shade. OOKIOH's neon top comes in a nearly identical hue, and it also mimics the balconette style found on Princess Diana’s suit. Plus, this style is a major retro-inspired swimsuit trend for summer 2021.
For a day at Disney World in 1993, Diana tapped into the khaki Bermuda shorts trend seamlessly, pairing hers with an easy white tee and a brown leather belt. Semicouture has a lookalike pair, offering the same pleats, slightly flared design, and neutral hue.
Animal Print One-Piece
Mixing together prints from seasons past and present, Princess Diana's tiger-leopard suit is perfect for hanging out in while dockside. Try GANNI’s ombre-hued leopard one-piece for a style that mimics Diana’s multi-patterned one-piece.
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