Timeline: Princess Diana’s remarkable fashion evolution in 16 photos

Princess Diana's looks through the years.
(Getty Images)

During her years in the spotlight, Princess Diana evolved from a bashful teenager in posh pastels to a worldwide style icon whose image regularly graced the covers of glossy magazines. More than two decades after her untimely death, Diana’s distinct combination of high glamor and casual chic continues to influence contemporary style and set the standard for a new generation of royals. Here’s a look at her dramatic style transformation over the years, inspired by Season 4 of Netflix’s “The Crown.”

September 1980: Lady Diana Spencer dressed in the unremarkable style of the stereotypical Sloane Ranger.
(Tim Graham / Tim Graham Photo Library via GettyImages)

September 1980: Early in her romance with Prince Charles, Lady Diana Spencer sports the unremarkable style of the stereotypical Sloane Ranger.


 February 1981: Britain's Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer before the wedding. She wears a conservative blue jacket.
(Ron Bell / Associated Press)

February 1981: Diana bought this royal blue suit by Cojana — a look suited for a woman twice her age — off the rack at Harrods, the London department store.

May 1981: Prince Charles and fiancee Lady Diana Spencer at Balmoral. She wears a colorful Peruvian sweater and Wellingtons.
(Anwar Hussein / Getty Images)

May 1981: At Balmoral shortly before her wedding, Diana wears a bright, playful Peruvian sweater with velvet trousers and a pair of Wellington boots.

July 1981: Lady Diana Spencer in yellow overalls weeks before her wedding
(Anwar Hussein / Getty Images)


July 1981: At a polo match weeks before her wedding, Diana exudes youthfulness in a pair of yellow overalls and a floral blouse.

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September 1981: Newlywed Princess Diana wears fashionable plaid to the Braemar Gathering.
(Anwar Hussein/WireImage)

September 1981: Newlywed Diana sports a plaid ensemble at the Braemar Gathering in Scotland.

March 1983: Princess Diana with Prince of Wales. A shimmery blue dress by Bruce Oldfield reflects her growing fashion sense.
(Anwar Hussein / WireImage)


March 1983: While touring Australia, Diana wears a fluttery blue and silver dress by British designer Bruce Oldfield, a look re-created in “The Crown.”

 November 1985: Diana wears a couture black gown by Victor Edelstein to a White House dinner and dances with John Travolta.
(Ronald Reagan Library / AP)

November 1985: At a White House dinner, Diana dances with John Travolta while wearing a midnight blue velvet gown by Victor Edelstein, a British couturier.

May 1988: At a polo match, Diana displays a carefully constructed casual style in a blazer, sweat shirt and baseball cap.
(Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

May 1988: Trailed by photographers wherever she went, Diana also became known for her distinct off-duty style, like this combination of blazer, sweat shirt, baseball cap and boots worn to a polo match.


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November 1988: Diana wears one-bare-shouldered red and black gown by Catherine Walker.
(Georges De Keerle / Getty Images)

November 1988: One of Diana’s favorite designers, Catherine Walker created this asymmetrical red and black evening dress worn by the princess to a dinner at the British Embassy in Paris.

March 1989: Visiting Dubai, Diana Princess of Wales wears a color-blocked pink and red dress by Catherine Walker.
(David Levenson / Getty Images)

March 1989: During a trip to Dubai, Diana looks glamorous in a color-blocked pink and red dress by Catherine Walker.


November 1989: Diana wears a beaded white gown and bolero she called her “Elvis dress.” It's by Catherine Walker.
(Liu Heung Shing / Associated Press)

November 1989: Diana referred to this lavish beaded white gown and bolero, by Catherine Walker, as her “Elvis dress.”

June 1994: Princess Diana wears an off-the-shoulder, short black dress by Christina Stambolian, known as the Revenge Dress.
(Jayne Fincher / Getty Images)

June 1994: This provocative number by Christina Stambolian was dubbed the Revenge Dress because Diana wore it the night Prince Charles, in a TV special, confessed to cheating on her.

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December 1996: Newly divorced Diana attends the Met Gala in a slinky navy blue slip dress by Christian Dior.
(Stan Honda / AFP via Getty Images)

December 1996: Freshly divorced Diana attends the Met Gala in a slinky navy blue slip dress by Christian Dior.

January 1997: Princess Diana, wearing a bombproof visor, visits a minefield in Huambo, Angola.
(John Stillwell / AP)

January 1997: Diana wears a flak vest, chinos and a simple button-down while walking through minefields in Angola.

April 1997: Diana wears a crisp, clean-lined Versace suit. Post-Charles, she tried simpler silhouettes.
(Antony Jones / UK Press via Getty Images)


April 1997: After her split from Prince Charles, Diana, pictured in a Versace suit, began to try simpler silhouettes and foreign designers.

June 1997 — Diana wears a tank dress by Catherine Walker to an auction at Christie’s.
(Antony Jones / UK Press via Getty Images)

June 1997: Diana wears a tank dress by Catherine Walker to an auction at Christie’s where she sold many of the extravagant looks she favored in the ‘80s.