The royals have always been a source of fashion inspiration, from European princesses’ elaborate hairstyles to the elegant robes of Eastern noblewomen. Today, the House of Windsor is arguably the most powerful royals when it comes to fashion, thanks to the lasting popularity of Queen Elizabeth and the legacy of style of Lady Diana.
Their influence is so great that what the Duchess of Cambridge wears to an event could be sold out in minutes. If we ever catch Anne, Princess Royal in recycled plastic pants, fashion houses will send emissaries to plastic molding manufacturers to find out how to incorporate plastic into their creations and offer fresh PVC styles to their patrons.
Here’s a list of royal fashion choices that have become everyday staples for women.
Diana and the Power Shoulder
The 80s and 90s glorified powerful shoulders, and the then-Princess of Wales loved the strong structure it provided. Alongside her cinched-waists and wide-brimmed hats, suits with padded shoulders have become a staple in her royal wardrobe, and she wore them as she made state visits. As the most photographed woman in the world, her fashion choices were emulated by many and sent countless women into department stores seeking the powerful, Spencer-esque padded shoulders.
While the padded shoulder waned in the early 2000s in favor of spaghetti straps and tracksuits, they made a comeback in 2020, with several designer brands incorporating it into their collection. French Vogue even named shoulder pads one of the biggest trends of 2020.
The Queen and Color Blocking
Color blocking—or the style of using blocks of solid, bright colors—wasn’t popular among the world’s fashionable ladies. That is, until the people noticed that the Queen of England is almost always wearing a color-blocked outfit.
If you look at her ensembles at important events, she is always wearing a frock of a single, bright color, often with a hat of a matching hue. In some cases, the frock was donned over a dress of a completely clashing color. And her hat would have a feather of the same clashing color, too.
There’s a lot of speculation about this consistent and unique fashion choice. Some report that it’s done for security reasons, so personnel can easily see where the queen is. Some offer a more touching rationale: the queen wears bright color blocks so her subjects could easily spot her in large crowds, and they could go home happy knowing that they’ve seen their queen.
In 2019, the color blocking trend reached Teen Vogue, which advocated using bright hues, coordinating colors with your best friend, and layering clothes of different textures. ;
The Duchess of Cambridge and Athleisure
The Duchess feels at home in athleisure outfits, especially when she attends official sporting engagements, like skiing and sailing. While she looks elegant in tailored, tea-length dresses and hats, she looks equally stunning in a ski jacket. The sportswear of choice for the queen is an equestrienne garb, but the duchess, attending more diverse sporting events, could be seen in a lot of various sportswear ensembles.
Athleisure has been a trend among the fashionable ladies, but the duchess took it a notch higher with her implied nod of approval. That’s why even if women aren’t into running and marathons, they still wear biker shorts and hoodies when dropping by the supermarket. ;
The power of the House of Windsor in fashion can’t be denied. Even if they don’t seek to influence what’s trendy (and they, in fact, follow style protocols), they still have a hand over what is elegant and what is chic. And so long as the crown is on a Windsor, they will continue to affect our fashion choices.