We're still taking notes from this well-dressed royal.

By Samantha Sutton
Updated Apr 24, 2020 @ 5:15 pm
Credit: Tim Graham/Getty Images

It can easily be argued that, out of all the royals, Princess Diana had the best style. Even to this day, her '80s and '90s outfits serve as a source of inspiration, with Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle frequently channeling their late mother-in-law in similar pieces. (Plus, we can't forget that whole Hailey Bieberphoto shoot for Vogue Paris.)

Part of what made Diana's dresses, peplum tops, and even pants suits so spectacular is that they were often rewears — with a little twist. Instead of pulling out the same exact look, she'd mix things up, choosing to pair a skirt from a set with a sweater, or remaking a headband into a necklace. Considering the push toward sustainability in fashion we're seeing in 2020 and beyond, she was downright prescient in her styling choices: Her style seemed to ask, why buy a million new items when you can freshen up the one's you've got already?

In fact, Princess Diana was pretty much the queen of cool, sustainable styling tricks. Here are a few great ways she reinvented her wardrobe, which might come in handy if you're hoping to make old clothes look new again.

First: She Wore a Printed, Peplum Top With a Belt

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Diana elevated the piece with a poufy black skirt and a pearl necklace.

The Trick: Tucking It in

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When she wanted to make it work for a polo match, she simply tucked in her shirt and chose a white skirt instead, making it seem a lot more casual.

First: She Wore Her Shirt Like a Cardigan

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In 1981, Diana draped her top over a coordinating dress to create an easy, effortless ensemble.

The Trick: Buttoning It Up

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Two years later, the piece popped up again, this time fully fastened and paired with a hat.

First: Her Polka-Dot Dress Had a Peplum

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Diana went all out for a 1986 derby, completing her fancy look with a wide-brim hat and white tights.

The Trick: Removing the Layer

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A little alteration made all the difference, and the piece suddenly seemed sleek and brand new.

First: She Wore a Pants Suit

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For lunch with her stepmother, Diana chose an eye-catching gray blazer and matching, pleated trousers.

The Trick: Swapping Out the Pants For a Skirt

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Sure, it was a minor change, but it gave things a whole new vibe for a visit to St. Mary's Hospital.

First: She Wore a Jeweled Headband

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While in Japan, the royal showed us a very '80s way to wear these stones from the Saudi Suite.

The Trick: Remaking It Into a Choker

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It's something anyone can try with an old ribbon or a scarf, both of which can easily pull double duty.

First: Her Pink, Polka-Dot Dress Was Full Of Ruffles

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The Catherine Walker design looked like something straight out of a fairytale during a concert in Melbourne.

The Trick: Having It Remade With Modern Details

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Three years later — and thanks to a tailor — Diana's dress looked very different with puff sleeves and a drop waist.

First: She Wore This Top With a Shiny Purple Skirt

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The full, ruched bottom made the princess look truly regal at a Claridges banquet.

The Trick: Pairing It With Something Slim-Fitting

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A few years later, it was fit for the '90s after being styled with a column skirt.

First: She Mixed Prints With Her Houndstooth Jacket

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That striped scarf (and netted hat!) ensured that Diana's Moschino outfit made quite the statement.

The Trick: Going With a Solid Color Instead

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The royal toned things down the next year, replacing that detail with something basic and black.

First: Her Blue Dress Had Puff Sleeves

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In 1987, Diana had a glamourous Dynasty moment while visiting Lisbon, Portugal.

The Trick: Turning It Into a Strapless Number

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By 1989, the dress had been altered into something slightly sexier and a lot more classic.

First: She Stepped Out in a Full Floral Suit

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Prior to becoming a princess, Diana was seen at the 1981 Wimbledon finals wearing a printed two-piece set.

The Trick: Wearing the Skirt By Itself

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Four years later, she was still getting good use out of these staples, pairing the skirt with a white top and a red sweater for a polo match.

We're shining a spotlight on sustainability in fashion to help spread the word: Reusing, re-purposing, and re-styling is never a bad look.